Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club 2 Adults, 2 children, 1 infant, 2 companion vouchers, Summer Holiday 2024

  • Sandydoc 17 posts

    I got a bit caught up with avios fever with the BAPP 70K offer and my wife and I now have 2 companion vouchers.
    Now the reality of the practicalities of using them is kicking in.
    Planning for a special holiday. 3 boys (youngest turns 2 in Oct 2024, 5, 8). Aiming to use them during the summer holiday 2024 to avoid fines/missing school (although departing a couple of days before end of term would be permissable…) and also use whilst the youngest is still an infant on lap.
    We have ~ 275K avios and would like to book some combination of PE and/or CW.
    In 2020 we had a trip to Bali planned (cancelled obviously). Useful options to SE Asia are (IMO) limited on reward flights
    I’ve been looking at Caribbean e.g Punta Cana but I’m worried about missing out on T-355 availability due to popularity during the holidays and the complexities of 2 simultaneous bookings from 2 accounts with 2 companion vouchers and a glitchy website followed by trying to book the return leg.
    Any advice on destinations or practicalities welcomed.

    Sandydoc 17 posts

    Just to say, I have read various threads and articles relating to this topic but all it does is increase my blood pressure!

    Anna 458 posts

    There’s a lot of useful info in those threads, not sure why they would raise your blood pressure?!
    There are Caribbean destinations with good availability in summer. Have a look now on SeatSpy at which ones seem to have decent availability. Your 241s will open up extra CW availability, but probably not at T-355 so factor that in.
    You could play it very safe by using the vouchers for a US trip, or combine a stay in the US with a Caribbean beach flop, if that’s feasible with 3 small children.
    You’ll need to make 2 separate bookings but this is doable, especially if you both do them simultaneously. In the event one of you doesn’t get the seats, you can cancel at no cost within 24 hours.
    Best tips for adding on returns are in Rob’s articles and the threads!
    You might have an issue getting PE seats as only 2 per flight are guaranteed.

    Sandydoc 17 posts

    Thanks Anna
    I’m guessing the outbound flights will be easiest (with all my points and vouchers intact). I’m just worried that I miss the flights back. Then have to cancel the flights out. Then have to find somewhere else to go etc. Unfortunately I won’t have enough avios to book the return leg without call centre help.

    yonasl 929 posts

    Cancún may be easy. Always plenty of places.

    Since Iberia is not an option for you (they usually only open 2 business/PE seats) seat spy is perfect.

    Do you have a date in mind? Could check on SeatSpy for you.

    Richie 884 posts

    Majorca, Alcudia, Puerto Pollensa.

    Sandydoc 17 posts

    Thanks, I’ve just got a seat spy subscription and I guess the ‘where can I go’ is extremely useful and somewhat reassuring. Seeing that there are some places we could go this summer (if we didn’t already have this summer sorted) makes it more reassuring for next Summer!

    Sandydoc 17 posts

    I’m sure we would have a fantastic time in Majorca and I’ll definitely look in to it when I no longer have the vouchers and avios to spend

    The Savage Squirrel 549 posts

    Don’t stress too much about the T-355.
    As you’re not committed to a single destination or date, and happy to fly westwards, then there definitely will be quite a lot of decent options available for you.

    If you are using Amex 2-for-1 then you could make a redemption with a regional connection from somewhere like Manchester. This opens up quite a lot of extra availability (that Seatspy won’t see, remember) even beyond what you have alraedy. Just play around doing dummy bookings for this year and you’ll see what is pretty loose in terms of extra availability.

    Also … kids don’t really give a **** whether you are in Portugal or California when they are at the beach or the pool, while Club Suite is a decent seating system but not really suitable for 2 yr olds at all. Would short-haul work better for you here? If so, you’re in luck. HfP has a resident expert in how to manage and survive to young-boy-friendly holidays. Would something like this suit?… https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/algarve-trip-report-by-froggee-paterfamilias/

    The Savage Squirrel 549 posts

    What I was trying to say but forgot was: don’t book the wrong holiday by getting hung up on how many Avios you can save with your vouchers. Using a 2-for-1 and some Avios on short haul flying is a perfectly valid and sensible option.

    ukpolak 58 posts

    Couldn’t agree more with posts above – our two girls (4, 6) were just as happy with Covid holidays in Devon and Dorset, as they were with Mediterranean hols the past couple of years. For summer, I’d recommend Majorca etc – we take an 8am flight out of Southampton and we’re pretty much at resort for lunch.

    If you do travel long haul and make use of Avios, I’d recommend BA’s premium economy cabin. As a family of 4 visiting family in the US over Christmas, the middle 4 arrangement was great (albeit you have 5!). We had been upgraded on a journey from economy to PE a couple of years ago (perhaps to get us to try it!) and it sure worked as the extra leg room for mum and dad, and more seat room for the kiddies, allows for more rest and peace and quiet and they pretty much curl up in their seats.

