british airways

Tag Archives for british airways.

Get 6X British Airways Avios Points Everywhere on $20K in Spend – Why I Caved

You might’ve heard a version of the infamous British Airways 100,000 points deal is back.

It’s a beast of a deal – there’s no doubt about that. And I mean that in a good way AND a bad way.

chase british airways 100,000

Maybe I’ll use my British Airways Avios to visit these ragtag streets in Barcelona again

There are many cons to accept with this deal: the minimum spending, the materiality of the points themselves, and a gigantic black hole of opportunity cost. But let’s call a spade a spade here: at this point I’m taking what I can get.

I hated this card. Now I’m crawling back on hands and knees. My, how the winds have shifted

And 100,000 of any kind of points is nothing to sniff at. So I got the Chase British Airways card again – even after I brutally dumped it a little over 2 years ago.

A hard look at this 100K offer, OK

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Why & How to Add Your American Airlines Number to British Airways Award Flights

I recently booked American Airlines award flights from Dallas to Albuquerque with British Airways Avios points. I booked it pretty fast and let my British Airways loyalty number auto-populate in the spot for “Membership Number.”

british airways american number

So easy to let this slide

It’s a “blink and you’ll miss it” type thing and easy to overlook.

But, if you have elite status on American Airlines, or certain AAdvantage credit cards with Barclaycard or Citi, you’ll want to change it.

Why to add your American Airlines number

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Just Booked a Trip for Next Weekend in 10 Minutes (Instant Transfers Save the Day!)

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I’ll never forget the thrill and uncertainty of booking my first award ticket. I thought I’d show up to the airport and be turned away for not paying (or something like that). Can a flight really cost ~$11 when you book with… points?

That was a few years ago. But there’s still something so novel about booking award trips. Some of them are planned in advance, like my upcoming trip to Hawaii. And some are aspirational or in the future, like the Brussels Airlines flights I booked with Etihad miles.

Mmm, love the high desert

Love the high desert!

Long story short, I needed to spend a couple of days in New Mexico to get some work done there. Looking at my upcoming weekends:

  • Next one was open
  • After that, Austin for work
  • Labor Day weekend – nothing available with points
  • Hawaii

4 weekends = a month of plans. I started poking around and realized, holy crap, I’m gonna book this trip for next weekend!

Finding flights

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The Top Card for Beginners? Yeah, the Chase Sapphire Preferred

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I’m sure it’s happened to you at some point. A friend asks, “How do you do it?” Take all these trips to places like Hawaii, Tokyo and Osaka, Dublin, Barcelona, and more. How do you get free hotel rooms that cost hundreds of dollars a night?

“I want to travel like you do,” they say. “Where do I start?”

Chase Sapphire Preferred. You can stay at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philly with Chase Ultimate Rewards points

You can stay at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philly with Chase Ultimate Rewards points

And you have that moment where you’re thinking inside, “Well for starters, using that debit card for everything you buy isn’t helping anything.” *cough* Kierstin *cough*

You ask about their spending habits. “Do you shop online?” Definitely use a shopping portalget free miles for clicking a link.

And sign up for dining rewards while you’re at it because you never know when you’ll get some extra miles in your account – especially if you live in a mid-sized to large city.

As far as cards go… where to begin?

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I Use Miles Because I Won’t Pay Revenue Prices… Right?!

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Correct me if I’m being thick because I definitely have my “forest for the trees” moments.

Meaning of value... are you in there? Oh, there you are.

Meaning of value… are you in there? Oh, there you are.

I read an article on Point Me to the Plane about a flight that got 2.5 cents per Delta mile.

Then the comments read: if you wouldn’t pay cash for the flights, that’s not how much the points/miles are worth.

But… I use points and miles for flights and hotels specifically because I won’t pay cash for them.

In fact, I’ve planned entire trips (like Hawaii, Paris, RTW/Australia, and Eurotrip 2014 in Lufthansa First Class) that I would’ve never paid for if it weren’t for points and miles.

I did NOT pay $7,243 for this flight… but I did pay 40,000 Avios + $453 in fuel surcharges. So what are the points worth?

I thought… that was the “point” of points and miles? 

Targeting aspiration AKA value

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Assessing the Benefits of FoundersCard

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Update: You can lock in a FoundersCard membership for $295 a year through May 13th, 2016 when you sign-up with my link. This is $100 less than the usual rate!

So you guys know I’m been working toward FIRE (financial independence, retire early) lately. And part of that means ruthlessly cutting out extraneous spend.

So far, I’ve gotten rid of my gym membership, canceled credit cards that no longer serve me, and have cut back on my eating out (more trips to Costco!).

