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.
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.