I checked for an award ticket on British Airways as well as its alliance partner, American Airlines, for a Minneapolis-London flight on Oct. 24th returning Oct. 31st. British Airways had an award seat for me, as did American. On British Airways, I had to cash in 49,000 Avios points, on American it cost me 40,000 miles.
But here’s the big, big difference: British Airways wanted me to pay a whopping $700 for taxes, fees, and fuel surcharge. American only asked $191.
Which would you choose?
And the difference between paying retail for that coach ticket on BA and paying the $700 in fees for the award ticket was only $457. In short, my award ticket would only save me $457 on British Air.
Not only are the fees often drastically different on award tickets, so are the miles required. For the same dates, American wanted those 40,000 miles and United wanted 60,000. Both charged the same fee of $191 for that London flight. And remember, partner airlines might have award flights even if, say, United, doesn’t. Check Air Canada or Aer Lingus in the case of a flight to London, for example.
Tomorrow: More tricks.