Since starting our Selfish Year voyage, Mrs. Selfish and I have flown a total of 58 flights, 28 of which we paid for with points. The remainder of the flights we paid for with cash, and while none were completely cringe worthy (other than, perhaps the Air Tahiti flight to Bora Bora), they added up to a sizeable sum when combined.
So when I started looking into booking our additional flights in Japan I turned to an often under-appreciated currency – British Airline’s Avios miles.
When to use Avios Miles
British Airway’s Avios miles are almost completely worthless when flying British Airways themselves, thanks to their extremely high fuel surcharges.
However, they are superb points for saving money on short haul flights, especially if your flight matches the following criteria:
1. A short distance flight, ideally less than 1150 miles, or better yet, less than 650 miles. As always, use a tool like the Great Circle Mapper to determine the distance between city pairs.
2. Are you flying in a market where British Airways has strong partners? For instance, are you flying Japan Airlines in Japan? Quantas in Australia? American Airlines in the States?
3. Is the market you’re flying in expensive? Japan is a really good fit here, as is America in some cases.