Special ‘part pay with Avios’ deals on London City and Manchester routes – good deal?

British Airways has launched a ‘part pay with Avios’ special offer on selected routes from London City and Manchester this Winter.

Here are the rules:

Book before 5th November 2017

Fly before 31st March 2018

Valid for one way or return flights

Valid in Euro Traveller or Club Europe

You can learn more about ‘part pay with Avios’ on ba.com here.

‘Part pay with Avios’ lets you use Avios to reduce the price of a standard cash ticket.  You book via the standard booking page of ba.com and will be offered the chance to use some Avios to partially (not completely) reduce the cash price.  Unlike a normal Avios redemption, you will earn back Avios and tier points as usual when you fly in the same way as a ‘100% cash’ booking.

Part Pay With Avios offer

Here are the routes included:

Routes from Manchester:

  • Chambery
  • Salzburg
Routes from London City:
  • Malaga
  • Palma
  • Ibiza
  • Paris Orly
  • Milan Linate
  • Zurich
  • Prague
  • Keflavik (Reykjavik)
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Dublin

But is it a good deal?

Not really.

Here is a typical example using a Reykjavik flight from London City in Economy / Euro Traveller:

Save £13 with 1,250 Avios – you get 1.04p per Avios

Save £25 with 3,000 Avios – you get 0.83p per Avios

Save £50 with 5,500 Avios – you get 0.91p per Avios

Save £75 with 8,500 Avios – you get 0.88p per Avios

Save £113 with 14,000 Avios – you get 0.81p per Avios

The best deal you can get is 1.04p per point, but that is for a paltry 1,250 Avios maximum.  It is hard to recommend redeeming for something around 0.9p per Avios unless you are very Avios rich and / or you earn all your Avios from flying paid for by your employer and so your points had no cost to you.

If you are earning Avios via credit cards, Heathrow Rewards transfers, Tesco Clubcard transfers, hotel point transfers etc then you really need to getting over 1p per point.  Otherwise, you could have got a better deal using your non-transferred points for something better.

(As an example, Tesco Clubcard points now convert at 1:3 into Uber credit.  £10 of Clubcard vouchers gets you £30 of Uber rides or 2,400 Avios.  Assuming you are a regular Uber user, you need to be getting over 1.25p per Avios point before Avios becomes a better option than free rides.)

In this Iceland case, the total fare was £185, so the best deal you could do (if you want to reduce the cash price the most) was 14,000 Avios plus £72.  You would also earn up to 3,200 Avios back depending on your BA status, plus a handful of tier points.

A standard Avios redemption on this route, for comparison, is 17,000 plus £35.  Because the cash price is relatively low compared to the Avios price, the ‘all Avios’ booking is an even worse deal given the £185 cash fare – unless you need the flexibility to cancel offered by an ‘all Avios’ booking.

Conclusion

It is only fair to give BA credit for continuing to roll out ‘part pay with Avios’ offers.  If you are booking one of these routes you should do the maths to see if it makes sense or not.  My gut feeling, however, is that it won’t.

If you want to learn more about ‘part pay with Avios’, read this page of ba.com.  You will also find full details of the offer on that page.

PS.  If you were thinking of booking Club Europe from London City via this offer, remember that the airport has no lounge and that the primarily Embraer 190 aircraft are 2 x 2 throughout so you don’t get an empty middle seat.  With large numbers of people on London City flights qualifying for priority boarding via their Gold status (only Golds can priority board at City), that isn’t much of a benefit either.  The food from London City, to be fair, is very good but then again you still get free drinks and snacks in Euro Traveller for now.  Only book Club Europe if you are not price sensitive or if you are looking for tier points.

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Comments

  1. Priority boarding at LCY is strictly limited to Gold Executive members only. Silver and Bronze are not permitted priority boarding, they have to wait in the regular line.

    • Since when? We last used LCY during the February half term, they allowed us as silver members to use priority boarding. Admittedly, we then waited for another 20 minutes on the cramped staircase leading down to the tarmac doors!

