Avios Redemption University – Lesson 9 – How to redeem on Air Malta and Aurigny

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EDIT:  The Avios partnership with Monarch ended on 4th January 2017 and you can no longer redeem for them.  The partnerships with Aurigny and Air Malta will end on 1st April 2017 and you must book, but not necessarily fly, your redemption ticket by that date.

The “Avios Redemption University” series is a good starting point for beginners, although I hope everyone will learn something from them.  Click here to see the other articles.

When the Avios scheme was launched in late 2011, avios.com brought in a range of new airline partners alongside BA, Iberia and American Airlines.

As per this page, it is a little known fact that you can redeem Avios on Air Malta, Aurigny (the Channel Islands airline) and Monarch.

The first thing to note is that these redemptions are with avios.com, not British Airways Executive Club. You need to open an avios.com account and use the ‘Combine My Avios‘ function to move Avios from BAEC into avios.com. There is no charge to move your Avios and you can reverse the transaction if required.

Air Malta

Air Malta has a grand total of 10 planes, carries c 2 million passengers per year and is State-owned.

Air Malta

As with all of these partner airlines, you can seach for Air Malta flights using the standard avios.com reward booking site. If there is availability, it will show up but only in Economy.

Seats have historically been available on the scheduled routes from Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester to Malta.  You do not tend to see redemptions offered on some of the Summer seasonal routes from smaller UK airports.

Economy flights cost 20,000 Avios return plus £51 to £69 of tax depending on your airport.  Business class is not available.  This compares to £129 to £299 return for a cash ticket, depending on the time of year.

At the high end of this range, if you could find a seat, you would be getting 1p per Avios of value which is impressive.  More prosaicly, I priced up via the Air Malta website Manchester to Malta in April 2016.  Whilst certain weekend dates were pricier, I found seats as low as £127.  Compared with 20,000 Avios plus £51 that is a very poor deal.

When considering ‘value per Avios’, though, remember that Avios bookings are refundable up to 24 hours before departure for a £35 fee. This makes them more flexible than a cheap cash ticket.

 

Monarch

Ah, Monarch.  I’ve never flown with them and I doubt I ever will.  However, here is an old trip report from a US blogger who redeemed Avios to fly from Luton to Mallorca with Monarch.  It does sound like fun ….

Finding Monarch availability was difficult.  They fly from Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Luton, Gatwick and Birmingham.

Leeds Bradford to Palma (7th-12th April 2016) is 15,000 Avios plus £88.  A cash ticket was £150 for a ‘flight only’ ticket and £199 for an ‘essentials’ ticket which includes a suitcase and seat selection.  Assuming that you would check in a suitcase – and Avios tickets come with one piece of luggage – it would have worked out at around 0.74p per Avios.  That is not bad.

Aurigny

Finally, we have Aurigny, the little Channel Islands airline.

They fly to various Channel Islands destinations from Gatwick, London City, Bristol, Southampton, East Midlands, Stansted and Manchester.  You can see a full list of routes by visiting their website and clicking on ‘Timetable’.

Availability from Gatwick seemed very good when I checked.  There were six departures to Guernsey available (economy seats only) on 27th October for example.  Coming back on 4th November, a return ticket would cost you 9,000 Avios plus £33 in tax.

These are not bad deals.  A typical cash ticket for those dates would be £114.  That is around 0.9p per Avios of value, which is good.

Conclusion

I was pleasantly surprised to see that you could get between 0.75p and 1.2p of value from some flights with these airlines.  There may be some good deals here, especially for Head for Points readers who live in the UK regions.

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

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Comments

  1. gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

    Please be aware that Air Malta’s service has gone down due to inevitable cost-savings. Economy no longer gets a proper meal, but you will get a fairly nasty sandwich/roll and a bottle of water.
    I would still rate the Club class offering to be above that of BA unless you are flying from Heathrow which seems to use aircraft with a lower seat pitch.

    They are in the process of down-sizing their fleet and there are continuous rumours of takeovers by Lufty, Turkish Airlines, Chinese carriers, KLM etc.

  2. Tom euflyer says:

    The Air Malta arrangement is currently a joke.

    I “booked” an Air Malta return flight (MLA-LGW) via Avios.com yesterday (2 x 10,000 Avios plus £67), plugged in all the details and then put my credit card details in. After an attempt at taking payment I got an error message and reference code, telling me to call Avios customer services.

    I called customer services today – they didn’t recognise the error code. Anyway, they process the booking for me, waive the telephone booking fee, take my credit card details and… error.

    Cue a long hold while the Avios rep works out what’s going on. 5 minutes later… “yeah, it seems we’re not taking Air Malta bookings at the moment “.

    Not taking Air Malta bookings? That despite the flights being clearly flagged and prima facie bookable on Avios.com? If the deal with Air Malta is on hold, take the bloody flights off.

    Anyway, rant over. I instead booked a return with BA for €70 or so, factoring in a €60 discount using 7500 Avios. Much better value in theory than the Air Malta/Avios option, but worse flight times and to LGW.

    • So they put the availability on the site anyway?!

      To be honest, when BA restarted Malta I assumed this deal would end but it has carried on.

      Coming over for a party? 🙂

  3. Tom euflyer says:

    Yep – “availability” up there on the site, and bookable right through to giving your full credit card details. In reality, no flights actually bookable.

    I passed on my thoughts as politely as I could to customer services.

    A party indeed. I trust you will be attending…

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