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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The forgotten redemption option...Avios and Aer Lingus

It feels like I'm regularly flight shopping at Kayak.com and the ITA Software matrix, and always trying to make sure I check on just about every option for saving miles and dollars when planning my trips.  It's very easy to type in destinations on the various airline websites, but it's not so easy to remember the finer points of how to search while remembering all of the rules involved.

The one rule I'm always forgetting (it seems) is the Avios options - for those of you who forget like I do, British Airways has a distance-based award chart.  Which means when you're planning things out, you have to look and see what the distance is to base your awards on (along with the hefty fuel surcharges).  You can use their award calculator, or look at the following chart (found via Google):

The one award redemption that makes sense using Avios to get to Europe is flying via Aer Lingus - they are a partner of British Airways.  The best redemption option is via Boston to Dublin - the mileage falls just under the 3000 mile threshold, so economy can be had for 25,000 miles and business for 50,000! (and you can avoid the pesky fees)

How do you find availability?  Just sign up for an account at Qantas.com and search - you can find options rather quickly.  A sample booking for March 3rd-10th, 2015 shows great availability:

When you find the flights you want, just call the British Airways booking number and reserve the flights (and don't forget to mention their website doesn't show these so they should also waive your phone booking fee - never hurts to ask).

Definitely a great option...has anyone had success using their Avios this way?

1 comment:

  1. i just tried using them for the first time - didn't work out well for my particularly flight though.

    fyi fees can be different if the account has no activity, as i found out - http://www.igobyplane.com/2014/07/26/my-first-attempt-at-british-airways-avios-redemption/