Should I apply for the BA promo?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by sunny_sc, Apr 11, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sunny_sc
    Original Member

    sunny_sc Silver Member

    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    55
    Status Points:
    225
    I've been trying to decide if I should try to apply for the British Airways promo and use the miles for a trip to Europe in September (specifically, Italy and/or Greece). However, I can't seem to find any Business class availability using the BA.com website. I'm wondering if I'm "doing it wrong" since I'm a newbie.

    Should I expect that there is no business class availability in September? Or should I be able to find something? I've read on The Points Guy's website that I should try to avoid British Airways because of the high fees on award travel redemption. Does that mean I should try to book with AA?

    Thanks in advance for any tips.
     
  2. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,278
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    tzoom84 likes this.
  3. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    3,129
    Likes Received:
    12,385
    Status Points:
    10,620
    Actually, I think there are two different issues that you are bringing up. First is should you apply for the BA card. That depends on your credit rating and history. If you have a good credit score and have not applied for more than a couple of cards in the last 6 months then you stand a very good chance of getting approved. This would give you the miles. It would be your choice as to when you should use them. Nothing wrong with saving them until later.

    The second issue is the possibility getting award seats for this September. I don't have any experience with BA awards, so I am really not the one to address that. But if you start with the link mattsteg gave, it should get you pointed in the right direction. Also, JasonH has given a good write up of how to look for Delta award seats in this thread: http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/newbie-guide-award-booking-without-elite-status.4124/

    Hope all of this helps.
     
    travelinmike33 likes this.
  4. sunny_sc
    Original Member

    sunny_sc Silver Member

    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    55
    Status Points:
    225
    Thanks for the tips! I have great credit, and I am new to the miles game so I actually haven't applied for a card in a few years. The complication for me is that I am planning to NOT travel in 2012 and possibly 2013. Which is why I am really hoping to use any miles I get soon! I don't think it would be worth it for me to spend the $95 (x 2 people) and try to meet the $2500 spending requirement (x 2 people) if I can't use the miles this year.

    I did check out the TPG fees blog post. It looks like the fees for business class to Europe are high but do-able for us. We actually are planning to go to South America, but we decided to go in June since swapping the SA & Europe trip dates made the Europe trip cost skyrocket.

    Thanks for the Delta guide as well... I'll look into that since I have a fair number of Delta miles as well. We are really hoping that we can do one of our trips in business class!! :)

    If anyone else knows if business class award availability can be found, please let me know.
     
  5. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

    Messages:
    3,616
    Likes Received:
    6,793
    Status Points:
    4,670
    British Airways adds fuel surcharges to its awards. Those fees can be pretty high for flying British Airways. They can now be quite high for American's international flights as well. Usually pretty low for South America, and reasonable (high $200s total taxes and fees) for Cathay Pacific to Asia.

    100,000 miles is a great offer. Even if you're not going anywhere again until 2014, why not stock up while the goins' good? BA miles don't expire for three years, and you can always earn a handful of miles later to extend their life. Or just give tickets away.

    British Airways award availability is really really good in most cases, though it is route and date dependent of course. Sorry to hear you're having trouble finding seats, what city do you leave from? You may not come up with this on the British Airways website but you can always include a partner airline in addition to British Airways on an award, e.g. fly Alaska or American to a city where BA has award space and continue from there.

    BA fuel surcharges are a pain, but still a good deal compared to buying a business class ticket. And personally I'd swallow the fuel surcharges considering that BA's seat is pretty good relative to its transatlantic competitors -- a lie flat bed in business. I'd rate Virgin's business higher than BAs, and I'm certainly no fan of BA's food or service, but I can sleep on that seat. Which is meaningful. Others will differ on how much the seat is worth, but a BA credit card and some fuel surcharges seem a great way to get an international premium cabin ticket.

    One element to consider with those taxes and fees is that you can save money if you avoid a stopover in London. See, there's this pesky UK premium cabin departure tax than'll run you ~ US$175 per person. So flying to Paris via London is less costly than flying just to London and back!

    Personally, I would say go for it....
     
  6. kirkpd
    Original Member

    kirkpd Silver Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    38
    Status Points:
    145
    Not sure I am doing this correctly. But fees to the carribean on AA website did not look too bad or do I need to be looking on the BA website? What about using for Carribean travel? Not any BA hubs near Asheville so dont know if I would be able to use on their metal.
     
  7. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,278
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    You need to look on the BA website to get the final tally, but fees for the Caribbean won't be bad. South America looks like an *outstanding* value. Low fees, and from my home airport even coach to EZE is about $1.5k.
     
  8. sunny_sc
    Original Member

    sunny_sc Silver Member

    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    55
    Status Points:
    225
    Thanks Gary for the tips! My home airport is SEA, so I've been looking for flights from SEA as well as SFO and LAX. YVR is also close, but in general taxes to Canada tend to be high.

