Book British Airways Award Flights Like a Pro: Part 11 – The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points

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Update: Beginning February 2, 2016, British Airways will no longer offer 1-way, short-haul (under 650 miles) coach award tickets on partner airlines in North America for 4,500 British Airways Avios points.  Instead these flights will cost 7,500 British Airways Avios points.

I get a lot of questions on British Airways Avios points, and started a series on how to use British Airways Avios points 2 years ago and finally finished writing it.

The best domestic awards using British Airways Avios points are ones that cost fewer British Airways Avios points than other airline’s miles.

For example, you can fly round-trip in coach to Hawaii from the West Coast for 25,000 British Airways Avios points.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 11 The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points

25,000 British Airways Avios Points Gets You a Round-Trip Coach Ticket From the West Coast to Honolulu

Keep reading to find out other great uses of British Airways Avios points for flights in the US.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like a Pro:

The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points

Link:   British Airways Avios Calculator

Link:   Book flights with British Airways Avios points (sign-in required)

Link:   Wandering Aramean Avios Tool

British Airways Avios is a distance-based program, so short flights cost fewer points than in region-based programs such as American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines.  

Region-based programs (for the most part) charge you the same number of miles when you fly within 1 region, such as North America.  Even if it’s a very short or inexpensive flight.

When you use British Airways Avios points, any coach flight under 650 flown miles is only 4,500 points 1-way!  The same flight using United Airlines miles might cost you more than double that!

And remember, Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to both United Airlines and British Airways at a 1:1 ratio.

So when you want short, direct flights, check the Wandering Aramean Avios Tool or British Airways Avios Calculator to see if using British Airways Avios points makes sense for you!

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 11 The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points

You Can Fly 1-Way in Coach From New York to Boston for 4,500 British Airways Avios Points

And you:

  • Pay NO fuel surcharges on partner airlines like American Airlines, US Airways, and Alaska Airlines
  • Do NOT pay last-minute booking fees (great for folks like me who procrastinate…or folks who have to book tickets last minute)

I looked for a coach ticket just a few days in advance, from Chicago to Los Angeles.  The cost was $403.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 11 The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points

1-Way Last Minute Coach Ticket From Chicago to Los Angeles for $403

Or you could pay 12,500 British Airways Avios points.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 11 The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points

I’d Rather Use 12,500 British Airways Avios Points to Fly 1-Way at the Last-Minute Than Pay ~$250 Over the Regularly-Priced Cost of a Ticket!

Here are some of examples of the best ways to use British Airways Avios points for domestic tickets.

Note:   British Airways has made changes to its Executive Club award program, which start on April 28, 2015.

1.   East Coast Trips, Such as New York to Washington, DC

A 1-way flight from New York to Washington, DC costs:

  • 4,500 British Airways Avios points in coach
  • 13,500 British Airways Avios points in First Class
  • 15,500 British Airways Avios points in First Class (off-peak starting April 28, 2015)
Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 11 The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points

4,500 British Airways Avios Gets You 1-Way in Coach from New York to Washington, DC

So spending 9,000 British Airways Avios points for a round-trip coach ticket between New York and Washington, DC, is a great deal.  That’s because on US airlines like American Airlines, you’d pay 25,000 miles!

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 11 The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points

Using American Airlines Miles to Fly Round-Trip Coach From New York to Washington, DC, Costs Almost 3X as Much British Airways Avios Points

2.   Flights to Sin City, Such as Los Angeles to Las Vegas

Flying from Los Angeles or Phoenix to Las Vegas, you’d pay:

  • 4,500 British Airways Avios points in coach
  • 13,500 British Airways Avios points in First Class
  • 15,500 British Airways Avios points in First Class (off-peak starting April 28, 2015)

And coach flights from Dallas, Portland, and Seattle, are just 7,500 British Airways Avios points each way.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 11 The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points

Using 4,500 Avios Points to Fly 1-Way From Los Angeles to Las Vegas Means You Have More Gambling Money

3.   West Coast to the Aloha State, Such as Los Angeles to Honolulu

One of the best uses of British Airways Avios points for domestic coach award tickets is to fly from the West Coast to Hawaii.  Although Emily and I usually use American Airlines miles because of the large sign-up bonuses.

You can fly to Honolulu from Anchorage, Los Angeles, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Jose, and Seattle for:

  • 12,500 British Airways Avios points in coach
  • 37,500 British Airways Avios points in First Class
  • 42,500 British Airways Avios points in First Class (off-peak starting April 28, 2015)
Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 11 The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points

12,500 British Airways Avios Points Gets You a 1-Way Coach Ticket From Los Angeles to Honolulu

So you’d pay 25,000 British Airways Avios points for a round-trip coach ticket from Los Angeles to Honolulu instead of 45,000 American Airlines miles.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 11 The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points

Using British Airways Avios Points to Fly From Los Angeles to Honolulu Is About Half the Cost of Using American Airlines Miles

4.   Flights to the Sunshine State, Such as Houston to Miami

From a long list of cities that includes Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Memphis, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Washington, DC,  you’d pay:

  • 7,500 British Airways Avios points in coach
  • 22,500 British Airways Avios points in First Class
  • 25,500 British Airways Avios points in First Class (off-peak starting April 28, 2015)

Folks looking for flights to Florida destinations such as Key West, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa can get good deals using British Airways Avios points! 

