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5 new routes with cheap Avios awards from California

by on Fri October 24, 2014 • No Comment

New routes from non-hub cities are some of the best opportunities to use your miles and points because they often have lots award space as the airline waits for demand to pick up.

Case in point, 5 new routes launched in Southern California where airlines are fighting for share. It’s good news for you because they have lots of award seats available and are bookable with British Airways Avios for less than regular mile programs, thanks to its distance based award chart.

Avios are also easy to earn thanks to being transferable from Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards cards.

1. Alaska Airlines: San Diego – Kona, Hawaii

Price: 12,500 points one-way

Starts March 5th, with only 3 flights per week. This is one of the ‘golden deals’ with Avios as you can snag non-stops of this distance for just 12,500 miles each way, versus 22,500 if you use AAdvantage miles, or 20,000 miles if you used Alaska’s own miles.

Given there are only 3 flights a week, availability is good for the days that operate. You’ll find seats 2 days a week for much of the schedule.


2. US Airways: Los Angeles – Vancouver

Price: 7,500 points one-way

Launched earlier this month. Vancouver might be one of the most under-rated cities in the world, with some of the best seafood, a walkable downtown, and an intoxicating combination of high mountains and the deep, dark sea. Not to mention easy access to Whistler for ski weekends (and yes, there’s lots of availability in January).

It would be a crime to live in SoCal and not try a weekend if you have some points lying around.


3. US Airways: Los Angeles – San Antonio

Price: 10,000 points one-way

You can thank the merger of US Airways and American for this one. San Antonio is a big American Airlines town, but never quite got nonstop service to the West Coast. Now it does without the annoying stop in Dallas.

San Antonio is also a sweet spot for hotel awards.

The Riverwalk is filled with nice properties from the big chains, but at reasonable category levels, so getting a free night won’t set you back many points.

Case in point: the Sheraton Gunter which often goes for over $200 a night, but is available for just 7,000 points a night, almost 3 cents per point in value.

4. US Airways: Los Angeles – Edmonton

Price: 10,000 points one-way

Let’s be clear – this is  a business route. We’re sure Edmonton has a lot to offer, like the largest mall in North America. It’s also the 2nd closest airport to Banff for skiing (but there’s already a nonstop to Calgary for that which is much more convenient) and we hear great things about Edmonton’s downtown scene. The reality is, Edmonton is a booming energy town, and lots of Edmontonians want easy access to LA.


5. American: Los Angeles – Tampa

Price: 12,500 points one-way

This one doesn’t qualify as ‘cheap’ with Avios. It will cost you the same as if you booked with American’s own miles, since it’s almost 2,500 miles in distance.

But there are lots of award seats available, and if you can’t find awards to Orlando this is a great alternative that’s not a far drive from Disney World with the added plus of being close to Gulf beaches.

There’s also tons of First Class award availability if you want to pay up using your American miles (Avios are not always a great deal for domestic First Class because they charge 3x the coach price).


Where can you find these awards?

They’re all easily searchable from and you can narrow them down by choosing the ‘non-stop’ drop down. Once you see flights that work, just call Avios on 1 800 452 1201.


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