Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

  • janebee 4 posts

    Hi, I’m planning well in advance for October 24 whati g to go to Las Vegas and fly back from New York, I’ve got roughly 234000 avios.
    I’ve never used them on international flights, just a flight to Spain once.
    What’s the best way of booking this to get the best deal.I’m guessing I’ll have to book one way flights from each place, ht when I did a quick price check to get a rough estimate, a one way flight to Las Vegas was nearly 2k, and return was £600, what’s all that about?

    Richie 1,032 posts

    Saturday night stay.

    e14 272 posts

    Which class were you booking and were you trying to redeem Avios ?

    davefl 1,415 posts

    Legacy carriers such as BA (and Virgin as well) penalise you if you don’t book a return ticket and your trip doesn’t include a saturday night.

    Booking with Avios sometimes nets you better results if you book 2 x one ways but it’s route dependant (although the saturday night issue doesn’t affect an Avios ticket)

    BA levy higher charges from the US to the UK than the other way around on Avios tickets.

    And finally please read the many articles under the Avios menu on this site.

    Anna 458 posts

    Bit confused as to why you’re checking cash prices if you’re planning avios bookings. You’ve got more than enough to do both legs in CW. If you pick the RFS option (max avios, min cash) the surcharges should be the same both ways, adjusting for the LAS leg costing more avios/cash as it’s in a different zone.
    In case you didn’t know, there are day flights back from JFK and EWR if you want a better experience.
    You can book each leg separately or as one booking by calling BA.

    e14 272 posts

    Not sure how you are seeing Oct 24 pricings either – they won’t be around for another three / four months

    Anna 458 posts

    Possibly comparing with this year, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything though!

    tiriavpo 316 posts

    Checking cash fares is not really any indicator – they are usually much more expensive as one ways than a return and very date dependant. Avios return tickets are just double the one-way costs.

    Flights from USA used to attract more ‘taxes’ but now that RFS has been brought in, the taxes are standardised and the same in each direction. In Club World (Business Class), LON-LAS is 90k avios plus £225 taxes, NYC-LON is 80k plus £175 – both per person and off peak. Peak dates are 10k more each way and the same taxes. You can see availability and peak/off peak days on Seatspy.

    Prices will be the same if booked as a return or 2 x one-ways. A return would have to be done on the phone as you can’t book ‘open jaw’ trips, as they are called, online. The simplest solution is to book each flight, as a one-way booking, as it becomes available.

    There can be more flexibility in managing 2 separate tickets, if you want to make changes, but the downside is that you will incur a £35 cancellation charge for each ticket if you choose to cancel the entire adventure.

    janebee 4 posts

    Sorry, I do get ahead with myself, yes I was looking at cash prices, because if I can’t get flights using avios I wanted to know how much it would be, and I know prices are not out yet for next October, like. Said once I get an idea I, just itching to find out as much as I can.
    So on that note, can I ask when’s the best time to book using avios and the best way to use them , I do want to fly to Las Vegas and then home from New York. Any help will be appreciated

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,239 posts

    Didn’t @Rob do an article recently about how many avios were needed on each route for each cabin and for both peak and off peak days?

    if there are no avios flights at the moment showing in your searches to LAS the try LAX and SFO and the number should be the same.

    tiriavpo 316 posts

    The best ‘bang for your buck’ value is generally considered to be business class.

    All BA flights are released 355 days in advance, and there are 4 business avios seats per flight. There is no ‘best’ time, they don’t fluctuate like cash fares, but – for popular destinations, and at popular times of the year, those seats will get snapped up as soon as they go on sale, so you might want to get in as soon as you can, or you might have to accept some flexibility on dates. That means booking the outbound when poss and then booking the return when that is released.

    The great thing about avios bookings is that they are flexible and can be cancelled at any time up to 24hrs before departure, so booking early is not as limiting as it would be with a non-refundable cash booking.

    And, you can check all this out right now by finding available dates (on BA or more easily on Seatspy) and trying bookings on BA.

    The Savage Squirrel 594 posts

    Janebee, just spend the next few months reading the Avios university ….. and relax as you have so much time to plan and get what you want here!

    It can seem fearsome and complex but is actually pretty simple. Your Avios will definitely take you to the USA and back and in business class – nice! Frankly given these Avios available and how much more bang for your buck you get in business class as well as one-way flights not being any more expensive with Avios, you’d be silly to fly in a lower cabin or to buy a cash ticket. (If you have a companion the your Amex 2-for-1 will take them too; if you don’t have a voucher and you are taking a companion then probably worth getting the BA Premium Amex credit card and setting about earning the voucher and reading up on how to use the 2-for-1 voucher on “open jaw” flights – this may all seem even more complicated at first but don’t panic – it’s not as hard as it seems and incredibly helpful people here will offer advice if asked!).

    Booking 355 days out will be absolutely fine, but even if you don’t grab the exact availability you want then there’s no need to worry as internal USA flights are plentiful and dirt cheap, so remember…

    Seats are released 355 days out – you can book the outward leg as soon as it comes open; no need to wait for the return to pop up.

    If you can’t get the exact date you want out to Vegas then you can always fly to LA or San Fran and hop across – or even drive from LA.
    Or you can fly to any other major hub in the US and connect from there – one way or another you will definitely be able to get a nice business class flight to the USA using your Avios!

    New York is about the easiest destination on earth to get Avios availability so no issues coming back.

    Read up on Headforpoints excellent article series “Avios University” (or wait for the soon-to-be-released updated versions) and they may give you some more ideas for ways to get best use of your Avios for your trip and help you with planning.

    Andrew. 505 posts

    How’re you planning on travelling between Las Vegas and New York?

    Be mindful if you are travelling in the English school holidays in October that there may be quite limited Avios seats available too.

    janebee 4 posts

    I’ll be flying solo, I’m quite flexible on times, so end of September or early October 24. My plans are fly to Las Vegas, then onto Dallas, Memphis and then New York, probably using internal flights, to maximise my time. Working out at s out two week away. If I can book midweek flights out and return would that be better ?

    The Savage Squirrel 594 posts

    Chill!! Cash flights aren’t relevant. You only need one seat. You are able to book 355 days out and are in a position where you are flexible on dates, and also could fly to almost anywhere in the USA on Avios and hop onwards from there. It would be impossible to be in any better position! This isn’t like booking Sydney; you WILL have Avios availability!

    For example, right now EVERY day in the last 2 weeks worth of award availability that’s been released to Vegas still has at least one business class seat available, usually several; and most of those days, seats to Phoenix and Los Angeles are available too.

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