Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

  • realrose123 1 post

    Please forgive my ignorance as I only know the very basics here. I usually book reward Business Class flights to Orlando and use my Companion Voucher to Barbados / St Lucia each year and can get by… However, we are hoping to go to Tokyo next Spring so the 355 days is here or thereabouts but I just can’t see any availability. Am I likely to get anything and if so, how best to go about it. I do apologise if I have posted in the wrong place but would appreciate any help. (From UK)

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,250 posts

    Getting Tokyo reward seats is a competitive sport in its own right.

    A popular destination with limited additional reward availability once the initial 4 seats are taken up.

    People really are online / phone at 01.00 BST trying to get them.

    dst87 269 posts

    I found it surprisingly easy to get Tokyo flights for this year, but I am _exceptionally_ flexible as to when I travel and to a lesser extent for how long. I expect that if you have firm dates it would be very challenging to get the flights you want. I was using a BAPP 2-4-1 plus regional connection, both of which probably helped my chances!

    E.G. with an EDI > HND itinerary there’s availability outbound 18th Feb, return 5th March. I realise those aren’t the dates you want, but I suppose my point is if you can’t get exactly what you want, keep checking!

    Reney 791 posts
    zapato1060 720 posts

    Do not be hesitant to check from MAD on IB. 119k for 2x with 241 and minimal fees is ridiculously good.

    Aston100 1,449 posts

    Do not be hesitant to check from MAD on IB. 119k for 2x with 241 and minimal fees is ridiculously good.

    Need to factor an overnight in Madrid on both ends due to the IB flight timings.

    HampshireHog 131 posts

    Do not be hesitant to check from MAD on IB. 119k for 2x with 241 and minimal fees is ridiculously good.

    Nabbed this with a 241 but flights before and after in J were taken by IB customers before they were on BA 361 days v 355 days I believe, worth checking that they’re still there on an IB account a week ahead

    Aston100 1,449 posts

    I suggest spending some time on this thread

    https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/booking-return-leg-with-companion-voucher/

    26 pages and counting.
    I think a sticky FAQ is needed containing the basics.
    I mean, I still don’t have a clue which number(s) to ring at 01:00 to guarantee an agent that is clued up and has the time to do the booking.

    NorthernLass 8,246 posts

    This reminded me, do the clocks change this weekend? It’s 0100 hours from then!

    HampshireHog 131 posts

    I suggest spending some time on this thread

    https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/booking-return-leg-with-companion-voucher/

    26 pages and counting.
    I think a sticky FAQ is needed containing the basics.
    I mean, I still don’t have a clue which number(s) to ring at 01:00 to guarantee an agent that is clued up and has the time to do the booking.

    That’s because it’s pot luck, either you can’t get through till it’s too late, get through too early and they won’t wait, don’t get it if you get through or occasionally are marvels

    1958 72 posts

    Tokyo redemptions in Club are in huge demand.
    My “Plan B” was to book flights to HKG – and it’s a short hop to Tokyo.
    Plan C was PVG.
    Good luck.

    totestornot123 50 posts

    Also looking at Tokyo for around this time next year. Slightly off topic but certain days there seem to be a 787 and a 777 flying LHR to Tokyo (and vice versa). If booking Business class, should I be looking at at the 777 flights to have a higher chance of getting a plane with Club Suite?

    many thanks

    m0deller 10 posts

    Gosh .. must’ve got popular. When I booked in mid-Feb , almost every day in Jan/Feb had Clubs seats.

    Being patient , using seatspy to wait for more releases is an option. Some BA flights are so expensive that they do have trouble shifting them .. so Avios does come up.

    marks7389 425 posts

    Also looking at Tokyo for around this time next year. Slightly off topic but certain days there seem to be a 787 and a 777 flying LHR to Tokyo (and vice versa). If booking Business class, should I be looking at at the 777 flights to have a higher chance of getting a plane with Club Suite?

    many thanks

    Yes. The 777s will almost certainly have CS although there’s no guarantee you won’t get a switch in aircraft.

    marks7389 425 posts

    That’s because it’s pot luck, either you can’t get through till it’s too late, get through too early and they won’t wait, don’t get it if you get through or occasionally are marvels

    Which is exactly why I always try to avoid phoning. With an online booking you can get through the payment process in about a minute if organised, which is normally fast enough.

    The only time you need to phone is for the return if you don’t have enough Avios to reclaim the 50% afterwards.

    Aston100 1,449 posts

    Gosh .. must’ve got popular. When I booked in mid-Feb , almost every day in Jan/Feb had Clubs seats.

    Being patient , using seatspy to wait for more releases is an option. Some BA flights are so expensive that they do have trouble shifting them .. so Avios does come up.

