What Jamie did right – and very, very wrong – when he booked his Indonesia holiday on Avios

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Over the last couple of weeks we have run a series of flight reviews from Jamie’s recent month-long holiday in Asia.  The majority of the international flights were booked with Avios.

Before we go on, I should say that I wasn’t involved in the booking of this trip and didn’t know he was going until I got an email offering me the reviews.  You’ll see why I said that in a minute!

As a reminder, this is what he flew:

Heathrow – Kuala Lumpur, British Airways Club World – reviewed here – 105,000 Avios one-way (peak date)

Kuala Lumpur – Jakarta, Malaysia Airlines Business – reviewed here – 15,000 Avios one-way

Bali – Doha, Qatar Airways Business – reviewed here – 75,000 Avios one-way

Doha – Gatwick, Qatar Airways Business – reviewed here – 60,000 Avios one-way

In theory, this itinerary should have cost him 255,000 Avios.  In reality, Jamie only paid 200,000 Avios.

This is why.

Welcome to the Avios multi-partner redemption chart

99% of British Airways Avios collectors do not know that BA also has a second redemption chart.

I bet that most of you have never seen this chart before (click to enlarge):

OneWorld Avios redemption chart

You can see the original by clicking here to ba.com and scrolling down to click on ‘Partner Airlines’ and then ‘Avios costs for booking on two or more oneworld airlines’.

This is the reward chart that British Airways uses to price redemptions which include two or more oneworld partner airlines, excluding British Airways (although BA can be included on an itinerary).

The chart is for economy travel.  Multiply by two for business class and by three for first class.

Let’s take a look at Jamie’s itinerary

Because Jamie’s itinerary used two oneworld airlines, plus British Airways, he could use the multi-partner Avios redemption chart to price his trip.

Let’s look at the flights again:

  • Heathrow – Kuala Lumpur (6593 miles)
  • Kuala Lumpur – Jakarta (699 miles)
  • Bali – Doha (4873 miles)
  • Doha – Gatwick (3244 miles)

This is a total of 15,409 miles.  You can get exact distance figures from gcmap.com – click on ‘Distance’ and use airport codes, eg ‘LHR-KUL’.

Look at the multi-carrier Avios reward chart.  15,409 miles falls into the 100,000 Avios band (14,000 – 20,000 miles flown) for Economy.  We double that for Business Class.

This is why Jamie only paid 200,000 Avios for his trip, and not the 255,000 Avios that it would otherwise have cost if he had booked it one flight at a time.

Except:

He made a BIG mistake!

Look again at the reward chart.

Jamie’s trip was 15,409 miles.  He paid 200,000 Avios, which was the cost for trips of between 14,001 and 20,000 miles.

This means he could have added an additional trip of up to 4,591 miles for FREE! 

Well, not quite free because taxes and charges would have been due, but no additional Avios would have been required.  He could have added on:

a one-way in Club World from London to Miami (4425 miles)

or

a return in Club Europe to Athens (3020 miles) AND a return in Club Europe to Berlin (1180 miles)

or

a one-way in Club World to Delhi (4191 miles)

….. or many other options – for no additional Avios!

So …. well done to Jamie for remembering to ring BA and book his itinerary via the multi-carrier redemption chart, which saved him 55,000 Avios.  But a slap on the wrist for missing out on the chance to add a couple of future trips onto his itinerary for no extra Avios …..

(PS.  As someone asked in the comments ….. to book these flights, search availability for each flight separately on ba.com and then call BA Executive Club. The rules for how pricing works if you have mixed classes is not published anywhere and is not fully clear to anyone. It really needs a separate article of its own, suffice it to say that sometimes you can sneak in one flight in a higher class for free.)

(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. I had no idea about this chart, oh how this will definitely change my future redemption’s. I feel like a right nooby! Thanks, Rob.

    • Just goes to show… I thought everybody was aware, but then I suppose BA don’t actually make it that easy to find…..like a lot of areas.