      • https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/executive-club/tiers-and-benefits/silver-benefits?clickpage=executive-club–tiers-and-benefits–index&kmtag=c&ban=||HC|3×3|CTA1|||||||||L2|||||||

        Says on this page that silver doesn’t qualify for priority boarding at LCY. Whether or not that justifies paying for club Europe when flying out of there is another debate entirely

      • The policy is Club Europe and Gold only, although if you volunteer to check your bag in when they call for it you normally get priority boarding as well. How strictly it is enforced is down to the staff on the gate.
        With regard to the standing on the stairs, that seems to be standard practice. I don’t remember ever going straight onto the plane, although the wait normally seems to be about 5 minutes. Also, it’s better to be standing on the stairs than outside in the wind and rain!

        • That could then explain why we there were very few takers for the priority boarding then. Anyway we waltzed through. As for standing on the stairs, I guess they want to have people right by the doors ready to get on the tarmac once the plane is ready. If you are with kids though, anything more than 5 mins on the cramped LCY staircases starts to get rather hellish and then I start tweeting BA….

        • ‘If you are with kids though, anything more than 5 mins on the cramped LCY staircases starts to get rather hellish and then I start tweeting BA….’

          Really ?

  2. For completeness, the E170 fly some of these routes too, specifically EDI, GLA, DUB and ZRH

  3. I for one don’t think BA deserves any credit for this! In the past I seem to recall there were promotions offering 1.5p per Avios. The very fact you have to calculate your own pence per Avio is just annoying.

    I can only assume there are enough suckers out there wasting their Avios on this poor deal that BA doesn’t need to offer anything better.

    If they made it a flat 1p per Avios (or better during promotions) then I’m sure many more people would use it. Then the knock effect would be more redemption seats available for everyone else!

    • David2910 says:

      I disagree actually. The knock on effect to setting an avios floor price as high as 1p would potentially cause gradual deval over time. Those ‘suckers’ help get avios out of circulation cheaply so that’s fine by me. There are plenty of infrequent flyers who are never going to get material redemption so absorbing these stray points is no bad thing.

      • I agree with the 2nd bit – and increasing the value would help to get even more Avios out of the circulation! Not sure how that would lead to a devaluation though?

        • David2910 says:

          I just presume they’re marked at sub 1p on IAG b/s. Pricing at 1p on their most readily observable conversion would make it hard to argue that they’re sub 1p, so they’d be more likely to revalue over time (change floor price).

        • Cynical me suspects that the IAG balance sheet already values them more highly and they are trying to get rid of them on the cheap via Part Pay with Avios.

  4. OT: I found a flight on ITA Matrix with Emirates but when I am putting the exact cities and dates directly into Emirates UK website, it is showing a difference of over £600 in the total for 2 adults and 2 children for same flights. How do people get around this as I know you can’t book directly with ITA Matrix? Secondly, are there any other ways to save money (not opening another credit card). My flight is cheapest if it originates in an EU city so can’t use the 10% AMEX code as it’s for flights departing from UK. Any cheaper from any other Emirates websites like we book car rental from an Australian site? Any help would be appreciated as flights from the UK are really expensive and there hasn’t been a good economy sale for a while such as Qatar’s BOGOF so am thinking of just booking.

    • Have you tried doing a ‘flight and one star hotel’ booking via Expedia or perhaps Emirates own site? May be cheaper.

      If you set ITA to ‘sales city = UK’ it will block tickets which are not for sale in the UK. Or, plan B, use ITA to see the fare rules and if they say ‘only bookable in these countries’ use a local Expedia site.

      • Thanks Rob, I followed your ITA matrix guide and did put the sales as Lon. Will try other tips. If it’s a non-UK site and showing in say $, I will be charged the 2.99% fees won’t I? I don’t think calling Emirates and mentioning that quote would get me anywhere. I am just a bit disappointed as I thought the fare I would see on the matrix would be exactly what I’d find on the airline’s website.

