L.A. to Rome -- Jun/Jul, 2012

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by sojourner1, Dec 31, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sojourner1

    sojourner1 Member

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    Hello!
    Brand-new here at milepoint (just found you all today through The Points Guy).
    Would love some suggestions on the following:

    My family & I (myself, my wife & 2 kids -- ages 20 & 16) are planning a trip to Rome next summer. Our travel dates are flexible (leaving anytime after June 23rd & returning by mid-July for a total of 12-14 days).

    We have the following miles (approx) :
    British Air: myself - 109k & my wife 106k
    Delta : myself - 95k & my wife 51k

    I have never used BA before (we signed up for their Chase Visa 100k promo last spring) so have been just looking into the past week. It looks like they had a big change to Avios in November. Regardless, BA.com is confusing!
    Delta.com, I'm much more comfortable with - even though redeeming miles with the can be difficult.

    All of that being said....
    any & all thoughts on how best to utilize these miles the most economically would be very much appreciated!

    cheers,
    Gregory
     
  2. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Have you looked at the responses in the other thread you started?
     
  3. Globaliser
    Original Member

    Globaliser Silver Member

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    Are you thinking of redeeming for travel in the economy cabin? If so, the first thing to do is to get a handle on how much a cash ticket will cost. Many who were tempted by the Chase 100K promotion did not realise in advance that if you redeem for an economy ticket, you may well have to pay almost as much on top of the miles as if you had just bought a cash ticket to begin with. BA Miles/Avios are better spent on premium cabin travel, and (in general) best spent on upgrading WT+ cash tickets to business class. This is how the BA scheme has been for many years now, and this did not change in November 2011.

    Another good use of BA Miles/Avios now is for short-haul travel. This is new.
     
  4. mikeschu
    Original Member

    mikeschu Gold Member

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    This.

    If you're set on BA, you will have to pay a ton in fuel surcharges and taxes on award travel, which can eat up more than half of the ticket. Sometimes I see SAN-LHR for around $1000 in economy round-trip and a significant chunk of that is in taxes and fuel. For a 40-60k per ticket redemption in economy, is it worth paying to save perhaps $500 each? That's up to you, but I believe the flying experience will be much better in business over economy over that distance.

    I'd price out a ticket on ITA Matrix (matrix.itasoftware.com) or via BA, where they should tell you the fuel surcharges and taxes. Then find out how many Avios + cash you're going to need for the same ticket and do the math.

    If you go the upgrade route, the only consideration is having seats available. You may have a lot from LAX, but don't be afraid to check SAN for their daily flight to LHR. It's only a relatively cheap three-hour train trek down and it's a much easier airport to get to and get through.
     
  5. sojourner1

    sojourner1 Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Yes, it was suggested to repost it here also -- but am watching/responding to both threads. Thanks for your comment on the other thread also! Much appreciated...
     
  6. sojourner1

    sojourner1 Member

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    Thanks for the ITA Matrix suggestion -- have not heard of that before.
    Also thanks for the SAN-LHR suggestion. I have not looked into that...

    yes, that is a good point regarding the how much we will have to pay on surcharges & taxes vs. how much a full priced ticket will be. However, that is why we go the BA miles in the first place. If we save $500/person for a family of four - that is $2,000 saved. Would love to fly business vs. economy, but I'd rather spend that $2k in Italy & not on the flight -- make sense?

    thanks again!
    ...am really appreciating the community & suggestions here at milepoint.

    cheers,
    gregory
     
    jwsky likes this.
  7. jgrease

    jgrease Active Member

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    I have to agree with the advice given- BA miles/Avios are worth way more on upgrades to cash tickets than to pay for airfare. I've tried to price out WT seats paid with miles, and in some cases they were actually MORE than they would have been if I bought the tickets outright. Be like me and do tons of research. I've found my Avios points are more valuable for anything that isn't covered directly by BA (AA domestic, even flights to South America or the Caribbean. Good luck with your planning.
     

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