Greetings Travel Abstract-ians!
Got tons of fresh news and exciting moves coming up for the site and here is a big one; The Travel Abstract Academy. I am starting up my Travel Abstract Academy to act as a central location to fulfill all of your frequent flyer education needs. In these webcasts or webisodes we will walk through tips, tricks, bookings and many other travel ideas.
This first series is focused on using the British Airways site to find Partner Airline Reward Flights and how to use your Avios Points to book it. British Airways will return all oneworld alliance airline reward flight options, if they are available, and provide you with the best snapshot of your flight options. This is a great tool to use even if you are not using British Airways Avios Points like we will in this example.
I look forward to your feedback on this webcast and please do not feel shy about making your opinion known. This is a new venture for me as I attempt to bring you more quality educational content that will allow you to become a more independent points and miles collector.
Step 1: Partner Airline Website
If you want to avoid the hassle of blindly searching for Reward Flight space you can go to your carriers website, in this example AA.com, to make sure there are flights available. This will give you great practice for booking a partner airline reward flight without the hassle of hunting down for the right dates and routing.
In my example I use one of my favorite routes, JFK (New York City) to EZE (Buenos Aires).
Step 2: Searching on British Airways
As with any website that you are new to the British Airways website layout might be a bit confusing for you first timers. However its search reward flight search engine more than makes up for this small failing.
The work we did on AA (dot) com really pays off in this step because knowing partner reward flights are available for our dates brought us to the “include partners screen”. If British Airways has a reward flight of its own on that same day you might skip that screen entirely and be taken directly to step 3 were you will choose from a variety of British Airways flights. In order to avoid this problem continue to change the dates for your desired flight until you find a day without British Airways reward space.
Step 3: Choosing the Flights
Great job getting to the flight options page but you are not in the clear yet. Watch out for flights that are marketed as “direct” but have longer flight times than other direct flights. I have found that the automatic flight they select for you is not always the best and you should watch out for those subtle differences.
If you have connecting flights make sure you double check your time between flights to give yourself enough time to make the switch.
Step 4: Payment Options
I pay for the partner airline reward flight with the least amount of Avios Points as possible because I always like to stretch my points/miles to the max. Many times this will also increase the cpm redemption value of your Avios Points giving you more reward flight for your dollar. If you just want to use up your Avios Points and want to hold onto as much cash as possible then I would suggest going full throttle with the Avios Point payment option