50% Off London British Airways Award Flights & Why It’s Not a Good Deal

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Fancy a trip to London this autumn or winter?

For 2 weeks only, British Airways is having a sale on coach class award tickets to and from London, UK.  Over 20 destinations are included, and cost half the number of miles normally needed for an award seat.  But you have to book by July 13, 2014, for travel between October 1, 2014, and February 28, 2015.   And travel between December 18, 2014, and January 10, 2015 (when many folks want to travel), is excluded.

You can book both 1-way and round-trip award tickets with this sale.  But even though you’re paying half the usual number of miles, you’re still responsible for paying the full amount of taxes and fees for the ticket.  Those can be upwards of 400 pounds (~$684) round-trip!

BUT…you’ll have to jump through some hoops to take advantage of the deal, including signing-up for a UK Avios account.

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You Can Book Over 20 Destinations for Half the Usual Number of Miles (but the Same High Taxes and Fees)

But are there any circumstances where this may be a good deal for you?

Sign-Up for a UK Avios Account

Link:   UK Avios Website

If you want to take advantage of this deal, you’ll have to book through the UK Avios website.  You will NOT get the discount if you try to book through British Airways Executive Club!  If you live in the US and have British Airways Avios points, most likely you have an Executive Club account.

But to create an account on the UK Avios site, you’ll need an address and phone number in the UK.  Perhaps you have friends or family there, or had a recent hotel stay or will stay in a hotel in the UK.  The important thing is when you create your account, you MUST use the same name, email address, and date of birth from your British Airways Executive Club account.

Once you’ve created a UK Avios account, go to “My Account” and select “Combine My Avios.”  You’ll be prompted to enter your British Airways Executive Club information.  After the accounts are combined, you can select the number of Avios you want to transfer between accounts.

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Once Your Accounts Are Combined, You Can Move Avios Back and Forth Between Accounts

This is quite a pain!  So I wouldn’t do it unless you know for sure you’ll be taking advantage of this sale!

Again, you need to book your award seats through the UK Avios website for this sale.  The award seats for reduced miles will NOT show up on the regular British Airways Executive Club website.

Which Destinations Are Included?

Link:   British Airways Avios Long Haul Sale

Link:   British Airways Executive Club

You can fly for half the number of miles with the British Airways Avios Long Haul Sale between London, UK and the following destinations:

For 20,000 miles round-trip (normally 40,000 miles):

  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dubai
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Toronto
  • Washington, DC

For 25,000 miles round-trip (normally 50,000 miles):

  • Austin
  • Dallas
  • Delhi
  • Denver
  • Houston
  • Johannesburg
  • Los Angeles
  • Mexico City
  • Mumbai
  • Phoenix
  • San Diego
  • Vancouver

For 30,000 miles round-trip (normally 60,000 miles):

  • Sao Paulo
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There Are US, Canadian, Middle Eastern, Indian, and South American Cities Included in the Sale

What About Taxes and Fees?

British Airways is notorious for adding very expensive fuel surcharges, taxes, and fees to award tickets.  You can read my post on how to get the most out of British Airways miles for some examples.  Although there are situations where you can use British Airways miles for award tickets on other airlines without paying huge fees.

That said, you will pay expensive taxes and fees with award tickets booked during this sale.  That’s because they’ll charge you the same amount of fees as you would pay on a full-fare ticket!

I checked for flights from Austin to London in October.  Both 1-way and round-trip award tickets were available.  From Austin to London round-trip, you’ll pay 25,000 British Airways miles plus ~418 pounds (~$717) in taxes and fees!

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You’ll Pay 25,000 Miles Plus ~$717 in Taxes and Fees Round-Trip From Austin to London

That said, paying the taxes and fees on an award ticket is still cheaper than buying a full-fare, paid ticket.

So this could be a deal for folks who need to fly to or from London and have some British Airways points to burn!  But it usually will not be a great deal.

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It Costs ~$1,213 for a Paid Coach Class Round-Trip Ticket From Austin to London on British Airways

I’d prefer to use British Airways Avios points for flights on American Airlines within the US (which don’t incur fuel surcharges).  But if you needed to buy a paid ticket to London anyway, this could be a better deal for you.

Bottom Line

British Airways is having a Long Haul Sale on award tickets.  If you book before July 13, 2014, for travel between October 1, 2014, and February 28, 2015, you’ll pay half the miles usually required for a coach class award ticket.  But travel between December 18, 2014, and January 10, 2015, is excluded.

Over 20 destinations are included in the sale, but your flight must be to or from London.  You’ll still have to pay the full amount of fuel surcharges, taxes, and fees, which can be very expensive.

Emily and I don’t like paying such high taxes and fees, so we probably won’t take advantage of this sale.  But it could be a good deal for some folks who might have had to buy a paid ticket anyway!

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2 Responses to 50% Off London British Airways Award Flights & Why It’s Not a Good Deal

  1. I just looked at R-T options for Dubai (LHR-DXB): Atrocious! According to Matrix, I could just buy the ticket outright for roughly their listed TCF charges on this “award”. Like setting fire to a pile of miles in this case. Definitely better to use Avios on short-hauls within the U.S. on AA….

  2. Pingback: Secret Way to Get Travel Deals Meant Only for UK Residents, Set Up a UK Avios Account | Million Mile Secrets

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