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Forums Payment cards Barclaycard Avios New Zealand with the upgrade voucher?

  • Pufferpete 4 posts

    Hi, I took out the premier account and Barclaycard in Feb this year. I have read stuff on here that suggests using the upgrade voucher is not that easy. My initial plan was to wait for Feb 25 when I will have 4 vouchers and book flights to New Zealand for Aug 25 with my wife and 2 kids. I don’t want to wait until Feb 25 and discover that was a really bad idea. So any insights would be appreciated. My concerns are availability of upgrades and lack of Avios as I won’t have enough to pay for 4 seats in full with Avios. Although I don’t know how many Avios I would need but still not likely to have enough Thanks

    zio 267 posts

    Your plan feels optimistic, but not necessarily because of shortcomings with the voucher.
    Apologies if I am teaching egg-sucking, but you need business class or premium economy (or potentially a mix) reward seats to be available on BA planes. These go live 355 days in advance so your plan of booking in Feb for Aug means people have had a 6 month headstart on nabbing them.
    To get an idea, you could do a search for Aug 2024 now and see what is available 10 months out. I’ve never looked for NZ reward flights but my suspicion based on chat here about indirect routings is that you will find slim pickings.

    Anna 458 posts

    As per @zio, which airport/s are you planning to use the vouchers to fly to/from? BA has no direct flights to NZ so you’d need to get as close as possible and then get a connecting flight. You will struggle with SYD even 12 months out due to the upgrade voucher being fiddly to book with. Consider ME then onwards, e.g. on QR, though you might still struggle 6 months out if travelling at peak time. This would also require a lot less avios than getting reward seats to SYD or TYO, for example. How many avios will you have to play with?

    drdan 107 posts

    Suggest looking MAN to SYD for enhanced Availability relative to LHR.

    RK228 227 posts

    Suggest looking MAN to SYD for enhanced Availability relative to LHR.

    What enhanced availability is there from MAN with Barclaycard vouchers?

    Pufferpete 4 posts

    Thanks Zio and Anna, no worries about teaching to suck eggs. I am very green to this and have never booked a BA flight before let alone tried to find a flight I can use the voucher on. What does ME and QR stand for? I would fly out of LHR or GtW. I read on here that some people book the outbound leg a year in advance and then book the return leg at a later date. Doesn’t that make it much more costly if you don’t book both legs together? I will have 2 vouchers in Feb 24 so could book the outbound leg in Aug 23 for Aug 24. Not sure how many points I will have, how many do I need as I could buy Avios to cover the shortfall maybe???

    Anna 458 posts

    Middle East and Qatar (Airways). It sounds like you need to read the articles and dedicated threads on here to get the best use out of your voucher and avios, they contain all the information you’re looking for.

    MH_23 14 posts

    I’m in the middle of some NZ planning with an upgrade voucher and have done quite a bit of reading around on here. Definitely recommend looking the articles on the voucher and the general one about points to NZ.

    My current plan is to use the upgrade voucher for 2 people to go to Singapore, then use just points to go on to NZ. Return trip likely to be Avios redemption with Qatar. Expecting that combination to be around 220k avios.

    Reney 801 posts

    I went to NZ last year, had specific dates in mind. I ended up using vouchers to fly in biz to San Fran, then brought a separate ticket from there to Auckland. It was the best combination give our limitation at the time. Availabilities are good with BA to the US, but you will need to get ESTAs as you need to collect your luggage and check back in. I think Chicago, Texas and a few west coasts were available, I wanted to go as far as I could so that the second leg in economy was shorter. Hong Kong was not an option at the time due to a number of reasons some of which is work related. Avilabilities to HK not great on BA but far enough out you might be fine. Singapore is also an option. Buying a separate ticket means the risk of missed connection is on you.

    Pufferpete 4 posts

    Thanks Reney and MH_23. That is very helpful to learn from your experience. I don’t like the idea of buying separate tickets with the risk of missing a connection. If I was travelling alone it would be ok but not with 2 children. It has given me hope that it is possible if I look at different routes.

    Anna 458 posts

    Sorry if I’m missing what you’re saying @Pufferpete, but none of the routes mentioned can be done on a single booking using the upgrade voucher. To use it to get to NZ will require a minimum of 2 separate bookings. This doesn’t need to be an issue though, as the usual “stopover” destinations such as SIN or HKG are great places to spend a couple of days, and planning in a mini break somewhere like this would make it very unlikely that you’d miss a subsequent flight to NZ.

    Mikeact 249 posts

    Look at the MultiCarrier option, dependant on how many Avios you have.
    Also US West Coast is a great and easy way to get to NZ. Few from the UK bother with that routing though.

    zapato1060 719 posts

    We’re talking in the region below a million Avios for a family of 4x. If you not sure how many you have then it’s unlikely you will have that many. UK to USA West Coast probably your best option with upgrade voucher. But don’t rule out anything like this gatwick via china ( stopover for s few days) Then Auckland. It’s economy but looks more feasible and save the points.

    ed_fly 242 posts

    Sounds like this might be a case of use the vouchers and Avios on a different holiday, and try and find the best cash routing to get to NZ.

    ryaneberry 50 posts

    I realise it’s not much help relative to an Avios / BA upgrade voucher but I recently booked a return to NZ via VS. Going via PVG (with Upper) and a cash booking to AKL. Availability was unprecedented versus BA.

    I couldn’t find anything to work even going with QR outside of Economy, even getting to DOH looked to be a nightmare but I was only looking 3 months out.

    jintycat 36 posts

    I have been looking at that option. London to doha with upgrade option is possible. You would then need to pay if you do not have hundreds of thousands of avios but there is a direct flight from doha to auckland or Sydney then a quantas flight using avios to auckland or Wellington if choosing Sydney. I am going with my upgrade to Hong Kong then using avios on another carrier or will pay to get to NZ 6 posts

    UK-NZ-UK will likely cost you 400k avios minimum (economy, x1.5 for PE, and 2x for business) for 4 using the multi-carrier pricing option and, likely, take a couple of days with a stop-over to make the planes line-up. This I know because I’ve done it before and have just booked same for August next year.

    Just remember that one can only use vouchers on BA’s own planes when piecing together your itinerary.

    Forget for searching, it is plain awful. Use American Airlines’ website instead.

    The LHR-SYD route, aka the rocking horse poo redemption, comes available 355 days prior to departure, see threads passim for strategies on unicorn hunting.

    What you’re trying to do is POSSIBLE, just difficult/unlikely given there’s 4 of you with 2 children making long layovers less palatable. Getting close and paying cash for the rest may be the best case scenario.

    The west coast option is often over looked, but is a real grueller in-bound, especially with children.

    BJ 655 posts

    Use the voucher to/from HKG if there is any availability. HKG to NZ is cheap using Alaska miles if you can buy them in a sale. However, an Alaska MP devaluation is coming soon.

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