Okay! You've done your research and decided you want to fly to London Heathrow from Seattle, WA in March of 2017. You start looking for flights. You know you want a non stop cause you want to be there as fast as the plane can get you there. Checking the normal sites like Expedia, Hopper, & Skyscanner, you see the prices vary from $800 per person to the sky's the limit. You want the best deal, so let me tell you about what we did to get a pretty decent deal on our flights.
We opened a British Airways Credit Card a year prior to booking our flights. We basically ran every single bill we could through it to earn over 100,000 Avios. Since they are bills we have to pay normally, why not?
Avios are the same as miles with other cards. With this card, you earn 1 Avio for every $1 spent. We earned our extra rewards as well, such as a bonus 50,000 Avios when spending $3000 in the first 3 months and a "free travel together" ticket for spending over $30,000 in the first year that is good for up to 2 years. Travel together is a ticket where when you purchase one ticket, you get the second for "free" when you book the same flight and seating. The reason I say "free", is that unfortunately, you still get to pay British Airways super high taxes and fees for the ticket. More on that in a bit though.
So lets show an example of how I saved $600+ on our tickets. Right now, if you look at their website, for the same dates I chose, you see this result:
A total of over $1900 for both flights. When I originally booked about a year ago, it was over $2400. By using avios points to pay for my flight and using our travel together ticket, we got the flights themselves for FREE. We do still have to pay taxes and fee, however. That totaled about $1300. Now, I know what you are thinking...that's still kinda high! I agree, if you are just looking for the cheapest flight possible with layovers and odd times. Lets look at that next.
Please keep in mind, that I booked us on a direct flight, no layovers, with more ideal times to arrive and leave. No late night departures, or 3AM arrivals.
I took a peek at Expedia, putting in the same criteria and filtered by cheapest flights. I've also used some of my other favs, such as Hopper, and SkyScanner with similar results. Here's what I got for cheapest:
Not only is it $300 more, it also has a 2 hour layover in San Francisco. I don't know about you all, but I tend to avoid layovers if it can be helped. I want to get to my destination quickly!
I know credit cards aren't everyone's favorite thing, but in this case it helped us get the flight we wanted with no layovers, for at the very least $300 or more in savings. The Avios can also be used for hotels and rental cars, with rental cars being a really good value. I'll speak more on that on another post.
Last, lets talk about taxes and fees. British charged me $680 per person, so that's about what it was per person per flight. When I compare to other carriers, they tend to be higher on British. I wish I could say why. Maybe their food will be better? One can hope.
Let me know your thoughts! Do you use a travel rewards card you love?