  2. James Heron says:

    O/T What’s the latest with Lloyds Amex and their vouchers for existing cardmembers? I’ve just been charged my £24 ‘renewal’ on my Lloyds Amex. Does this confirm I’m now in my ‘new’ year (for £7000 voucher spend purposes) and that this voucher will be granted once £7000 spend is (quickly) made? Thanks

    • Just hit the £7k this morning having decided two weeks ago after my card anniversary to have another go. Statement due on 18th but hopefully I may know something before then. Will post an OT comment if/when I do.

      • Cheers BJ – That would be great! Mine rolled over last month and I about 3k short so far. Fingers crossed for one final voucher

        • My renewal was charged on October 7th, and I received my voucher on December 1st (after hurriedly moving £7,000 through the account)
          I did not get an email from Lloyds announcing the voucher, I had to log in to avios.com and check for the voucher.

          Shame I won’t be there tonight, but best wishes to all attendees!!

        • Reeferman says:

          I too have just had a Lloyds upgrade voucher posted on 1st Dec (no email advice etc – it just appeared on my Avios account online). My earning year starts in September, so it seems the system is alive and well – at least for now.

        • So the question now is how will I know if I have earned a voucher as my avios account has been closed down??

        • @Neil, it will go into your BA account.

        • Neil… double check Avios.com, mine is stil working, but I always ensure that I leave 1 Avios in it after any Combine my Avios activity.

        • I checked my Avios account this morning to see if I had earned another voucher, no voucher but I did have 824 Avios dated yesterday for a manual Lloyds adjustment.

          I’m finding this whole Avios closing down a bit confusing. The front page says all Avios accounts are closed but I can still login, earn and transfer Avios from my account.

  3. Rob, having booked a few of these , I think for balance it should be pointed out that as the itineraries get more complicated it can be difficult both to book or make changes. The BA call centres are poorly trained on this product and in some cases , may have never heard of it , let alone understanding how it functions. And I’m using the GGL line.

    I know this shouldn’t be a disincentive but sadly it’s true and can add many hours of frustration to using this product.

    • Never used it myself but it is tempting. Can the itinerary include overland travel between arrival and departure airports? If so, I guess those could be useful to add flexibility and ease problens any changes to plans might cause.

    • Andy Sparrow says:

      Good luck with anything involving BA call centres. Went to Munich last week, booked as flight and hotel combined on BA holidays. Called to see what the LHR- MUC flight would cost to upgrade to Club Europe. Both times had to hang on for ages. First time told 3750 avoid and £13, 2nd time told 4500 avoid and £50 each. After a few hours I did get told they would honour lower amount but still saying first person was wrong. Not quite on topic but worth knowing. I was 4th person served and already there was no choice of food. Told I was having sandwiches not the ploughmans, average at best.

      • Why did you call for the second time and didn’t book on the first??? Looks like they function like a search engine when you search for the same flight for too many times, it’s just going up in price and you just need to go incognito

    • How do you actually book this? Do you need to do a multi-city itinerary straight away? But it’s so difficult to hold all the moving pieces together…

  4. youngtraveller says:

    I wanted to ask this question for a while just to see if it was a good deal or not. I found a premium economy OW from Singapore to LHR for 45500avios+165GBP is this a good deal? Alternatively would of paid for Economy with ba or singapore or qantas which would of been at least 482.60 gbp

    Thanks

    • If your travels are flexible and you are interested in seeing other places you could fly up to BKK and do the same from there for 39k avios if you can find availability. From BKK you can fly business on Finnair to Helsinki for 60k and then on to UK in economy. One way cash flight from BKK-CMB-LHR is around £800 and earns avios and TP, stopovers in Sri Lanka are possible. As it stsnds though, yes, I think I’d personally much rather do the 45k plus cash to sit in WTP as opposed to economy all the way from SIN.

  5. I’d love to see more articles like this

  6. Great article, would also love to see more of these.

  7. Clarence says:

    A bit o/t but does anyone know how long it takes for Groupon Spain to post points to Iberia Plus

    • It took 5 working days in my case and I bought the points only 2 weeks ago.