    Anna 458 posts

    If you can’t get return flights from the Caribbean, you could come back via the US, it depends on how much messing around you’re prepared to do!
    Agree that kids don’t really mind where they are as long as there are lots of things to do – our U.K. holidays were some of the best when my son was little.
    Re PE, yes it’s a good cabin but on the most popular routes BA generally only release 2 award seats at peak times and the 241 doesn’t unlock extra availability.

    Anna 458 posts

    Also – you could look at the different pricing options and find one which would allow you to use your avios for the cabins you want. Just remember you need to be able to use the same option on both legs or you might run into difficulties getting BA to book your return leg.

    Reney 689 posts

    There’s a lot of useful info in those threads, not sure why they would raise your blood pressure?!
    There are Caribbean destinations with good availability in summer. Have a look now on SeatSpy at which ones seem to have decent availability. Your 241s will open up extra CW availability, but probably not at T-355 so factor that in.
    You could play it very safe by using the vouchers for a US trip, or combine a stay in the US with a Caribbean beach flop, if that’s feasible with 3 small children.
    You’ll need to make 2 separate bookings but this is doable, especially if you both do them simultaneously. In the event one of you doesn’t get the seats, you can cancel at no cost within 24 hours.
    Best tips for adding on returns are in Rob’s articles and the threads!
    You might have an issue getting PE seats as only 2 per flight are guaranteed.

    Would one useful bit of Admin to do is to submit the form that allows him to act on his wife’s behalf on her BA account so he can book using her voucher on the same phone call (if the poster doesn’t do it online). I can’t remember what that form was called.

    Anna 458 posts

    There’s a page in BAEC account that you can fill in online for that. However, it would still need 2 separate bookings and if the seats are going fast that could be an issue.

    A good CS agent might hold both seats but people were posting recently that it’s getting more difficult to get the return added at 12/1 am – there are a couple of threads on this as well!

    Sandydoc 17 posts

    I’m thinking that maybe, to reduce stress, it might be easier to wait until the end of august this year when the return flights will have been released and use the seatspy tool to search where we could go and book it all in one go over the phone with a uk call centre. Does that sound reasonable?

    NorthernLass 6,764 posts

    If boths legs are available you can just book it all online simultaneously. If the seats are still there for the outbound, it’s unlikely they’ll be snatched away while you’re booking the inbound, unless it’s one of the last days to come home before term starts (which it won’t be if you’re booking before the end of August).

    Do a couple of dummy bookings as well to look at different cash/avios combinations and have a plan for if there aren’t enough seats in your chosen cabin. Would you be happy for 3 to travel in CW, and the other 2 in PE, for example? Look at which are the off peak dates, as well (usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the school holidays) – if you can travel then your avios will go much further.

    Sandydoc 17 posts

    I’ve done the third party nominee form.

    Yes we wouldn’t mind a split of seats. The boys are better behaved apart!

    davet 101 posts

    I have done exactly this for easter 2024 to punta cana, the outbound booked perfectly fine for all 5 of us in Clubworld however my fingers were not fast enough on the way back two are in premium economy!

    One thing I will note is that one of your bookings will get free seat selection due to the infant but the other will not, so we are a little concerned we wont be sat together both ways but it is what it is right

    NigelHamilton 134 posts

    We are a family of 5 going to Mauritius this summer, albeit our kids are teenagers. Last year, BA were releasing either 4 or 8 CW, and 7-8 PE seats per flight at 355 days out. I checked for avios flights a few days before we wanted to go to get a sense of how busy they were, and while often 2xCW went straight away, there was sufficient availability to get us all Avios seats in PE, or could have split and done some in CW and some in PE. As it happens I was Avios poor and did 4xPE with vouchers for a total of 78,000 Avios and about a grand in taxes. Then bought my 17 year old a cash ticket on BA holidays. Prices will have changed as this was before the revaluation, but with 275k Avios you should be able to get at least two of you in CW and probably more.

    Have offered to report back on what it was like on a separate thread, so happy to do so too. It’s winter, but average of 25 degrees so not exactly chilly!

    Anna 458 posts

    MRU is 100k avios one way, off peak, now, and 50k in PE so OP would need more avios or pay more cash.


    @NigelHamilton
    , that would have meant your teenager got the TPs on that trip!

    NigelHamilton 134 posts

    MRU is 100k avios one way, off peak, now, and 50k in PE so OP would need more avios or pay more cash.



    @NigelHamilton
    , that would have meant your teenager got the TPs on that trip!

    She will, and the double ones with BA Holidays! If her year didn’t reset a week before she’d be silver! But unfortunately I was one of the holders of the 2-4-1…..

    Sandydoc 17 posts

    I’m sure no one’s interested…but I decided the least stressful option was to book something over the May 2024 half term where I could already see and book availability for both legs. As such we have a trip to Punta Cana booked with a combination of WTP and CW. Happy with that!

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