BA restarts Grand Cayman flights – but don’t get excited, it’s closed!
British Airways plans to resume service to the Cayman Islands, initially operating London Heathrow – Grand Cayman nonstop instead of 1-stop via Nassau. From London Heathrow, the service will operate every 2 weeks from 17 September until the end of the summer season on 24 October 2020.
However, don’t get your hopes up as the border is closed until 1 October and it is not guaranteed to open by then. At the moment despite having flights there, you need special permission in advance to enter. Hopefully, the island may reopen in October as most of its Caribbean counterparts are now open in some way.
A 3-class Boeing 777-200ER will operate the route:
BA253 LHR 1015 – 1515 GCM 17 SEP 20 / 01 OCT 20 / 15 OCT 20
BA252 GCM 2025 – 1125+1 LHR 18 SEP 20 / 02 OCT 20 / 16 OCT 20
BA offers Avios instead of cash refunds with 100% bonus
Back in May, I mentioned that one option available to take instead of taking a cash refund is a special deal with BA to take Avios instead. The deal is now available for
- British Airways Holidays bookings
- Long haul Reward Flight bookings
- Book with Confidence vouchers for long haul Reward Flight bookings
As always, if a customer’s booking is cancelled, they can still take a voucher or a full refund. However, they are also to take Avios as a further option. Taking Avios as an alternative to the cash element paid for a ticket means customers will receive a 100% bonus. This is if you compare it to the price you would pay if you bought the Avios. It is now also available to claim online.
So should you take the Avios? Well, a 100% bonus is generally going to be a good deal as the most BA have ever offered is 75%. As regular readers will know I don’t tend to put a price on Avios. It all depends on your personal circumstances in what they are worth to you and how many you have. Things to bear in mind are:
- Are you likely to want to book or travel soon?
- If so, Avios are actually better than a cash booking in that you can cancel up to 24 hours in advance with only a loss of £35 or the taxes whichever is lower. Flexibility is definitely key at the moment.
- If you are not planning on travelling then cash is always better given the current state of the UK travel industry with the on and off quarantines – the outlook is not good.
- If you have a companion voucher to use or are saving for something in particular, this is a decent value way to potentially acquire a lot of Avios quickly.
- Given the levels of availability for some destinations, it could be easier than usual to get what you need. (see below)
You can now request an Avios refund alternative via ba.com, using this webform: https://www.britishairways.com/travel/webforms/public/en_gb?eId=120001&wfpId=claimavios
Crazy BA Avios availability
As I have been saying for a while now, miles bookings have really come into their own during these uncertain times. Everyone wants something to look forward to, so having a trip booked for 2021 can be a good feeling. However, most people don’t want to commit much in the way of cash and they want their booking to be flexible. Avios provide the perfect opportunity for this at the moment and BA recently has released even more seats, particularly to the US. BA promised to release at least 2 seats in Club World on each flight 355 days before, but getting more than two seats can be tricky.
With the current situation, there is some incredibly good availability on routes that would normally be busy. Don’t fancy the US? If you can’t get what you want to other places in the Caribbean, Canada or South America, getting an Avios ticket to the US as a start can be a good idea. Of course, you can always change it or get a refund up to 24 hours before.
Seat Spy is one of the best tools for finding Avios availability and it offers free and paid subscriptions. Want to go on a last-minute break but not sure where? The “Where can I go” option will show you all the seats in the world available on BA using Avios on set dates.
Here is an overview of where I can see good first and Club rewards flights:
- Los Angeles – up to 4 first and club seats almost every day for the next year
- Phoenix and Las Vegas – up to 4 club seats almost every day for 2021 with First seats from end of March
- Miami – Up to 6 in First and 4 in Club for next year
- Antigua – 4 Club seats on a number of days in Sept/Oct and July 21
- Costa Rica – up to 4 seats in Club per flight January to March
- Buenos Aires – 2-4 seats in Club from November onwards
- Tokyo – 2-4 seats in Club from now on
- Vancouver – up to 6 seats in First over the winter plus good availability in Club too
- Bermuda – Up to 6 in First and 4 in Club for next year
- Johannesburg – up to 4 seats in Club over the winter
- Hong Kong – good availability in Club for next year with patchy First
- Cancun – Club seats from October to December