As an Avios collector this is awesome news. Simply put, US Air is now in the same “group” of airlines as British Airways and American Airlines. So we now have access to more “reward” flights, and I saw this firsthand today.
I was checking to see if I could book next March break yet- yes you need to look very early- start looking about 11 months out if you want to find award space! So I knew I wouldn’t find anything yet, but then checked February for fun, and saw flights offered from US Air! It’s nice to have another option for award flights.
For my friends that collect Avios, this is great news!
There are obviously more than 2 airline programs, these are the 2 we focus on at borderfreetravel.com.
Today, I helped 2 different co-workers find flights for 2 different destinations using their points and I learned a couple of new things.
I learned Avios is still my preferred program for flying and here is why.
One person wanted to fly 2 people to Las Vegas from our area, which is Detroit or Toronto.
Using her Avios from Detroit, it ended up costing 60,000 Avios and $20.00
Using Avios from Toronto is a few more Avios, and higher taxes.
Using Aeroplan from Detroit it costs 50,000 Aeroplan and $61.00
Using Aeroplan from Toronto is costs 50,000 Aeroplan and $303.00
So, her best plan would have been the Aeroplan from Detroit which uses 50,000 total points and $61.00.
The thing I don’t like about using your points here are the taxes Aeroplan charges, specifically from Toronto – that’s way too much.
Aeroplan is straightforward in their redemptions for miles in that a flight within Canada and US is 25,000 points plus taxes.(not including short hauls – 15000 points)
Avios is distance based and that is why I like them more.
The flights I prefer (to Florida) are 20,000 from Detroit and 15,000 Avios points per flight from Cleveland which saves us 5000-10000 points per flight.
Also, there are bonus redemptions with AMEX MR points where they sometimes give you up to 50% more Avios when you redeem them online. Last Canadian redemption was for 50% more in March, 2013.
The second scenario involved flying 1 person from our area to Paris, France.
Using his Avios from Detroit, it ended up costing 49000 Avios and $719
Using his Avios from Toronto it ended up costing 49000 Avios and $405
Using Aeroplan from Detroit it was 60000 Aeroplan and $805
Using Aeroplan from Toronto it was 59500 Aeroplan and $615.
So, his best plan would be the Avios from Toronto which uses 49000 Avios and $405.
So, you can see there are differet scenarios depending on where you want to go – and different tax charges for sure.
When I checked Australia for someone, it ended up being through American Airlines from our area (75,000 points), but you need to get those points – there are ways through the Amex cards.
So, now I’ll do some math to see if using these points is worth it rather than paying cash.
Las Vegas scenario – 2 people – 50,000 Aeroplan + 61.00
I have looked for Las Vegas flights in the summer before, and I’m going to give this flight a ballpark $350 figure and checking Expedia as I write this, that is about correct.
So: the 2 flights would be $700.00 total or 50,000 Aeroplan + 61.00
You are getting $639/50000 or 1.3 cents per Aeroplan – not great, but hey you are using them up and getting pretty close to free flights.
Paris, France scenario – 1 person – 49000 Avios + 405.00
He told me he couldn’t find anything under $1400, I looked and found about $1200, so let’s split the difference and call this a $1300 flight.
So: the flight would be $1300.00 total or 49000 Avios + 405.00
You are getting $895/49000 or 1.8 cents per Avios – better!
In conclusion, perhaps open both accounts and gather points in both so when a scenario comes up where using one over the other is advantageous, you have the points ready!
If you do a little math when you book your flights, you can save alot of money!
These are the 2 cards that get you there!
Amex Gold Rewards Card – 25,000 MR points on sign up – fee waived first year.
Amex AeroGold Card – 30,000 Aeroplan (when referred) – fee waived first year.
See our Amex page for details on those – essentially 2 free flights for you there!
Ok we did a video on how to get free flights from Amex – it’s easy to do and you will love collecting points once you start. We think we will do a video a week now going over all the new deals we found that week and anything else that might be interesting. Look for it Sundays.
Here is the page with the Amex video.
Carolyn has some cruises in Europe for the summer at less than $1000 per person for a week!
You have to check out these links – the countries you visit are amazing – Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Turkey, it goes on.
Remember she is an Expedia rep. so she will find you something for a great price – just check out her page and send her an email – or even call her.
She gets Disney, Caribbean, Alaskan, whatever! I have known her many years and she knows how to get deals!
We have updated our Trip of the week flight/hotel package – note for these you need to start a British Airways account to collect Avios to fly with American Airlines. See our page for that.
We also updated our flights out of Detroit/Flint to sunny Florida locations over Easter weekend – looks like it will cost you about $300 to go – or more!
So start collecting points – Amex MR points, Aeroplan, Avios etc so those flights can be free!
Some really good flights out of Detroit coming up- prices are amazing!
Follow us on Twitter @borderfreetravl
Ok we updated our prices for Easter weekend going South from Detroit or Flint to Tampa/Miami/Orlando.
Basically you can still get some flights for under $300, which isn’t bad to escape this weather, but who knows what it will be like by then?
Yes, there are still hotels, but grab one of the many hotel credit cards we have been talking about so your stay is free!
If you know of something or a good price, please post it!
Just found some amazing deals on Spirit out of Detroit! – I re-tweeted it as well. – not MARCH Break or Easter
Check out Carolyn’s page – she has a bunch of last minute cruises – if the deal has expired, send her an email.
She also has March break, Easter and Alaska cruises ready to book – through Expedia – she is an Expedia rep. remember!
Big Rick is living the dream – he is back in the Dominican Republic for the second time in a month!
Check out his stories!
Our Facebook page has a great Aeroplan contest and other bonus options. Like us there to see all the offers!
Also we are on Twitter @borderfreetravl