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  • FIRST POST
    • Neo187
    • By Neo187 2nd Jan 18, 10:29 AM
    • 258Posts
    • 7,953Thanks
    Neo187
    0 WOW
    Does anyone collect Avios?
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:29 AM
    0 WOW
    Does anyone collect Avios? 2nd Jan 18 at 10:29 AM
    I have been foolishly collecting Avios for the past year. I have been collecting on their site, rather than through a credit card, so when i'm doing online shopping, ill put the purchases through avios first. I've managed to collect 30K+ avios so far, which is very nice. However, I have now only just realised its potentially a waste of time. I went to book a flight to New York to visit a friend, and the total was 28K avios, which is fine. However, you need to pay a fee on top of £330! I checked online flights, and I could find a return with BA on their site for £330! So absolutely no point in using avios! Anyone else had a similar situation? The additional costs on top of using avios seems to make the avios worthless.
    Started comping: September 2013
    Wins so far: Cunard QM2 Cruise, X Factor final tickets, £1,000 Team build day, Dinner at the Ritz with Rolls Royce limo

Page 1
    • k3lvc
    • By k3lvc 2nd Jan 18, 10:36 AM
    • 1,989 Posts
    • 3,190 Thanks
    k3lvc
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:36 AM
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:36 AM
    Via the original BA Exec club and a BA Amex card I've collected them for years but as the flight taxes/surcharges have gone up so the appeal has reduced. 10yrs ago it was lucrative and I managed a pair of Business Class returns to NY for 50k points and c.£200 but nowadays I only use them for redeeming on their European offers with fees included or for hotel redemptions.

    Hopefully if you've managed to collect that number you've done it via a BA Amex card to get the free companion voucher ?
    • malkie76
    • By malkie76 2nd Jan 18, 10:44 AM
    • 5,438 Posts
    • 6,238 Thanks
    malkie76
    • #3
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:44 AM
    • #3
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:44 AM
    You get a fully flexible economy ticket with avois worth roughly three times that of the non flexible cash ticket you are comparing to. This can be useful for some, or for last minute tickets when all the cheap ones are sold.

    You should look at other options if this isn’t useful for you, such as upgrading to business (from Premier economy), or a full redemption into business class.

    Also you can get cash discounts using avois (rather than a redemption ticket)

    It takes some playing on the website to find out what’s good for you.
    Legal team on standby
    • CM66
    • By CM66 2nd Jan 18, 10:58 AM
    • 512 Posts
    • 3,025 Thanks
    CM66
    • #4
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:58 AM
    • #4
    • 2nd Jan 18, 10:58 AM
    Long haul economy redemptions are the worst use of Avios (as you have found out) Have a look at Head For Points for lots of good information on how to get the most from your Avios.

    The best value is on European redemption as there is a fixed charge of £35 / £50 return
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 2nd Jan 18, 11:01 AM
    • 7,527 Posts
    • 9,409 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    • #5
    • 2nd Jan 18, 11:01 AM
    • #5
    • 2nd Jan 18, 11:01 AM
    Long haul economy redemptions are a waste of time unless you value the genuine flexibility of the fare.

    Short haul reward flight saver fares and long haul business class fares tend to be the sweet spots. Especially if you can use them on airlines that aren't called British Airways.

    Headforpoints web site is an excellent resource that can help you fine tune your points collection and identify redemption sweet spots.

    The British Airways section of the Flyertalk forums is also very good.

    I'd suggest you further educate yourself on the options. Paying for economy flights and earning Avios towards future higher class flying may be a better choice this year.
    • stevenhp1987
    • By stevenhp1987 2nd Jan 18, 11:58 AM
    • 475 Posts
    • 418 Thanks
    stevenhp1987
    • #6
    • 2nd Jan 18, 11:58 AM
    • #6
    • 2nd Jan 18, 11:58 AM
    As above, long haul economy are the worst redemption.

    Best to save up for Premium / Business or take several short-haul economy flights where the taxes are capped at £35 return or £50 for business.

