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Maximizing British Airways Avios For Caribbean Flights

by on March 13, 2014 · 24 comments

in American, British Airways

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Because it is a distance-based award program, of the best uses for British Airways Avios is to redeem them for expensive short-haul flights on partner airlines like American that start at just 4,500 Avios each way. And with winter showing few signs of letting up across much of the country, I thought I’d remind you that American offers flights to a wide array of Caribbean destinations from Miami (as well as a few from New York and Dallas) that lie within the first two distance ranges of the Avios award chart (up to 650 miles and 1,151 miles) – meaning there are plenty of roundtrip awards to destinations at the 9,000- and 15,000-Avios level.

original_Avios

For each of these flights, we looked into schedules ranging from late March to early June in order to confirm that there was actual award availability on flights. We mostly found economy availability, unless otherwise noted.

Each itinerary is listed by:

Point of US origin
Destination name and airport code
Frequency
Any special notes about availability
Amount of Avios + cash needed to redeem a roundtrip award flight in Economy, Business or both (as noted)

Miami-Freeport - just 9,000 Avios and $91.

Miami-Freeport – just 9,000 Avios and $91.

MIAMI
4,500 Avios each way (650 miles)

MIA – Freeport, Bahamas (FPO)
4 daily flights, Tuesday-Sunday
3 daily flights, Monday
Award Price: 9,000 + $91

That same flight would cost you $412.

That same flight would cost you $412.

MIA – George Town, Bahamas (GGT)
1 flight, 3 x week
1 additional flight on Saturdays
Limited availability in Economy
Award Price: 9,000 + $52

MIA – Grand Cayman Island (GCM)
2 flights, 4 x week
1 flight, 3 x week
Award Price: 9,000 + $84.60

Miami to Grand Cayman - just 9,000 Avios and $85

Miami to Grand Cayman – just 9,000 Avios and $84.

MIA – Kingston, Jamaica (KIN)
3 daily flights
Award Price: 9,000 + $111.49

MIA – Marsh Harbour, Bahamas (MHH)
1 daily flight
1 additional flight on Saturdays
Award Price: 9,000 + $52

MIA – Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
9 daily flights, Wednesday-Sunday
8 daily flights, Monday-Tuesday
Award Price: 9,000 + $92

MIA – Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ)
3 daily flights
Award Price: 9,000 + $103.56

Fishing boats on the shore of Eleuthera, Bahamas - Photo by Melanie Wynne

Fishing boats resting on the shore of Eleuthera, Bahamas – Photo by Melanie Wynne

MIA – North Eleuthera, Bahamas (ELH)
1 flight, 3 x week
Award Price: 9,000 + $52

Miami to Turks & Caicos for 9,000 Avios + $85.

Miami to Turks & Caicos for 9,000 Avios + $85.

MIA – Providenciales, Turks & Caicos (PLS)
2 daily flights
Award Price: 9,000 + $85

The same flights would cost $547.

The same flights would cost $547.

MIAMI
7,500 Avios each way (1,150 miles)

MIA – Aruba (AUA)
1 flight, 3 x week
Award Price:  1,5000 + $67.50

Robert's Grove is 30 minutes from the airport in Belize City - Photo by Melanie Wynne

Placencia, Belize – Photo by Melanie Wynne

MIA – Belize City (BZE)
2 flights, 3 x week
Award Price: 15,000 + $59.25

MIA – Bermuda (BDA)
1 flight, 3 x week
Award Price: 15,000 + $63.25

MIA – Port au Prince, Haiti (PAP)
3 daily flights
More availability in Business Class than Economy
Economy Award Price: 15,000 + $96.49
Business Award Price: 30,000 + $96.49

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic - Photo by Melanie Wynne

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic – Photo by Melanie Wynne

MIA – Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic ( POP)
1 flight, 3 x week
Very limited availability in Economy
Business: 30,000 + $102.60

Miami to Punta Cana in business class for 30,000 Avios and $122.

Miami to Punta Cana in business class for 30,000 Avios and $122.

MIA – Punta Cana, Dominican Repubic (PUJ)
3 daily flights
Very limited availability in Economy
Business: 30,000 + $102.60

The same ticket would cost $939.

The same ticket would cost $939.

MIA – St. Thomas (STT)
3 daily flights
Award Price: 15,000 + $10

MIA – San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU)
6 daily flights
Award Price: 15,000 + $5

MIA – San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP)
1 daily flight
Award Price: 15,000 + $20

Colorful street art in San Jose, Costa Rica - Photo by Melanie Wynne

Colorful street art is found all over San Jose, Costa Rica – Photo by Melanie Wynne

MIA – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (SDQ)
3 daily flights, Tuesday-Sunday
2 daily flights, Monday
Award Price: 15,000 + $102.60

MIA – San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO)
3 daily flights
Award Price: 15,000 + $45.51

DALLAS (DFW)
7,500 Avios (1,150 miles)

DFW – Cancun (CUN)
6 daily flights
Award Price: 15,000 + $73

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 1.35.24 PM

DFW – Cozumel (CZM)
1 daily flight
Award Price: 7,500 + $249.76

That same DFW-CUN itinerary is $518.

