Sometimes the oddest Avios redemptions can be the best value!

There are many articles on Head for Points about how to get the best value for your Avios points.  This article on ‘what is an Avios point worth?’ is the one I link to most often.

Sometimes, though, you can get great value in very obscure circumstances.  I just saved myself £1,000 over the weekend!

We are currently finalising our family holiday for the Summer.  My wife has already booked us into a family focussed hotel in the Dolomites near Innsbruck for a week.  Because she wants a two week break from the office, she wanted to add a week in Mallorca beforehand.  (You can the German out of Germany but …..)

This meant that we needed to get from Mallorca to Innsbruck on a fixed day in August.  You can imagine, when I typed that request into Expedia, I wasn’t very hopeful.

Amazingly, such a flight exists.  NIKI, the Austrian low cost airline now owned airberlin, flies it.  I couldn’t believe it.

NIKI plane

I then saw the price.  €331 per person, one way.  Impressive pricing for a ‘budget’ airline but it is a Saturday in August.  And I didn’t have many alternatives.

airberlin, of course, is a oneworld alliance member.  This means that I can books its flights with Avios points on ba.com.

NIKI

More out of hope than anything else, I went onto ba.com to see what was available.  Amazingly, there were SIX economy seats available for Avios on the flight.

I promptly booked four of them!

I was going to pay (€331 x 4) €1,324 which is £1,040.

I paid 30,000 Avios plus £35.

And you can’t argue with that.

I now need to get to the bottom of whether, despite having BA status, I need to pay for a NIKI seat reservation.  The evidence is confusing although the airberlin website thinks I should.  That is a problem for another day though.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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Comments

  1. JamesR says:

    O/T – I received an email today from Amex/Kaligo with regards to bonus avios on top of usual avios earned for hotel stays. spend £250 – 5000 avios, £500 – 10,000 and a spend of £1000 gets you 20,000 avios.

    What I want to know is.. Does it all have to be on the one hotel? or can it be over various, like the last bonus offer they did?

    • I haven’t seen the email yet but it usually cumulative over the booking period.

    • Polly says:

      I priced up our HKT hotel for nov, and it was £300 more than booking.com, the exact amount I would buy those avios20k for, or in and around that. But it was refundable for a change. They are often more strict regards refundable bookings.

      • JamesR says:

        I still think Kaligo can give you a good deal. My last trip I booked 2/3 hotels with them and made about 8000 avios. I think I might have paid £10 above the cost from hotels.com.

        • Genghis says:

          I think with Kaligo you need to do your research. I got 3,200 avios (with sign up bonus) on a £40 hotel on recent holiday to Turkey. Not too shabby

        • Polly says:

          I agree James, last year we managed about 40k bonus by dividing up our booking into three chunks. It worked well as the pricing was competitive. It’s just this time it’s more expensive. I always check them first, actually.

  2. OT – 15% bonus on Clubcard transfers to Virgin announced.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Has to converted by June 10th which is tight, or impossible?, for voucher to post and then convert as collection period ends on 28th May

      Don’t know if I should auto convert as would want to wait and see if theres a BA deal

      • Danny says:

        The current collection period ends on 5th May.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Ah misread the app. Vouchers arrive by 28th May. Plenty of time

      • harry says:

        there won’t be a BA conversion deal just yet, last one was just a few months ago

        • harry says:

          however the way BAEC threw out many free 24000 Avios makes it worth waiting for 🙂

    • Arun T says:

      Also a 1000 mile one off bonus if you set up an auto convert between 1st May and 10th June.

      This along with the Virgin ISA sign up bonus is nicely topping up my Virgin account!

  3. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked in to it Raffles; but the train Innsbruck to Zurich is stunning and pretty decently priced. Not sure how old the kids are but it creates further options, and adventure, for travel to/from Innsbruck … and airports to consider.

    • Seconded – although I started the journey in Vienna. Absolutely beautiful way to spend a day.

  4. Wally1976 says:

    Can anyone beat the value I got for my flights to Nice for the Monaco Grand Prix? 9,000 avios + £35 RFS for flights initially quoted at £956 (10p per Avios) return but now over £1040 (11p per Avios)! If I was paying cash I’d probably have paid £300-£400 for an indirect flight from BHX but even so that’s 3-4p per Avios.

  5. David says:

    I think I’m in the top 10 at least: Had to fly Hong Kong to Chongqing during Chinese New Year (only a 2.5 hour flight), and the low cost airlines had sold out months in advance. The cheapest seat left on Dragonair was quoted as £1,600 in economy (this was only 3 weeks before departure). Booked for 2500 Avios + £52.30 tax instead!