Why British Airways Avios Miles Are Awesome!

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.

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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.

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5 thoughts on “Why British Airways Avios Miles Are Awesome!

  1. Just booked a two one-way returns from Maui for 12,500 Avios per ticket and they didn’t charge me the $25 per ticket fee, but I was on hold for 25 minutes before a rep picked up. She was actually really nice and we had a good rapport so I didn’t even have to ask to have the fee waived. Only $5!

  2. I just booked an American Airlines short haul RT for a family member for only 9,000 Avios. The cash cost could would have been $300 to $350, so a 3+ cpm return I feel is pretty good.

    Best of all, I had zero Avios miles before the booking and I instantly transferred American Express membership rewards points. I was able to book everything online via BA’s site, so no phone call needed, and only the $5 government fee to pay, Amex does not charge the excise tax on the point transfer since BA is not a US carrier.

    BA’s award booking engine tells you how many rewards tickets are actually left, so you can gauge if you need to transfer points immediately with MR or if you can take some time transferring from another program.

  3. I just booked an two Alsaka Airlines tickets for round trip for SJC-OGG using my BA Avios pts. Rep was very nice & she didnt even mentioned about any 25$ fee charge. So in toatl 50000 pts + 10$ fee.. sweet 🙂

  4. Hello,
    I am planning a trip to Maui in March from Sacramento to Maui. I was able to book a one way ticket from SMF to OGG but it took me calling three different times and speaking with 3 different agents. The last agent was finally able to find availability in coach, even though I had seen it on both the AA website and the Alaskan Airlines website for several days and previous agents said there was no availability. I want to get more tickets, so I’ve been keeping an eye on it and last week saw that there were award tickets available again on the same flight. I called all week, but they kept saying that there was nothing available. Today I saw that it is no longer available. My question is, how accurate is the availability for award tickets shown online? If I see availability should online should I insist on speaking with someone that can find it?

    Thanks,
    Sara

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