Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Thinking of stumping up the cash instead of using points…..

  • DJP31 96 posts

    So i’m confused.

    At the start you say it’s £5k per ticket (crazy money) then shortly thereafter you say it’s £2.5k per ticket (slightly toppy but par for the course post COVID to Japan).

    You don’t say where you’re based but the other point that might be worth noting (Froggee alludes to it) is you’ll potentially get better availability if you fly from somewhere else in the UK other than London using the 2-4-1s assuming they are BA AMEX 2-4-1s (the black card).

    You don’t need to worry about the why here, but a night in Edinburgh at the start of the trip could be a game changer in terms of availability…

    It’s £5k round trip per person, and we’re based in London. The problem with starting elswhere is it adds extra days to the trip and that eats into the princesses annual holiday allowance.

    DJP31 96 posts

    When you price up a BA Holiday you don’t see the prices of the individual components – did you use the custom trip tool?

    Silver could be useful if you needed to guest someone into a lounge – a princess flying in PE on a future trip, perhaps!

    I’m holding out hope that my own little emperor will meet a princess who can keep him in the style he’s become accustomed to, (helped significantly by the avios and points game) 😂

    I didn’t spend too much time on the BA Holiday side of things but I will do so. Our little emperors and princesses do indeed become accustomed to a certain standard don’t they!

    ekposh 222 posts

    So i’m confused.

    At the start you say it’s £5k per ticket (crazy money) then shortly thereafter you say it’s £2.5k per ticket (slightly toppy but par for the course post COVID to Japan).

    You don’t say where you’re based but the other point that might be worth noting (Froggee alludes to it) is you’ll potentially get better availability if you fly from somewhere else in the UK other than London using the 2-4-1s assuming they are BA AMEX 2-4-1s (the black card).

    You don’t need to worry about the why here, but a night in Edinburgh at the start of the trip could be a game changer in terms of availability…

    It’s £5k round trip per person, and we’re based in London. The problem with starting elswhere is it adds extra days to the trip and that eats into the princesses annual holiday allowance.

    As mentionned, that’s crazy pricing. Forget it – you’ll get much cheaper. And better.

    The real Swiss Tony 700 posts

    It’s £5k round trip per person, and we’re based in London. The problem with starting elswhere is it adds extra days to the trip and that eats into the princesses annual holiday allowance.

    So why did you say £2.5k? I can see KL for £2.5k in March 2025, I think that was into Osaka rather than Tokyo, mind.

    But the timing of the BA TYO flights is such that you’re going to lose a day regardless – I believe they leave in the morning, so you can’t do a full day at work then head to the airport. However it’s dow to you as to how much value you put on your own cash and even if you did have to swap from a 12 day to 11 day holiday, saving £10-15k in the process would work for me.

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,250 posts

    @DJP31 I think it would be helpful if you gave us the dates of your trip.

    £5k per person is a ridiculous fare for flight only round trip to Japan in Club.

    I’m wondering if you’re currently looking at the far end of the booking horizon where it’s possible cheaper fare buckets haven’t yet been released which is pushing up the prices and some once stop routings aren’t yet available.

    One advantage of a BA holiday is you can include one nights car or one night at a LHR hotel which would lock in the flights but allow you to pay only a deposit.

    If prices dropped significantly you could just cancel and lose the deposit yet you have also locked in the flights.

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,250 posts

    For example in January you could get it for £ £3k flying LCY-FRA on BA then JAL to Narita all on the same booking.

    DJP31 96 posts

    It’s £5k round trip per person, and we’re based in London. The problem with starting elswhere is it adds extra days to the trip and that eats into the princesses annual holiday allowance.

    So why did you say £2.5k? I can see KL for £2.5k in March 2025, I think that was into Osaka rather than Tokyo, mind.

    But the timing of the BA TYO flights is such that you’re going to lose a day regardless – I believe they leave in the morning, so you can’t do a full day at work then head to the airport. However it’s dow to you as to how much value you put on your own cash and even if you did have to swap from a 12 day to 11 day holiday, saving £10-15k in the process would work for me.

    Apologies for the £2.5k comment, it was incomplete and I should have said each way.

    DJP31 96 posts

    @DJP31 I think it would be helpful if you gave us the dates of your trip.

    £5k per person is a ridiculous fare for flight only round trip to Japan in Club.

    I’m wondering if you’re currently looking at the far end of the booking horizon where it’s possible cheaper fare buckets haven’t yet been released which is pushing up the prices and some once stop routings aren’t yet available.

    One advantage of a BA holiday is you can include one nights car or one night at a LHR hotel which would lock in the flights but allow you to pay only a deposit.

    If prices dropped significantly you could just cancel and lose the deposit yet you have also locked in the flights.

    Thank you for this. I’m considering dates aorund the 20th/25th April ’25, and once I’ve settled the rest of the trip will be booked around that departure date. It’s been extremely useful reading the responses and taking in the various options. I think if I can use the 241 I’ll stick with BA for the other two, and try and buy them in the most efficient way – whether that’s creating a BA Holiday or just waiting until I can hopefully secure the flights at a more reasonable price down the line a bit.