Note:  You’ll notice in my Trip Reports to Florida that I tend to use Southwest points instead.  For me, nothing beats the Companion Pass!

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 11 The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points

Florida Is Only 7,500 British Airways Avios Points Away…

Using the Wandering Aramean Avios Tool you can quickly see the number of British Airways Avios points per 1-way coach ticket.

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 11 The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points

Folks in the Northeast, Midwest, and South Can Get Good Deals Using British Airways Avios Points for Their Florida Vacation

These are a only a few of the best ways I think you can use British Airways Avios points domestically.  However, your best personal use of British Airways Avios points might be to see your family in Tulsa!

Book British Airways Award Flights Like A Pro Part 11 The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points

Use British Airways Avios Points for Family Reunions

Bottom Line

You can use British Airways Avios points to fly domestically using fewer British Airways Avios points than US airline’s miles.

Because British Airways Avios is a distance based program, you get the best value from short nonstop domestic flights like from New York to Philadelphia.

That’s because these flights can be pricey, especially when you book only a few days in advance!

And you can fly from the West Coast to Hawaii for 25,000 British Airways Avios points round-trip in coach.

You will NOT pay fuel surcharges on domestic flights nor last minute booking fees.  That’s why British Airways Avios points are great for last-minute expensive tickets!

What’s your favorite use of British Airways Avios points on domestic flights?

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14 responses to “Book British Airways Award Flights Like a Pro: Part 11 – The Best Domestic Awards Using British Airways Avios Points

  1. You might want to emphasize that the real value is non-stop flights with avios since it’s priced on each segment. Your AA example screenshots are showing connections which isn’t exactly the best use of avios.

    The example JFK-CLT-IAD requires 18,000 avios (not 9,000 as you state) roundtrip since each of the 4 segments will be calculated. Still, saving 7,000 miles over the typical 25k AA mileage award. But keep in mind that a Citi Reduced Mileage award would only require 17,500, so effectively it’s only 500 AA miles more to redeem AA mileage award for this.

  2. That Wandering Aramean Avios Tool is a handy tip! Thanks.

  3. Chicago to London Heathrow on an AA 777, or Philadelphia to LHR on a BA 777? Which will be a more enjoyable first class flight?

  4. Still running into problems w/ BA agents not seeing award space. I called this morning on a flight to Mexico after 20 min on hold got a friendly agent gave her very specific dates and flight #’s as I was looking on AA.com and staring at the award space showing as available on Alaska Airlines flights. She couldn’t find it and ultimately couldn’t help. Suggestions?

  5. There are no off-peak awards on partner airlines, and BA is not flying any of the routes mentioned.

  6. How do you book a flight from new Orleans to dallas using avios? Directly through the BA site or through American or us airways?

  7. I booked flights between Chicago and Los Angeles using 10,000 Avios. Why did you have to use 12,500?

  8. Can you really book a ticket from Seattle to Honolulu with 12500 Avios? I’ve tried so many dates on BA website but never saw any flight available.

  9. You have to call into BA and ask to book on Alaska to Honolulu or Big Island.

  10. I need to book about 12 tickets from the west coast to Hawaii. I understand that AA opens up availability 330 days out and I wont be able to get everyone on the same flight. However what is the best way to approach this? Should I wait for my entire trip to fall into the 330 day window? Or should I book 1 way tickets once my departure date falls into the 330 day window and then book one way return flights when they open availability 330 days out? Thanks!

  11. Margaret Wunschl

    It would be great if you could actually book a flight. I have 108,000 Avios but can’t use them because every single flight/day/time I try to book it says Not Available, except for 1st class. Any advice?

  12. Jerome Davis (RR)

    When booking AA flights with Avios, Do I need to convert my AA points to Avios before booking my travel? Also if the flight take 12,000 avios does that mean it takes 12000 AA rewards? Thanks in advance.

  13. Great article! If I want to book a ticket from Cae-Las, there is not a nonstop. Do I need to book 2 separate tickets (Cae-Dfw and DFW-Las) or is there a way to book Cae-DFW-Las on BA ? Thanks for all your help.

  14. Thanks for the article

    If using avios for AA flights – do they always have to be for milesaver fares?

    I am finding that there are fewer and fewer AA milesaver fares out of Toronto – even 11 months out!

    Any thoughts