        • Wally1976 says:

          You could try https://bookwithmatrix.com/ although I can’t say I’ve ever had any success with it I’m afraid.

        • Thanks Wally1976, great minds and all that 🙂 I did try that website earlier without any luck.

        • Did you tick ‘only show tickets that are for sale’?

          If you don’t tick this, it shows filed fares which have sold out.

        • Why would you assume airlines sell cheaper tickets direct from their own websites… the suckers who go straight there will often pay more for the convenience than those who use price comparisons!!

          Turkish is another one, they’re always more expensive direct than through TAs.

          Try Amex travel if you have gold or plat. Not guaranteed to be cheaper but usually are. There’s a phone option if the website doesn’t play ball.

    • What is this 10% AMEX code?!

  5. If a flight is cancelled where part pay with Avios was used are the Avios points returned?

  6. Bit of help please, regarding cancellations of all point award bookings do the points just go back into your account or do you have to pay an admin fee to get the points back? I have to cancel some Iberia, Iberia Express and some JAL bookings done through BA website.

    • They were offering free tickets if you registered by a certain date. No mention of a date restriction (unless I have had a serious brain fail).

    • £35 per person canx fee, or less if the taxes were under £35

      • Thanks Rob. It still feels a bit of a rip off though for something that would just go back into your account anyway….

        • BA will tell you that the fee improves availability because it stops people making lots of speculative redemptions. I (almost) believe them too, because it would be easy for me to book, say, Heathrow to Hamburg on every Friday for next Summer, knowing that I could cancel 14 bookings to leave the 1 weekend we will actually need. Clearly at £140 canx fee for a family of 4 I won’t be doing that.

  7. Scottydogg says:

    OT , im wanting to fly to Singapore next year , looking to fly business on Avios
    I see i can do this out of London Heathrow but is there any other ‘sweet spots’ in europe that i should be looking at for these flights to save on taxes and Avios ?
    I don’t mind repositioning

    • Don’t think so as no other OW direct flights. Any partner redemptions e.g. Qatar would be at peak rate so higher Avios plus having to pay for 2 flights. At an extreme you could fly BA Club Europe to Larnaca, which is as far as you can go on RFS, for 17000 off peak / 20000 peak + £25, then 2 Qatar flights on to Sin. 2 changes, only a slight saving in Avios / tax and a much longer journey.

    • You could do an overnight in Inverness, to start your journey to SIN via LHR, should save £290/per couple on CW taxes & surcharges minus accommodation/repositioning costs. Heck it maybe possible to do it same day, but its can bit extreme before a long haul…

    • Also do FinnAir have any direct availability to SIN via HEL? (Those airports go well together)

    • If you’ve not set confirmed dates and can be a bit adaptable:

      1) Marriott Hotel and Air Package number 2 – Singapore Airlines:

      2) OUT: LHR->IST RFS = 20,000 avios plus £25 cash (peak season) in biz per person.
      IST->SIN 45,000 Kris flyer miles + £11.38 cash in biz per person.

      3) IN: SIN->IST 42,500 Kris flyer points + £18.94 tax in biz per person.
      IST->LHR RFS 20,000 avios plus + £11.10 (peak season) in biz per person.

      • I was curious and looked at dates for November – Outbound this requires an overnight in Istanbul as BA arrives after the Singapore flight leaves – BA seem to have dropped to 1 / 2 flights a day this winter, it was 3 flights per day 2 years ago when I visited. Also Singapore airlines only fly 4 times a week to Istanbul

        On the way back it’s either a 90 min connection, or an 9 hr layover.

        Personally I would fly direct!

        • You can pick up a very reasonable Istanbul Marriott hotel for 7,500 Marriott points. That would be free if you pick up on the current Marriott NFL twitter promotion. Shuttles to/from the airport are free. For £66.42 round trip to Singapore I’d be willing to make a few adjustments to my itinerary, but it’s up to the op what suits them.

          * Apologies but it’s 42,000 Kris flyer points each way which does come in under the 85,000 Marriot option 2.

