Mileage Running to London: An Awesome Avios Booking & Unexpected Surprises

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avios domestic redemption edinburgh

Mileage Running to London & A Quick Diversion

Last year I wrote about the amazing British Airways Business Class sale that combined an AARP discount, fare sale and pay with Avios discount for tickets around $400 or less. I even scored the deal of a century for my family with 4 business class tickets for about $200 in cash. It was an amazing day.

During the special I booked myself a roundtrip ticket to London in January to take advantage of a special giving 25K bonus miles. With my 100% bonus as an Executive Platinum and the actual miles awarded plus the class of service bonus, I should earn about 50,000 miles for the trip!

While I could have booked an immediate turn around, I decided to give myself two days to hangout and be a tourist work. I have been to London a few times, so I began to look towards other parts of the U.K. to explore. One quirk of my trip is that I arrive in Heathrow and fly home from Gatwick, so I needed to be able to leave one airport and arrive at the other.

Ultimately I decided to wait until the last minute to keep my options open. After seeing Edinburgh had great options from LHR and to LGW it became my preferred destination. A few days ago I checked the weather and discovered it was going to be cold, but clear so I booked. British Airways Avios were my choice for the relatively short flight for one great reason.

avios domestic redemption edinburgh
One-way cost of LHR-EDI using British Airways Avios.

Taxes for flying into an out of the London airports can be quite high, but British Airways only charges a flat $27.50 fee for domestic and Euro-Traveler fares. This is actually an amazing deal if you are flying from countries with high taxes, but it work out well for domestic U.K. flights as well. My cost for LHR-EDI-LGW was 8K Avios total (off-peak) and $55. I used the airfare credit on my Citi Prestige to cover the monetary cost.

Weather Not As Expected

avios domestic redemption edinburgh
Edinburgh Castle in the snow. Taken from the Miles to Memories Instagram.

Of course the best planning is never 100% and things don’t always go expected. While all of my flights were on time, as I walked off the plane in Edinburgh I noticed something that hadn’t been on the weather report. Snow! At first it was a light flurry, but that later developed into heavy snow. I had wanted to avoid the white stuff, but to be honest it added a bit of charm to the historic architecture of Edinburgh’s old city.

While I am definitely fighting a huge case of jetlag (which is probably an argument for doing an immediate turn on mileage runs like this) I am excited to visit a new country and can’t wait to explore Edinburgh’s historic castle, cathedral and other fascinating places. I arrived in the dark (it gets dark at 4pm), but I can tell I am really going to love this city.

Conclusion

I am always talking about my desire for maximum flexibility. By holding points in a variety of programs and giving myself options to cover the cash portion of flights/awards, I can often travel farther and much cheaper. In this case Avios and my Prestige came to the rescue to keep this mileage run’s cost down while allowing me to visit a new place!


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7 COMMENTS

    • Hey Gerry,

      I’ve been fighting jetlag and just saw this comment! Wish I had a chance to meet up. I definitely plan to be back soon but as I write this I’m already back at the airport. I really loved Edinburgh though and can’t to come back with some proper time to explore!

  1. Dear Shawn,

    I wonder if you can write a blog regarding how to book Delta reward ticket with minimum fees. I notice there is a transfer fee of moving points from Amex account to Delta, which I think is crazy. I also see the round reward tickets (May-Aug. 2016) from DTW to Shanghai requires minimum of 70K+$400 fee now. I like Delta, however with those fees, I can not justify myself to book reward fight on Delta. I seems remember you once mentioned there is a way to avoid paying fees. Please, I need help.

    Thanks

    Thanks

  2. A truly lovely city that must be enchanting in the snow – it can be chilly even in August. You can find plenty of charming pubs to warm yourself in along the Royal Mile – or go for a stroll on Princes street and pop into a resto on nearby George Street.
    Thanks for the Avios booking tips.

    • I had a great time yesterday. Luckily the weather cooperated and I had a nice walk around the city and visited the Castle and National Art Gallery. I also strolled the Royal Mile and drank a pint in a local pub. It was a nice taste of Scotland. Can’t wait to come back when I really have some time to explore.

  3. whats up bro. really nice. glad your scoring some huge hits.

    I actually had a question about your “deal of a century” post last month. I read it a few times, but still didnt get what happened. It sounds like a combination of mistake fare and cash+points strategy?

    You mentioned that a promotion 30K Avios were spent to offset the cash fare about $750 per person. So it would have been $750/person for business class? Isnt that super cheap? Not sure if that was the promotion or the mistake fare. But you also mentioned the system mis-priced only one of the four tickets so not sure how it all added up to $244.

    Since it was a crazy promo with mistake fare, its gonna be hard to replicate if not impossible, but thank you for sharing so we know what possible!

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