    It’s a balance between how much cash to spend against what actions are requried to reduce the cash spend. That will be a personal choice we each make based on our own circumstances.

    The real Swiss Tony 700 posts

    You’re still too far out to see the prices then. BA only sell cash fares at T-355 days and with Easter being late next year, if you’re looking a couple of weeks before that, it won’t give you a good indication of how prices will be when you actually want to travel.

    As noted up thread, on the day the seats come on sale, often they only list full fares and awards. Then the other fare buckets get loaded in afterwards.

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,250 posts

    As above. The 20th is Easter Sinday so also school holiday periods though it does look that a lot of school holidays are the two weeks before so kids going back on the 22nd April so that takes some of the pressure off demand.

    DJP31 96 posts

    You’re still too far out to see the prices then. BA only sell cash fares at T-355 days and with Easter being late next year, if you’re looking a couple of weeks before that, it won’t give you a good indication of how prices will be when you actually want to travel.

    As noted up thread, on the day the seats come on sale, often they only list full fares and awards. Then the other fare buckets get loaded in afterwards.

    I’m aware of the T-355 and have tried to get an idea of the cash prices for slightly earlier, i.e 11/03 out 18/3 back is £3.9k each. Perhaps this is still too close to release date and I should wait a few more months before getting a quote. Given I’m looking to travel at a very popular time I’m not sure the prices will ever drop significantly, but I have been perhaps mistakenly thinking the earlier I book the better the deal.

    NorthernLass 8,248 posts

    As above. The 20th is Easter Sinday so also school holiday periods though it does look that a lot of school holidays are the two weeks before so kids going back on the 22nd April so that takes some of the pressure off demand.

    Is that a Freudian slip 😂

    The real Swiss Tony 700 posts

    I’m aware of the T-355 and have tried to get an idea of the cash prices for slightly earlier, i.e 11/03 out 18/3

    And that’s going to put you in peak cherry blossom travel time.

    The BA I class fare (cheapest revenue fare in club) for this route appears to be a static £3.8k on the dates I looked at for the next 11 months. I would never buy BA at that price when you can have a number of better, cheaper options to pick from. Turkish adds 4hrs to the total journey but is £1k cheaper per person. And they won’t gouge you for seat charges, either.

    And you should get a quote from Audley too as they can tap into the discount IT fares. You’d also presumably get to sit on that money for many months as well.

    The Savage Squirrel 598 posts

    I get the feeling you don’t have much experience with cash tickets (not a criticism – means you are obviously good at using Avios gto get where you want to go!)

    Above all else realise that cash is not like Avios – it’s almost the opposite. The route will not fill upo at midnight on day 1; you do not need to book immediately.

    For big-trip routes, there are a number of price-insensitive (or price unaware) people who plan a long way in advance and will book the second tickets open. Airlines know this so initial fares on release are always very high. It’s generally a terrible time to book. If you can’t get the Avios tickets you want simply sit on your hands for a few weeks (with google price alerts). Prices will drop stepwise as more tickets are released 99.99% of the time – generally in a few steps until about 6 months out (and sometimes they keep dropping until 3 months out or even closer). In fact inside the 6 month window your destination starts to have the chance of popping up on sales and offers. Reassure Mrs DJP31 that as there will be hundreds planes flying from Europe to Japan that day, there is no danger of tickets running out!

    Even if routings through Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Dublin are not feasible for you due to increased travel time, and only London airports and Birmingham are really feasible, still have them all on your google search; not just Heathrow. New routes and things at airports you didn’t expect can and do pop up so there is nothing to lose by casting the net as widely as possible. Nonstop is not the only way, so Work out what premium you’d be prepared to pay to sit in a transfer airport for a couple of hours. I’d very happily sit in a European or middle eastern business lounge for a couple of hours eating free food if I’m effectively getting paid a tax-free 4-figure sum to do so and getting a better flight experience too.

    DJP31 96 posts

    I get the feeling you don’t have much experience with cash tickets (not a criticism – means you are obviously good at using Avios gto get where you want to go!)

    Above all else realise that cash is not like Avios – it’s almost the opposite. The route will not fill upo at midnight on day 1; you do not need to book immediately.

    For big-trip routes, there are a number of price-insensitive (or price unaware) people who plan a long way in advance and will book the second tickets open. Airlines know this so initial fares on release are always very high. It’s generally a terrible time to book. If you can’t get the Avios tickets you want simply sit on your hands for a few weeks (with google price alerts). Prices will drop stepwise as more tickets are released 99.99% of the time – generally in a few steps until about 6 months out (and sometimes they keep dropping until 3 months out or even closer). In fact inside the 6 month window your destination starts to have the chance of popping up on sales and offers. Reassure Mrs DJP31 that as there will be hundreds planes flying from Europe to Japan that day, there is no danger of tickets running out!

