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Groupon is selling Avios points from a mileage broker!

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For the first time, Groupon UK is selling Avios points.  We have seen this on Groupon Spain and Groupon Ireland before, but not here.

Full details of the offer are here.

The prices are:

  • 10,000 Avios for £129
  • 20,000 Avios for £249
  • 30,000 Avios for £359
  • 40,000 Avios for £479
  • 50,000 Avios for £569

In all cases, these prices are lower than you will pay via the current ba.com ‘buy Avios’ deal we covered the other day.

Groupon airport lounge deal

So far, so good.  Except ….. the Avios are NOT being sold by British Airways.  They are being sold by a US group called buyairlinemiles.com.  If you visit their website, it is quite clear that they are basically a mileage broker, someone who finds ways of trading miles against the rules of the programmes.  The T&C’s say:

“We, at buyairlinemiles.com, are in no way affiliated with any of the respective, selected airlines.”

This looks very dubious to me and I am pretty sure that British Airways knows nothing about it.  For a start, Groupon calls them ‘Avios miles’ – BA / Avios Group is very specific that they must be called just ‘Avios’ (not ‘Avios points’ and certainly not ‘Avios miles’) at all times, in all communications.

Now …. you may well get your points if you buy.  If you use a credit card, you are protected by Section 75 chargeback coverage and indeed Groupon’s own guarantee.  I would be wary, however.

(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 (140)

  • Heathrow Flyer says:

    Where do mileage brokers obtain their miles from in the first place?

    • Mikeact says:

      Despite the comments in the article, I would be pretty sure that BA and other airlines know about this broker. They are one of the biggest and have been around a long time. The US market particularly is awash with airline/hotel points, miles etc.
      Depending who you talk to, they offer a pretty good service.

    • Spurs Debs says:

      People sell their miles to them and they resell on. Which is against every mileage program. If caught you will have all miles confiscated and your account closed. That’s how I understand it, but never looked deep in it as I’m not a risk taker over my miles.

      • ChrisC says:

        There are regular posts on flyer talk AA board from people wanting to know why AA had suspended their accounts because they bought some miles off the internet so the airlines are watching for these transactions.

        It almost never ends well for these people with then having their AA account closed with lost status etc as well.

        The posts usually start with something like “I bought some miles off the internet and now AA have closed my account …”. They usually don’t get much sympathy!

  • Shoestring says:

    [I opened new account and placed order. The next day I was asked to provide a telephone contact number in order that someone could talk to me and verify the account details. After a five minute conversation,the representative said that things were good and he would action the transfer. The miles were in my account within the next ten minutes.!]

    well they wouldn’t be safe sending them to an airline’s ‘trap’ account, would they 🙂

    it’s buyer beware, the loyalty progs have Fraud teams who will look out for suspicious activity, the first question they will check with a buyairlines purchase is: so can you prove you own the credit card these Avios/ miles/ points were sent from?

    • Mikeact says:

      On a similar vein, there is more chance of people being caught out, by transferring, say, 100k Amex points to a new account, BA or others, booking a flight/s and then wondering why their booking is subsequently cancelled for a ‘review’, as it could be viewed as fraudulent at first glance. Particularly, if a new account, booking a ticket for someone else. Many have been caught out even if genuine.

  • Shoestring says:

    O/T £1 car rentals

    in case anybody missed the late night comment, https://www.driiveme.co.uk gives you access to a lot more Hertz £1 rentals than the Hertz One site itself. I checked out availability and there was plenty, with dates up to the end of November

  • Alexey says:

    OT – noticed that FT now offering 10K avios for subscription ( poor value however )

  • Anna says:

    Well, our F seats to GCM certainly came with a dose of karma!
    MAN-LHR cancelled, resulting in a £300 taxi dash to LHR.
    When trying to check bag in the computer would only accept them as far as NAS, so a manager had to be called to find out how to override the system and get them tagged to GCM.
    Got to the gate as boarding started. Then waited an extra hour to take off due to congestion.
    All well for the next 9 hours. The captain spent most of the flight socialising in the F cabin as he was taking his family on holiday so he made a point of chatting with everyone and handing out snacks from the Club Kitchen!
    On touching down at NAS the jinx struck again. While we were waiting to take off again there was a thunder storm and a private Challenge 60 aircraft crash landed nose down on the run way (thankfully no casualties). So it was another 2 hours while they moved the aircraft and inspected the runway.
    Crew brought many boxes of Dunkin Donuts on board as those were the only snacks available! My son was ecstatic and declared it the best flight ever 😂.
    Barring mishaps, this was a great way to get some of the F experience for the price or avios of CW (or in my case, WTP avios plus Lloyd’s upgrade voucher!)
    Planning to do every little for the next 3 weeks now 🏖. Thanks to HFP readers for facilitating our 2 F flights in less than 3 months!

