Is it worth redeeming Avios points on Flybe?

All three articles today look at different aspects of the new tie-up between Flybe and Avios which was announced yesterday.

My main story today covers 13 key questions about the deal.  In this article I want to look at whether it is worth redeeming your Avios points on Flybe.

If you live in the UK regions, this deal should be a fantastic result for you.  Flybe flies from over 35 locations in the UK and Ireland from Sumburgh in Shetland to Newquay in Cornwall.  The full route map is here.  They even fly to Barra in the Outer Hebrides where the planes land on the beach!

Flybe flights have always been available on avios.com.  Historically, though, they only appeared below a certain price threshold and some routes never seemed to appear at all.  I assume that availability will be improved under this new arrangement.

As of today, cancelling a Flybe redemption costs £50 return when booked using Avios.  I assume this will drop to £35 return – the standard Avios fee – after 27th October when the new arrangement kicks in.

Avios Flybe

Are Avios deals worthwhile?

There are two things to remember when looking at Flybe redemptions:

Reward Flight Saver is not available with Flybe so you are looking at a large ‘tax and charges’ figure

You receive one free 20kg suitcase when booking an Avios redemption on Flybe.  A standard cash ticket on Flybe does NOT include any luggage.  This means that the value of a redemption varies depending on whether or not you would take a suitcase.

Let’s look at a couple of typical redemptions.

Birmingham to Paris, Friday 21 – Monday 24 November

Three of the six flights of the day are available in both directions.

A ‘Just Fly’ ‘no suitcase’ ticket would be £105 – £120.  The ‘Get More’ price with luggage would be £153 – £168.

An Avios redemption is 9,000 Avios plus £64 tax.

Without a suitcase, you are getting 0.44p – 0.62p per Avios which is poor.  With a suitcase you are getting 1p – 1.15p which is pretty good.

East Midlands to Edinburgh, Friday 21 – Sunday 23 November

One of three outbound flights and one of the two return flights are available.

A ‘no suitcase’ ticket would be £100.  With a suitcase, you would pay £146.

An Avios redemption is 9,000 Avios plus £60 tax.

Without a suitcase, you are getting 0.44p per Avios.  With a suitcase, you are getting 0.96p.

What conclusions can we draw from this?

Availability may change after 27th October, allowing you a wider range of Flybe redemptions.

At the moment, I am struggling to see a lot of value if you are a ‘hand baggage only’ traveller.  0.44p per Avios is a lot less than the 0.58p that you get redeeming your Avios points for a hotel, for instance.

You DO benefit from the option to cancel and get everything back less £35.  This may make the Avios option more attractive than a cash ticket if you think your plans may change.

With a suitcase, the Avios option does look more attractive and worth considering.  You may also get lucky and find more expensive routes where Avios availability is showing.

If you want to know more about Flybe’s participation in Avios, their Avios page is here and they issued a FAQ here.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

Flybe joining Avios - 13 key questions answered
The Flybe credit card gets its own reward scheme! Is it any good?
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. sandgrounder says:

    The flexibility is a big plus as always, if you need it Avios fares are a big saving if available. As Flybe flights are priced one way, you can get better value by using points from low tax locations such as the CI and the H&I and cash the other way. Always worth checking!

  2. Why would Avios not insist on the RFS option ?

  3. I just tried a random dummy booking via Avios which may or not be typical.
    Birmingham to Inverness on 12/03/15 returning next day is 9,000 Avios + £56.29 (luggage unclear).
    To book and pay it is £70.01 with hand luggage or £116.01 with hold luggage.

  4. My concern is the flybe. Downgrade swap of equipment…. Getting a number of older prop planes in exchange for their shiny new EMB’s selling their Gatwick slots …. I wonder how long they will be with us…