Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Travel Suggestions for first reward flight

  • owaaiis 1 post

    Hi everyone!

    My first post on the forum. I’ve been following Head for Points for quite a while and this was actually what introduced me to the world of Avios and Amex points. My wife and I have had our AMEX cards for just over a year.

    My wife has the BA Gold Amex with 50,000 Amex points, and I have the Premium Plus BA Amex with 250,000 Avios. I also have two 2-4-1 vouchers from my BA Amex, one which expires in May 2025 and the other in March 2026.

    We wanted to make use of the 2-4-1 vouchers and the points we have. We have our five-year anniversary in September on the 14th and my birthday is also on the 24th. We thought it would be a good opportunity to use the voucher and our points for a getaway.

    We usually go on holiday once or twice a year but we usually fly budget, looking for the best deal on Skyscanner or Google Flights. As we live close to Manchester, we almost always fly from Manchester Airport.

    We’ve been trying to find a cost-effective way to use up the Avios and 2-4-1 voucher, and we’re considering Singapore as a destination which works out at 80,000 avios + £500 in fees (from Manchester).

    We’ve had a look on skyscanner and you can get flights to singapore for around £600 per person or £1200 total, meaning we are effectively tradining 80,000 avios and a 2-4-1 voucher for £700. Not sure if this is good value?

    Any suggestions for how we can make the most of this would be really appreciated!

    aq.1988 477 posts

    Welcome.

    That’s because redeeming avios long haul in economy is almost always not good value.

    You’ve managed to build up a decent amount of points, which is actually enough to get a return in business class to Singapore (220k avios off-peak, plus £1200 total, plus 241). Not sure what availability is like only 5 months away, but with the BAPP voucher, it opens up extra availability starting in a regional airport, such as Manchester, so you’re not at a disadvantage, as you would be starting there anyway.

    If you dont want to spend a lot of cash, then maybe consider PE instead, it’ll be 110k off-peak plus £860, plus the 241. You don’t really want to be in economy for such a long flight.

    And if you’re looking at redeeming in economy anyway, then no real point in having the BAPP, you might as well go to the free card, as the BAPP card fee is not worth the extra 0.5 avios; it’s only worth it for the voucher that let’s you redeem in premium cabins.

    runnerbean 58 posts

    I agree! Think twice before you use those vouchers on economy.

    And you will get the best value and results from planning one year plus ahead.

    Your first voucher expires in just over one year. To get a long haul of your choice in a business cabin it will need booking at the time and day that the seats are released ie between now and the expiry date minus one year.

    And then you need to build up avios for the date you want to book the next flight.

    Singapore is lovely, but not after sitting upright for 13ish hours.

    This is a tangential way of answering the ‘is it good value’ question. Are you open to rethinking the cabin class?

    The Savage Squirrel 576 posts

    We usually go on holiday once or twice a year but we usually fly budget

    The whole point of collecting Avios is so that this can change!

    NigelHamilton 218 posts

    I’m going to suggest a totally different destination to Singapore – Canada is wonderful in September (you get to see all the fall colours) and there’s excellent business availability to Toronto, and some to Montreal.

    I did a (far too long) blog a year ago on our trip to both and using the business class trains in Canada(it’s the race across the world one): http://www.gingertravel.co.uk/blog

    NorthernLass 7,933 posts

    Yes, at this point you’ll need to see what’s available and go from there. SeatSpy can help with this though it’s not always 100% correct.

    If you’re fairly flexible on destination you might be able to bag some seats in F which would be a lovely anniversary/birthday treat, though do some dummy bookings for one way and return trips to see how you can get the best option with the cash element (and see the avios & 241 threads on here).

    NorthernLass 7,933 posts

    Also – fly the MAN-LHR leg the day before the long haul connection if applicable, and book an airport hotel for the night. This will save you an awful lot of stress if your domestic leg is delayed (fairly common!) and you can head off on your travels refreshed and with plenty of time to enjoy the lounge experience before boarding.

    can2 531 posts

    241 Vouchers are practically meaningless without a decent pot of Avios — otherwise they force you to redeem in economy where you won’t get much value.
    Whilst you obtain the vouchers, try to maximise your Avios without necessarily spending more. This blog/forum has tons of hints on that.

    masaccio 739 posts

    You have the equivalent of 300,000 Avios and I expect more to come? You should be trying for 2 business-class trips and forget all that economy nonsense! You may still find you need to ‘slum it’ in premium economy, but you will not want to do long haul at the back of the bus again once you fly business.

    Singapore is always tough for redemptions; I just ‘settled’ for WTP rather than CW for next year but fingers crossed SeatSpy will help grab an upgrade. Have you looked at KL instead of Singapore? Availability is a little better and it’s an excellent hub for some great destinations in south-east Asia. Also doable is Hong Kong and HKIA is another excellent hub. Finally, don’t dismiss China as both a destination and a hub from PVG/PEK. It’s a little more out of the way, but Shanghai and Beijing would make great stopover cities and you can use visa-free travel for short stays.

    travelmonkey 31 posts

    +1 for KL over Singapore. It’s not as “polished” but, in my opinion, has a richer diversity of culture and food. I would highly recommend a few days in KL then explore a little further. KUL (KLIA) is an Air Asia hub, so you can find some low cost travel around the wider region easily too. Malaysian islands are wonderfully diverse (from the action packed Langkawi, the cultured Penang or the quieter but idillic Perenthian or Redang), but there’s always the Genting Highlands or connections out in the SE Asia (eg. a few days to Siem Reap in Cambodia to see Angkor Wat, or even hop into Sinapore!)

    Regarding redemptions, you’re not competing with the Australia crowd to get a seat, so should be a lot easier to secure. But please, please do it in a premium cabin… as stated above, long haul economy is a poor use of avios.

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