    Are there other airports you think I should try?
     
  9. Whatwasthat...
    Original Member

    Whatwasthat... Silver Member

    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    47
    Status Points:
    195
    Hi Sunny, another newbie here. I'm a major fan of the BA/Chase miles sign-up bonus, and the Companion Ticket offer (if you can put $30,000 thru the Card in 12 months, they'll give you a companion ticket in the same class, and on the same flight, as the ticket you redeem your miles for). I signed up for the 100,000 mile bonus when it was offered last year. Thanks to a bit of home-remodel work we needed to do at the time, the Mrs. & I are now booked Business Class to Italy & Paris in May for about the price of a seat in Coach (no avoiding those taxes & fees). True, we did book these tickets about six months in advance. But the miles bonus and the companion ticket made it very worthwhile for us. So much so that the Mrs. signed up for the BA/Chase card this time around - so we're anticipating another 100,000 miles for the family (BA let's you pool these miles in a "household account") this time around.

    As noted above, it's totally a personal call on whether you'll find it valuable. So far, it has been for me.

    Cheers!
     
  10. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

    Messages:
    3,616
    Likes Received:
    6,793
    Status Points:
    4,670
    Well, there's DEN though award space would be pretty limited.

    In a pinch you could try any number of cities served by Alaska or American. Pretty decent award space from ORD and in particular ATL, for instance, also DFW and especially IAH. Not as desirable as doing nearly the whole trip on BA, but it gets you there.
     
  11. euromannn
    Original Member

    euromannn Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,620
    Likes Received:
    8,619
    Status Points:
    7,070
    Fuel charges make FF award travel questionable in the future. It's no longer the same game on BA!
     
  12. tzoom84
    Original Member

    tzoom84 Silver Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    42
    Status Points:
    170
    Whatwasthat..., JohnDeere19 and akcae like this.
  13. Steven Schwartz
    Original Member

    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    2,195
    Status Points:
    1,270
    True - and false!

    BA seems to know how to push the envelope. I don't recall the OP stating what class he wanted to fly, but for Business or First Classes, it's is still a great deal. My wife and I are flying to Israel on BA in First Class in May, thanks to the bonus miles and the 2-4-1 voucher. Yes, it cost me almost $1500 total, but that's a tad more than one Coach ticket! BA has better availability than almost any other airline (maybe EVERY one but I simply don't know).

    Everyone of us is different and has different desires and goals. But while I don't enjoy the fees, this deal still remains way, way too good to pass up. Think of it - no one has come up with a better deal yet! I will, however, agree that if what you are looking for is BA Economy seats, the numbers may not work but still, you can use the miles for FOUR domestic flights on AA! To me, this is free money!

    One last point. In all the postings I've read over the years on FlyerTalk, I've heard a lot of people ruing the fact that they did not sign on to a great deal. I have NEVER read one where the person regrets doing it! That says a lot.
     
  14. JohnDeere19
    Original Member

    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,392
    Likes Received:
    6,892
    Status Points:
    4,625
    Unless they were rejecting :p. But I agree...You'll regret what you didn't do, not what you did.
     
  15. phonehome
    Original Member

    phonehome Active Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    20
    Status Points:
    85
    I have a somewhat related question.

    I'm trying to book ORD-HKG-TPE-HKG-ORD on BA points using solely Cathay flights. The fee in the end is $300. Is this normal? I was expecting something much smaller.
     
  16. akcae
    Original Member

    akcae Silver Member

    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    150
    Status Points:
    420
    Sounds about right, and for a TPAC, I'd say rather reasonable (I'm assuming premium cabin).
     
  17. Lyssa
    Original Member

    Lyssa Silver Member

    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    133
    Status Points:
    350
    I also have a related question, when I was reading about how much it would cost to use BA miles on AA, I was really surprised. Are there normally fees when you redeem AA miles? I have only redeemed Southwest awards, which of course are totally free. I have over 100,000 AA miles, but haven't used them yet. I guess I am new enough to not realize the possible fees, that is sad. Boo.
     
  18. phonehome
    Original Member

    phonehome Active Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    20
    Status Points:
    85
    Hmm, okay. Would a coach award flight for the same route have lower fees?

    I thought the high BA premium fees were only for flights with a London segment.
     
  19. akcae
    Original Member

    akcae Silver Member

    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    150
    Status Points:
    420
    Coach YQ may be lower. BA bases its fees on the class of service, but that is for travel on their own metal. In addition to the YQ, there are UK government fees (ADP etc) that you are subject to, especially when departing from the UK. This is a partner award on CX and the fees are imposed by them and whatever government regulations they are subject to based on your connection points.
     
    phonehome likes this.

Share This Page