Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club London to Sydney with Avios

  • pj51182 19 posts

    Hi,

    Hopefully someone will be able to help…I’m having a nightmare with the BA website (it keeps crashing or randomly taking me back to entering search criteria). Also the apparent lack of flights we can use any vouchers on isn’t great either.

    My wife and two month old son are now looking to go to her sisters wedding in Sydney. Dates roughly last week of Feb outbound and return first week of March. Can be flexible on dates.

    In addition her uncle may be flying out too so Ideally would go on the same flights to help with childcare, luggage etc.

    We have two BA Amex companion vouchers (one expires 3rd March and the other 23rd May). In addition a Barclaycard Cabin upgrade voucher (expires 8th December ’24) and a household Avios balance of around 185,000.

    All I seem to find as an option is to either pay cash (just under £3k) economy or use 154,000 Avios for £660 off the total.

    Understand booking this late was always likely to be problematic (in terms of using what we have Avios/voucher wise) so wondering if better to just pay cash and save the Avios for another flight when it’s booked well in advance. Having said that I’ve checked near enough a year into the future and can’t find any flights I could use any of the vouchers we have. To be be honest makes me think what was the point of collecting the Avios, vouchers etc in the first place!

    Cheers

    Phil

    Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,378 posts

    It is virtually impossible to get to Sydney on Avios UNLESS you book exactly 355 days in advance. You might get seats at 2-3 days notice but I doubt you’re willing to risk that.

    The problem is that the flight stops in Singapore and you are fighting for Avios seats with people who want to go to Asia – remember that there are no Bangkok flights on BA, no China flights, few HK flights, reduced Japan flights, no KL flights on BA at present so Singapore is the only decent bet for the whole continent at present.

    Qatar Airways is actually a better option for Avios – see https://www.headforpoints.com/2022/10/14/how-to-get-to-australia-new-zealand-with-avios-points/

    pj51182 19 posts

    Thank you for the information. Using 154,000 Avios to knock off £660…

    Two adults, one infant economy return:

    £2,313.12 BA via Singapore
    £2,053.02 Qatar via Doha
    £2135.93 Qatar outbound and BA inbound.

    Not a lot in it. That was both Via the clunky BA website.

    Not really sure blowing that number of Avios is worth the £660 discount.

    As stated in the article (very helpful) states can’t use any of the vouchers anyway on partner airlines. Think it’s just going to be a case the two companion vouchers expire.

    From what you’ve said, unless we’re very much on the ball and booking 355 days in advance, getting to use any vouchers etc to see family in Australia isn’t really going to work. Might just swap convert the lot to Nectar and use the points we’ve saved up for shopping!

    Cheers

    The Savage Squirrel 611 posts

    First thought: it’s a bloody long way in any cabin, let alone economy with an infant. Any way you can go for longer than a week to get maximum benefit against that cost and discomfort?!

    Check those layovers carefully. The only way I could match your Qatar pricing from London on a 30 second play with Google flights around your dates was to accept a 21 hour layover in Doha 😬.

    Richie 1,077 posts
    pj51182 19 posts

    First thought: it’s a bloody long way in any cabin, let alone economy with an infant. Any way you can go for longer than a week to get maximum benefit against that cost and discomfort?!

    Check those layovers carefully. The only way I could match your Qatar pricing from London on a 30 second play with Google flights around your dates was to accept a 21 hour layover in Doha 😬.

    Yes agree it’s a long way but with it being her sisters wedding she’s just wanting to be there. With my son only going to be around 4 months, he won’t be crawling or running about so should be easier to keep happy than let’s say a 3 year old. To be honest I wouldn’t even consider my eldest son (who is just turning 3) taking that journey.

    Length of the trip is flexible but it’s not a holiday as such, more just going for a family event.

    Still disappointed with the apparent assault course to use any of our vouchers. From reading about the recent changes, I’m honestly considering not bothering with Avios etc and going for a credit card that offers cashback or other benefits.

    pj51182 19 posts
    pj51182 19 posts

    First thought: it’s a bloody long way in any cabin, let alone economy with an infant. Any way you can go for longer than a week to get maximum benefit against that cost and discomfort?!

    Check those layovers carefully. The only way I could match your Qatar pricing from London on a 30 second play with Google flights around your dates was to accept a 21 hour layover in Doha 😬.

    Yes agree it’s a long way but with it being her sisters wedding she’s just wanting to be there. With my son only going to be around 4 months, he won’t be crawling or running about so should be easier to keep happy than let’s say a 3 year old. To be honest I wouldn’t even consider my eldest son (who is just turning 3) taking that journey.

    Length of the trip is flexible but it’s not a holiday as such, more just going for a family event.

    Still disappointed with the apparent assault course to use any of our vouchers. From reading about the recent changes, I’m honestly considering not bothering with Avios. Instead opting for a credit card that offers cashback or other benefits.

    NorthernLass 8,490 posts

    As you said, it’s very short notice to be arranging a trip like this, especially if you’re looking to use avios/vouchers. The secret to getting the redemptions you want is to plan well in advance – and book as soon a seats are released as Rob points out. If you decide to carry on collecting avios it’s worth dedicating a bit of time to go through the various threads on this site which discuss the best ways to secure the award seats you want.
    I don’t know how feasible it would be to use your points and vouchers to get part of the way, e.g. DXB or LAX then book onward travel with cash (though I realise this might be a bit arduous for wife and baby). Also, is one of the companion vouchers in your wife’s name as this would need to be the case if you’re not travelling with her?

    Lady London 2,178 posts

    Hum. Your sister-in-law should have arranged her wedding at least 356 days in advance 🙂

    Do you need to take the nipper?

    I’d look at cash on SQ or Emirates.

