Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • in reply to: One Companion Voucher for family of 5
    aab203 7 posts

    Thanks @NorthernLass! (and for your patience with me 🙂 )

    What I might also do now is cancel the Amex now that I have received my companion voucher and doubt I’ll use it again next year. I’ll get most of my fee back too which is good.

    For our situation I think I will switch over to the Amex Reward cards and earn points which I can then have more flexibility with. I’m guessing it would be much easier for me to earn and spend hotel points rather than faffing around with companion vouchers and booking for an odd number of people!

    Thanks again for the help and advice

    in reply to: One Companion Voucher for family of 5
    aab203 7 posts

    Sorry, one more thing – I was having a play around earlier today and saw that a single flight to JFK in Easter 25 would be 90K Avios + charges for me and my companion. I assume I still need to ensure I have another 90k Avios to secure the return flight when it becomes available?

    in reply to: One Companion Voucher for family of 5
    aab203 7 posts

    I think this has re-affirmed why I never previously thought trying to get companion vouchers would work for our family. Now that I’ve taken the punt and got one companion voucher (officially added to my account today) I will see what I can do with it, but probably won’t renew the Amex when it comes to renewal in Jan ’25, given then increase cost and spending threshold.

    I guess the real problem for us is that I can only really book two outbound tickets now and would have to wait until the return flights are available before booking the remaining 3 cash fares… however I would then be stuck without any flexibility if it turned out that our specific dates had expensive tickets vs say a flight a couple of days later which might be going for be much less.

    – silly question – why is it not possible to book children separately? Not that I’m planning to do this, but what if we wanted to, say, send the kids off on their own to visit relatives in another country – would this not be possible?

    I’ll have a look later on at 1am and see how quickly the seats go for MCO and Dubai/Abu Dhabi

    in reply to: One Companion Voucher for family of 5
    aab203 7 posts

    I managed to get three club world returns from Orlando for this summer, depends when you are looking at as mid to end August is usually less popular than right at start of summer holiday. Also with Orlando there are generally two flights a day (so 8 seats per day),

    Thanks. Yep I agree waiting for the cash fares would make sense.

    With our trip last summer I think it was a little over £7k for the five of us. Even with the awkward route planning I thought it was a decent price. If I can’t get the trip for less than this with the companion voucher then I won’t feel I’ve achieved much (considering I’ve already spent £250 for the Amex card) and so looking for a totally different trip with easier/simpler booking would make more sense.

    What are the cancellation rules with reward bookings? Do I lose the taxes/charges paid, but get the voucher returned?

    in reply to: One Companion Voucher for family of 5
    aab203 7 posts

    Thanks for all the replies – all super helpful!

    Which cabin are you looking to fly in?
    It will be a challenge finding 5 seats to a popular holiday destination, especially in a premium cabin.
    How old are kids? I wouldn’t fancy the Middle East in summer with small children (especially if the security situation deteriorates further).
    You should be able to get 5 of you on a booking IF the seats are standard reward ones. There’s a HFP article about this complication. You won’t be able to make a separate booking for children, though you could have 1 adult and 1 child on the 241.
    Yes you will have the same issue with the inbound flight.
    Your best option might be to get flights to somewhere with plenty of availability, like NYC, then get a connecting flight to MCO separately. Or consider travelling in different cabins.
    There is no MAN-LGW service so that routing would cause you a lot of aggravation with kids!
    Lastly, I think you need to read all the articles on here about maximising avios/241, and the relevant threads before you book.

    I was thinking business class for Orlando. Two would be reward and the rest cash purchases.

    For Dubai / Abu Dhabi I would be looking to go in Easter time rather than summer (I wasn’t clear apologies). This could be all economy.

    Would you be able to link to the HfP article regarding the complication around booking for 5 (or I can search for it if you recall the title)?

    Which cabin are you looking to fly in?
    How old are kids?

    The kids ages are important.
    Not because of the destination but because that affects how the booking needs to be made.

    Kids are currently 5, 8 and just-turned 11.

    Also assuming your are paying in cash for 3 flights that will leave your kids with the tier points (so for this reason my daughter is BA bronze and my wife and I have no status!) All in all I would suggest you fly with one of the kids and your wife and the other two take the cash flights. This all assumes that you are paying cash for business fares – else you could start a debate about leaving the kids in economy while being in business yourself (I’m on the side of no, for the avoidance of doubt!) I say that because under 16s don’t pay APD, but only if they fly economy.

    That’s a good point about the tier statuses, it hadn’t occurred to me!

    My parents used to fly in business whilst my brother and I were in economy. I wouldn’t do the same with my family 🙂

    You have a very understanding family!! As a general strategy comment I would say: if you’re so committed to Business Class that you’re prepared to mess round flying Lndon->Dublin->sleep over->London->Orlando (which is far more sitting round in airports/hotels than I’d do with 3 kids in tow to save money on a 8-9 hr East Coast flight rather than just book in a lesser cabin and go!) then it would be far cleaner/simpler to not get fixated on Orlando as the end destination.

    London -> basically anywhere in Eastern USA (most obviously Tampa, Miami and Atlanta, or New York for oodles of availability) will mean reward availability for multiple Avios seats will be available somewhere and keen cash fares are more likely to be findable too.

    I think the excitement of going to Disney World and doing business outweighed the initial faff of the flights! If I wasn’t able to make the return flight straightforward then I probably would have flown out differently. Now that Aer Lingus don’t serve Gatwick anymore, it does make the already-faff journey even more of a faff with needed to transfer from Heathrow to Gatwick

    I’m not that fixated on Orlando specifically – its just I was planning to go there Summer 2025. But I could look at doing that as a cash flight (probably not business this time around) and then just make another holiday based on going somewhere that’s much simpler to book as a reward destination.

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