One of my favorite things to do with my airline miles is to give my friends and family really great trips that they would not be able to take otherwise.
Now I wanted to do something nice for my brother.
My brother has a family of 4. That often makes it difficult for him to take trips since costs multiply so quickly when traveling with a family.
Because of that, I want to use my airline miles to treat my brother and his family to a really great trip at no cost to them.
Thankfully, I had some British Airways Avios that I can use to make that happen.
Using BA Avios to send my brother on a trip
I will soon be receiving a bonus of 50,000 Avios from the Chase British Airways card. I also have 50,000 Amex Membership Rewards that I can transfer to Avios.
That gives me a total of 100,000 Avios that I can use to book a trip for my brother and his family.
BA Avios have a distance-based award chart, with each one-way flight priced based on the distance flown.
Since I have to book 4 award tickets with my 100,000 Avios, that means that I can spend up to 25,000 Avios on each round-trip award ticket or 12,500 Avios for each one-way flight.
On the award chart, that means that each one-way flight I book can be a maximum distance of 3,000 flight miles.
But how do I find flights that are under 3,000 miles?
Using Airline Route Mapper to find good BA Avios Redemptions
Airline Route Mapper is a great tool for finding good BA Avios redemptions.
Airline Route Mapper is a PC program that shows all of the flights from a particular airport.
When booking BA Avios awards, we can set Airline Route Mapper to only display the flights that are under a certain maximum distance. (Thanks to reader Alex K for this tip!)
That is a powerful option to have because now we can quickly and easily see all of the flight options available from a particular airport for each BA Avios mileage tier.
My brother and his family will by flying out of San Diego, so I wanted to see all of the flights that I could potentially book for him within a maximum distance of 3,000 miles.
In the “Options” panel of Airline Route Mapper, I set the “Route Length” maximum to 3,000 miles.
I could use my BA Avios to book my brother on an American Airlines flight out of San Diego. However, AA does not offer many interesting direct flights from San Diego so I decided to look elsewhere.
Alaska Airlines is a really interesting non-Oneworld partner of British Airways since it has such an extensive route network on the West Coast.
For under 3,000 flight miles, I can book flights on Alaska Airlines from San Diego to Hawaii, Seattle, Portland, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Orlando, and Boston.
Hawaii for my brother
It probably makes the most sense to send my brother and his family to Hawaii since it is an interesting destination with a lot of great activities that he can do with his young children.
Sending my brother to Hawaii also allows me to take advantage of one of the classic sweet spots in BA’s award chart: it is much cheaper to go to Hawaii from the West Coast using Avios than on any other mileage program. (25k Avios round-trip, compared to 35k American or 40k United)
Even better, award availability is generally excellent on Alaska Airlines in Economy class.
For example, in early March Alaska Air has at least 6 award seats available between San Diego and Honolulu on many different dates.
A single round-trip flight from San Diego to Honolulu on Alaska Airlines would cost 25,000 Avios and $5 in taxes.
To send my brother’s family of 4 to Hawaii, I would have to spend 100,000 Avios and $20 in taxes.
That is a pretty small price to pay to give my brother a really great trip that he can enjoy with his whole family!
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