    • Let us know if you get yours, I’m still a bit dubious about whether they will post as they don’t seem to send you any sort of confirmation!

      • Neil Donoghue says:

        Hi Anna – I’ve already received mine. I felt the exact same but they magically appeared in my Iberia account after 5 working days.

  8. OT – had supplementary card pushes from my BAPP and Amex Gold. I understand it’s free for my BAPP but It’s not clear for the Amex Gold. I’ve only had this one for two months, I can’t quite work out from the T&Cs if it’s free or £45? Offered 3,000points for each. Would Amex do a credit check on the supplementary holder?

    • I’ve never been charged, I think the first supplementary is free. It’s counted as your account so no credit check.

  9. OT – but a few of you have mentioned Lloyds today:

    My Avios posted in my BA account for the first time in November, but 1,400 extra points arrived in my defunct Avios account today labelled ‘Lloyds Bank Manual Adjustment Award’. Anyone else have these?

    My monthly accruals have been correct and I don’t have any outstanding complaints with Lloyds, so this is a nice bonus. Obviously I transferred them out straight away.

  10. Prins Polo says:

    From my experience – taxes are a mystery, booking is painful, agents are not knowledgeable. You can include one overland sector (which can be between different continents); some people have reported squeezing in two overland sectors. If you’re booking J all the way but one sector is only available in Y, you can still add it (it won’t affect the total price which will be charged at J rates), and then upgrade to J if availability appears (no surcharge in miles, but need to pay difference in taxes).

  11. Hi all,
    This was for business class and I managed to squeeze it into the 20000 mile bracket (I think my distance in total was around 19900, so literally made my money’s worth). This ended up costing 200,000.

    WAW-DOH-SYD
    PER-SIN-DOH-CPH-LHR

    Now to get this rock bottom taxes you MUST avoid ex-UK. After hours of painful searching, I found that ex-DUB and ex-WAW had the lowest of taxes ex-EU (as well as slightly more Eastern destinations such as OTP, SOF, PRG). However I couldn’t choose DUB as it was just crossing the 20000 bracket and I wanted a wide body QR flight, hence ended up choosing WAW.

    Secondly I would’ve chosen straight back to LHR from DOH, however there just wasn’t any J availability on the dates I wanted to go, hence slightly more stops. Also, I had to start from PER instead of any other Australian airport so I could sneak it into the 20,000 miles. Finally I was very picky about trying to maximise QR in my itinerary as frankly they’re the best J class, but in order to meet the 2 OW carriers rules, I added a PER-SIN with QF. The final CPH-LHR sector is BA, naturally.

    All of this totalled £459.70 taxes. Had this been ex-LHR it would’ve been £750+ from what I remember!

    Happy to answer more questions! But I’m chuffed with this true bargain value you can achieve with this chart!

    • So just to add, my return sector, though it has 3 stops, the longest transit is 3 hours in SIN which isn’t bad considering you’ve got the lovely QF and CX lounges (and BA if you’re one of those that solidly sticks by the airline lol! 😛 ). 1 hour in DOH sand 45 minutes in CPH.

      In theory, if availability permitted I couldn’t done PER-SIN-LHR or PER-HKG-LHR or PER-KUL-LHR or even PER-SIN-DOH-LHR/MAN/EDI and cut a couple of stops. But sadly, very scarce J availability on my dates. The taxes wouldn’t have changed much and would’ve stayed around the same on the return sector. It’s the ex-EU sector that has the most damaging taxes and that’s where one has to be smart in choosing where they depart from.

      Just to add, I got my positioning LHR-WAW flight in CE for £160 (one-way), (was only £70 for Economy), and the SYD-PER positioning flight with QF for £120 (economy). So all in all, I paid £739 for all my flights and 200,000 Avios and at least I’m gaining a couple of thousand for my 2 positioning flights.
      Win-win!

