TLFL Weekend Travel Surgery – Episode 2

BA should i buy avios

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And we are back – apologies if you don’t see your answer below – we will aim to reply to them via email in due course. If you have a question, please email [email protected]

Question 1

I’m a BA Gold For Life awardee but my wife and I have now become rather keen on Qatar business class for long haul – and Qatar, like BA, is a OneWorld member.

Is it, therefore, worth me now accruing the Qatar equivalent of tier points and miles or should I still accrue BA miles (even though I don’t strictly now need the BA tier points)?

I ask because I’ve read that the Qatar loyalty scheme is a bit rubbish / not worth having, so the opposite to everything else Qatar.

The Qatar program was devalued a while ago making it very unattractive – I’d continue earning those Avios and lifetime TP!  Gold Guest List for Life here you come ;-). You could consider trying for 2500 Tier points if you don’t already so that you get the upgrade for two voucher. 


Question 2Qantas a380 sydney

My wife and I are looking to travel to Australia in late February, returning home approximately 4 weeks later so arrival and departure airports in Australia are not fixed.

We have no status (blue) with BA  but are quite Avios rich and have two 2.4.1 vouchers which I suspect will be of little use. 

Can you assist with likely methods to achieve business travel at a reasonable cost, and likelihood of any decent sales in the offing.

Further complicated as we live in Scotland!!

As you say a 2-4-1 voucher is likely to be of little use as the chances of finding availability at this late stage is slim. However, using rewardflightfinder I can see a few dates available at the end of February.

You could also look at a multi-partner redemption which means you need to fly on two non-BA oneworld airlines. This can work out cheaper than using Avios normally on multiple flights.

If neither of those work out, we are coming up to Black Friday (29 November) which nearly always has some ex EU offers from Germany to Australia at well under £2000. Qatar also do a sale usually at the same time and they do fly out of Edinburgh.  However, their UK prices are normally not very good. If you could get to Stockholm (you could always use the 2-4-1 voucher for that), then you are very likely to get a fare around £2100pp with either Qatar or Singapore. From the UK the cheapest option is usually China Southern which are a decent airline and a member of Skyteam. You can read our review here. They often do fares around £2200-2400 to Australia. 

I would recommend using Google Flights to look at your options. 


Question 3BA Executive club avios

Dear Michele I am an avid follower of your TLFL blog. Thanks for the amazing work you’re doing. I need your help, please. I currently have 28,715 lifetime Tier Points and I’m keen to make an effort to get my Gold for Life. I moved to Kenya a few years ago and would prefer to start Tier Point Runs from here. I need to be in Malacca (Malaysia) via Abu Dhabi in March and wondered if you might be able to help me put together an itinerary that would maximise my Tier Points (right now I’m struggling to maintain Silver!). I would be so grateful for your insights.

This is a tricky one as it all depends on the fares available. I would recommend routeing from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta and then on to Malaysia. Sri Lankan fly Abu Dhabi to Jakarta and this gets 280 tier points each way which would be 560 just for that part. You could route Kenya – London – Abu Dhabi (BA) – Colombo – Jakarta (UL) -Kuala Lumpur (MH) and then you would have to fly Air Asia for the last part.  You may need a couple of tickets to do that but Abu Dhabi to Jakarta is usually around £550 in a sale return business class. You could also consider flying via Doha to London if you want to be really extreme with Qatar.

If you did the full Kenya-Doha-London-Abu Dhabi-Colombo-Jakarta return in business class you would get a whopping 1480 tier points which is nearly gold if you could get the 4 BA flights and an extra 20 tier points!


Question 4

I would like to know how to book fares with a stopover.

eg the recent post of fares from Stockholm to Bangkok with Qatar looks really attractive.

What would be ideal is a 1/2 night stopover in DOHA especially as  Qatar are promoting a hotel for 23 USD per night.

If you try to book on the Qatar website then an overnight does not come up as an option.

Any ideas/tips?

Depending on the airline there are several ways to do this. For most airlines, you can simply use the multi-city option (or complex flight on Emirates) and just enter in each segment separately. So rather than Stockholm-Bangkok, you would enter Stockholm-Doha and then Doha-Bangkok with the dates of each flight. Qatar are a specific option as they offer a stopover program that allows you to get reduced price or free hotels. For this, you need to go to the specific Qatar stopover page which you can find here. 


Question 5

Can Virgin’s miles booster be used on children’s Flying Club accounts? Also, do children’s accounts automatically migrate to an adult account when they turn 18, or are miles miraculously “lost”?

Yes, you can use the miles booster option on a children’s account exactly the same as an adult. When they turn 18 the account automatically converts into a standard adult account and the miles stay in the account.