Update: The current offer for the British Airways Visa is 50,000 Avios when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.
Rue La La is one of my favorite discount online luxury retailers, and they also post some great travel deals from time to time. They actually used to link to several shopping portals, earning you even more points and miles on purchases, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
However, now through December 23, Rue La La has teamed up with British Airways and Visit Britain to offer a sale of up to $500 off British Airways tickets from the US to Britain in First, Club World (business) and World Traveller Plus (premium economy) for travel between now and May 31, 2013. To see for yourself you need to be invited for site access, which you can do so instantly (and for free) using my link.
You get $150 off premium economy, $350 off business and $500 off first, so that could take some of the sting out of BA’s massive fuel surcharges and fees.
Per the T&C, some US gateways are excluded and only Rue La La members are eligible. Flights must be operated by British Airways, and the discount dows not apply to open jaw tickets. You must book your ticket through the Rue La La link, not via a call center or travel agent, and the discount is for new bookings only and not combinable with any other discount or deal – so unfortunately you can’t combine it with the 10% discount on BA.com flights you get if you have the British Airways Visa.
I checked out fares, and they’re decent, but not hugely impressive, and in some cases American Airlines is actually matching the discounted fares and the lowest fares are lower than the fares included in the discount (you can tell because it will say “lowest” or “discounted” below the fare.
One angle you could work would be to buy a premium economy ticket – I found them to be running at right around $1,400 roundtrip in January from Los Angeles to London, which breaks down to a $621 fare plus $780 in taxes – and then upgrade it using Avios.
The ticket I found was booked into “T” class, which is one of the upgradable booking classes.
Then remember, you only need half the number of Avios of an economy award ticket to book the upgrade each way, so on that LA-London route, you’d only need 12,500 Avios each way and some extra fees for the upgraded cabin which usually run around $300.
So essentially, you’d be getting a business class ticket for around $1,700 and 25,000 Avios – not bad considering business class tickets were going for around $5,000, so you’d be getting 13.2 cents per Avios and your airfare would basically just be a little bit more than you’d be paying in taxes and fees on a business class ticket you bought (which would be around $1,100 anyway).
Remember, the deal is offered only through the Rue La La link, so sign up for free here.