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Could Reward Flight Finder help you find the best trips to spend your Avios?

This week marked the return of Brits eager to travel to the US, perhaps heading into the heat of Miami or the bustle of New York.

Many will have seen the British Airways and Virgin Atlantic plane take off simultaneously to the Big Apple from Heathrow to mark the occasion and may also dream of a trip to the United States soon.

Many may also have accumulated large amounts of Avios to use on flights, given the expense caused by the pandemic and the lack of travel adventures to use the points.

While it can be quite easy to earn them, it can be difficult to navigate the British Airways website to find availability, and that’s where. Reward Flight Finder enters.

Many BA customers have saved Avios points during the pandemic when travel was banned

Many BA customers have saved Avios points during the pandemic when travel was banned

The website and app constantly track BA seat availability and alert members when these special seats are released, potentially saving them time and money, as well as the struggle to secure them.

This will come in handy for the many Avios customers who have points that they have not yet been able to spend due to the pandemic halting travel.

Now that countries are starting to open up again, you are giving aspiring travelers the opportunity to use points.

To help these tourists, we reveal how the Reward Flight Finder works, how much it costs, and the best tips for securing the best seats.

Why do Avios users need Reward Flight Finder?

BA issues millions of Avios each year, and while easy to obtain, it can be more difficult to use them to secure near-free reward seats, especially in popular destinations like Cape Town, Barbados, Miami, Sydney, Maldives, and Dubai.

BA does not have an alert system and it is impossible to search the BA website for many destinations and different dates at the same time, as customers have to search for each destination and each date separately.

If there are no seats available, clients will have to repeat the exercise several times, often without success, which can be time consuming and frustrating.

In comparison, on a single page, for a full year, Reward Flight Finder shows all available dates, the number of reward seats available each day in each cabin class, the number of Avios required, and whether or not the date is peak. beak. .

Reward Flight Finder will help customers find the best seats for Avios customers on BA flights

Reward Flight Finder will help customers find the best seats for Avios customers on BA flights

Reward Flight Finder will help customers find the best seats for Avios customers on BA flights

How does it work?

BA launches reward seats at any time, day or night, ensuring that two business class and four economy class seats are released when the flight first enters the reservation system.

More seats are released closer to the departure date, depending on how the flight is selling.

Reward Flight Finder tracks these flights and provides its users the opportunity to capture them immediately.

It offers three different levels of membership, which we explain in the chart below.

The site does not guarantee that Avios collectors will find the reward seats, but says the chances of doing so are greatly increased as it constantly searches for seats and will notify customers of availability.

I have used it for a while

By Deputy Editor Lee Boyce

I found the website a year ago. I have accumulated a large number of Avios in the last few years and find the part of the British Airways website dedicated to spending them irritating, to say the least.

I use the Reward Flight Finder as a guide to seat availability and how many points I need, and then I enter them on the BA website with great precision.

I’ve only used the free service, but they also offer a silver service for £ 2.99 a month.

This promises hourly alert availability frequencies to beat the competition for seats, along with a ‘Where can I go? on the cards.

It also has a gold service at £ 4.99 per month that offers an instant seat alert frequency and allows for 20 active alerts on the fly for destinations at once, compared to two with the free service and five with the silver service.

You currently have a 14-day free trial.

Two Reward Flight Finder customers obtained corporate tickets to Cape Town with their Avios

Two Reward Flight Finder customers obtained corporate tickets to Cape Town with their Avios

Two Reward Flight Finder customers obtained corporate tickets to Cape Town with their Avios

Top tips for finding the best seats

Reward Flight Finder has offered their best tips for finding the best seats.

1. Map view: Those who are silver or gold members will be able to access the map view that allows people to see all the available destinations in one place.

This works for people who don’t know where they want to go as they can enter their starting point, number of seats, cabin classes, and their ranges of departure and return dates.

Map pins will appear for each available destination and clicking a pin will display available dates and cabin classes.

