New Summer sun Avios redemption opportunities for 2015

British Airways has announced the launch of several new holiday routes from Gatwick for the Summer 2015 timetable.

The new routes are:

Kempinski Bodrum

Bodrum (x 2 per week)

Cagliari (Sardinia) (x 3 per week)

Dalaman (x 4 per week)

Heraklion (Crete) (x 4 per week)

Rhodes (x 2 per week)

For me, Bodrum is the most interesting.  This resort is being taken upmarket at the moment.  If proof were needed, Mandarin Oriental is due to open a hotel in September.  Kempinski has had a luxury resort there for a few years now – photo above.

All flights will start in the week of 26 April 2015.

Tickets are already on sale at ba.com although – because they are only released 355 days in advance – only the first couple of weeks are available.  Avios tickets are also available for booking.  Bodrum is 20,000 Avios return in economy for instance.

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Comments

  1. Lorraine Turner says:

    Chuffed about the CAG flight, wish iit was this year.pity they can’t put it on the weekend day trips return list,

  2. Phillip says:

    I wonder if this means BA won’t be fully retiring the 737s at Gatwick and keeping some on for more routes next year.

    On the upmarket front, I highly recommend Elounda, in Crete – about an hour east of Heraklion. The Blue Palace Hotel is fab!

  3. Gordon says:

    As ba use gatwick for most of their european holiday flights this causes a couple of redemption problems if you live outside of London. Firstly, many of the return flights get in very late at night so you need a hotel. Secondly, if you live in Northern Ireland it is very frustrating that they do not offer a Gatwick connection. You have to fly to heathrow, take the bus / taxi and check your bags in again. Raffles do you hear anything re Ba starting a belfast to Gatwick? An associated problem with the stop over is they refuse you lounge access the next day even if the flight was booked as a connecting business flight. You get the business baggage allowance but not the lounge access on the grounds of it being on a different day, even though you have no choice.

    • Gordon,

      BA should be able to offer you an EI BHD->LGW as part of an overall redemption.

      Yes, it’ll have to be by phone, but it’ll be a BA ticket, and thus protected from missed connections and provide lounge access. Although the protection at LGW might be dubious as there will be only a couple of flights a day to the european destination.

      My Nov Avios F Redemption flight to LAS starts with a DUB-LHR on EI.

      Depending where you are in N.I, might be well worth considering starting in DUB, to eliminate the UK APD.

      • Gordon says:

        Thanks Tangey, i didn’t realise that was possible. It certainly never offers the option online to use EI for the connection. I agree with you on the long haul via Dublin .

        • Gordon,

          BA.com will never offer EI redemption flights online, you always have to phone.

          As a general rule, the only standalone EI redemption flights BA will offer are Ireland to/from USA. However BA does offer EI Ireland/UK flights on redemption to connect onto BA flights out of LHR, and thus I assume LGW too.

      • APD is the key here.

        To be honest I place ZERO value on ‘protecting’ flights by putting them on the same ticket if it costs me more money (ie APD). In reality you will NOT be stuffed if a) both flights are on the same airline or b) both flights are on airlines in the same alliance. Even if neither of those are true you will usually be OK.

        Just last week I booked a Lufthansa short-haul flight which connects to a Lufthansa long-haul and those are not on the same ticket. I am not worried.

        (I have missed numerous flights in the past which were not on the same ticket and I have never been stuffed by the airline. All they want to do is get you out of their hair as quickly as possible which means putting you on the next available flight.)

        If an Aer Lingus connection is late, there is no way – no way at all – that AI is going to tell you to clear off back to London because they are not going to put you on the next flight. You might (or might not) struggle to get them to pay for an overnight hotel if they are not on the same ticket but even the hotel cost would be lower than the APD saving.

        • Gordon says:

          Rob, if BA were to offer a connecting flight with EI as described above, does that mean for European flights Reward Saver does not apply?

          Also, can you confirm what your understanding is of lounge access if you have a stop over to catch the connecting flight the next day (particularly where there is no option to take a same day connection)

          • On a connection, it needs to be ‘same day’ to get lounge access if you want it based on the class on your long-haul flight. You may be able to talk the lounge staff around but theoretically they do not have to let you in.

            You can’t do RFS on an Aer Lingus flight even if its a BA codeshare route.

        • Gordon,

          I think all the new routes mentioned in this posting fall within RFS.
          Now if you were connecting from the regions on BA, then RFS would apply.

          I’m assuming RFS doesn’t apply on a redemption ticket that includes an EI BHD-LGW connection, as it’s not on BA metal.

          So, that puts starting out of Dublin back into play. You won’t get the RFS, but you will get it without the APD, and it will still be ticketed on one ticket.

        • An impressively strong reply, Rob! I’ve seen folk have issues before, even on BA to BA connections with separate tickets so have never risked it myself. I wish they’d publish something on it like AA do. I certainly think it’s worth playing it safe on your outbound leg though as missing your connecting flight, even if the airline does rebook you, often means losing a day of holiday due to the relative infrequency of long vs short haul schedules.

