Back before British Airways frequent flyer program changed from “miles” to “Avios”, and back before their miles pricing was distance based…
BA used to have unlimited stopovers on award tickets.
*cue: you don’t know what you got til it’s gone*
Also seems crazy now, it was 20,000 BA miles to/from the US and Easter Island…
I had a zillion BA miles when I read the news…
My wife and I both got the 100,000 BA Mile card, plus I went ahead and transferred a bunch of Amex points to BA during a 50% transfer bonus.
Not only was I using the $1 coins on my BA card (to get the companion pass) and an Amex card, but we also got 100k Amex MR bonuses, making 1 card give 150,000 BA miles, just from the signup bonus.
Then in fall of 2011, Carrie and I were visiting friends before taking off to begin full-time travel, and I read that BA was completely changing their program.
It’s funny, because at the time distance based prices were the worst, but nowadays, many of the distance based programs retain lower business class and first class prices. But at the time, this felt like the end of Avios…
And in all fairness, they ended one of the best stopover policies ever.
I booked some crazy Pacific trip, and let me tell you, you could just continue to feed cities and they would just book whatever you told them. It was amazing, although I didn’t appreciate how amazing it was at the time, as at the time it became normal to try to squeeze in a dozen cities on a ticket.
Let’s book some tickets… like now.
Keep in mind, that we had hundreds of thousands of BA Miles at the time. And in general, once we started full-time travel, we never had points balances like that ever again. We just had millions of miles sitting around.
Also, prices would increase significantly. So I felt like it would be a waste to not book a few tickets for friends.
One of the tickets we booked that day was a trip to easter island.
This was well known as one of the best deals with BA Avios Miles. Easter Island was priced the same as Chile, which was only 20k miles each way, or 40k in business class.
We would meet up with our friends in Santiago, Chile and stay at the Hyatt and then continue to the next stopover..
20,000 miles for the following:
We booked them as a roundtrip, but we flew to SCL on AA miles, or something…
Point is, we started in Santiago, booked a stopover in Easter Island, then booked a stopover in Lima, Peru, and then booked a stopover in Miami before going to Houston.
- A week in Chile.
- 4 days on Easter Island
- A month in Peru
- Back to the US
The funny thing is that we flew our friends out in business class, because the availability was better for their days.
Easter Island was a really unique experience, despite the weather being pretty bad.
But Peru was actually my favorite part of the trip, and being in the Andes was an amazing experience.
This picture was from below Machu Picchu (we took a rather unconventional route to get to the town):
One of the best redemption deals ever, although the fuel surcharges prevented me from using it globally.
In this case, we flew four people (including us) to Chile, Easter Island, Peru, and home. That same pre-devaluation week we booked another friend to visit in South America and another friend to visit us in China (also business class).
Unbelieve redemptions due to BA Miles unlimited stopovers. Although I’m guessing even crazier tickets were done. Anyone pre-Avios book anything crazy?