I just booked a trip to Maui this summer using Avios, and lemme tell ya, I am thrilled.
While I’ve often tried to book these legendary flights (prized because of their low points cost – only 25,000 Avios for a roundtrip from the West Coast to Hawaii), I have never actually succeeded, as they are notoriously rare. In fact, each time I’ve called British Airways to try to figure out a Avios to Hawaii booking, the agent has audibly tsk-ed and tutted his or her way through the lengthy conversation, all which have ended in disappointment (on my end, at least).
NOT THIS TIME!
On a whim, I checked the American Airlines site for the months of July and August to see what goodies might be available. Specifically, I was searching for Oakland – Maui flights that had “MileSAAaver” award availability. (This is because you need to find Saver award availability on American or Alaska in order to book the flights using Avios. You also need to find a direct flight).
Tons of availability!
Imagine my shock when I saw this on the American site:
And this on the Alaska site:
I was electrified with excitement, but tried to remain calm, as I knew that sometimes the return flights can be the deal-killer. However, here’s what I saw:
I could not dial the British Airways number fast enough. Of course, then I was on hold for about 45 minutes, but I wisely used that time to check award availability for the Andaz Maui and a few random Airbnbs.
I waited breathlessly while the agent checked my chosen dates. Again, this took forever, so I struck up a conversation about Manchester, England (which is the location of the British Airways call center and the hometown of the agent to whom I was speaking). After what seemed like an eternity, I yelled with delight when the agent was able to confirm that SEVEN award seats were available! Especially since I only needed four. 🙂
How much did it cost?
Each flight priced out at 12,500 Avios + $5.50 each way, so all told, these four roundtrip flights cost me a total of 100,000 Avios + $44.
The best part was checking what the flights would have cost if I purchased them with cash instead of miles: $2,872!!
You can do it, too!
A few tips:
- Since Avios is a distance-based award currency, the number of miles you need depends on how many miles your flight is. You can use the Wandering Aramean’s Avios calculator tool to check the points cost of a flight.
- You need to find award availability for the lowest tier of award prices.
- Try calling a different call center (Singapore is supposedly a good one – Tel: +65 6823 2095) for shorter wait times.
- Make sure that you ask the agent to waive the phone booking fee of $25, as these award seats aren’t possible to book online.
Good luck and aloha!
Is anyone else planning to snap up these great award flights?