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.)

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Comments

  1. OT: Curve rewards – do I receive a cash back if I make a transaction online? (E.g via Waitrose which I have selected as my retailer)

  2. Just a comment to say I find these experience reports the best thing about HfP, much more useful than the general industry news which dominates other points sites. Keep it up!

  3. Simon Barlow says:

    Apologies for being dense.

    IIUC, I can book a number of flights on a minimum of two oneworld carriers and pay the mileage rate from the table, rather than the standard avios cost per flight?

    As I am looking to fly to South America on a 2-4-1 my options would be to do the whole trip on the redemption table, including internal flights, or use the 2-4-1 to get us there and back and use the redemption table for internal flights, assuming there are at least 2 oneworld operators in south america?
    TIA

    • My recollection from reading Rob’s expert comments passim is:
      the vouchers whether AMEX 2-4-1 or Lloyd’s and the redemption chart in question are incompatible, one chooses either one or the other; and
      that ‘two or more oneworld® airlines’ are required to utilise the multi-partner chart, so a BA or Iberia ex-EU and one LAN/LATAM when there will see you right.

      Also, I found the oneworld interactive map very handy for prospective route planning (http://onw.innosked.com/(S(tabmfzvxv1g2sgyhun4hc25w))/default.aspx?show=MAP) and the Qantas website to be better than BA for oneworld reward availability searches.

      Additionally, on the subject of niche charts, oneworld still runs a fixed-price distance-based chart for buying tickets for onward travel within continent if you fly into South America on one of their airlines. It can be cheaper than cash, about the same, or significantly cheaper depending on dates and city pairs. That might work for you, if avios redemption availability isn’t there, or it may not! It would have worked for me had I not had to ditch the Sth Am element of my antipodean sojourn 🙁

  4. Priced PRG-DOH (37,500) DOH-COK (20,000); 57,500 Avios+ £232 taxes; total miles – 4554
    return taxes of £426, 57,500 Avios. Total –
    115,000 Avios
    £658 Taxes (aware that can be lowered as one booking)
    total miles – 9108

    Using the chart that’s 140,000. I’m either being incredibly stupid, which i suspect is the case, or the chart just wouldn’t be beneficial to this itinerary?

    • Correct. Your routing isn’t nearly complicated enough to justify it!

      However if DOH-COK is not on Qatar and you want it all on one ticket, to protect you in case of misconnect, then you’re stuffed as it will price off the two-partner chart anyway.

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