    Todays article on HeadForPoints is also relevant (and looks like part 1 of several this month): https://www.headforpoints.com/2018/01/02/how-to-redeem-spend-avios-points/
    Last edited by stevenhp1987; 02-01-2018 at 12:00 PM. Reason: HFP link
    • Alisha2008
    • By Alisha2008 2nd Jan 18, 12:02 PM
    • 1,046 Posts
    • 570 Thanks
    Alisha2008
    • #7
    • 2nd Jan 18, 12:02 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Jan 18, 12:02 PM
    I use them to cut down the prices of short flights (for example I go to Spain on Sat and I paid half the fare with Avios, I didn't have many), and some friends are flying to Dubai in a couple of weeks and upgraded to first class using Avios, so not a waste of time at all, considering it doesn't cost you anything to collect them.
    • Nerjafan
    • By Nerjafan 2nd Jan 18, 5:15 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Nerjafan
    • #8
    • 2nd Jan 18, 5:15 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Jan 18, 5:15 PM
    As previously said, you're better off using them for short haul European flights where the taxes are capped at £35/50. Also remember to book two onevway flights rather than a return to save a few quid. We book flights to Europe every year doing this,- either city breaks ir beach destinations.
    I've been to the US a few times via Dublin with Aer Lingus, as you can use your BA Avios with them and the taxes are much cheaper than BA. Currently looking into using Avios to go to Hong Kong booking with Cathay airlines, another partner of BA which offer cheaper and better options than BA.
    The worst option of all is using avios for long haul economy!
    I found .Head for points very useful in explaining all the different options.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 2nd Jan 18, 6:20 PM
    • 36,383 Posts
    • 153,809 Thanks
    silvercar
    • #9
    • 2nd Jan 18, 6:20 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Jan 18, 6:20 PM
    Long Haul Business/ First class flights are a good use of Avios, as are economy short haul. Anything between is a waste of money and Avios.

    We've gone long haul each of the last 3 years with a companion voucher and Avios and paid about the same in real money as a cheap economy fare.

    Don't forget the benefit of being able to cancel a flight and get the Avios back with 24 hours notice.
    • steve1500
    • By steve1500 2nd Jan 18, 7:21 PM
    • 976 Posts
    • 636 Thanks
    steve1500
    Also worth pointing out you can use them with partner Airlines. We are using them to fly from Miami to Barbados with American

    10k in Avios & £5.70 in fees
    Private Parking Tickets is my way of telling the wife to use her car and not mine
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 2nd Jan 18, 8:27 PM
    • 11,695 Posts
    • 7,902 Thanks
    theonlywayisup
    We take 4-5 long haul (mid haul) flights in F each year. The "fee" is somewhere in the region of £500 each. That's a far more effective way to spend Avios/BAEC points.

    As has been suggested, read Headforpoints and perhaps take out an Amex card or two.
    • dj1471
    • By dj1471 2nd Jan 18, 8:55 PM
    • 1,012 Posts
    • 701 Thanks
    dj1471
    It's worth noting that the taxes and fees are high on redemptions from the UK. Flying to the UK the cost can be negligible (e.g. HKG to LHR only £31-33 depending on class of travel), likewise flying between non-UK locations as Steve mentions above.
    • vacheron
    • By vacheron 3rd Jan 18, 1:15 PM
    • 753 Posts
    • 666 Thanks
    vacheron
    I was lucky enough to win a million Avios about 2 years ago, (but being MSE we have no intention of squandering them!) We've also found the best "bang per point" is short haul European flights, especially if used with business / first upgrades.

    BA used to consider sort haul as flights of 4 hours or less, not sure if that has changed recently but this worked perfectly for us as we often fly to Moscow which is a 3 hour 40 minute flight, costs 8,500 points in economy and qualifies for the £35 reward flight saver on the taxes, fees and carrier charges.

    You do however need to "earn" one point in the last 12 months to be eligible for the flight saver, so despite having 867,450 points I've just had to trade in £2.50 worth of Tesco Clubcard vouchers for another 600, making us eligible again and bringing our fees down from £265 to closer to £150.
    • The rich buy assets.
    • The poor only have expenses.
    • The middle class buy liabilities they think are assets.
    Robert T. Kiyosaki
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 3rd Jan 18, 1:56 PM
    • 7,527 Posts
    • 9,409 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    I was lucky enough to win a million Avios about 2 years ago, (but being MSE we have no intention of squandering them!) We've also found the best "bang per point" is short haul European flights, especially if used with business / first upgrades.

    BA used to consider sort haul as flights of 4 hours or less, not sure if that has changed recently but this worked perfectly for us as we often fly to Moscow which is a 3 hour 40 minute flight, costs 8,500 points in economy and qualifies for the £35 reward flight saver on the taxes, fees and carrier charges.