FoundersCard Benefits

You can stay

FoundersCard is $395 a year, which is a little “ouch.” I’m nearly due to the pay the annual membership dues again to keep the card for another year and I looked at it with an eye to cut it.

But, I’m going to keep it for another year.

Here’s why.

The AT&T Benefit

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Use Avios for Connecting Flights to Save Money

I’ve been thinking about taking a trip down to New Mexico recently and it got me thinking about fare constructions and how to get to regional airports as cheaply as possible.

There's still lots of value to be had from Avios

There’s still lots of value to be had from Avios

The idea here is to fly on Oneworld into a hub city or cheap destination, and then use Avios for the (usually) more expensive, shorter leg of the itinerary.

LGA-DFW-ABQ

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Quick tip about booking NYC or DC flights with Avios

There are a few cities that have multiple airports, so this tip could work for:

  • New York (JFK, LGA, EWR) – NYC
  • Washington, DC (IAD, DCA, BWI) – WAS
  • Chicago (ORD, MDW) – CHI
  • London (LHR, LGW, LCY) – LON
  • Paris (ORY, CDG) – PAR
  • Tokyo (NRT, HND) – TYO

I encountered this when searching BA.com for space to get to Boston from New York.

When I search for award space, I usually just type in “NYC” – because I’m open to JFK or LGA. So I rarely specify an airport.

But BA.com will not give you the complete picture of award space if you don’t specify an airport. 

Make sure you search city code and airport code

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Trip Report: Aer Lingus NEW Business Class BOS-DUB

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After staying at the Hyatt Regency in Boston, and hanging around in Bean Town for the better part of the day, we headed to the airport around 6pm for the 9pm flight. Check-in and security went quickly, and after only about 20 minutes, we were in the Aer Lingus Gold Circle Lounge in Terminal E waiting to board. After enjoying the small lounge for a short while, we boarded around 8:20pm.

First impressions

There’s something so great about experiencing a brand new product. Aer Lingus recently refreshed their business class cabins (late April, according to the booklet at the seat).

We were assigned to seats 3D and 3G, both aisle seats in the middle of the cabin. I had 3G.

First impressions were… WOW. It looks so fresh. The cabin is done up in shades of gray with splashes of emerald and lime green, which is gives it a very distinct, chic look. They made sure to put their clover branding all over everything – it was done well and added cohesion. It looked and felt very modern, and I was positively giddy to have this flight experience.

The plane was an Airbus 330-300 and right away, I started to feel a little more Irish.

It was a dark overnight flight, so forgive the graininess of some of the photos below!

The seat

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Aer Lingus business class seats showing up as economy on United website?

A-ha, so now I’m finally getting to it: the crux of all my recent Aer Lingus posts.

I noticed that when selecting Aer Lingus business class seats on the United website, they are showing up as being in the U fare bucket – which is economy class.

I was perturbed about paying for business class seats (with Avios) only to see that I’d maybe been booked in the wrong fare class.

However, I called British Airways and Aer Lingus to verify that I am indeed in a business class seat. But then I went to look again on the United website to make sure it wasn’t just a glitch.

For this dummy booking, I selected economy class to Dublin and business back from Dublin.

Aer Lingus fare buckets on United

Aer Lingus fare buckets on United

It looks like economy is being booked into the T bucket and business is being booked into U – but U is economy.

I plugged in the record locator into the Royal Jordanian website, and sure enough, their system displayed the same information.

EI booking on RJ site

EI booking on RJ site

But, it still says business on the BA website.

Aer Lingus booking on BA website - business, confirmed

Aer Lingus booking on BA website – business, confirmed

Bottom line

Just in case anyone else got in (or wants to get in – space is still very open) on the lucrative amount of award space on the Aer Lingus BOS-DUB route and had the same questions I did…

Of course, I’ll be pretty miffed if it does actually end up being economy, but 6 hours over the pond isn’t so bad. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again if I have to. I’d be a tyrant to get my Avios back, though.

But that’s worst case scenario stuff. I’m gonna let this be a trust fall with British Airways and assume they’ll catch me (there is a good joke and punchline in here somewhere…).

Has anyone else noticed this mislabeling on the United website? Even better, has anyone flown the flights and can confirm they are indeed in business class? 

Either way, I will have Aer Lingus trip reports soon enough. Looking forward to it, and to visiting Ireland, so very much.

Stay scrappy out there!

Use the Royal Jordanian website to check Oneworld bookings

…and to get confirmation numbers. 

Booking those Aer Lingus flights last week with Avios has kicked up a few little issues that I’ve never dealt with, so thought this might be useful to post.

British Airways gave me a confirmation number when I booked the Aer Lingus flights… but not for Aer Lingus. I could only access the reservation on the British Airways website.

