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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Cheaper starting points for Barbados?

  • Biki 117 posts

    I know it’s not usually a destination that has cheaper routing options, but does anyone have any ideas for ex-eu or other starting points to get cheaper business class flights to Barbados in Jan ‘23?

    I’ve looked at the usual INV, DUB, AMS etc, but can’t seem to see any routes that look to be much cheaper than the UK, factoring in positioning flights etc.

    Thanks!

    NorthernLass 7,490 posts

    Get a reasonably priced flight to the USA then connect to BGI? It’s not the most convenient, but if you were considering ex-EU it would be comparable in terms of extra hassle.

    marks7389 425 posts

    Get a reasonably priced flight to the USA then connect to BGI? It’s not the most convenient, but if you were considering ex-EU it would be comparable in terms of extra hassle.

    Generally ex-EU will be hopeless as few EU airlines fly there (though KLM does offer seasonal flights from Amsterdam). I did a comparison check when we booked BA redemption flights – the best cash fare I found for Feb 23 at the time was Air Canada from Amsterdam, with horrendous flight times and two stops in one direction (3 if counting the positioning flight).

    Connections are available from New York, Boston, Washington, Miami, Toronto and Montreal so those are the places worth looking from.

    We’ve often booked redemption flights to Miami many months out and then connecting flights nearer the time having decided which islands to visit – typically Miami has the most flexibility, and the added bonus of potentially being able to book an Avios redemption on American.

    NorthernLass 7,490 posts

    We’ve done this a few times – it can be fun adding a US city break to a longer beach stay as well. The AA award flights can be very good value as you only pay about £4 pp in taxes from the US. This year we’re flying LHR-IAD in F at Xmas, having a few days doing seasonal stuff in DC then avios flights on AA to Key West for a 2 week road trip to Miami from where we’re flying home.

    Keely 78 posts

    We’ve done this a few times – it can be fun adding a US city break to a longer beach stay as well. The AA award flights can be very good value as you only pay about £4 pp in taxes from the US. This year we’re flying LHR-IAD in F at Xmas, having a few days doing seasonal stuff in DC then avios flights on AA to Key West for a 2 week road trip to Miami from where we’re flying home.

    Anna that’s a great itinerary, I’m going to save this to my growing list of future trips . If you fly economy with AA on avios does it include luggage?

    Biki 117 posts

    It’s for my brother in-law’s birthday and he only mentioned this week he would like to go, which is a little frustrating as I could have looked at more options such as using a companion voucher. As the trip would only be for a week, I don’t think I could get them to do a very convoluted trip and looks like all Avios options to Barbados or Miami are gone. I will try and find a cheap route to Miami and then a connection to Barbados. Thanks for all of your help!

    To dare is to do 130 posts

    It’s for my brother in-law’s birthday and he only mentioned this week he would like to go, which is a little frustrating as I could have looked at more options such as using a companion voucher. As the trip would only be for a week, I don’t think I could get them to do a very convoluted trip and looks like all Avios options to Barbados or Miami are gone. I will try and find a cheap route to Miami and then a connection to Barbados. Thanks for all of your help!

    You could fly to New York then AA do flights to BGI but via Miami a little convoluted but if you want to use points doable. Otherwise fly to NY on points and fly Jet blue to BGI. Try any of the main airports on east coast from UK then look at the connecting flights.

    marks7389 425 posts

    Anna that’s a great itinerary, I’m going to save this to my growing list of future trips . If you fly economy with AA on avios does it include luggage?

    From memory not unless you have status. This is one area where even BA Bronze can be quite useful. You’re probably looking at $30-40 each otherwise.

    PGW 94 posts

    We’ve done this a few times – it can be fun adding a US city break to a longer beach stay as well. The AA award flights can be very good value as you only pay about £4 pp in taxes from the US. This year we’re flying LHR-IAD in F at Xmas, having a few days doing seasonal stuff in DC then avios flights on AA to Key West for a 2 week road trip to Miami from where we’re flying home.

    Anna that’s a great itinerary, I’m going to save this to my growing list of future trips . If you fly economy with AA on avios does it include luggage?

    AA MilesAAver awards with avios are becoming increasingly hard to find these days. The other problem is that if AA don’t fly direct to/from your destination, the Avios are charged for each segment so, for example, NYC-BGI requires a connection in MIA so many more avios than for a direct flight. Non-status passengers do have to pay for checked bags so can significantly add to the cost. In many cases a revenue fare on a direct flight can be better value.

    NorthernLass 7,490 posts

    Hi @Keely – no, we’ll have to pay for luggage but the extra avios required didn’t really justify going in business, especially as it’s a tiny plane, business is essentially the first 2 rows! Cash prices weren’t too high but I have loads of avios and £4 pp taxes is obviously a steal.

    I had no problem finding award availability to either Key West or MIA near Xmas, I just kept checking each day from T-335 (?) when AA starts to release reward seats. Went with Key West because it sounds a LOT more fun than negotiating MIA an extra time!

    *There’s a tiny chance OH might still be Bronze if BA forgets to bounce him back down to Blue this year 😬

    • This reply was modified 54 years, 3 months ago by .
    NorthernLass 7,490 posts

    @Biki – are there any Y seats to MIA? Not the most comfortable cabin, but you can get them on RFS saver now which makes it very cheap if you have lots of avios to burn – 30k avios plus $75 each. You’ll probably need to call if you want to use a 241.