    You do however need to "earn" one point in the last 12 months to be eligible for the flight saver, so despite having 867,450 points I've just had to trade in £2.50 worth of Tesco Clubcard vouchers for another 600, making us eligible again and bringing our fees down from £265 to closer to £150.
    Originally posted by vacheron
    Beware devaluation of those points.

    Coming up to three years since the last one.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 3rd Jan 18, 3:10 PM
    • 36,383 Posts
    • 153,809 Thanks
    silvercar
    Beware devaluation of those points.

    Coming up to three years since the last one.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    I **!@$ hope not. We have over 800k in the household account and seem to earn more than we spend.
    • vacheron
    • By vacheron 3rd Jan 18, 3:19 PM
    • 753 Posts
    • 666 Thanks
    vacheron
    Beware devaluation of those points.

    Coming up to three years since the last one.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    Cheers for the heads up, something definitely worth keeping an eye on!

    I **!@$ hope not. We have over 800k in the household account and seem to earn more than we spend.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    Yes, thanks to PeacefulWaters I'm now reading up on the potential introduction of dynamic pricing. I wonder if I can book our annual trip in advance now for the next 16 years!
    Last edited by vacheron; 03-01-2018 at 3:22 PM.
    • The rich buy assets.
    • The poor only have expenses.
    • The middle class buy liabilities they think are assets.
    Robert T. Kiyosaki
    • blindman
    • By blindman 3rd Jan 18, 3:45 PM
    • 5,010 Posts
    • 4,039 Thanks
    blindman

    BA used to consider sort haul as flights of 4 hours or less, not sure if that has changed recently but this worked perfectly for us as we often fly to Moscow which is a 3 hour 40 minute flight, costs 8,500 points in economy and qualifies for the £35 reward flight saver on the taxes, fees and carrier charges.
    Originally posted by vacheron
    I hope you buy this as two singles as the flight back from DME is £12.43 in taxes so only £29.93 return

    It is always prudent to buy two singles anyway as this gives more flex if you need to change the return after you have flown.

    There are other airports that charge a LOT less than £17:50 for the "taxes" when you are coming back to LHR
    • vacheron
    • By vacheron 3rd Jan 18, 4:16 PM
    • 753 Posts
    • 666 Thanks
    vacheron
    I hope you buy this as two singles as the flight back from DME is £12.43 in taxes so only £29.93 return

    It is always prudent to buy two singles anyway as this gives more flex if you need to change the return after you have flown.

    There are other airports that charge a LOT less than £17:50 for the "taxes" when you are coming back to LHR
    Originally posted by blindman
    Hi blindman. Yes I checked this out when I read something similar, (I think it might even have been earlier in this thread).

    Currently without the reward saver (my 600 points haven't arrived yet) the Avios website was showing £181.52 in taxes going out (2 adults & 1 child) and £69.60 coming back, which is a bit higher,
    but that includes a connecting flight to and from LHR to Newcastle.

    I love this site, you learn something new every day!
    • The rich buy assets.
    • The poor only have expenses.
    • The middle class buy liabilities they think are assets.
    Robert T. Kiyosaki
    • Roger1
    • By Roger1 4th Jan 18, 5:43 PM
    • 1,320 Posts
    • 582 Thanks
    Roger1
    It is always prudent to buy two singles anyway as this gives more flex if you need to change the return after you have flown.
    Originally posted by blindman
    Almost always but not quite always.

    I found this out to my cost when I booked separate outbound and inbound tickets. The outbound was cancelled and the alternatives were not acceptable, so I cancelled for a full refund. The inbound, however, needed to be cancelled at a cost of £25 each. (It was a longer RFS; a shorter one would have cost £17.50 each.)

    Had outbound and inbound been in the same reservation, I could have cancelled both for a full refund.
    • blindman
    • By blindman 4th Jan 18, 8:01 PM
    • 5,010 Posts
    • 4,039 Thanks
    blindman
    Almost always but not quite always.

    The inbound, however, needed to be cancelled at a cost of £25 each. (It was a longer RFS; a shorter one would have cost £17.50 each.)

    Had outbound and inbound been in the same reservation, I could have cancelled both for a full refund.
    Originally posted by Roger1
    Not sure I understand the maths here.

    Yes, you would lose the "taxes" element of the return flight-but unless it's a business seat this would be less than £17:50.

    AFAIK economy taxes are set at £17:50 max.

    Also if it's one of the cheaper taxes it would be something like £4.60
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