British Airways Companion Award Voucher Can Now Be Used For 50% Off Solo Traveler Redemptions

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British Airways “Travel Together” vouchers can be earned using the airline’s co-brand credit cards. They let a companion travel for no additional miles when redeeming points. The first passenger pays normal miles, taxes and surcharges while the second passenger is charged taxes and surcharges but no miles.

I’d seen that U.K. credit card ‘Travel Together’ vouchers had gotten increased flexibility. They can now be used for a solo traveler to save 50% off the miles for an award. Using this for two passengers is still better – you save double the miles – but offering the flexibility for a single passenger to save miles is a great improvement.

One Mile at a Time points out that this benefit improvement has been extended to U.S.-issued Travel Together vouchers as well.

The British Airways Visa Signature® Card has an initial bonus offer which ends at some point June 30 to earn 100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. It earns a Travel Together ticket when spending $30,000 on the card in a calendar year.

British Airways award surcharges can be quite high – I still value their redemptions. I think about it as buying a discounted coach ticket (that doesn’t earn miles) and using miles for a double or triple upgrade when redeeming for business or first class. Given BA’s business class award availability – they load business class award inventory when loading their schedules – it’s a useful tool. And you might save us much as 160,000 miles on a simple roundtrip in first class between the U.S. and Europe when using the Travel Together ticket for a companion.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “I think about it as buying a discounted coach ticket (that doesn’t earn miles) and using miles for a double or triple upgrade when redeeming for business or first class.”

    I think about it as what it is: a deceptive business practice.

  2. nsx, how is this a “deceptive business practice”? All of the fees are fully disclosed. If you are not aware of the fees, it is your own fault.

    And no one is forcing you to participate in this program. Stay home, buy a cash ticket, or fly with someone else. You have plenty of choices. Put on your big-boy pants.

  3. @Fred, the deception is that it’s a discounted travel program dressed up to resemble a traditional free travel program. I transferred the last of my Avios to Iberia and spent them earlier this year. I don’t plan to earn any more. I stopped earning them in 2011 after the overnight devaluation coincident with the change from miles to Avios. (BA promised no major devaluation, but that was a lie when it came to connecting flights and partner flights.)

    I have similarly stopped earning on AA and I have managed to spend almost all my miles on no-surcharge business saver tickets over the past year.

    My current top choices for earning miles are Alaska and United. There is no airline that has not cheated categories of customers in one decision or another, but these two airlines have given me reasonable redemption value in recent years and they don’t invent surcharges on free tickets.

    Resort fees and other fake “taxes” created by businesses are a pet peeve of mine. If there’s a cost to be recovered, include that in the price of the product. Some people claim that resort fees are not deceptive because they are disclosed later in the booking process. I disagree.

  4. The 50% feature is a nice improvement for the single flyer who wants to use up a comp cert for the reduction.Its half the Avios and half the surcharges it would otherwise be. The only good Avios and surcharges redemption value is for an international first class ticket. But try to find one over the next 50 weeks from or to any city in the US from London. Or other destinations out of or to London. Practically speaking, it’s a near extinct animal. Fewer first class seats on each 777 or A380 and some now with no first class seating at all. Yes, the new business seats configuration in the A350 and some of the 777s is much better but slow build-out. Its not much more than the business class redemption in surcharges and Avios, but oh what a difference a first class seat, food and service.

  5. @nsx — I agree that differences are in the mind of the beholder. Personally, I would rather see something along the lines of “fuel surcharge” than have it be part of the price. At least then there is a *chance* of that surcharge going away, or at least being reduced (albeit not for the foreseeable future given the prices for a barrel of oil these days). Once it’s part of the base fare, it’s permanent.

    That’s why I use my Avios on Iberia rather than BA whenever possible — I prefer not to pay the fuel surcharges. But there are certainly occasions when Business class seats are available on BA and not on IB at the time(s) I need to fly, and if that’s the case…

    That said, I too have AS as my top choice for earning (and burning) miles. So far, I’ve had great redemptions using AS (e.g.: 9.9¢/pt. for Business Class on BA from Porto to San Francisco via Heathrow; 31.0¢/pt. in “First” from SFO-JFK).

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