How to Save Big and Boost Your Avios Balance by Combining Travel With BA Holidays

Aug 27, 2019

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Travel can involve a lot of planning. You might book flights, then book your accommodation, then you may need to hire a car or organise a transfer. British Airways has an underrated ‘BA Holidays’ platform, which allow you to book multiple elements of your hotel together but will provide you with some real discounts for stacking elements together.

Let’s look at how the benefits work with a specific example — a week’s holiday in Majorca for a family of four. First of all, you choose your flights.

Then you can choose the hotel accommodation.

The BA Holidays platform will apply a discount to the cost of the accommodation simply because you’re combining it with the cost of a flight booking. You can see the discount applied under each property. As you can see in this example, there are hundreds of pounds savings.

After choosing your accommodation you can add other travel services like car hire and airport transfers. Adding a hire to the booking doesn’t list a specific amount of saving but does show several benefits for booking it through this platform:

  • You’ll receive bonus Avios — a minimum of 700 per booking
  • Booking this option through BA Holidays will provide an additional driver at no extra cost.

So overall, with this example you will save £411 by booking through BA Holidays, rather than booking each item separately. You will also receive more than 3,000 bonus Avios (above the standard Avios you would take for taking the flight if you had booked separately). Based on TPG UK’s current valuations of Avios, these bonus Avios are worth £33.

You also have the option of paying a deposit on your BA Holiday provided the holiday is more than five days in advance (this one isn’t). If this trip was booked for say, next year, you would only have to pay as much now as follows:

  • Flight + hotel and flight + car holidays between £300-£999: Just pay £150 deposit per booking
  • Flight + hotel and flight + car holidays between £1,000-£2,999: Just pay from £300 deposit per booking
  • Flight + hotel and flight + car holidays between £3,000-£3,499: Just pay from £350 deposit per booking

But is it a legitimate discount? Let’s price each item separately fo the exact same items to check the prices and see if the discount BA Holiday lists is accurate.

Here is the cost of the flight alone, booked through BA.com

And this is the cost of that same hotel, booked directly with the hotel, noting it only shows smaller Studio rooms versus the one bedroom shown on BA Holidays.

And the car hire, booked on the company’s own website with the same car type for the same dates (with an additional driver).

Together, these three elements have the following cost:

  • Flight: £808.60
  • Hotel: £1,578.38
  • Car: £298.31

The total when booking individually was £2,685.29. British Airways’ quote was £2,349 for the same package for a savings of £336.95. Yes, this is slightly lower than the advertised discount, but still a sizeable discount when compared to booking the same rooms separately and noting the one-bedroom apartment wasn’t showing on the hotel’s own website. And don’t forget all the Avios you are earning.

If you have the British Airways Premium Plus Card from American Express you will earn 3 Avios per pound spent with BA Holidays, so there’s another 7,000 Avios for you for this itinerary.

Overall, booking through BA Holidays can not only save time, but also provide real savings and bonus valuable Avios.

Featured image by Imgorthand / Getty Images

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