      • You can actually carry on into most of Asia – Bali etc for no extra miles. But yes you do overnight in Istanbul going. On the return you’d be better on TK anyway as SQ will interline your bags. Their economy isnt bad

      • You can also do SIN-IST in business on SQ for 40k Virgin miles, which may be easier to acquire than Krisflyer (especially with current 30% buy miles bonus). Availability is good – got 3 seats each way next August.

        Plane used is a 772 so gets around the usual limitations around 388 and 77W business not being bookable outside of KF. I think SQ have a number of 787s on order so guessing this exception may not be around forever.

    • Direct on Norwegian premium class from LGW might not be much higher than BA tax and fees and you would save all the avios for something else. I fly to Asia with BA from INV as suggested by TripRep, and back to EDI. However, I use BKK or HKG as they are zone 7 and flights back from HKG are low tax. If you consider this option check hotel pricing in Inverness as it is often horrendous.

  8. No “bits” today so hope you don’t mind – my 1000 avios for ordering from Rolling Luggage have finally posted on avios.com. Now wait and see if the other lot post on BAEC for my second order!

    • PalCsaky says:

      Have you contacted them regarding the missing avios or did they post automatically? If you did make contact was it through BAEC missing avios form or through Rolling Luggage? Thanks

      • I placed 2 orders and asked for lot of avios to be credited to avios.com and the other to BAEC. I emailed Rolling Luggage directly when they didn’t post and RL appear to have taken it up with both. The avios.com lot have now posted, presumably because that order was placed first, so hopefully the BAEC ones will follow in a day or so.

  9. Worth mentioning that I definitely think it is worth flying into city in CE. Lounge access at your depature airport, and much better food whilst on the plane.

    • Michael Jennings says:

      My experience flying in BA Economy in and out of City is that the food seems to be much better on the outward leg than the return leg. Outward = full meal. Inward = bag of crisps. Is this everyone else’s experience too?

      • Got some falafel and couscous thing flying from Berlin to city last month. Flew out off Heathrow so nothing to compare with but better than a bag of crisps

  10. Wally1976 says:

    OT – sorry, no ‘bits’ today. Can anyone confirm if the Amex offer for 500 Avios on £10 spend at Tesco works if you pay using the Pay+ app (wouldn’t want to miss out on the extra clubcard point :-))?

    I can confirm it does work when paying for fuel at the pump if that helps anyone!

    Thanks.

  11. OT – I have some BA Avios queries that I’d much appreciate some experienced assistance with.

    I started using a BA Amex Premium Plus in January, and have since achieved the 2 for 1 voucher then referred my wife who’s card we are now working towards another 2 for 1 with.

    1) If I downgrade to the BA blue Amex then reapply for the Premium Plus once my wife achieves the 2 for 1, does the start of my “Amex year” reset to the point at which my card was upgraded?

    2) I have bought BA reward flights for next summer using the BA PP to pay the fees, will there be any problems with the booking if I downgrade the card?

    3) Will my 2 for 1 voucher be affected if I no longer have the card I earned it with?

    4) And also can I maintain the same online username while continually downgrading and upgrading cards? I wouldn’t want to have to create a new account each time.

    Many thanks.

    • Wally1976 says:

      Pretty sure the answers are (someone will no doubt confirm):

      1) No, you keep the same “Amex year”
      2) No problem
      3) No
      4) Yes

      • Thanks Wally,
        Regarding answer 1) does that mean if, for example, I upgrade my card to the BA Premier Plus next June (after my wife has met the £10k target on her card) I will only have until the following January to achieve the £10,000 spend to get another 2 for 1 voucher?

    • We’ve closed down our BA cards and the vouchers are still there.

    • We’ve been able to have both my OH’s BAPP and gold on one account, but not my free BA card and gold. Queried it with Amex but they just said I couldn’t add the free card to the one I already had for my gold. It worked the other way around for my OH though!

