Friday, 3 January 2014



On Award flights, many people know that flying out of Dublin can offer significant savings compared to flying from London Heathrow. For a start, you save the UK Air Passenger Duty of £130.  Additionally,many of the airline surcharges (as opposed to government taxes) that apply to flying from Heathrow don't get applied to Dublin departures.

A common example given is comparing flying Aer Lingus (EI) to JFK in business class against an equivalent BA flight out of Heathrow. Aer Lingus is a BA partner, and thus you can book Aer Lingus rewards using Avios. On this comparison, both flights require 80K avios, but the EI flight will only cost around £80 in taxes, compared with over £500 for the BA flight.

However, there is a avenue to extremely cheap award flights out of Dublin, that rarely gets mentioned. American Airlines have a limited number of off-peak economy MileSAAver awards, which only cost 20K AA miles. Unlike BA, AA does not charge per sector, and thus if this award is available for your destination, it can result in a remarkably cheap award flight

For example looking on at availability for a return flight Dublin to Las Vegas I see the following:-

Yes, you are reading that correctly, a return flight DUB->LAS via JFK both ways, costs just 40K AA miles plus a grand total of £30.60 ! The exact same AA flight, booked on using Avios, costs 65K avios plus £233. If booking BA flights on, the routing costs 59K avios and £275. 

The fact that the AA flight makes a connection within the US to get to Las Vegas isn't of much consequence, as any BA flight has to first go to Heathrow anyway, there are no direct flights for the routing. And although many times these super cheap award flights have ugly connections, in the above example, the connections are pretty damn decent.

The above theory applies to any routing served by AA. I have seen DUB->SFO in economy return, also costing 40K AA miles plus £30.

The obvious question is, how do you collect AA miles ? Well, if you refer to an early blog posting of mine, that can be found HERE, you'll see how you can get over 60K AA miles for £150 via the Amex SPG credit card. Using 40K of those miles (which cost £100 to get), plus £30 in taxes gives a grand outlay of £130 for the above flights.


I hope that this posting shows that sometimes you need to have a slightly wider view of mile redemption options, as occasionally there are routings available that can be had for significantly less miles, and importantly, for almost no monetary outlay.

No comments:

Post a comment