    • Spurs Debs says:

      You are all there in one piece time to enjoy yourselves. Just goes to show even someone as organised as yourself you just can’t plan or anticipate for everything!
      Now get a cocktail and have a fab time.

      • Anna says:

        👍🍹 – though maybe a bit later as it’s a jet-lagged 5 am here!

        • Craig says:

          Breakfast cocktail?

          • Anna says:

            I would normally, but got to go & collect a hire car shortly 😂.

            But seriously it might even be worth Rob or Rhys writing about the sweet spot (and Rob could send Rhys to the Bahamas or Cayman Islands to check it out 😂). AFAIR the F seats were bookable a long time out, I just don’t think pax realised that’s what they were. So if you had status or were willing to pay you could get an F Seat on that route for the price or avios of J. I’ve seen J seats at £1800 return in low season (May to October generally), though it increases a lot after that. I’ve never had a problem bagging the 2 CW award seats at midnight, though, it seems that other travellers on that route leave it a bit before looking for avios seats.

          • Cat says:

            Now that you’ve got the hire car, surely it’s cocktail o’clock now!
            Have a fab time Anna!

        • James says:

          I’m rather partial to a breakfast Bloody Mary in the lounge or onboard 😉

    • Lady London says:

      Don’t worry Anna the pilots strike might be along for your return! 😉

  • Russ says:

    Surely the thing to do is just ask whoever you want to deposit the purchased miles with if it’s ok with them?

    • Russ says:

      Have asked via twitter if ok and got this response: ‘Once they’re available to purchase, this is fine to do through Groupon.’

      Hmnnn…..

  • Chas says:

    OT, and as a follow-up to my request for info on lounges at LAX. @Nick and @Lyn were kind enough to respond with useful info, but the nugget that there was a shuttle bus operated airside by Delta (thanks @paulm!) transformed our waiting time at LAX.

    I thought that I’d post some more detailed instructions to help anyone else out, especially as the Virgin staff member I asked at check-in didn’t know anything about the transfer bus, but she did helpfully find out where the transfers went from for me.

    Background: was flying VS (from T2) in Y, without any status. Have 2 x PP from Amex Plat, but the PP app was showing that the only lounges I could use were either in T6 or in the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) which at first glance didn’t appear convenient to use.

    With the shuttle bus it’s actually really easy to get to TBIT to use the Korean Airlines Lounge (KAL). Immediately past T2 security turn right towards Gate 21, and within 30 seconds there is a manned door for transfers. You need to be in line for ”Terminal B” for TBIT. The journey itself was really interesting and I would imagine an AV geek would love it – driving parallel to the runway as planes were taking off and landing.

    Once you get to Terminal B, turn right up the ramp and follow the signs to the lounges. After a short while (c5-7 mins) you reach the Duty Free Shops in the far left corner. Go past these (shops on your right), and there’s a bank of elevators immediately on the right. Take them to the 5th floor (you’re already on the 4th, so just one level up). Exit the lift and the KAL lounge is immediately on your left. Overall it only took c20 mins from security in T2, although we only had to wait c3 mins for the transfer bus. I’m not sure if this is typical for the frequency of the shuttles (although we had the same wait time for the return) so you may want to factor in a bit longer.

    For the return, the shuttle leaves from the same place (by gate 146), and stopped at T3 before T2, although this added negligible time.

    Adverts on the shuttle state that they are currently building a bridge (the Delta Skyway) to connect T2, T3 and Terminal B, but it didn’t state when it was due to open.

    Hope this helps, and happy to answer any queries anyone may have on the transfers or on the KAL lounge.

    • Lyn says:

      So glad that @paulm was able to give you the really essential practical information about the existence of the Delta shuttle and that it worked out well. And now someone else will be able to follow your directions for the shuttle and lounge as well.

      The great thing about HfP is that someone, whether Rob and team or a commenter, always seems to have the personal experience and travel knowledge that you need, and is also willing to share it.

    • Nic says:

      I did this on a trip out of LAX a month or so ago. It is a quick journey and that time I got the whole bus to myself as there was little traffic.

      I highly recommend the KAL shower rooms too. Nice and clean, toilet sink and shower, good towels and a great freshen up before a long flight. Ask at reception and trade your boarding pass for a key.

  • Jude says:

    OT – USD Currency Account

    I run a small business and have incoming USD currency account.
    My bank when trying to move currency from USD to GBP charges fees plus exchange mark-up.

    Is there any way to avoid such fees and use a near interbank rate?