This has turned into an acidental series of how to use stopovers to actually save Avios. It’s taking advantage of the way the pricing program works and being strategic when booking. But understand there are some hefty fuel surcharges that come when using Avios to fly to Europe. This post purely deals with saving the points – Avios – and not at all about saving cash. However, Feb 26th, Tuesday morning I will start a series on how to avoid fuel surcharges when using Avios. For now, here are specific example on how to save Avios with stopovers…
- Using Stopovers to Save Avios to South America
- Using Stopovers to Save Avios Across the Pacific
- Using Stopovers to Save Avios to Europe
- Using Stopovers to Save Avios to India
In all honesty, this is the one part of this series that is unnecessary as London and NYC are in the middle of most routes and are the only option. So yes, it does save Avios to add a stopover, but in most cases, your only option is to route through London anyways. Routes through LHR are actually a great option for west coasters in terms of price – only 25,000 Avios. Or you may find that it’s cheaper to fly direct (like JFK – AMM or DFW – MAD). We’ll try to discuss a few other main points though.
The reason stopovers work with BA Avios is made clear by the chart on the right and a little example. If one were to fly 5,501 miles it would cost 30,000 Avios. But if one were to fly two segments under 3,000 miles it would cost 25,000 miles (12,500 each). 2,999 miles is optimal. This is why Boston to Dublin is so prime – as it’s 2,993 flown miles.
- BOS – DUB = 12,500 Avios
Flights from LAX, DFW and ORD on American Airlines, and SEA, PDX and SAN on Alaska are under 12,500 Avios to Boston. Thus most all these flights are cheaper via Boston than going direct (if possible) or through NYC or London. But for example…
- SEA – JFK – DUB = 32,500 Avios.
- SEA – BOS – DUB = 25,000 Avios.
From Dublin we actually have the option to fly Aer Lingus to these wonderful locations and more (found here).
So we could fly Dublin to Athens, Bucharest or Moscow for 10,000 Avios.
In some cases it’s the same to fly via London as it would be Boston and Dublin.
- LAX – LHR – DME (Moscow) = 35,000 Avios.
But from Dublin it makes way more sense to go through Dublin to get Moscow (fuel aside), as it would only cost 22,500 Avios.
So if you live in Boston, you’re lucky! (Also Dublin to Vienna, Prague, Munich Zurich, Milan and many others is only 7,500 Avios). How do you find Aer Lingus flights? I use the Qantas search engine (and the route map above). Create an account and search. It’s one of the best OneWorld search engines. How do you book Aer Lingus flights with Avios? Over the phone. Remember that BA’s website is not complete.
For long routes, you actually fly pretty far north and therefore Helsinki is decently on the way. Plus, it’s 2,819 flown miles to Dubai. Finair goes to Chicago, Toronto and NYC.
- ORD – LHR – DXB = 40,000 Avios.
- ORD – HEL – DXB = 37,500 Avios (25,000 + 12,500).
Same concept applies to YYZ AND JFK. Also, I noticed that there are no BA flights to Antalya, Turkey. Routing through Helsinki is a great option and in this case LHR isn’t an option.
- ORD – HEL – AYT = 35,000 Avios.
To be honest, it rarely matters if you route through NYC or LHR, although there are exceptions. Atlanta to Berlin actually saves a little by routing through JFK.
- ATL – LHR – AFD = 29,500
- ATL – NYC – TXL = 27,500
Although there are major fuel incentives to avoid LHR. Like I said, we will go into that in a week but you may want to start using the tools I use to look for flights through Madrid instead of London. However painful taxes come out to be with BA flights, LHR is often the best deal.
- LAX – MAD = 30,000 Avios.
- LAX – LHR = 25,000 Avios.
Mostly, stopovers are the same price as direct flights to Europe. I know, not as cool as saving 12,500 each direction by stoping in Hawaii (like LAX – SYD), but there are still a few cool stopovers.
Since there are no OW flights from NYC to Amman, use the same principles to find a stopover like Milan, Italy. It doesn’t save any really but it is not a bad stopover.
- JFK – MXP – AMM = JFK – AMM – 30,000 Avios
Forgive me for going completely off the “saving Avios bandwagon, but there are a few cool examples of how to spend a little more for a great stopover. Like Miami to London (LGW) via Bermuda. Or better yet, Miami or Dallas to Madrid through Puerto Rico.
- DFW – SJU = 12,500 Avios.
- SJU – MAD = 20,000 Avios
A total of 32,500 and a little cheaper from Miami instead of paying 25,000 for a direct flight.
In closing I just wanted to say one thing, just for fun… A flight from Seattle to Dubai could look like this:
- SEA – BOS = 12,500 Avios.
- BOS – DUB = 12,500 Avios.
- DUB – HEL = 10,000 Avios.
- HEL – DXB = 12,500 Avios.
For 47,500 Avios you could see Boston, Dublin, Helsinki and Dubai. Suddenly the 100,000 Avios Visa doesn’t sound so bad, eh?
Any questions? Where should I go from here? Please feel free to make additions to this too!