If users know where they want to go, they can enter their departure and destination points and do a quick search to see all available dates, the number of reward seats available each day in each cabin class, and the number of Avios required. , for a year ahead.

If the preferred date and cabin class are available, customers are advised to book directly with the airline as soon as possible.

If the preferred date and cabin class are not available, customers can set an alert and wait for a text or email notification.

2. Create alerts as soon as possible: There is nothing wrong with setting them up many months in advance. BA releases seats 355 days prior to departure date.

3. Choose several possible destinations if it suits you: Set up multiple alerts and choose wide date ranges for departure and return.

4. As soon as availability is notified, book directly with BA: Do not delay. The seats disappear quickly. Even if you’re unsure, it’s best to reserve the seats, and if you have to cancel the tickets, you’ll get all your Avios and taxes paid refunded in full, minus a charge of £ 35 per person.

Simple: enter the departure airport, where you want to fly and the website shows the availability of reward seats for each month

Simple: enter the departure airport, where you want to fly and the website shows the availability of reward seats for each month

Simple: enter the departure airport, where you want to fly and the website shows the availability of reward seats for each month

‘We are not rich, but we can afford to fly Business Class every year’

Two Avios customers, named Carla and Pete *, joined the British Airways loyalty program in 2020 and have since merged their accounts.

Since then, they have accumulated 125,000 Avios in just one year after trying to collect as many as possible.

The couple, who are both teachers, plan a long-distance trip every year, usually to the US or Asia, for at least five weeks and, although they normally fly economy class, they can now travel first or business class. , thanks to your Avios Points.

To save money, the two of them first applied for the £ 195 (now £ 250) BA Premium Plus American Express card, earning huge sign-up and referral bonuses.

After three months, Carla canceled her Amex and got a prorated refund of her annual fee, but she still retained the bonuses she had earned while Pete gave Carla an additional card in her account to earn another bonus.

They then used Pete’s Amex card to pay for all personal expenses including insurance, cell phones, gym memberships, AA breakdowns, Sky TV, broadband, theater tickets, and all of their daily purchases through the shopping portal for BA.

They also paid for large purchases made by trusted friends and family who then reimbursed them and switched from Tesco to Sainsburys, where they collected Nectar points, turning them into Avios.

Every month, they paid off the Amex balance in full and spent £ 10,000 over 12 months to get a complimentary coupon that gives customers two tickets for the price of one.

The couple joined the Reward Flight Finder in August 2021 and recently booked Cape Town for the upcoming March in business class.

Pete said: ‘We are over the moon, having secured these business class seats. No way would we have done it without the Reward Flight Finder, as Cape Town is so popular and we just don’t have the patience to check BA multiple times a day.

‘Setting alerts just makes it very easy. From now on, our goal is to win a companion coupon every year and fly too. No more economy for us. ‘

The key to this is to pay off the balance as you go, or face the watery APR offered with these types of reward cards.

* – not real names

Are there thousands of Avios collectors with large unused balances?

There are believed to be many Avios point collectors with large unused balances, thanks to the pandemic.

Douglas Rose, CEO of Reward Flight Finder, said: “ We do not have exact figures, but the huge increase in online shopping during the pandemic, along with far fewer opportunities to use Avios for flights, hotels and car rentals due to blockages, it probably means that there are large Avios balances.

In 2019, less than 75% of the Avios issued in that year were redeemed. Refund figures in 2020 should be much lower.

“Since BA extended the expiration dates of most existing companion vouchers three times, many people will have multiple companion vouchers to use and possibly future travel vouchers as well.

The latter were issued when BA canceled flights and people chose a coupon rather than a full refund, as the coupons had a much longer expiration than the original companion coupon.

“If the number of alerts that are set up is any indication, then we have seen a large increase in people setting up alerts in the last month, especially for long-haul destinations that need at least 100,000 Avios for a round-trip ticket in class. executive “.

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