AVIOS Travel rewards
I’ve written before about how useful I find Avios Travel Rewards and I’ve used them again this year to upgrade myself. I had to fly to the States a few weeks ago and as it’s a 7-hour flight I thought I’d be kind to myself and upgrade at least a little bit to Economy World Plus. It’s not business but it has the all-important feature of just a bit more room, particularly leg-room which I really need. I find Economy horribly cramped, even if I get an aisle seat, which is what I usually try for, and that’s miserable for long-haul.
But even the economy flight cost over £400 and upgrading it would have pretty much doubled the price so I couldn’t justify it.
Then I thought of my Avios. I’ve been adding them in month-on-month for over a year now so I have a decent amount saved up. I do it by using the Amex part of the Lloyds Duo card wherever I can, particularly for a supermarket shop, then I convert any Tesco Clubcard points I have and even if a shop doesn’t take the Amex card I use the Mastercard version which gives me fewer Avios but it’s still something.
So I’ve got quite a few saved up, enough, in fact, to take my mum and a friend to Paris and back on Eurostar (and possibly get hotel rooms too) I realise.
But that’s even after I used them for upgrading myself on the plane. It took quite a lot of Avios and I had to make sure it was a flight that allowed them (not all of them do) but boy it made a difference! You get slightly nicer food in that section and, ooh thrills, slightly nicer socks and eye mask, but really the value is in the comfort and being able to wiggle your legs a little bit through the flight.
So I got the upgrade and it didn’t cost me anything. Phew!
I still haven’t mastered the technique (if there is one) to getting automatic upgrades. I’ve tried the methods suggested by others but I think that airlines just don’t like my face or something!
Still, at least I know that if I keep putting my weekly shop on the card and a few extra bits where possible, I should be able to manage another upgrade for free next time I do a long-haul.