      • Shoestring says:

        cheers Nik

        • No problem! I know you were a bit concerned about taxes etc. From what little I know about IATA fare rules and taxation, it’s only that departure airport that the majority of taxes come from. Hence why a few little stops and irrespective of landing back into LHR, my overall taxes and fees remained really low. 🙂

      • Nice and if you can start from LGW-VIE one way various dates with level = £26, then, VIE-WAR £21.

        When are you going?

        • I’m going in the beginning of March. Unfortunately I didn’t have the liberty with my dates to shop around for better Avios redemptions! Yea, so many cheap ways to get to WAW. Chose BA in the end due to convenience of airport (LHR) for me as well as the flight timings which worked out perfect, giving just under 2.5 hours for connection onto my Avios booking. 🙂 Also gain a good handful of Avios in the process which I’m sure will give me a return economy RFS Europe trip

        • Also, factoring in check-in bag costs, cost to get to LGW etc, it would’ve worked out more or less the same as my CE trip just about lol! Haha 😀

        • Shoestring says:

          Nik – I hope you paid on Plat or have other travel insurance! 2.5 hrs connection time for a positioning flight—>WAW, starting on your big itinerary???

          Maybe your middle name is Lucky 🙂

          Not sour grapes or anything seeing your great trip lined up, honest lol – but I’m the cautious type so would have allowed a bit more time.

        • Haha, I know I am known to be a bit crazy and risky like this, at least my partner agrees with you haha! 😛
          But yes I do have Amex platinum insurance and also, the other alternative BA flight to WAW had like 8 hours transit or something, so ended up with this! But yes, fingers crossed lol.

      • @NIk “In theory, if availability permitted I couldn’t done PER-SIN-LHR or PER-HKG-LHR or PER-KUL-LHR or even PER-SIN-DOH-LHR/MAN/EDI and cut a couple of stops.” Don’t forget QR fly to CWL now, always great availability!

    • So if you are booking through BA do you have to use BA for one of the legs?

    • Hi Nik… please help – I currently have 150,000 Avios. In Feb I want to fly LHR-ARN (on BA), then ARN-DOH-PER return with Qatar in Business (to help maintain my Gold status), then back to LHR. Happy to use up to 120,000 of my Avios. How would YOU book this, to minimise general expenditure…? Really appreciate your help. Cheers, Nick

      • Hi Nik,
        I’m not a seasoned pro with Avios, but have managed to learn a lot thanks to websites like this and others.
        I’m a bit confused here. I presume you’re doing the ARN-DOH-PER as a commercial revenue ticket in order to maintain your gold?
        Which sectors exactly are you looking to use Avios and which ones are commercial (to maintain gold?)

        • *Nick (apologies haha! 🙂 )

        • Oh yes, obviously no TPs are due if using Avios to pay for the booking. I don’t need a whole bunch of TPs (cut-off is early July) – I just want to experience Qatar (I actually work for BA) and have a week or so in Perth. Sorry it’s so complicated, Nik!

      • Happy to use multi oneworld carriers if not too complicated/arduous!

        • Oh… just seen your reply. You’re still up! I’m currently in SIN, where it’s 9.15am. You in UK? Do I not earn TP points on pure Avios bookings then…? (I’m a relative newby, as you can tell!)

        • Hi Nick,
          Coincidence my partner works for BA too lol!
          I’m on a night shift, hence why I’m up. Lol.
          So, you earn 0 Avios and 0 TPs on any Avios/reward booking. So if your purpose is to maintain Gold, this isn’t the way naturally.
          However, for the number of points you have, you wouldn’t be able to do this journey, as using only 120,000 Avios this way would only get you a total distance of under 9,000.
          Secondly it’s pertinent that you have 2 or more Oneworld carriers (excluding BA, you can have BA on top of the 2, but it can’t form the minimum 2 if that makes sense).
          Actually I realise this comment is getting longer and longer haha.
          Feel free to email me: [email protected] (will be easier)
          Hope I’m not violating terms by posting email here lol.

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