That same DFW-CUN itinerary is $518.

NEW YORK (JFK)
7,500 Avios (1,150 miles)

JFK – Bermuda (BDA)
1 flight, 3 x week
Award Price: 15,000 + $63.25

10,000 Avios (2,000 miles)

JFK – San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU)
3 daily flights
Award Price: 20,000 + $5

Get to San Juan for 20,000 Avios and $5 roundtrip.

Get to San Juan for 20,000 Avios and $5 roundtrip.

So if you’re feeling a chill, now might be a great time to break out those Avios and book a relatively cheap trip to the Caribbean on American. I’m sure there are plenty of other great routes with availability as well, so if you find some other good deals, please share in the comments below!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Allen

    Took a flight from NAS to GCM on club world once.

  • memsrr

    I was trying to book a flight to the Caribean recently but it always sent me through London. I tried it city to city and it said there were no flights between those cities when I know there are. What was I missing?

  • Joe

    What about the PHL,PHX,CLT to Caribbean Flights, shouldn’t those be in the system on April 1st

  • Gabriel

    Also mia-cun and mia – curaçao is a cheaper alt to aruba

  • SK

    Pretty sure Bermuda is not in the Caribbean.

  • http://www.batman.com BobthePlunger

    Why is it heavy on the Miami origination? Arent you in NYC now?

  • thepointsguy

    It’s a warm, sunny destination that’s only 15,000 Avios from Miami and JFK so I wanted to include.

  • thepointsguy

    If BA.com isn’t showing you what you want, you can check American award availability then call BA to book and ask them to waive the booking fee.

  • thepointsguy

    Do you mean on US Airways? It’s possible they’ll be open to BA Avios redemptions that early since the airline is joining Oneworld March 31, but they’re not in the system yet.

  • Locke42

    Avios awards are distance-based, so the cheapest awards are going to be from Miami. It might simply be more cost-effective to fly from NYC to Miami through a normal ticket (or a different frequent flyer program), and then use Avios to fly from Miami to Caribbean destinations.

  • Marvin le Android

    We did St.Kitts & Nevis from Miami last November with Avios. LOVED it.

  • TC

    Did roundtrip JFK – Antigua with Sapphire signup bonus. A great island.

  • Laura

    On Avios? How many Avios did that cost you? I’m in NYC and would love to use my Avios to go to Antigua. Thanks!

  • tigermark82

    FYI, STT is in the USVI not BVI

  • http://patrickstravelogue.blogspot.com/ Patrick McCann

    DCA – MSY

  • http://patrickstravelogue.blogspot.com/ Patrick McCann

    you missed a lot of the dfw options, you can get to west coast of mexico from there inside of 1151

    http://www.freemaptools.com/radius-around-point.htm

  • Lauren

    Would love a similar post on how to maximize Avios for business or first class flights to South America!

  • HiYoSilver

    Hello, How did you get the screenshots? At BA.com. when I plug in MIA to BZE it says “British Airways does not have traffic rights to operate directly between these two cities”.

  • HiYoSilver

    At AA.com I can book MIA to BZE using AAdvantage points or $ as usual. Is there a way to enter Avios points there?

  • Alex Kuruvila

    Whenever I have called BA and asked them to book a flight using my Avios points (when it shows award availability on AA.com), they have said that it is not available or possible, because their award allocation is different from what is shown on AA. com. Are there any other tricks that you use to having them oblige?

  • dkwannabe

    Worth noting that for Dominican Republic you should NOT book two separate one-way awards. BA erroneously charge transportation tax on the “theoretical” price of the ticket for awards originating in the D.R.

  • LuvVacations

    Can you educate the 95% of your readers who don’t live in Miami like yourself and explain the advantage of this information who still have to spend 25K miles or equivalent dollars to fly from/to their origination just to get to Miami before they can utilize this benefit? For example, assume Denver, Colorado to Nassau, Bahamas. Mile SAAver off-peak DEN-NAS is 25K roundtrip without the need for BA Avios. Comparing apples to apples with non off-peak AA miles requires 35K DEN-NAS, but would take 25K miles DEN-MIA before switching to BA Avios for the final leg MIA-NAU of 9K Avios, saving 1K miles, so I don’t understand why do this. Thanks.

  • Joel

    Hi there. I just experienced the same exact thing as Alex; the BA agent said that AA may provide its customers (i.e. AAdvantage) with more reward availabilities than to its one world partners. I was trying to book NYC-MIA-SDQ on business/first. It showed available on AA website but not on BA website or with the BA agent. What do you think Points Guy? I’m wondering if with the AA refresh, they’re cutting loop holes and tightening up.

  • Joel

    Hi there. I just experienced the same exact thing as Alex; the BA agent said that AA may provide its customers (i.e. AAdvantage) with more reward availabilities than to its one world partners. I was trying to book NYC-MIA-SDQ on business/first. It showed available on AA website but not on BA website or with the BA agent. What do you think Points Guy? I’m wondering if with the AA refresh, they’re cutting loop holes and tightening up

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