    Biki 117 posts

    @Biki – are there any Y seats to MIA? Not the most comfortable cabin, but you can get them on RFS saver now which makes it very cheap if you have lots of avios to burn – 30k avios plus $75 each. You’ll probably need to call if you want to use a 241.

    There are some economy seat to Miami, but 10 hours in economy is not something i want to consider! It’s a little over £1k per person in PE from Gatwick direct to Barbados, so I think we may just do that and hope that there is either a decently priced upgrade offered or by some miracle they open up more club redemptions so i can use avios to upgrade.

    0 post

    I will try and find a cheap route to Miami and then a connection to Barbados. Thanks for all of your help!”

    BGI is 1500 miles from Miami, it ain’t gonna be cheap.

    NorthernLass 7,490 posts

    Does it have to be Barbados? There are numerous equally appealing islands much closer to the US – e.g. Bahamas, Puerto Rico, USVIs. More popular with Americans so more competition between the airlines.

    Biki 117 posts

    Does it have to be Barbados? There are numerous equally appealing islands much closer to the US – e.g. Bahamas, Puerto Rico, USVIs. More popular with Americans so more competition between the airlines.

    Yeah, Barbados has already been chosen i’m afraid, so it restricts choice!

    marks7389 425 posts

    There are some economy seat to Miami, but 10 hours in economy is not something i want to consider! It’s a little over £1k per person in PE from Gatwick direct to Barbados, so I think we may just do that and hope that there is either a decently priced upgrade offered or by some miracle they open up more club redemptions so i can use avios to upgrade.

    That may be wishful thinking. Redemption seats tend to disappear in minutes, and I can see on our Thursday outbound in February that the CW cabin already has quite a lot of the seats taken. I suspect a few went in the recent ‘Luxury’ flight sale and obviously won”t reflect those who don’t want to pay for seat selection and don’t have Silver/Gold status.

    That said BA flew 76 Club Suite 777-300ERs to Barbados this winter from Heathrow. If they do again, that could open things up a bit (though perhaps less likely to help if you’re booked on a Gatwick service).

    NorthernLass 7,490 posts

    I’m inclined to agree. I’ve just done an “explore” search on RFF (granted not always 100% correct and nowhere in the entire Caribbean region has 2 CW seats available for the whole of January.

    There are, however, CW AND F seats showing to US destinations which are hubs for major carriers like AA and Delta, e.g Atlanta, Houston, Dallas.

    marks7389 425 posts

    There are, however, CW AND F seats showing to US destinations which are hubs for major carriers like AA and Delta, e.g Atlanta, Houston, Dallas.

    None of those are much good for Barbados, though. If there’s nothing showing in terms of Club redemption to Miami, New York is probably your next best bet. It isn’t actually that much further from Barbados (~5hrs instead of 4) and is at least in a cheaper redemption band for the transatlantic sector.

    Or stick with WT+ and accept that may be it – there’s a lot to be said for simplicity, especially since we can’t be sure where things will be with COVID restrictions / testing next winter.

    PGW 94 posts

    I don’t think AA offer direct flights to BGI other than from MIA so a New York avios redemption will require additional avios due to the necessity to connect in MIA and the journey time will be pushing 7 hours. JetBlue do fly direct but that allows them to charge high fares for the privilege. I’d stick with the WT+ to MIA option. YMMV.

    • This reply was modified 54 years, 3 months ago by .
    NorthernLass 7,490 posts

    Would booking a BA holiday bring the price down much?

    marks7389 425 posts

    I don’t think AA offer direct flights to BGI other than from MIA so a New York avios redemption will require additional avios due to the necessity to connect in MIA and the journey time will be pushing 7 hours. JetBlue do fly direct but that allows them to charge high fares for the privilege. I’d stick with the WT+ to MIA option. YMMV.

    No, it doesn’t – AA direct services from Miami and Charlotte only, the latter being expensive (and no longer served by BA).

    Ouch, yes I see what you mean about JetBlue’s prices. United flies from Newark at more reasonable prices, not every day though.

    I think @Biki was looking at WT+ direct to Barbados. Under the circumstances that may well be the best option. Unless you actually want to do a stop-over there seems limited value in paying a lot more to go part way in business class and the rest in economy.

    PGW 94 posts

    I don’t think AA offer direct flights to BGI other than from MIA so a New York avios redemption will require additional avios due to the necessity to connect in MIA and the journey time will be pushing 7 hours. JetBlue do fly direct but that allows them to charge high fares for the privilege. I’d stick with the WT+ to MIA option. YMMV.

    I think @Biki was looking at WT+ direct to Barbados.

    Yes – thanks for clarifying that as I misread the post. I feel even stronger that would be the option I’d go for.

    • This reply was modified 54 years, 3 months ago by .
    Mirp 41 posts

    Thanks for this discussion. I also wondered if there was a cheaper starting point to Barbados but it seems there is not.

    NorthernLass 7,490 posts

    I thought Barbados was nice but certainly not worth the hassle of flying indirect unless I specifically wanted/needed to! Plenty of other islands just as good or better with easier and cheaper travel options.

    Biki 117 posts

    I thought Barbados was nice but certainly not worth the hassle of flying indirect unless I specifically wanted/needed to! Plenty of other islands just as good or better with easier and cheaper travel options.

    Agreed, the indirect options just didn’t seem worth it. We’ve decided just to go for PE direct for now. It was my brother in-laws choice of destination for his birthday, so didn’t have much choice over that i’m afraid!

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