Either BA can’t add, or I can’t add

So the hubs and I are looking at spending a bit of time in Monterey, CA.  Flying there from ABQ is expensive so I went to British Airways to use up some of my Avios that are laying around.

I can get to MRY via either LAX or PHX, but the shorter flights through PHX aren’t available on the days I want to fly.  I can get there through LAX, with some seriously weird addition.

For domestic flights, especially ones on teeny planes, I always book in economy.  It’s super cheap with Avios thanks to their distance based mileage program.  ABQ-LAX is 7500 avios.  LAX-MRY is 4500 avios.  When I add those together I get 12,000 avios.  Considering the flight costs over $500, I thought I’d book it.  But when I went through the process, BA tried to charge me 30,000 avios.


I thought well, maybe MRY has some crazy surcharge associated with it.  But when I check ABQ-PHX-MRY the price is 9,000 avios.

So my conclusion can only be, if I want to layover in LAX then I’m going to be charged an extra 18,000 avios.  I thought about booking the two flights separately, but with only a 45 minute layover, and the odds of me checking a bag high, that seemed risky.  I certainly hope BA isn’t changing their award chart and this is just the beginning of a massive devaluation!

I tweeted my dilemma to British Airways but they didn’t respond.  They have no option to contact them via email that I could find.  I posted a question on The Point’s Guy’s Facebook but I’m sure he has better things to do than answer my questions for free.  So I am currently (and painfully) on hold with British Airways.  27 minutes so far.  And if past experience is any indicator, when someone does finally pick up (I’ve waited well over an hour before), they will just transfer me to someone else and I’ll be on hold for another God-knows-how-long.

I used to recommend British Airways to my friends for their generous credit card signup bonuses and American Express transfer bonuses, but once I deplete my household account, if I am ever able to deplete my household account, this may be the end of our bittersweet relationship.

But I digress.  If anyone happens to stumble across this post and can explain how 4500 and 7500 add up to 30,000 please comment!  I’ll probably still be on hold.


Update:  A helpful man answered the line after 35 minutes.  He didn’t know why this award was pricing out so high, so he booked the flight for me.  To charge me properly, he said he would take 30,000 avios out of my account, then would refund 30,000 avios, then would debit 12,000 avios.  I foresee this not going as smoothly as I’d like.  I think I’ll be buying Berkshire Hathaway travel insurance just in case!


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