    You could also construct a route via USA potentially wouldn’t be any harder than via Asia and potentially less hard.

    QR, if you can. If you use points and do find seats I think you prob need to allow for 1 hotel en route.

    Also look at varying your start and end points (esp on QR). Internal Oz flights on points are good value compared to cash in Oz and could be worth looking at ex EU too.

    pj51182 19 posts

    As you said, it’s very short notice to be arranging a trip like this, especially if you’re looking to use avios/vouchers. The secret to getting the redemptions you want is to plan well in advance – and book as soon a seats are released as Rob points out. If you decide to carry on collecting avios it’s worth dedicating a bit of time to go through the various threads on this site which discuss the best ways to secure the award seats you want.
    I don’t know how feasible it would be to use your points and vouchers to get part of the way, e.g. DXB or LAX then book onward travel with cash (though I realise this might be a bit arduous for wife and baby). Also, is one of the companion vouchers in your wife’s name as this would need to be the case if you’re not travelling with her?

    Very good point, both are in my name. I’ve looked at going via the US but adds quite a bit onto the journey.

    I’m assuming the cabin upgrade voucher being in my name will also be an issue. I’ll have a look through the articles to find out.

    Thank you for your input 🙂

    pj51182 19 posts

    Hum. Your sister-in-law should have arranged her wedding at least 356 days in advance 🙂

    Do you need to take the nipper?

    I’d look at cash on SQ or Emirates.

    You could also construct a route via USA potentially wouldn’t be any harder than via Asia and potentially less hard.

    QR, if you can. If you use points and do find seats I think you prob need to allow for 1 hotel en route.

    Also look at varying your start and end points (esp on QR). Internal Oz flights on points are good value compared to cash in Oz and could be worth looking at ex EU too.

    Couldn’t agree more regarding the timescales. It would be a lot easier if she came back to the UK to get married. 😉

    Yes, our youngest would need to go as he’s breast feeding and I can’t help with that. 🤣

    NorthernLass 8,490 posts

    As far as I know, the BC upgrade voucher can be used for someone other than yourself but following the recent changes to avios pricing you’d need to look at whether it’s a good deal on a particular route.

    Luca M 391 posts

    A couple of points for the OP as I also found myself with several vouchers and questioning the whole system:

    When people suggested using Avios on QR, they generally mean opening a separate Privilege Club account with QR, link this to your BA account and transfer the Avios across before using it.

    However, if you want to use a combination of those voucher in the future for all three of you, I would suggest keeping hold of the Avios as a low Avios balance may reduce the possibility to max out the value of the vouchers.

    The Savage Squirrel 611 posts

    I’ve never done 1AM phone calls at 355 days a year in advance as I’m unable to commit that far ahead due to work yet have far from given up.

    Outside of -355, Avios don’t work well if you MUST travel to be in exactly one location on a very specific date; they were never going to be a good fit for a wedding in 3 monthts on a popular route.

    If your goals are more flexible: “we fancy going to West Coast USA in the summer” or “We’d like a European long weekend city break in October” then they will serve you well. When the kids are a bit older and you are using two 2-for-1s on the same booking then they can serve you even better.

    As you have Aussie family – for future if you want to see any other bits of Aus: internal Qantas flights in business are a very useful and nice way to use them with good availability and low cash surcharges.

    phantomchickenz 360 posts

    A couple of points for the OP as I also found myself with several vouchers and questioning the whole system:

    When people suggested using Avios on QR, they generally mean opening a separate Privilege Club account with QR, link this to your BA account and transfer the Avios across before using it.

    However, if you want to use a combination of those voucher in the future for all three of you, I would suggest keeping hold of the Avios as a low Avios balance may reduce the possibility to max out the value of the vouchers.

    You DON’T need to transfer any Avios. Linking the account is enough, then your balance can be seen from both airlines websites. Book from whichever, and it comes off your balance.

    phantomchickenz 360 posts

    Yes agree it’s a long way but with it being her sisters wedding she’s just wanting to be there. With my son only going to be around 4 months, he won’t be crawling or running about so should be easier to keep happy than let’s say a 3 year old. To be honest I wouldn’t even consider my eldest son (who is just turning 3) taking that journey.

    Length of the trip is flexible but it’s not a holiday as such, more just going for a family event.

    Still disappointed with the apparent assault course to use any of our vouchers. From reading about the recent changes, I’m honestly considering not bothering with Avios. Instead opting for a credit card that offers cashback or other benefits.

    If it helps, we took our then 4 month old back to New Zealand on Korean Air many years ago. He slept on mum for at least 80% of the journey. Must have loved the white noise.

    Thegasman 204 posts

    Assume they are old style Amex companion vouchers?

    If you have a new voucher then I’m seeing business availability for 2 adults to Sydney out on 1st March & back on 15th.

    Alternatives are to go outbound to Sydney on 1st & back from Singapore on 6th with a one way Scoot plus SYD-SIN for £425pp (it’s equivalent to BA/Virgin premium economy).

    There are outbounds to Singapore on earlier dates if needs to be in Sydney before 1st.

    You’re wife could use a new Amex voucher as a 50% off for one person which would bring Avios down to 145,000 for Sydney return plus £750 taxes & surcharges. If she’s flying business she may be happy to go solo.

    I reckon your wife could apply for a BA Amex today and have it in her hand by Wednesday or Thursday. You/she may also have a need to book a £10k plus refundable flight for later in the year for a potential work trip which would get you a voucher in her name by next weekend. Unfortunately the work trip may then be cancelled in a few months time.

    I’m sure JDB will not approve but it’s not like BA occupy any kind of moral high ground!

    Availability may change but I’d roll the dice to avoid Sydney in Y with a baby.

    pj51182 19 posts

    Many thanks for all of your posts. Some food for thought.

    Cheers

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