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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.)

Comments (168)

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    OK, so I want to go to Denver a few times a year. EDI-Den is about 5k miles.

    So for 160,000 x 2 = 320,000, I can get four BA club world returns plus some Finnair or Iberia out of Edi – or route on Denver trip on American (if only there’s was ever availability!) from Edinburgh via East Coast to Den?

    • Anna says:

      I’m not 100% sure what you’re saying but I think Denver would be 150,000 avios peak and 125,000 off peak with BA – this would include the regional connection.

    • Scallder says:

      Yes Colin, you will be able to do that.

      So 4 return journeys would be 40k miles flown on BA, so you then have 10k miles distance flown to use with Finnair or Iberia (or as you mention maybe do some routing on American whilst in the US (either to Denver, or whilst you’re in the US pop somewhere else from Denver).

      Would imagine you’d be looking at perhaps minimum £3k of taxes and fees (on assumption that each return journey to Denver is perhaps around £650 each time).

      • Scallder says:

        Sorry I should stress the 10k miles flown would need to be used on a minimum of two other Onewolrd airlines

        • Colin MacKinnon says:

          Thanks. Makes it interesting!

          At 80k per CW return to DEN, that’ll be quite bit of a saving in avios (although with the fees, will still be keeping an eye out for sub–£1500 business fares).

          Now we have a grandchild over there. the 241 is not so much use since I still have to work to pay the BA fees while wifey stays longer to be granny! Using our last Lloyds vouchers in the new year.

      • Bagoly says:

        Interesting point implied here not stressed in original article: if one’s focus is on a BA long haul trip, one can add on a couple of Europe trips on E.g. Iberia and Finnair to access this table.
        So long as two non-BA OW carriers are involved, nobody said that they had to be for the flights one first thought of!

  • Riku says:

    wouldn’t it be better to transfer the avios to iberia and use their oneworld multi award. Jamie’s 15409 mile trip would fall into their 12401-18000 mile band which is 82500 avios in economy and 165000 in business. Lower than the 200,000 used via BAEC.

    • Scallder says:

      Very handy to know Riku, thanks. Whilst not Avios, I know that Asia Miles has a similar chart to the BA one, but the price in Asia Miles is cheaper for a number of the bands than BA (and both Avios and Asia Miles are 1:1 from Amex). Although have never compared the Iberia chart to the Asia miles one.

    • Scallder says:

      I guess using Iberia’s chart also means that from the UK, you can use BA and one other oneworld member too, so perhaps easier to utilise from the UK!

  • Darren says:

    Very interesting article and something I never knew, thanks.

    So if I’m planning a number of trips next year I could lump them all together, ring BA and potentially use less Avios than with a 241? Obviously fees and taxes have need to be calculated.

    • Rob says:

      Potentially, as long as you have 2 x oneworld carriers.

      One thing to note – once you’ve taken the first flight, I imagine the rest of the itinerary cannot be cancelled, although dates could be changed. You would therefore need to be fairly firm about your plans. You would also need to take all the flights or see all of your remaining flights cancelled.

  • Nik says:

    Rob, can see lots of people asking about taxes. You should share my bargain multi-carrier trip I recently got which I emailed to you. 🙂

    • Rob says:

      Actually it was your email that partly gave me the idea for this article!

      • Nik says:

        Haha cool! 🙂 But can see lots of comments anxious that this may be a “waste” and that the taxes will overrule the savings. Which in my case wasn’t true and was able to get a return OZ trip with just £459 taxes!

        • Neil says:

          I would love to hear more about this please Nik. Did you fall in to the 20,000 miles plus bracket.

        • Shoestring says:

          Maybe Nik can explain? But it must be something like that, £459 in taxes, fees, carrier charges for Economy route sounds feasible, don’t forget many/ most other countries don’t levy such high fees as UK.

          Points on top, of course. Would be good to know the route & points requirement 🙂

        • Nik says:

          Shared my tips in the next page of comments. Let me know your thoughts and happy to answer any questions. It took a bit of time and patience, yes, but so satisfying and worth it! 🙂

  • TripRep says:

    Thanks for the Oz/NZ connection ideas, will explore further over next few days.

    In terms of using the Lloyds vouchers with that scheme about to close what’s the current view on booking process and what happens should you need to cancel?

    • Anna says:

      People whose avios accounts have been closed have still been able to use their vouchers, so the terms and conditions should still apply until the point at which the flight can no longer be cancelled or changed (I can’t remember if you can cancel a flight made with a Lloyds voucher).

      • BJ says:

        IIRC you lose the voucher if cancelling but people have reported being able to use it against a new flight provided the new reservwtion was made during the call to cancel. If CSA does not play ball I suppose best to just abandon the cancellation and try again later with another CSA. In theory this could go on until 24h before departure.

        • Mikeact says:

          That’s exactly what I did…..change of destination and date…..having first checked availability on the BA site. I got the impression that the lady at the other end didn’t blink an eyelid!

  • PJJ says:

    Is there a mileage chart to major airports somewhere or is it a case of Google. Thanks in advance

  • LewisB says:

    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.

    • Mikeact says:

      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.

  • 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

    • BJ says:

      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.

      • Neil says:

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

        • Aliks says:

          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.

        • Neil says:

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

        • BJ says:

          @Neil, it will go into your BA account.

        • Mikeact says:

          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.

        • Simon says:

          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.