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BA Avios - no flights available - will that change?

Hampshire, UK
posts: 542
reviews: 82
BA Avios - no flights available - will that change?

Hi - I am getting very stressed now, and hopefully someone can give me a definitive answer, as I have some decisions to make!

Our good friends' son is getting married in Houston on 15 July, talked about for a while but only confirmed today. I have steadily saved airmiles for a return Clubworld trip for hubby and I, and have 200K of them.

Now I have come to book them and there are no Avios flights available for the dates we need. Ideally 12/13 July - 28 July.

Is this likely to change?

Is there anything I can do. If we can't go on Avios, we can't really afford to go?

Any pointers please!!?

80 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 48,351
reviews: 15
1. Re: BA Avios - no flights available - will that change?

Have you tried a search for flights to DFW (Dallas Fort Worth)? There may be better availability than to IAH, but if not then check WT+ to see if there is availability there.

There are sale fares right now for ex-EU departures, so if you can book an inexpensive return from Gatwick to Amsterdam you may find very good fares for AMS-LHR-IAH / DFW; again if not in J then have a look at WT+.

Award availability is truly a shot in the dark. I'm flying next week, with Club World very lightly sold on my flight - but I can't use Avios to move up to that cabin, at least not yet.

WT+ isn't Club World, but if you can book award tickets for that cabin and go to Houston for the wedding then that may be better than not going at all. I hope things work out for you, and all the best to the newlyweds as well.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 8,240
reviews: 51
2. Re: BA Avios - no flights available - will that change?

There's a really good sale on right now for Club World/First fares. Houston is £1469 per person and Dallas is £1269 if you can shuffle across TX under your own steam.

Otherwise try looking at availability to anywhere in the US. BA and AA have a huge number of airports they fly to and getting to Houston might require a few flights but if you want to travel in Club World/First at short notice you'll need to be quite flexible. You can then obviously pay your own way to get to Houston on separate tickets, just be aware of padding a nice connection in since it'll be separate tickets.

I'd just go with the sale fares. On the Avios tickets you'll still need to pay the taxes and surcharges which aren't a rounding error on premium class tickets.

Edinburgh, United...
posts: 8,718
reviews: 17
3. Re: BA Avios - no flights available - will that change?

"If we can't go on Avios, we can't really afford to go?"

You do realize that you'll have to pay taxes on long haul reward flights, which for a Club World return flight is more than £500 per person? Flying economy would cost just £100 more (or there about).

Madrid
posts: 2,789
reviews: 7
4. Re: BA Avios - no flights available - will that change?

There are flights to New York and Philadelphia on your dates in club.Consider buying a cheap domestic from either of these to IAH,or look for domestic awards on American.

Seats may well open up closer to your travel date.BA have a sale on at the moment,so revenue management may be holding back award seats to see how the sale goes.They may trickle some out later.

Look to see if any cheap world traveler plus seats are available in the sale,and upgrade with avios to club.Always the best use of avios .

Hampshire, UK
posts: 542
reviews: 82
5. Re: BA Avios - no flights available - will that change?

Many thanks for your replies, lots of research required now. You are all very helpful. Much appreciated!

Hampshire, UK
posts: 542
reviews: 82
6. Re: BA Avios - no flights available - will that change?

I have managed to re-organise our schedule etc, and have booked CW tickets for July, paying the horrible taxes of £1120 - ouch :(

Thanks everyone!

Nashville, TN
posts: 4,700
reviews: 8
7. Re: BA Avios - no flights available - will that change?

"paying the horrible taxes of £1120 - ouch :("

Too bad there were no Biz class seats available on AA operated flights. Then your fees would have been less than $250.00 P/P. Ah the benefits of flying BA (not).

jetset
posts: 7
reviews: 7
8. Re: BA Avios - no flights available - will that change?

I know how you feel. This is the second year in a row where we cannot get flights on Avios, booking nearly 12 months in advance. I understand the 355 days rule, so I tried to see what was on offer one month nearer, ( October 2013), to catch a cruise ship in Barcelona and fly back from Houston. No flights available. Bloody nonsense. When this lot took over from Airmiles they boasted that they would have millions of more seats, with more airlines. Total rubbish, it is only BA that comes up ,( and I am not knocking BA as we usually use them), and we have had to pay BA cash while we have over 122,000 avios and cannot use them.

They tell you to choose another destination. Not much use that when you want to cruise , from a certain port to a certain port. Very angry, best regards, Duncan Pettett.

UK
Destination Expert
for Sorrento
posts: 3,010
reviews: 5
9. Re: BA Avios - no flights available - will that change?

wdpettett - Airmiles was a BA company and Avios is part of the fairly recently formed IAG group ie BA and Iberia airlines. It was a rebranding exercise.

avios.com/about-us/our-company/about-avios

Edited: 9:31 pm, November 25, 2012
UK
posts: 44,479
reviews: 89
10. Re: BA Avios - no flights available - will that change?

so I tried to see what was on offer one month nearer, ( October 2013), to catch a cruise ship in Barcelona and fly back from Houston. No flights available.

=======

Using airmiles for specific dates is a fools game. You need flexibility.

The fact they are not available at 11 months out doesn't mean that they werent available, (they may have been but someone else got there before you*), or they may become available from any time between now and a few days beforehand. But that doesn't work for an event with a fixed date like a cruise, wedding etc and certainly when "you want to cruise , from a certain port to a certain port", that's just a wildly unrealistic expectation.

* (why is it that when anyone complains there are no seats available and its BA's fault, they never imagine there are other people also wanting those seats who perhaps booked them first?)

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