A Good Use for Our British Airways Avios
Rewards Credit Cards
Hilary Stockton

My Award Booking Service helps travelers book first class and business class with miles and points. As an independent affiliate of Cadence, I also have access to Four Seasons Preferred Partner, VirtuosoPeninsula Hotels PenClub, Dorchester Diamond Club, Belmond Bellini Club, Shangri-La Luxury Circle, Langham CoutureRitz-Carlton STARS, Starwood Luxury Privileges, Rocco Forte and other 5-star hotel partners, so I can book, for no extra cost, your perfect luxury hotel or luxury cruise with VIP amenities not available anywhere else. Become a client and upgrade your stay!

Have a travel question we haven't covered yet? Want to share your secrets for traveling well for less?

A Good Use for Our British Airways Avios


After the multiple British Airways award chart devaluations I've had a little over 50,000 Avios languising in my BA Executive Club account, with no use for them. British Airways Avios can still provide decent value on short intra-regional flights on oneworld carriers, such as Qantas within Australia, Cathay Pacific or JAL within Asia, and theoretically American Airlines within the U.S. and to the Caribbean, at least if there was more saver award availability on the convenient nonstops and in business class.

For Asia, I used to advise clients to leverage Alaska Airlines miles to build in a stopover, for example Hong Kong if flying Cathay Pacific First Class or Cathay Business Class, or Tokyo if flying JAL First Class or JAL Business Class. The problem is that it's become very challenging in many cases to use Alaska Mileage Plan miles for Cathay Pacific First Class and JAL First Class, especially for two people. Cathay First Class of course is not available for two people on routes to/from the U.S., in advance (only closer to departure, if still available). But beyond that issue, which affects all partners, Alaska's award chart opens up a day later than American AAdvantage, and almost a month later than British Airways and Cathay Asia Miles.

Plus, there are many times when Alaska doesn't have access to all the award availability other partners, such as AAdvantage and British Airways. For this reason, if wanting to fly even JAL First Class on a specific date, you're better off booking with AAdvantage miles, and paying the slight miles premium to do so.

But what if you want several days in Tokyo before going somewhere else in Tokyo? You'll need to book a separate award, since AAdvantage doesn't allow a stopover of >24 hours. That's where British Airways Avios come in. The nice thing is that you can fly JAL Business Class several places from Tokyo, for a fairly reasonable amount of Avios:

  • Shanghai in JAL Business Class = 15,000 Avios one way
  • Hong Kong in JAL Business Class = 20,000 Avios one way
  • Manila in JAL Business Class = 20,000 Avios one way
  • Bangkok in JAL Business Class = 37,500 Avios one way
  • Ho Chi Minh City in JAL Business Class = 37,500 Avios one way
Meanwhile, if you were to use AAdvantage miles, you'd use 30,000 miles for JAL Business Class from Asia 1 to Asia 2. Clearly Shanghai, Hong Kong and Manila are better value with Avios, but some will even prefer to use the greater number of Avios for Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City, if they have a glut of Avios, and since Avios are worth less than AAdvantage miles. In terms of paid fares, one way fares can easily run $2000 from Tokyo to Hong Kong or Manila, and a roundtrip Tokyo-Manila-Tokyo can easily be $1400 or more, so you're looking at ~3.5 cents per British Airways Avios--quite good if not amazing value for an Avios point.
In our case, this worked out perfectly, since we enjoyed our trip to Japan so much that we want a few more nights in Tokyo next year before going elsewhere in Asia. And in addition to better award availability with AAdvantage miles, we happen to have more AAdvantage miles than Alaska miles, as they've been easier to earn with credit card signup bonuses.

Recommended Posts

Japan Airlines 777-300ER Business Class Sky Suite Review

Review: Japan Airlines JAL Sky Suite 777 Business Class

The World's 6 Best First Class Airline Experiences

Lounge Review: Japan Airlines (JAL) Business Class Lounge Tokyo Narita

JAL First Class Suite Award Space Tokyo to Sydney

Need Award Booking Help? Our fee is as low as $75 per ticket if you book your hotel through us.

If you enjoyed this, join 200,000+ readers: please follow TravelSort on Twitter or  like us on Facebook to be alerted to new posts. 

Become a TravelSort Client and Book 5-star hotels with Virtuoso Perks and Preferred Partner Benefits!

  • |
  • Print
    print |
Related Articles
Leave a Comment
Hotel Rewards Credit Cards
Get Free Email Blog Updates
Popular Articles
  This ANA First Class 777 Review for a New York JFK to Tokyo Narita flight is part of a new trip report including Tokyo luxury hotels, restaurants and sushi bars. Having previously enjoyed JAL First Class, we were looking...
  This British Airways First Class 747 Review is one of my several reviews of British Airways First Class; see all posts tagged British Airways, or for other airline first class and business class reviews, see my Airline Reviews. Since...
  This Japan Airlines (JAL) 777-300ER Business Class Sky Suite Review is from our recent trip to Japan, including ANA First Class, JAL Business Class review, and Tokyo luxury hotel reviews and Kyoto luxury hotel reviews. For previous posts in...
  Persistence often pays off, including for award tickets. I book many AAdvantage awards for Award Booking clients, because even though Alaska miles are often less expensive, have the advantage of allowing a stopover on a one way award, and...
  A 50K CitiBusiness AAdvantage Bonus Offer without the usual 24 month restriction is available, via Reddit, and I've updated my Best Travel Credit Cards page with this offer. Normally Citi cards have language stating that the bonus is not...
Can you transfer AAdvantage miles into AMEX Membership Rewards points or Chase Ultimate Rewards points? Reader Michael writes "I have a lot of American Airlines miles from a Citi AAdvantage card, is there a way to transfer those points to...
  There's a 50K Korean Air Skypass Visa Business card targeted bonus offer, which I received in the mail recently. The issuer is US Bank, so if you've already taken advantage of other attractive offers from Chase, AMEX and Citi,...
  The AMEX Business Platinum will add new benefits, 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels booked with AMEX Travel, effective March 30, 2017, per Flyertalk. This is better news than for the personal AMEX Platinum, which will raise its...
  It's possible to buy AMEX Membership Rewards points, in conjunction with a points transfer. This post will discuss how to buy Membership Rewards points, how much it costs, whom you can transfer points to, and when it's likely to...
I'm rethinking my AMEX Business Platinum. While I'd assumed I was going to cancel it later this year, after collecting the $200 in airline incidental credit, I'm sure now that I'll keep it at least another year. Why? It's well...