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Alternative strategies after BA price hike

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  • masaccio

    I’ve dismissed Nectar: impossible to spend so many Avios on fuel, Sainsburys locally is worse than Asda, and just how much stuff can you buy from Argos?

    I *think* 241 is probably still worth it for CW assuming you are willing to pay average-ish CW fares (I hope for £1500 and pass at anything over £2k) but it’s a bit marginal.

    So what else?

    Amex Platinum has a lower earning rate than BAPP but Amex Rewards are more portable. We sometimes stay in chain hotels and often it’s a mix (next holiday is mix of Fairmont and Sofitel). Virgin availability is by all accounts terrible and they have big fees too

    Gianfranco

    I am pinning my hope on Qatar opening up Avios possibilities when we will be able combine Avios. I am currently researching my aspirational long haul redemption for 2024 for the Far East.I have no idea what the taxes are going to be but routings via Doha don’t seem to painful at around 90 mins to 2 hour stopover. And having just come back from Las Vegas on a BA B777 with old style club world and totally clapped out IFE I am very excited about trying out the Q suite with Mrs Gianfranco .

    masaccio

    Would certainly like to try Qatar. We booked cash Q Suites for Tanzania but they cancelled too many flights (paint flaking off) and we ended up with a suboptimal combination of Ethiopian, Kenyan and BA. Pity as those seats look damned good and the TZ routing was not entirely insanely priced.

    shutter

    This devaluation does mean I’ve decided not to apply for the Avios Barclaycard. I’d hate to be an Avios partner – no control over BA’s actions that can entirely undermine goodwill in your own product.

    Charles Martel

    You can use Nectar for hotel spend (albeit non status earning) at hotels.nectar.com.

    The big question for me is, is the Barclaycard Avios (standard) card worth it? If 0.8p per Avios is your default value via Nectar, you earn a 1p rebate on the Amex Nectar, 1.2p (1.5 Avios / 1.6 Nectar) via the Barclaycard Plus, or 0.8p on the free card. The £20 a month fee on the Plus card earns you an additional 0.2p per pound spent so I *think* you have to spend £10k a month to breakeven.

    memesweeper

    Don’t loose hope with Nectar + ebay. We’ve found a mountain of useful brand new things on there, and in fact it’s the cheapest way to buy certain products.

    Qatar redemptions – it remains to be seen if they retain their reasonable taxes/fees/charges after switching to Avios. I hope they will. I’m also interested in the surcharges on non-BA oneworld from London or nearby European capitals booked through Qatar.

    Multi-carrier redemption/local flights/don’t fly BA coupled with “don’t start from London/North America”. Often great value within the Americas and Asia/Pacific, not to mention low charges.

    Nectar hotels can be excellent, although if you allow for the loss of points if you’d otherwise booked direct I tend to find it’s closer to 0.75p per Avios, rather than 0.8p with ebay/Argos/sainsburys. But for independents / chains you don’t care about status with, it a real 0.8p, and retains the ‘aspirational’ element, rather than cheaper groceries — and you can book suites in some places as well.

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    This devaluation does mean I’ve decided not to apply for the Avios Barclaycard. I’d hate to be an Avios partner – no control over BA’s actions that can entirely undermine goodwill in your own product.

    Makes no sense. Get the card, bank 25k bonus, downgrade – what’s to lose?

    masaccio

    This devaluation does mean I’ve decided not to apply for the Avios Barclaycard. I’d hate to be an Avios partner – no control over BA’s actions that can entirely undermine goodwill in your own product.

    Makes no sense. Get the card, bank 25k bonus, downgrade – what’s to lose?

    Time spent dealing with Barclays shoddy IT and customer service? After the horror that was my brief time with them as a current account holder, the grief isn’t worth 25k of Avios for me

    chelseafifi

    Is there an article on using Avios to upgrade BA holidays, I’ve seen it mentioned in comments but not sure how it works. Thanks

    ChrisC

    Is there an article on using Avios to upgrade BA holidays, I’ve seen it mentioned in comments but not sure how it works. Thanks

    You just need to phone BA Holidays.

    You can check availability yourself by doing a dummy avios booking. If there is availability then call.

    There are some exclusions but for most simple bookings they aren’t an issue.

    SteveJ

    How about post pay with Avios? Does the devaluation now make this option more attractive?

    Whatsthepoint

    Increases to faxes and charges for business class flights on BA and Virgin are unfortunate but cash prices also seem to have increased. So, especially if you’re making extensive use of companion vouchers like a lot of us, we’re just going to have to suck it up. It’s still a great way of getting premium cabins for a lot less. I’m about to retire soon, so the new Barclaycard will give me a much better chance of securing enough Avios to make use of future companion vouchers as well as have having new options. I do wonder whether upgrade vouchers might start to make more sense than companion vouchers though.

    Talay

    It was already pretty borderline for me anyway on my LHR-BKK routing. Now it is worse.

    So now it is 165k Avios (mix of high and low) which are worth £1320 of Nectar plus around £1600 in fees plus £250 makes a total of £3170 or £1585 a ticket.

    No way you’d pay that for a shitty BA 8 abreast 1990s style “business” class but you might pay it for a direct flight in the new seat, assuming it is ever put onto that route.

    You cannot get Eva for £1585 and neither Thai but you might be able to get a non UK routing on Qatar or Etihad for around £1000 (plus say £100 to get to somewhere) so you’d be (3170-2200) or about £1000 better off and you don’t have to travel on the same ticket as someone else.

    I guess we’re very close to cancelling, if we’re not already there.

    memesweeper

    @talay a non-UK routing on a Middle Eastern airline is three flights each way, not one. I don’t see that as a fair comparison.

    If none of the direct airlines are offering £1.5k flights when you want to travel then there’s value in the Avios tickets, just not as much value as there used to be.

    Flyingred

    @talay, I’ve been looking for business class deals to BKK. The best I have found is an ex-EU originating in Gothenburg (GOT) or Stockholm (ARN). The best are with Austrian or Lufthansa, and somedays Swiss, and there looks like good availability in July.

    masaccio

    If none of the direct airlines are offering £1.5k flights when you want to travel then there’s value in the Avios tickets, just not as much value as there used to be.

    14 hours indirect versus 11.5 direct isn’t much for me personally when you add in stuff at either end. I always figure door-to-door for somewhere like Thailand is 24 hours regardless.

    Google price graph suggests 1500 quid indirect, 2k OneWorld and 2.4k direct with Thai. So something between 0.35 to 0.85p per Avios peak periods (only time I can fly). Comparing with BA cash is much more favourable but then I don’t think most BA cash fares for CW are good value for their product at all.

    Of course a 241 changes all of this and that’s where I currently am at: BA redemptions are worth it if you have a 241 and me and the OH now have a BAPP each. Maybe that’s what BA/Amex want us to do with their pricing.

    BuildBackBetter

    @talay, I’ve been looking for business class deals to BKK. The best I have found is an ex-EU originating in Gothenburg (GOT) or Stockholm (ARN). The best are with Austrian or Lufthansa, and somedays Swiss, and there looks like good availability in July.

    Subscribe to the premium flight deals thread on flyer talk. Some deals are also posted by Rob on this website.

    Michael C

    Is there an article on using Avios to upgrade BA holidays, I’ve seen it mentioned in comments but not sure how it works. Thanks

    Just to confirm @ChrisC ‘s comments: we did this recently on US flights, PE to Club, no problem over the phone (having checked first for availability).

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