    Even if routings through Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Dublin are not feasible for you due to increased travel time, and only London airports and Birmingham are really feasible, still have them all on your google search; not just Heathrow. New routes and things at airports you didn’t expect can and do pop up so there is nothing to lose by casting the net as widely as possible. Nonstop is not the only way, so Work out what premium you’d be prepared to pay to sit in a transfer airport for a couple of hours. I’d very happily sit in a European or middle eastern business lounge for a couple of hours eating free food if I’m effectively getting paid a tax-free 4-figure sum to do so and getting a better flight experience too.

    Thank you very much for this, very interesting and I’d never heard of the Google flight search facility which others have also helpfully suggested. I’ve set that up for some dates and will add the “real” ones when they become available.

    You’re quite right about my inexperience of cash tickets too, and I’m hoping to largely remain that way!

    Reney 791 posts

    re:

    We have 1 x 2-4-1 each and 1 x BA voucher each. I had a quick look at BA holiday and selected accommodation for part of the trip but the flight component was the same cost as just booking them in isolation. I could possibly use the 2-4-1 for myself and P2, and the “princesses” go PE both ways using the Barclays vouchers. That would make me unpopular though![/quote]

    If each of you have a 2-4-1 then you can take a daughter each on those as more likely to get extra availabilities. You are looking at 11 April, which has annoyingly just missed the T355 timeframe. Although I see on seatspy one PE going out on 11 April at the moment.

    Perhaps some parents on HFP may want to start coming to HFP parties to look for partners for their kids who are good at the points game to help maintain their lifestyles 🤣 but going by the results of the HFP annual survey finding princes for their children might be easier than those looking for princesses.

    masaccio 778 posts

    Go to Google Flights, search LON-TYO for a couple of random dates two weeks apart, choose business class and up to 1 stop, then click price graph. You will see that there is a floor price and that it’s currently in November.

    A SS points out, business class this far out is always very expensive and will drop, sometimes in just a few weeks. But I don’t think this is always true – my SCL/LIM open jaw I booked for August hasn’t gone don’t since I booked it last year.

    Don’t dismiss going via China (the cheapest when I searched) or with Turkish Airlines.

    Were it me, it wait until 10 months out and book via China. The Tier Points and Avios are not worth 10 grand.

    Ihar 186 posts

    Silver definitely not worth paying more than a few quid for. Neither is £5k/ticket (for me at least). I’d try nabbing 2x F/J and then buying cash a few months out (esp if you are flexible on which flight the princesses are on).

    If you want me and my friend Ted can travel with the princesses and keep them entertained in economy, away from evil robots, and sing songs – we are the WYLD STALLIONS.

    Aston100 1,449 posts

    Don’t forget Google flights only shows something like 11 months (or less?) ahead.
    No idea why when other sites like Skyscanner seems to do a full year.

    Annie 212 posts

    Nothing to add on flights but reading this and all the talk of princesses reminded me of a recent statement from my five year old granddaughter. She was invited to a birthday party where the theme was princesses . “ Grandma, I don’t want to be a princess, I’m going to go to the party as a dinosaur” and so she did. I was immensely proud.

    Froggee 986 posts

    Ha @Annie

    I do hope the OP reverts with what he ends up doing.

    As for the more important point made, a few Halloweens ago, the three girls from next door appeared on our doorstep trick or treating. We had two princesses and one ninja.

    Guess which is the one that gives as good as she gets playing with my boys?

    Annie 212 posts

    @Froggee not to tricky to guess. Good for her. My kind of child !

    DJP31 96 posts

    I do hope the OP reverts with what he ends up doing.


    @Froggee
    , don’t you just hate it when an OP just disappears!

    Well, Mrs DJP31 undertook some intense fastest finger training and it paid off. Using 2 x 2-4-1’s on separate accounts between we secured all 4 Club outbound seats. I can’t remember the last time we were both up at 1AM in the morning! The princesses will be so pleased.

    The next phase of the mission is to try and secure the inbound, and make the call to the Exec club when they open for the Avios refund. If we’re unsuccessful and have to shell out the cash for the return flight so be it – and I won’t be booking them just yet, thanks to the good advice received here.

    Froggee 986 posts

    I have been sitting here since the 26th of April refreshing every 20 minutes.

    So thank you for reverting as I REALLY need to pee.

    Very well done so far. I look forward to hearing from you again in due course.

    Oh – 1am is really late now isn’t it? I don’t understand as it didn’t used to be.

    DJP31 96 posts

    I have been sitting here since the 26th of April refreshing every 20 minutes.

    So thank you for reverting as I REALLY need to pee.

    Very well done so far. I look forward to hearing from you again in due course.

    Oh – 1am is really late now isn’t it? I don’t understand as it didn’t used to be.


    @Froggee
    just to complete the circle, I secured two of the four return flights using Avios, of which 50% were refunded the next day by calling the EC line and linking to the outbund 2-4-1. The other two seats will be cash and all in all paying for two seats out of a total of eight is a result I’m happy with.

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