British Airways awards deals from US West Coast to Europe – The Points Guy

If you want to travel from the West Coast to Europe in British Airways’ premium economy or business class this year, now is a good time to book your flights.

Eric Rosen, TPG’s director of travel content, noticed the availability of this reward when searching for flights. But, as with many transatlantic flights operated by British Airways, you may have to pay significant taxes and fees.

Transaction Basics

Airline company: British Airways

Itineraries: From Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), San Diego International Airport (SAN), and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to various European destinations

How to book: Through award programs such as American Airlines AAdvantage, British Airways Executive Club, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and other Oneworld alliance partners

Travel dates: Availability from the end of June until winter

The cost of your award flight will depend on certain factors, such as the program you book through, your specific itinerary and your class of travel. I’ve included award fares for bookings through American Airlines AAdvantage, British Airways Executive Club, and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan throughout this article, but you can book some of these award flights through other Oneworld alliance partners .

You can earn AAdvantage miles by transferring from Marriott Bonvoy and Bilt Rewards (keep in mind that transfers from Bilt to AAdvantage will end on June 24). You can also earn Alaska Mileage Plan miles by transferring from Marriott Bonvoy and Bilt Rewards. It’s much easier to earn British Airways Avios because you have the ability to transfer between Avios programs and from American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Capital One miles, Marriott Bonvoy and Bilt Rewards.

Start by searching for award flights through the program you plan to use to book. Or, if you have more flexibility in your schedule, you may want to use Seats.aero to find a transatlantic award flight before booking through the program of your choice.

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Related: Your Ultimate Guide on How to Research Award Availability for Major Airlines

Examples of award flights

If you want to travel from San Francisco to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) on November 23, you have several options for a non-stop British Airways flight. If you redeem American miles, you’ll pay 40,000 miles plus $482.30 in taxes and fees for premium economy or 57,500 miles plus $732.30 in taxes and fees for business class.

AA.COM

If you redeem Alaska miles to fly from San Francisco to London, you’ll pay 45,000 miles plus $491 in taxes and fees for premium economy or 70,000 miles plus $996 in taxes and fees for business class.

ALASKAAIR.COM

If you redeem British Airways Avios to travel from San Francisco to London, you’ll pay 57,500 Avios plus $196.30 in taxes and fees for premium economy or 90,000 Avios plus $406.30 in taxes and fees for the class business. Just so you know, you can use different proportions of Avios and cash for award flights, so make sure you choose the combination that offers the best value for money.

We’re seeing similar pricing and award availability for British Airways nonstop flights from other West Coast cities. For example, you can book a British Airways-operated flight from Los Angeles to London for 40,000 miles plus $482.30 taxes and fees in premium economy or 57,500 miles plus $732.30 taxes and fees in business class .

AA.COM

American AAdvantage uses dynamic pricing for its flights on the above route. For this example, you would redeem a lot more points but pay a lot less taxes and fees for your economy or business class award if you booked the American Airlines-operated flight with AAdvantage.

If you redeem Alaska miles to fly from Los Angeles to London, you’ll pay 45,000 miles plus $491 in taxes and fees for premium economy or 70,000 miles plus $996 in taxes and fees for business class.

ALASKAAIR.COM

And if you redeem British Airways Avios to travel from Los Angeles to London, you’ll pay 67,500 Avios plus $196.30 in taxes and fees for premium economy or 100,000 Avios plus $406.30 in taxes and fees for business class.

However, you don’t necessarily need to visit London to book a West Coast award in London. You can add a flight from London to your award when booking, although this may reduce the award options you see. Here’s an example via American AAdvantage from San Diego to Prague via London that would cost 57,500 miles plus $749.80 in business class.

AA.COM

If you wanted to book this same award in British Airways-operated business class through Alaska Airlines’ mileage plan, it would cost you 70,000 miles plus $1,013.

ALASKAAIR.COM

And if you wanted to book that business class award from San Diego to Prague via London via British Airways, you could pay 116,250 Avios plus $451 in taxes and fees.

BRITISHAIRWAYS.COM

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that you can significantly reduce taxes and fees on certain transatlantic award routes if you take an American Airlines-operated flight over the Atlantic and then connect to a short-haul British Airways-operated flight. . Here’s an example via American AAdvantage: You can fly from Los Angeles to Manchester, England, via London for 40,000 miles in premium economy or 57,500 miles in business class plus $17.30 in taxes and fees.

AA.COM

This trade alert focuses on transatlantic flights operated by British Airways, but I couldn’t write this article without mentioning how you could pay significantly fewer taxes and fees on some Oneworld award flights to Europe.

Related: The Best Ways to Travel Europe Using Points and Miles

Pay taxes and fees

Since the taxes and fees on most of the award flights discussed in this story are relatively high, you’ll want to use a credit card that offers bonus rewards for airline purchases when booking your award flight. I usually use my Ink Business Preferred® credit card. But here are some other cards to consider:

Related: Maximize Your Airfare: The Best Credit Cards for Booking Flights

Conclusion

Taxes and fees are typically high when flying British Airways in a premium cabin across the Atlantic. So while there is good availability of economy and business class awards on many British Airways routes between the US West Coast and London this summer and fall, be wary of the high taxes and fees that feature many of these bonuses. It’s also worth checking out multiple programs – some of which are accessible using transferable points – to get the best rate if you decide to take advantage of this reward availability.

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