I love helping people travel – that’s the main reason I started the blog! If you have a miles, points or general travel question, feel free to reach out on Twitter or by email – dan at pointswithacrew dot com.
Today’s reader question comes from Nathan, who left a comment on the British Airways Reward Flight Saver – how you can avoid all the fees in Europe post
I’m resurrecting this a bit. But if I transfer MR points to avios, could I do Bos-dub, then a saver award of dub-lhr-fco and avoid the fees with a stopover in london?
I started writing a reply to Nathan’s comment, but then I thought that it might be useful for other readers as well
What are British Airways Reward Flight Saver flights?
You can read the original post about Reward Flight saver flights for more detail, but the basic idea is that British Airways has a program called Reward Flight Saver, which lets you fly anywhere in Europe and pay only a fixed amount of fees (currently $27.50 for each segment)
One of the big problems with flights in Europe is that many of the airports and countries in Europe charge a ton of fees (airline surcharges, airport fees and taxes)
(SEE ALSO: Comprehensive guide to European airport taxes and fees)
You’ll note that it says that to take advantage of the Rewards Flight Saver you need to have collected at least 1 Avios in the past 12 months, though it appears that transfers from Chase or American Express do count towards this total – I am able to see flights at Reward Flight Saver prices although my only earning of Avios has come from bank transfers.
Calculating the Reward Flight Saver Avios cost
Going back to Nathan’s question, I am pleased to report that the answer is “yes!”
I plugged in his example of Dublin to London to Rome into ba.com and got the following
The price is 11,000 Avios (4,500 for the first leg and 6,500 for the second leg due to it being off-peak). The cash cost is $27.50 for each segment.
Because British Airways charges you based on the distance flown for each segment, you also get a free stopover in London for as many days as you want
(SEE ALSO: Stopover, layover, open-jaw? What are they and what’s the difference?)
We are actually doing a very similar journey when my wife and I head to Europe this fall. We’re going from Boston to Dublin, but then taking a train from Dublin to Belfast, because until recently intra-UK flights were free, so flying from Belfast saved us 9,000 Avios. That unfortunately was one of the casualties of the recent British Airways devaluation.
Making sure a Reward Flight Saver is the best deal
Of course, you do always want to compare the options to make sure you’re getting the right deal and in this case we can do better! If you book the Dublin to London flight separately, it comes up to only $14.08 in taxes!
The London to Rome leg still comes in at $27.50, so booking them separately will save you $13. Not a ton – but there’s really no downside. Actually, generally speaking, if you’re going to take your British Airways free stopover, you should almost always book your flights separately – that will give you flexibility to change / cancel one segment without canceling your whole trip.
Hope this helps when you’re planning your next European trip!
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