        • I would be cautious making such statement. two years ago i had booked 2 F award ticket to Bangkok over Xmas with Lufthansa from Frankfurt and bought cheap Y ticket from london city to FRA (there was no availability to start in london while the savings on the taxes more than compensated the price of the paid flight). When my flight from LCY got cancelled, LH told me I could rebook my award ticket for a later date at the usual cost… But with no availabillity over the next 10 days this was of little use. Futhermore i had booked more flights (myammar, hotels,…) that all would be lost if I would miss my F flight.
          In the end I had no other option then to drive to Frankfurt to catch my flight (I had booked an early flight to allow for some delays). As there were that day several flights from city and only my flight got cancelled, I was disappointed that LH was not more cooperative and completely ignored me playing my SEN status (LH Gold) or my need to arrive on time for connecting F flight which meant i could not accept their proposal to fly the next day…

          • Agree that’s a very poor attitude from LH, especially with SEN status, but it certainly shows the risk of not having a single PNR. Well done on making the flight! :-)

      • I recomend the Premier Inn beside the airport though if you do need an overnight. Got it once at £29 a few months out and it’s very close to the airport.

    • Phillip says:

      My experience of missed connections from non-OW airlines to BA on separate tickets, have been that BA simply said “tough” because the delay is by an airline that they are not partners with and therefore the customer’s responsibility to book another flight if their original is missed. However, when connecting from a OW to OW flight on separate tickets, BA are “happy” to both throughcheck and deal with missed connection issues.

  4. I would think Avios redemptions would be nigh-on impossible for these routes, a lot harder than using a 2-4-1 voucher for CW to Asia (which is hard enough).
    Has anyone ever got a summer redemption for Gran Canaria before? There must be thousands of people chasing a handful of seats.

    • I would love to know if this is possible, we have a timeshare in GC and would love to get free flights.

    • One word gets out, it will be tough. It will be OK for now. I found Bodrum seats easily enough for the first couple of flights, which was all that was bookable at the time due to the 355 day rule.

    • Charlie says:

      Currently 6 seats showing for redemption to/from Heraklion in C and Y, although currently only as far as the first week of service. Will be interesting to see what happens later in the season.

  5. Mikeact says:

    When does BA Summer timetable finish ?

  6. Gordon says:

    if you search from anywhere other than London to say Heraklion it is not showing the connecting flight option. It just says we don’t fly this route. Works on the existing routes

    • Very odd although it is still early days for booking these so could be teething issues. You should be able to book this on the phone if you say the website is playing up, the phone booking fee should be waived.

  7. Simon B says:

    Thrilled to see a new Turkish route open up, was thinking about this just the other day when thinking of next years holidays. Too bad they cant launch it this year as 20000 avios is a great deal vs the 400 od one might expect to pay to get there.

    • Aren’t there airberlin redemption options? I assume there must be loads of flights from Germany to Turkey ….

      Look leg-by-leg as ba.com can wobble with connections. Normally I would say its a lot of faff but when fares get that high changing in Berlin is a small price to pay.

      (EDIT – no they don’t, just Antalya)

  8. TrollBasher says:

    I do wish BA would extend this sojourn into leisure flights be doing what they used to do with the night stopping shuttles into MAN and do a night hop to some of these destinations from the regions. I’ve only once done the MAN-LHR-bus-LGW-XXX and will never again, so LGW has become a closed connection for me and, I am sure, many others.

  9. For us north of Watford Gap, LGW is useless.. We use the Avios on Monarch to Bodrum, Antalya & Dalaman. Only pain is, it automatically adds hold luggage & you have to phone up to cancel the luggage

    • danksy says:

      Not to mention us lot in the South West of the country! BA used to fly from BRS to some useful hubs, but AFAIK they haven’t done for years!

  10. Yes, all of the tourist routes are ex-Gatwick, in short-haul uncomfortable planes and with no regional connections!
    I rarely spend Avios on BA these days.
    Tim.

    • Not to mention unreliable. Our recent flight out to Larnaca with BA from Gatwick was delayed 19 hours outbound, due to all of the following:

      *Late arrival of the first aircraft at Gatwick
      *Problems with the cabin heating when it did arrive
      *A second aircraft also going tech
      *Sitting on the ground for an hour in the third aircraft (next morning) whilst they obtained enough water for hand washing in one of the toilets because of a water leak.

      We got the €400 EU compensation. No thanks to the misdirection in the letter they handed out (which implied the flight had to be cancelled) but it wasn’t quibble when claimed. Still we’d much rather have been away on time and not had to claim.

      Combined with a similar delay on the previous day’s inbound from Larnaca (as well of course as the same day inbound) and the 1h40 wait for bags in the middle of the night on our return at Gatwick North, I’d say this is not a service you can rely on getting you where you expect to be at anything like the intended time….

      Back to Heathrow next time.

  11. Erico1875 says:

    20k Avios gets you RFS Edinburgh to Ibiza direct too.