I wanted to be able to pull up my flights on the Aer Lingus website, but didn’t have the confirmation code that British Airways gave Aer Lingus.

Enter Royal Jordanian (with a HT to George at Travel Blogger Buzz via Twitter).

Royal Jordanian website interface

Royal Jordanian website interface

On the Royal Jordanian website, hover over “Plan & Book” and then click anything in the “Manage the Essentials” part of the dropdown menu.

Manage

Manage Booking

Once there, click “Manage Booking” or follow this link.

You can plug in your record locator and name and pull up a whole host of interesting services like:

  • Change frequent flyer number
  • Obtain other airline’s record locator
  • Verify fare buckets
  • Easily check flight duration and aircraft type
  • Email yourself a receipt
  • Get a ticket number

All important things for preening and double-checking reservations. I could, for example, use Avios to book a flight on American, and then add my AAdvantage frequent flyer number to make sure I get elite benefits like early boarding.

I can also simply take the record locator for the AA flight and then plug it into the AA website… something that British Airways doesn’t give you on their website or in any of their emails (someone correct me if I’m wrong – I just booked a US Airways flight with Avios and couldn’t find the freaking US Airways record locator for the life of me).

There's my US Airways record locator - how handy!

There’s my US Airways record locator – how handy!

And it shows up perfectly when I plug it into the US Airways website

And it shows up perfectly when I plug it into the US Airways website

Why this works

I noticed in the web address on the RJ website that they were pulling from Amadeus – the same system that Check My Trip uses. It’s a bit dated and still has the copyright as 2014, so take that for what it’s worth. But it works like a charm.

With regard to Oneworld bookings, you should be able to preen the following airline bookings on the RJ website:

  • British Airways
  • Finnair
  • Qantas
  • Royal Jordanian (duh)
  • Cathay Pacific
  • LAN/TAM
  • Iberia

But not AA or US Airways… they don’t use Amadeus. It is handy, however, for adding AA flights booked with Avios to your AA account. And for adding your AA number to the reso to receive elite benefits.

And who knows, sometimes they end up crediting award bookings as paid flights on accident.

Bottom line

Handy little trick, thought I’d share for my Oneworld peeps out there.

Let us know if something similar exists for SkyTeam. United is really good about showing the other airline’s record locator on their website already.

And on this note, other tips are certainly always welcome!

Booking Dublin: A Change of Plans

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Major change of plans is more like it.

Thanks to The Points Guy, I caught wind that an award I’d long had my eye on, BOS-DUB in business class on Aer Lingus, was widely available for booking with Avios points.

The good news: it still is.

I immediately transferred over some Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards (I love combining them when I can and British Airways is perfect for that – so is Singpore) to my British Airways account, and called in to book my dates.

Get 'em while they're hot!

Get ’em while they’re hot!

Throughout April and May, and possibly into the summer months, award availability is peppered here and there.

Business class award availability on Aer Lingus

Business class award availability on Aer Lingus (Click to enlarge)

That screen shot was taken just now. There are still some flights out there.

The best way to book this is by checking availability on the United website, then by calling British Airways to book over the phone.

I called them post Avios-hack (to change a different set of flights), and my hold time was less than 5 minutes. In fact, I was all booked and set up with flights in under 15 minutes (pre-Avios hack).

If you’re interested in booking, you have either one month or when availability runs out, beginning today. The Avios program is changing on April 28th, and this particular award will go from 50K round-trip in business to 75K, which is a pretty staggering change.

I’ve been interested in experiencing Aer Lingus business class, and visiting Ireland, for a very long time, so it’s all very serendipitous.

But what about the Delta flights?

Of course I had a pretty severe schedule change with Delta.

The mighty schedule change

The mighty schedule change

I was willing to get down to DC to take advantage of an awesome fare that Delta had earlier this year. I was even thinking I could spend a day or two in DC, maybe catch the tail-end of the cherry blossoms. But when the Aer Lingus award availability came around, I was then willing to get myself to Boston, and am now thinking of spending a day there instead.

I called Delta and explained that I had a schedule change of over 4 hours, and that those times no longer work for me – could I please cancel and get a refund? They immediately canceled the ticket and said to expect a refund in 5-7 business days. Awesome. So those are done.

It was a great deal, but then again, so is the Avios redemption on Aer Lingus, and even more so now that it’s time-sensitive.

The 2 round-trip flights would’ve been over $10,000 had I paid for them. Instead, I got nearly 11 cents per point of value by booking with Avios. An incredible deal – get on it if you can!

BOS-DUB on Aer Lingus business class

BOS-DUB on Aer Lingus business class

Getting to Boston

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