As I wrote yesterday, a selection of Flybe flights are now available for redemption using Avios points on ba.com.
I was probably a little harsh in that article on the value you can get from these redemptions – it seems I picked a bad example. Readers were happy to show me Flybe flights priced at up to €360 which were available for 4,500 Avios points.
The UK is the most taxed aviation market in the world, with the possible exception of Chad
The following [Flybe] departure airports are already exempt from APD :
Benbecula, Barra, Campbeltown, Guernsey, Islay, Inverness, Jersey, Kirkwall, Sumburgh, Stornoway, Tiree and Wick
The following routes are already exempt from APD:
London Stansted – Dundee
London Gatwick – Newquay
The ability to avoid APD applies to any flight which connects to a flight from one of the airports above. This leads to some impressive savings.
Let’s take the Cathay Pacific flight from Manchester to Hong Kong.
A one-way business class redemption on that route costs 60,000 Avios + £187.
(By the way, Cathay Pacific is offering EIGHT business class seats for redemption on that route on some flights!)
However, if you book Inverness – Manchester – Hong Kong, the cost changes to 64,500 Avios + £70. A saving of £117 may not be enough to make it worthwhile buying a one-way ticket to Inverness to start your trip, but if you live in Scotland it certainly looks attractive. Similar deals are available via London if you fly down from Inverness and connect to a Heathrow or Gatwick flight.
Here is another example:
Heathrow to New York in Club World, one-way, costs 40,000 Avios + £351.
However, if you book Newquay – Gatwick and Heathrow – New York, the trip costs 44,500 Avios + £222. You save £129 per person.
So, some good news if you live in Cornwall or northern Scotland. The impact of the Avios changes has just been sharply reduced. Other HFP readers with time of their hands will also be able to make modest savings if they fly to Inverness or Newquay to start their redemption.
(PS. You only ‘lose’ the APD on the Newquay to Gatwick route. If you use Flybe to fly from Newquay to Manchester or Stansted, full APD will be charged.)