Decoding Avios, part 2


Since the introduction of the Avios loyalty program from British Airways and Iberia there has been much gnashing of teeth, frustration and – occasionally – excitement about the redemption options that the program offers. Short-haul flights, in particular, can be a tremendous value, as can regional flights within Europe and even a few long-haul flights where a non-stop routing is available. When a connection is involved, however, the points required can span quite a range meaning that identifying the smarter connection point is more of a challenge and not something that British Airways does a very good job of publishing on their website.

Good thing I like building tools to help clarify frequent flier program data like this. Welcome to the Avios Redemption Calculator.

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Put in your preferred city pair and the tool will search connections based on published routes and the Avios award schedule and spit out various non-stop and single connection routing options and their costs.

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It is definitely interesting to see how the cost can vary by more than 100%, depending on the routing chosen.

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The tool is still somewhat a work in progress as I’ve got a few more bits I want to add to it, especially more partner carriers, but the base functionality is up and running and pretty solid in my initial testing. Give it a try and see what you can come up with.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

19 Comments

  1. This is the next best thing since sliced bread! Thanks!

    I was checking ORD-DUB, on AA nonstop it is 20K one way, but checking your program, VIA EWR it is 12K one way via partner. What partner is it? Less miles, I would have to check what are the fees/taxes?

    1. Sorry for the false hope there, ORD-TGU. Something got in the system suggesting that DUB-EWR could be had for 4500, allowing that 12000 award to price. I just double-checked and that option doesn’t actually exist so the 12000 award is not real either. I’ve cleared it out of the DB so it won’t show any more.

      AA will be a much better deal for the ORD-DUB award.

      It is also somewhat interesting that the BA system won’t show a rate for the AA metal ORD-DUB flight so I’m not actually sure what that would price at in Avios.

  2. I’m getting different numbers than the calculator on the BA site gives. The BA site says 9000 each way from IAD to TPA but this is giving 12000 each way.

    1. Where are you getting IAD-TPA to price on the BA site? When I punch it in I get an error that it must be built as a connection, which makes sense since AA doesn’t fly that route non-stop. And when I build it via MIA or DFW the rates match what the tool is showing.

  3. This is a great tool and makes me very glad that I used 80K BA miles for a business class South American trip to SCL,IPC & EZE which now prices out at 190K!

  4. KHH-HKG is giving some weird results. It’s serviced as a non-stop by KA, but it’s coming up as MULTI.

    1. I don’t have KA (or JL or a couple other partners) routes/calculations in the system yet. They’re coming soon…

  5. Looks like KA is in now (KHH-HKG is doing the right thing), but TPE-HKG (also on KA) is missing.

    1. Hmmm….I’m not sure why the HKG-TPE route didn’t load as I definitely see it in my query list. I’ve added it into the DB now so it should work going forward. I’m also going to try to reconcile the ~1700 city pairs that I’ve got and figure out which ones didn’t make it into the database so I can find any others that might be missing.

      1. I found another 27 routes that I know either BA or a partner operate that were in my original query list that needed to be added to the system for whatever reason. I also need to still add the AS and IT route maps to the system; I’m working on that this afternoon.

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