It looks like another airline will be using Avios soon as its frequent flier program. Spanish carrier Vueling, which is based out of Barcelona will replace its current loyalty program, Punto, with Avios. This is turn will let Vueling Club members to receive bonus Avios points for flying on basic fares, or less restricted fare classes. Furthermore, members will be eventually be able to use Avios points to redeem for the entire cost of a flight, as long as they have enough points to do so. This will include everything, including taxes. They now join British Airways, AerLingus, and Iberia, that use the currency. I’m glad to see this, as this opens another avenue to take a low cost carrier in Europe and be able to use points that are available to members in the United States, such as myself. Avios are pretty easy to get these days, considering there are credit card bonuses out there. Having this flexibility is great, as it gives you more options to use when flying around Europe. I am not familiar with Vueling, but with this news, it may be a good to know what to expect, and any other pertinent information, should I need to book an Avios ticket in Europe. Looks for these changes to occur in the next month or so. Happy Travels.
One of the best uses of British Airways miles is to use them to fly Alaska Airlines to Southern California. My brother had accumulated a boatload (or should I say a plane-load HAR HAR) of them during the Chase British Airways 100,000 miles promotion, as well as my sister in law. One of the beauties of the Avios program is the ability to ‘merge’ family accounts. Therefore, the family account was 200,000!! This is a lot of miles and if you know how to use them, they can be very lucrative.
I helped him find availability on Alaska using the American Airlines website, as British Airways does not show you Alaska flights (yet). Plug in your dates and check Redeem Miles, and whatever it shows at the 12,500 mile saver award, should be available to you using your British Airways miles on Alaska, as well. That will be your indicator flights are available on Alaska Airlines.
After you find, the flights you want, you must call British Airways call centre in the U.K. at 1-800-247-9297 to book it. There will be a $25.00 charge for EACH reservation made, so if 3 people are flying, you will be charged $75. Once in awhile you will get a kind and gentle rep who will waive the fees, but don’t count on it. Their call center is full of obnoxious, and somewhat rude agents. They will then book the tickets, and give you a British Airways confirmation code…..which can be useless since you are flying Alaska Airlines, so ask them for the Alaska Airlines confirmation code. I was able to book 3 tickets PDX- BUR for 45,000 miles + $90 in taxes/fees. He charged the taxes/fees onto his Barclays Arrivals World Mastercard, so he could redeem his points to pay off the $90.00. Zero out of pocket! Not bad… If you think about it, this is actually a steal! Usually it costs 25,000 miles PER ticket. You can also use the Avios points to book your hotel and car as well, though I got other plans for those.
I highly recommend anyone getting British Airways Avios points, because even with them devalued, they can still be awesome for domestic and short haul trips. Also, there are so many ways to get them, that’s its almost impossible NOT to get any.