« The new Centurion Lounges, are they really all that? | Main | Getting miles without actually flying. »

Recent Fantastic Deal to the UK.

I usually help people get miles and use them but sometimes a deal comes along that is just too good not to write about.

Recently, a trip to Europe in business class became very affordable for two days. I was able to secure two business class tickets on American from Florida to London for $2,390. That’s a little under $1,200 each. These tickets usually go for over $7,000 each. I was also able to get a business class ticket from Virginia to London for $449.

Here’s what happened.

British Airways had a two-day sale offering business class to Europe from most major US cities for an amazing $2,010. That is a great price in and of itself.  But it was a stackable offer so you could use other discounts along with the sale. It also didn’t hurt that on the first day they were actually offering the ticket for $1,600 instead of the $2,010 that it was supposed to be on the Florida to London route.

The magic of the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) discount.

AARP will let anyone become a member, it doesn’t matter if you’re retired or not. It’s $16 a year and you get all kinds of benefits. The best one I know of is a discount on British Airways up to $400 per ticket depending on class of service. You will need to go to the AARP BA website. Here is the website: http://www.britishairways.com/en-us/offers/partners/aarp-member-benefits

Once you have your AARP membership number you just sign in from this website and then it sends you to the special AARP BA website where you can search for your flights. So I got two business class seats for $1,600 each but then got another $400 each off the tickets. Like I said, these tickets usually go for abound $7,000 and we just got them for a little under $1,200 each so a whopping $5,800 each in saving off this promotion.

We also looked into going the upgrade route.  Coach tickets for two on the same trip cost close to $2,000 for two. We’d then put in for an upgrade at 25k miles each on the outbound and return along with a $350 copay for each leg. So it would have been a total of 100k miles and $1,400 extra to upgrade for a total of $3,400 - and we would not have been guaranteed a business class seat.  As you can see we saved $1,000 for a confirmed business class ticket vs going the upgrade route.

The deal gets richer.

We purchased another ticket for $449 all included from further up the East Coast to London. How did this happen? Well, BA was only charging $1,600 for business class on that route too. So you take the $400 AARP discount and we’re down to $1,200 and now for the fun part. British Airways lets you pay for part of your ticket with their Mileage program AVIOS. On other routes the most I could get off was $30 so not much of a benefit for that trip but from our origin city you could use 30k AVIOS and get an additional $751 dollars off the ticket. This made the total out of pocket cost of only $449. For another $7,000 ticket, pretty good I think.

But it doesn’t always work out.

With a deal like this you don’t really want to let go an existing reservation before you know the new one will work out.  BA can’t cope with one person having two separate reservations on the same flight and hours on the phone to their various call centers didn’t resolve it.    Very frustrating.  AA doesn’t have this restriction, seems to be a British Airways thing.

So our winter trip to London is all set up and now we go in luxury. Well, it’s better than coach anyway.

Talk to me at awardsbooker.com when you need help finding your way around complicated offers like these. 


Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>