23 Jul Maximize Reward

I have joined the British Airways Executive Club for quite some time and I have enough avios to redeem a few round trip flights. There are options I can consider, (1) redeem multiple economy round trips or (2) splurge my avios on premium cabin. I have done some homework and there are many websites out there like the Points Guy explaining the value ratio for each avio you collect and providing full details on how to maximize your frequent flyer miles. The bottom line is you get the best bang for your travel points if you redeem premium class.

It’s very difficult however to redeem flight tickets in peak travelling season. I started searching the summer flights almost a year ago (BA released available reward flights about 11 months in advance). I was lucky enough to find two first class tickets and the date was just 1 day apart from my husband Will’s birthday, so I immediately confirmed the flights without saying a word to him. It’s going to be his big birthday surprise. As much as I know Will is getting somewhat claustrophobic in flight sometimes, I know this would be the best birthday treat he could ever get. I still have to pay the tax and fuel surcharge but it’s only a small dollar difference comparing to what I would pay for redeeming economy tickets. You still have to pay close to $600 tax plus surcharge for a reward economy ticket which I find quite not worth it. So it’s like I’m paying 1/10 of a retail first class ticket, which I will never be able to afford in full price.

Tips for Reward Flights

1) Redeem as early as you can. If you need to cancel/modify your flight, you can still do so by paying a small penalty fee.
2) Choose the highest class if possible. The ridiculous high tax/fuel surcharge will be applicable to European countries, but it doesn’t quite apply if you fly within North America or to Asia.
3) Accumulate points by applying different travel credit cards (I’m currently with RBC avion and I have taken advantage of earning points by owning British Airways RBC visa and American Express Gold). HINT: For AE if you refer to your friends and family, you will get extra points also.

Birthday Surprise

it’s very hard for me to hide this for 9 months, but I managed to keep this as a secret and finally got to reveal on his birthday. I had handwritten the message on the card and he didn’t seem quite getting it until I showed him his mobile boarding pass. He’s more than excited the next day and I was eager to find out if we were going to be in the New First cabin. Yes, there is a huge difference between New First and Old First cabin.

A full review of the BA new first product will be coming next.

  • Carmen
    Posted at 11:41h, 23 July Reply

    It really a great surprise to your husband. i also make a research on how to manage my mileages however i am not a well time planner to organize my trip sometimes.

    • vivi
      Posted at 19:24h, 23 July Reply

      You have many trips to organize and I can totally understand it’s difficult to manage way ahead of time, how’s your trip planning to Italy?

  • Carmen
    Posted at 03:10h, 26 July Reply

    still in planning mode but hope i can settle in aug. How many days u have drive in tuscany? Can u share more with me?

    • vivi
      Posted at 18:48h, 26 July Reply

      We were there for 4 days 3 nights. If you can manage driving in Provence, you can be sure to enjoy even more in Tuscany. The roads are much much more quiet and easier to follow along (no roundabouts). You won’t regret as the Tuscan towns are just drop dead gorgeous and beautiful!!

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