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This week’s “rookie” question (no offense–we all have to start somewhere with the points game) is from TPG Reader Suzy, who tweeted:
“@thepointsguy Can you use British Airways Avios points to book airfare within North America?”
Suzy is wondering if she can use her British Airways Avios to book airfare within North America. She lives in Vancouver and is trying to keep her points from expiring. The answer to Suzy’s question is: absolutely! British Airways is part of the Oneworld Alliance, and you can redeem Avios on any of the Oneworld partners, which include American Airlines and now US Airways. To book these flights, you simply go to BritishAirways.com and log in with your Executive Club number, go to “Executive Club”, and then to “Spending Avios”. From there, select “Book flights with Avios” and you’ll reach the search screen, where you can find available flights for your specified origin, destination, and dates.
Basically, if you learn how to use BritishAirways.com (which can sometimes be annoying), you can book award tickets there, which is more comfortable and easier than calling, and you’ll avoid ticketing fees when you book online. It’s also fairly easy to cancel tickets that you’ve booked online; you simply lose whatever you spent in taxes and fees, but won’t lose the miles. Another advantage to using British Airways Avios is that they’re distance based, so you’ll use fewer miles if you do short haul flights. In general, Avios are pretty useful, and simply booking one award will reset the expiration clock for all your remaining points.
I hope this answers your question Suzy, and I suggest you get out there are start learning how to use the British Airways website asap. If you have additional questions, please message me on Facebook, tweet me @ThePointsGuy, or send me an email at email@example.com.