    Yeah none of that is going to work for Easter / Sakura.
    It’s not the same as your Jan / Feb scenario.

    HampshireHog 131 posts

    That’s because it’s pot luck, either you can’t get through till it’s too late, get through too early and they won’t wait, don’t get it if you get through or occasionally are marvels

    Which is exactly why I always try to avoid phoning. With an online booking you can get through the payment process in about a minute if organised, which is normally fast enough.

    The only time you need to phone is for the return if you don’t have enough Avios to reclaim the 50% afterwards.

    Same here, given that there are 4 CW seats on each flight and most of the routes I’m interested in have 2 flights per day then the minute it takes to book it online versus an on the ball agent holding the seat at exactly midnight and all the seats being held by agents is a reasonable decision given the huge uncertainty’s around ringing

    AFKAE 151 posts

    I’m In Tokyo at the moment,arrived on a 2-4-1 on Wednesday. It took me 3 nights of 1am calls to get the outbound, but got a return 1st time I tried.

    We’ve just been down to the Meguro Cherry Blossom Promenade, but they’re just buds at the moment. There are a couple of trees in blossom in the imperial palace gardens. I think further South there’s a bit more. We’re back here 8-10th April so should be good then. Off to Takayama and Kanazawa tomorrow.

    HampshireHog 131 posts

    I’m In Tokyo at the moment,arrived on a 2-4-1 on Wednesday. It took me 3 nights of 1am calls to get the outbound, but got a return 1st time I tried.

    We’ve just been down to the Meguro Cherry Blossom Promenade, but they’re just buds at the moment. There are a couple of trees in blossom in the imperial palace gardens. I think further South there’s a bit more. We’re back here 8-10th April so should be good then. Off to Takayama and Kanazawa tomorrow.

    Enjoy Kanazawa we love it

    Karin@headforpoints 8 posts

    I think I wrote this on the wrong forum as this thread is more relevant -I also tried to get 2 cw seats to Tokyo for next March – clearly impossible with only 4 released at midnight and despite getting them ‘in my basket’ at breakneck speed! but managed to get direct lhr to HND on JAL using avios plus cash. Question is: if I manage to book the return with my 241, can I ask for half the avios back from the outbound booking same as if the booking was done the other way around?

    Reney 791 posts

    I think I wrote this on the wrong forum as this thread is more relevant -I also tried to get 2 cw seats to Tokyo for next March – clearly impossible with only 4 released at midnight and despite getting them ‘in my basket’ at breakneck speed! but managed to get direct lhr to HND on JAL using avios plus cash. Question is: if I manage to book the return with my 241, can I ask for half the avios back from the outbound booking same as if the booking was done the other way around?

    No because your outbound is JAL, not BA metal. Can’t use 241 on JAL. Zero hope of buying those flights online, you really need to call to use the 241.

    Alex G 465 posts

    You can’t use a 241 voucher on JAL. Only BA, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.

    You can use a 241 to get you to HK, SIN, or China, and then get an onward Avios flight with JAL. Or use the multi partner chart to fly with JAL and Finnair.

    NorthernLass 8,246 posts

    Even if you had booked on one of the eligible airlines, BA won’t refund the avios on an outbound leg as the rules are that they will only do this for the inbound leg and only if it wasn’t available when you booked the outbound.

    You can certainly use the 241 to book your return if you have no other use for the voucher and you find something suitable – and the “other half” of it then remains valid for 12 months, for another trip within the booking rules, which can all be researched on here!

    Alex G 465 posts

    Even if you had booked on one of the eligible airlines, BA won’t refund the avios on an outbound leg as the rules are that they will only do this for the inbound leg and only if it wasn’t available when you booked the outbound.

    You can certainly use the 241 to book your return if you have no other use for the voucher and you find something suitable – and the “other half” of it then remains valid for 12 months, for another trip within the booking rules, which can all be researched on here!

    Well I didn’t know that! We are using a BAPP 241 to fly to Singapore in May (2 singles). Are you saying we could use that same voucher to book a return from the region within the next 12 months? Even after we have used the outbound? Or only before we fly the outbound?

    NorthernLass 8,246 posts

    I’m going to say you should probably book the inbound before you fly the outbound but I can’t remember the exact rules! But it just has to be within the open jaw rules, which gives you a fair bit of leeway with destinations.

    By way of a rather dull example, I used an expiring covid 241 to fly outbound to GIB in April last year, and inbound from AGP last month. No issues getting the 50% avios refunded, although the agent did assume I would be in Spain for 10 months! I don’t think that’s technically required but didn’t correct him.

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