Since British Airways tries to pass on fuel surcharges to those using points, your best option is to redeem your Avios (miles) on a partner who does not charge for fuel. This is a series about avoiding fuel surcharges when using BA Avios. This post will outline possible airlines to redeem on and what their fuel surcharges look like.
- Choosing the Right Airline
- Stopovers to Save Fuel
- Iberia and Aer Lingus to Europe
Here are some OneWorld Partners you might consider booking with instead of British Airways when using your Avios. Once again, I find routes by searching them on the OneWorld map then just searching for award tickets on British Airways (or searching on Qantas’ website). This is great for knowing your options.
Also understand that US airports have really low taxes so departing from Miami is going to be a heck of a lot cheaper than departing from London.
LAN Airlines – One of the best redemptions for British Airways Avios is a flight on LAN and the best airline for covering South America. Some of the lowest international fees for Avios out of all the options. There is no fuel surcharge.
American Airlines – AA is a great option when redeeming award flights domestically, to South America, the Pacific and Asia… Anywhere but Europe really (as for some reason BA will add on some fees). But it’s really not that bad.
- For domestic routes it’s simply one of the best options. $2.50 or $5 for a flight is just the 9/11 security taxes. No fuel surcharge.
- It is yet again a great option to South America, as MIA – SCL is only $2.50 and 25,000 Avios oneway. No fuel surcharge.
- It’s still a decent option for flights to Asia. Dallas – Seoul is a 10 hour flight that costs $174. But it makes no sense as the same flight is $5 on AA.com.
Cathay Pacific - Not only is Cathay just a better airline but it’s actually a reasonable way to get to Asia. LAX – HKG costs $147.50 and is a 15 hour flight. $147 is well worth First Class. So yes, they have higher than $5 surcharges but it’s just a great airline in any cabin.
Air Berlin - This is maybe the best option for avoiding fuel to Europe. For example, Miami to Berlin is 25,000 and $2.50! No fuel surcharge. For many people routing through Miami is not a problem as it’s an AA hub as well.
Aer Lingus - Another saver option in both cash and points for flights to Europe. Boston to Dublin is 25,000 Avios roundtrip with$146 in taxes. No fuel surcharge. We’ll talk about how to find these tickets later in the series.
Iberia - Based out of Madrid, Iberia has many routes to the US, thus an option to connect to Europe with no fuel surcharge. We’ll discuss how to book later as well.
British Airways is an option but the point of this series is to avoid fuel surcharges and they by far have the highest on this list. Qantas is based out of Sydney and easily has $400 in fuel surcharges for a flight. But if you need to get to Sydney it’s one of the only ways, but you can at least start from Hawaii. Japan Airlines is a convenient stopover but has very high fuel surcharges. LAX – NRT costs $323. Royal Jordanian is the same. Also, I have yet to try to book with Malaysia Airlines but will update when I find out. Let me know if you have tried or know the state of fuel surcharges when using Avios on Malaysia Airlines.