Booking future reward flights

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  • JDTraveller
    Participant

    Have been looking at booking some trips as something to look forward to when the current situation passes. No doubt the airlines would appreciate the cash in there pockets right now. However, what are the thoughts of the people on risks of booking reward flights for 2021?

    Should a carrier fail does this give more or less protection over the value of the points?

    If carriers need bums on seats will they reduce the costs of rewards, and will it be retrospective or “if you liked the price you booked at then tough”?


    ASK1945
    Participant

    Have been looking at booking some trips as something to look forward to when the current situation passes. No doubt the airlines would appreciate the cash in there pockets right now. However, what are the thoughts of the people on risks of booking reward flights for 2021?

    Should a carrier fail does this give more or less protection over the value of the points?

    If carriers need bums on seats will they reduce the costs of rewards, and will it be retrospective or “if you liked the price you booked at then tough”?

    JDTraveller – having collected and redeemed Avios (formerly known as Air Miles) for over 20 years, I do have some experience and so can answer a little of what you asked:

    1. I am almost sure that if an airline fails and goes bankrupt, the points disappear with the bankruptcy. They have no cash value. As my experience is with BA, they have never gone into bankruptsy (so far!). Maybe someone on the Forum has been with a bankrupt airline and can amend or add to this advice.

    2. I am sure that when BA have reduced the number of Avios needed for a journey AFTER I have bought that journey for a higher number of points, then “Yes” it’s just tough. I tend to book 350 days ahead to get the flights I want, so it’s happened to me a few times. But, that’s the same for any seat sale, isn’t it – indeed any sale?

    Also, although you didn’t ask the question, I will add that I understand that Avios points are not transferrable to someone else, except a limited annual number, and for quite a high price. So, if you die, they die with you.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    ontherunhome
    Participant

    Have been looking at booking some trips as something to look forward to when the current situation passes. No doubt the airlines would appreciate the cash in there pockets right now. However, what are the thoughts of the people on risks of booking reward flights for 2021?

    Should a carrier fail does this give more or less protection over the value of the points?

    If carriers need bums on seats will they reduce the costs of rewards, and will it be retrospective or “if you liked the price you booked at then tough”?

    JDTraveller – having collected and redeemed Avios (formerly known as Air Miles) for over 20 years, I do have some experience and so can answer a little of what you asked:

    1. I am almost sure that if an airline fails and goes bankrupt, the points disappear with the bankruptcy. They have no cash value. As my experience is with BA, they have never gone into bankruptsy (so far!). Maybe someone on the Forum has been with a bankrupt airline and can amend or add to this advice.

    2. I am sure that when BA have reduced the number of Avios needed for a journey AFTER I have bought that journey for a higher number of points, then “Yes” it’s just tough. I tend to book 350 days ahead to get the flights I want, so it’s happened to me a few times. But, that’s the same for any seat sale, isn’t it – indeed any sale?

    Also, although you didn’t ask the question, I will add that I understand that Avios points are not transferrable to someone else, except a limited annual number, and for quite a high price. So, if you die, they die with you.

    On the morbid point of dying with a balance of loyalty points, if they are written into a will, then the airline should transfer them to whomever you direct them. I saw something on Head for Points on this, and Hilton Hotels even have a form yo can send in, see Loyalty Lobby.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    ASK1945
    Participant

    From Flyertalk.com in February:

    “……….. upon the death of a Member, Avios Points, Tier Points and Lifetime Tier Points accumulated but unused at the time of death shall be cancelled. … The obvious way around this is the slightly dubious one of logging into the account of the deceased person and redeeming their Avios points for a flight for yourself.”

    Not that I would condone this, of course !

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    To pick up on ASK1945 points I would add the following:

    When the various airlines in America went through Chapter 11, which is not the same as bankruptcy, they all honoured points balances as a gesture of goodwill. I would imagine that European airlines would do the same in the event of a restructuring. However, if it was a true bankruptcy, and the airline stopped flying, then it would be lost.

    I book BA, or IB, flights with Avios almost a year in advance, and change the flights frequently if Avios requirements change, or my dates change. As a BA Gold it costs €35 per ticket and is an excellent way of buying a flexible ticket.

    Concerning the popping of clogs, why not open family accounts, which can often also include business friends. One can imagine notices in the Deaths columns of local newspapers: “Fred’s dead. Off to the Bahamas for 2 weeks!”

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    JDTraveller
    Participant

    Have been looking at booking some trips as something to look forward to when the current situation passes. No doubt the airlines would appreciate the cash in there pockets right now. However, what are the thoughts of the people on risks of booking reward flights for 2021?

    Should a carrier fail does this give more or less protection over the value of the points?

    If carriers need bums on seats will they reduce the costs of rewards, and will it be retrospective or “if you liked the price you booked at then tough”?

    JDTraveller – having collected and redeemed Avios (formerly known as Air Miles) for over 20 years, I do have some experience and so can answer a little of what you asked:

    1. I am almost sure that if an airline fails and goes bankrupt, the points disappear with the bankruptcy. They have no cash value. As my experience is with BA, they have never gone into bankruptsy (so far!). Maybe someone on the Forum has been with a bankrupt airline and can amend or add to this advice.

    2. I am sure that when BA have reduced the number of Avios needed for a journey AFTER I have bought that journey for a higher number of points, then “Yes” it’s just tough. I tend to book 350 days ahead to get the flights I want, so it’s happened to me a few times. But, that’s the same for any seat sale, isn’t it – indeed any sale?

    Also, although you didn’t ask the question, I will add that I understand that Avios points are not transferrable to someone else, except a limited annual number, and for quite a high price. So, if you die, they die with you.

    Having a live booking rather than points in the bank makes you more of a creditor to the business if anything were to happen though?


    JDTraveller
    Participant

    From Flyertalk.com in February:

    “……….. upon the death of a Member, Avios Points, Tier Points and Lifetime Tier Points accumulated but unused at the time of death shall be cancelled. … The obvious way around this is the slightly dubious one of logging into the account of the deceased person and redeeming their Avios points for a flight for yourself.”

    Not that I would condone this, of course !

    My mum actually attempted to do this when my dad died a couple of years ago, but she couldn’t get into his account! Eventually she did contact BA and they were very kind to transfer his points to her with a copy of the death certificate. For a company that is not known for customer compassion they did very well… And my mother spent them on F return to NYC!


    ASK1945
    Participant

    JDTraveller wrote:
    “Having a live booking rather than points in the bank makes you more of a creditor to the business if anything were to happen though?”

    Good question> I am not a lawyer so can’t be dogmatic – but I would suggest that as Avios state that the points have no intrinsic value, I wonder whether my original point stands – the points disappear. Of course the cash paid up front (taxes etc) will certainly form a claim against the assets that remain in the defunct company – if any.

    To answer the point about family accounts, these are to pool points for payment purposes (for flights), but they do disappear from a pooled account when one member leaves (for death or any other reason).


    Montysaurus
    Participant

    BA Avios conditions are very clear. Avios die with the holder. Likewise on a family account. The system deletes the Avios earned by the deceased member of the family.
    However a number of people have confirmed that when a partner died who had specifically left their Avios in their will, BA transferred them to the named beneficiary.


    ASK1945
    Participant

    Thanks Montysaurus. Your last point represents a change of policy from when I asked BA Avios many years ago.

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