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Tips for using Avios Airmiles longhaul.

(9 Posts)
petitpois55 Tue 30-Aug-16 10:58:20

Posted in Chat but got no responses.
Just wondered if anyone can share experiences of using Airmiles for long haul flights, without paying the silly BA taxes.
for example, just priced up Florida cash flights for next April, with various operators. which averaged around £1900 direct and around £1500 with one stop.
I then looked at BA avios flights, but the taxes alone are around £1000 for three return economy flights{shock} and 150,000 avios.

Also looking at South Africa and Thailand, but again stung by very high taxes which devalue the airmiles considerably.

We have used our airmails to book lots of European trips where the taxes are capped at £35, and this has worked out well, but would like to use one of BA partners (which doesn't impose huge taxes) to book long haul.
Thanks for any advice.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 30-Aug-16 11:31:58

"I then looked at BA avios flights, but the taxes alone are around £1000 for three return economy flights{shock} and 150,000 avios"

I am unfortunately not all that surprised, that is what I would have expected. Those taxes are made up of all sorts of security taxes and Air Passenger Duty, its not BA keeping that money for themselves as pure profit. To avoid APD altogether you would need to fly long haul from an airport in Europe. APD is levied against each passenger over the age of 16 on every flight departing from the UK.

This will explain more:-

(P.S Always try and fly direct to Orlando if you can, doing a stopover can add more time to an already long day, particularly on returning to the UK. It may be cheaper but its not always cheerful. There is also the issue on arrival of having enough time to clear Immigration and Customs at the first point of entry in the US before boarding the plane to Orlando)

petitpois55 Tue 30-Aug-16 16:43:06

Thanks for the reply. The link just takes me to the homepage of Skyscanner. Have you had any experience using Avios from a European Airport where the taxes are lower?
That's what i'm really asking i suppose. I think Amsterdam and Berlin are supposed to be much lower, but i have no idea how to search for reward flights that are not starting from London.

Creampastry Tue 30-Aug-16 22:46:18

You can't book an aviis flight that doesn't originate in London. Those silly Ba taxes are government imposed, not BA charges.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 31-Aug-16 07:36:02

You cannot use Avios points on flights that do not start in the UK. APD (which is a tax brought in by the Government) is charged on all flights leaving the UK be it short haul or long haul.

TheGreatDessert Wed 31-Aug-16 08:15:28

You cannot use Avios points on flights that do not start in the UK


Are your avios with BA or with Avios?

Mine are with BA and I can definitely book reward flights that don't originate in the UK. Anything departing from UK will have massive taxes. They are best used for flights within the rest of the world (inter-asian flights, domestic within USA, USA to S. America or inter-South American.). How about flying from Madrid to somewhere with Iberia or LAN?

I got a flight from USA to Tokyo for £60 and Tokyo to India for the same with JAL. All booked via BA website.

If this doesn't work for you then you can use them for upgrades instead. It's only worth doing from premium economy to business on BA.

petitpois55 Wed 31-Aug-16 11:45:59

The great dessert Thanks for all the info. It's really helpful.
Our Avios are with BA. I have been doing lots of googling and reading on flight forums. God it's complicated confused

I have discovered that i can use my avios to book flights with Air Berlin from Berlin and Dussledorf to the US, and Aer Lingus from Dublin and Shannon to the US.
going to do some investigating for South Africa and Thailand as well.

Taxes from Germany, and Ireland are much much lower than BA, and even factoring in a flight to Dublin, and an overnight stay in a hotel, we would be saving around £400, staring our journey outside the UK.

I've also discovered that using Avios for internal flights within the US is really good value, so great for a two centre holiday.

I've also opened an Iberia account which will given even more options for the future.

Miffytastic Mon 05-Sep-16 23:07:45

I began collecting avios for years with Thailand in mind but it seems v difficult/poor value to go long haul economy. Now I'm wondering what to do with mine...

I want a nice, once in a childhood holiday for our kids BUT now considering spending on ferries or eurostar instead. I wish there was an avios advice service

petitpois55 Tue 06-Sep-16 16:40:17

Miffy We have had lots of flights in Europe, as generally Long haul is not a good use of avios if flying with Ba, because the amount in taxes is sometimes so much that it renders the avios practically worthless.
We use them for Europe in the main. Have flown to Spain, Italy, Portugal, Berlin, and poland.The taxes are capped at £35 return, so are quite decent value.
We are however, going to use Are Lingus from Dublin to fly to Boston next year. Much lower taxes, and so worth it, even taking in to account getting to and from Dublin.

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