      • Sorry for off topic, I’m about 20,000 IHG pointsvfrom obtaining Spire Elite status. Firstly, there is a 100% bonus on at present on purchasing points. Do these purchased points count towards Spire Elite status?
        Secondly, there doesn’t seem much additional benefit fro obtaining Spire Elite? Does anyone have any good experiences of upgrade or of being a Spire Elite member?

        • Purchasing points does not count towards status. The easy routes include the erewards, virgin transfers, IHG credit card.

          SE is not the best but it isn’t bad. 100% bonus points on stays. I’ve had some reasonable upgrades in Indigo Tel Aviv, IC Amstel Amsterdam (though I am AMB too).

          The 25k points is the main benefit really. I also received 10k points ex gratia once (more than the value of the stay) as I had to endure a cold shower at a HIX and SE helped, I believe.

          In summary, if the numbers work for you then go for it but I wouldn’t worry so much if you don’t have it. There’s not a significant amount of benefit over Plat (obtainable through the IHG Black).

        • Transfer 20k Virgin miles which, with the 25k Spire bonus, means you get 45k IHG plus 14 months of Spire. That’s pretty decent.

        • Erewards pts are no longer qualifying for IHG. I transfer my erewards to Virgin now and then send them across to IHG that way.

  12. OT, but have seen reference to MAN linkages into the Cambridge-Gothenburg flight…

    Not sure if this link will work, but here goes…

    http://onw.innosked.com/(S(by2f1qn2lc1muak0j0lfmkpx))/default.aspx

  13. Aaarrgghhhh I’ve been rejected by Amex for the first time ever!! For the Nectar card too, you’d have thought that would be the easiest one to get. Any ideas whether they’re clamping down on churning (I’ve just opened a Gold for the second time) or whether there could be a ‘control group’ blocked from Nectar cards (I’ve never been targeted in the offers)?
    They’ve offered an address for challenges, is it worth writing to ask why?

    • the real harry1 says:

      MSE says credit card rejections are often random with no particular logic – 10-20%

    • CountryKerry says:

      I was declined as well and have a 999 credit score.

      I spoke to three different people at the New Accounts department and they’re all completely useless.

      Person 1 said once you cancel a card you can never hold it again. FALSE
      Person 2 said you can only hold one American Express card at a time. FALSE
      Person 3 said if I get a copy of my credit report it will show the issue. FALSE (I already have my credit report).

      I’ve sent off a letter and also made a complaint – they’re happy to increase my credit limit by a factor of three but not reduce it and align the limit with a new card?!

      • the real harry1 says:

        sorry to hear your story of woe

        otoh you might just apply again in a few days, think about changing some information that might matter & that you might present in a better light, eg your job or use your mum’s address?

        no point complaining about getting declined though we all hate rejection

        They gather
        around
        the warmth
        of a fire
        and share
        in the twin laughters
        of each other

        • I wouldn’t recommend this. Each rejection significantly increases your chance of the next one. You could quickly create yourself a downward spiral for your creditworthiness that takes literally years to fix.

        • Memesweeper says:

          Do not change your address or other details — the lesser known twin of the credit reference agencies is National Hunter, and it is designed to spot inaccuracies and triggers rejections. Multiple rejections can then hurt your rating!

      • The Experian “score” is total codswallop, everyone knows that. What matters is how each institution interprets the other data. But my issue is that nothing has changed on the report since they passed me for Gold (4/5 months ago), so presumably something might have changed in their acceptance logic and if so I want to know before I try applying again.
        (And yes, Crafty is right, this won’t be for a while yet. Just thinking ahead.)
        I might ask them, they’ll probably tell me where to go but it’s worth a try, and at the very least it’ll cost them CS time in reading and replying. And yes, I’ve checked the specific agency they told me they used so I know it’s not a continuity error.

  14. Check which credit agencies AMEX use, bank sometimes use lesser known credit reference companies, so Experian and Equifax look fine but another doesn’t, seen it happen with a reference agency I think called Noddle.

    • The rejection letter from Amex tells you exactly which reference agency/ies they used for their decision.