Routes that have lots of flights per day are best for redemptions. This includes New York City, which has countless airlines and flights arriving and departing every day, to and from the world’s major cities. Even though demand may be high, the increased capacity means there is a much higher chance of getting a reward seat. Use tools like Reward Flight Finder or Seat Spy, which allow you to browse a huge range of dates for different airlines to find the best availability. With this tool, you can also set up alerts for redemptions for the dates or routes you’re looking for.
If you’re a frequent traveller, it’s worth trying to upgrade your card status. This is especially true if you travel with the same airline often, as the status benefits are incredibly useful. Going that extra mile and taking one or two extra flights to hit status could be very valuable for the following year.
One of the best perks of being a cardholder is priority check-in and priority security. Lounge access is great too. All these things can certainly help to ease the crazy travel chaos we are all currently facing. One of the best ways to use points and get great value is by purchasing very cheap premium economy tickets and using points to upgrade to business class.
If you’re after an elusive BA black card, you might have to wait a while. This card is by invitation only and our intel tells us you need to control a travel budget which spends at least £2 million a year with British Airways.
Google Flights is the best way to find airline deals. Especially using the function that allows you to search multiple departure and arrival points, and a range of dates. You can also use the explore option to see a world map showing the cheapest prices.
Travel chaos is expected to last throughout the summer. Several airports are suffering long queues and many flights are getting cancelled, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and get through the different procedures – Heathrow, for example, is experiencing traffic to even get into the airport. It’s a great idea to buy access to priority security lines for around £5, which is a solid investment to save potentially an hour or more standing in line.
Before you fly, download Flight Radar 24 which allows you to track the exact aircraft that will be flying your route. You can then see where the plane is and whether it has made it out of its previous destination. Having this information will put you ahead of other passengers (and potentially even some airline staff) to help determine whether there will be delays ahead of your trip.
British Airways is unbeatable because of its giant route network. If you’re London-based it should be a go-to, especially if you have ‘elite status’. For North American travel, Virgin Atlantic has newer aircraft which are pretty slick, and for long-haul travel Qatar is consistently excellent – Doha airport provides a great transit experience.
The best budget airline has to be Jet2. It’s a solid and consistent low-cost airline that delivers time and again.