Save Avios by not flying BA – multi carrier including round the world redemptions

Avios bonus

There is a chart for redeeming Avios that not many people are aware of. It’s not that useful for simple point to point itineraries but if you fancy doing a multi-centre holiday, around the world or New Zealand/Australia this is a trick worth knowing. If you use 2 or more oneworld partner airlines for your redemption, a different number of miles applies. The chart shown below can be found on BA here. The chart shows the amount of Avios needed in economy for journeys in the distance bands indicated. The Avios amount for reward flights in premium economy is 1.5 times the Avios amount shown; for business class 2 times, and for first class, it will be 3 times.

These can often work out better value for Avios redemptions than booking directly just on BA or with one connecting airline. This is because when Avios were devalued in 2015, BA didn’t change this chart.

For those not familiar with multi-carrier award planning, the oneworld RTW ‘where we fly’ tool can be useful for working out an itinerary. To measure the distance the great circle mapper tool is also useful. You need to enter each leg separately. When using the great circle tool you can type in the names or codes of the airports as one list which is nice and simple. It will then work out the distance between each point and the total.

The rules for the chart are:

  • You must use at least two OneWorld carriers
  • No British Airways flights are allowed
  • You are limited to a maximum of 8 flight segments
  • 1 open-jaw connection is allowed (flying into one airport but back out of a different one)

The price you pay for your flight will be either:

  • full Avios plus taxes, fees and carrier charges or
  • Avios & Money plus taxes, fees and carrier charges.

The price will depend on the total distance of all the segments of your journey, irrespective of whether it’s one way or return.

So how do you book these? Unfortunately, you do need to call BA to book, it can’t be done online. Be aware that it may take some time to make the booking and not all agents will be familiar with this type of booking, so allow plenty of time. There are plenty of reports of conflicting advice being given by BA agents, so don’t expect it to be simple. Given the savings, it’s still worthwhile persevering. I would also recommend looking at Award Nexus to get suggestions of availability before calling BA as it will save a lot of time.

Let’s have a look at a couple of itineraries to see what the difference is compared to British Airways in terms of Avios.

Australia

London – Doha – Hong Kong – Sydney – Auckland – Kuala Lumpur – London (Qatar, Cathay, Qantas, Malaysia 22,413 miles)

  • Avios needed using standard redemption in business class – 375,000
  • Avios needed using multi-carrier in Club World – 240,000

Round the world

Honolulu

London – Hong Kong – Sydney – Honolulu – Los Angeles – London (Cathay, Qantas, American 23,650 miles)

  • Avios needed using standard redemption in business class  350,500
  • Avios needed using multi-carrier in Club World – 240,000

In both of these examples, the savings can be enormous. Both routes are well under the 25,000 miles limit for the Avios group so you could add in an extra stopover or two – up to 8 segments in total.

Have you ever used multi-carrier awards to book a ticket with Avios? How easy was it? Let me know in the comments below or on social media.

4 Comments on "Save Avios by not flying BA – multi carrier including round the world redemptions"

  1. Please excuse my ignorance, in respect of the 1 open jaw connection, would the following routing be classified as an open-jaw? GRU>SCL>MAD>LHR open jaw connection PVG>TOK>JFK>GRU

    Or does the open-jaw connection have to be from the same country or region?

    Thanks

    • The main rule about open jaw is that the distance between the origin and the initial destination or the return point and origin must not be shorter than the distance between the arrival airport and departure airport. So you will need to measure the distances as both are similar distances in your example. Great circle mapper can do it in line

  2. Were your examples for 2 passengers, the RTW ex. was 23,650 miles and the chart show 120000 Avios for that distance. Am I missing something?

    Thanks,

    • Hi Glenn. It’s because they are business class so require 2x the miles shown. Each class has a different multiple shown higher up in the post.

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