Earn & Burn Avios On Fiji Airways From Today


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Fiji Airways has just joined the oneworld alliance as a “oneworld connect” partner and British Airways has now announced that flyers can earn and burn Avios on Fiji Airways with immediate effect.

Starting today (6 June 2018) British Airways is selling flights to Nadi (Fiji) from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Singapore and British Airways Executive Club members will earn Avios on these bookings but not Tier points.

Naturally, as this is BA we’re talking about (the airline with one of the world’s IT teams), the Avios calculator hasn’t yet been updated to include Fiji Airways and, although the website will show the Fiji Airways flights quite clearly….

….the website returns an error message when you try to access the cash fare:

I can’t say I’m surprised.

I gave British Airways a call to see if I could price up an Avios award booking but the agent I spoke to couldn’t find any awards available in the system and confirmed that, as they were only given the route info at 11:00 (UK time), the inventory may not have yet been loaded – they’re getting back to me and I’ll update this post as and when I hear anything.

Still, BA may not have the info to hand but it should be possible to work out how many Avios are needed from the BA award chart:

British Airways operates a distance-based program so each of the “zones” relates to a distance band:

Although British Airway doesn’t always stick to this award chart religiously (there are exceptions) these are the anticipated Avios costs for the 3 routes on which BA will be codesharing with Fiji Airways:

Los Angeles – Nadi (5,519 miles)

  • Economy Class (Off-Peak) – 19,500 Avios one-way
  • Economy Class (Peak) – 30,000 Avios one-way
  • Business Class (Off-Peak) – 75,000 Avios one-way
  • Business Class (Peak) – 90,000 Avios one-way

There will be taxes and surcharges to pay on top of the Avios requirement

San Francisco – Nadi (5,458 miles)

  • Economy Class (Off-Peak) – 16,250 Avios one-way
  • Economy Class (Peak) – 25,000 Avios one-way
  • Business Class (Off-Peak) – 62,500 Avios one-way
  • Business Class (Peak) – 75,000 Avios one-way

There will be taxes and surcharges to pay on top of the Avios requirement

Singapore – Nadi (5,165 miles)

  • Economy Class (Off-Peak) – 16,250 Avios one-way
  • Economy Class (Peak) – 25,000 Avios one-way
  • Business Class (Off-Peak) – 62,500 Avios one-way
  • Business Class (Peak) – 75,000 Avios one-way

There will be taxes and surcharges to pay on top of the Avios requirement

Comparison To American Airlines AAdvantage

Fiji Airways was an American Airlines partner long before oneworld connect came around so AAdvantage members have been able to earn & burn miles on the airline for some time.

American Airlines categorizes Fiji as the “South Pacific” so, based on that, this is how many AAdvantage Miles are needed on the same routes as discussed above:

  • Los Angeles – Nadi: 40,000/80,000 (Economy/Business)
  • San Francisco – Nadi: 40,000/80,000 (Economy/Business)
  • Singapore – Nadi: 30,000/40,000 (Economy/Business)

In Economy Class it may seem that British Airways Avios would be the way to go but, sadly, that’s unlikely to be true.

Thanks to the high surcharges that BA attaches to almost all award bookings the best way forward will probably still be with AAdvantage miles….and even then you should check out the cash fares to ensure its worth using miles in the first place (it probably won’t be).

In Business Class AAdvantage is the clear winner again.

In the case of the Singapore – Nadi route you require considerably fewer AAdvantage Miles than Avios and the surcharges/taxes will be minimal compared to what BA will charge with an Avios booking.

On the routes from/to the US fewer Avios may be required but, once again, the surcharges BA will attach to the award bookings will ensure that using AAdvantage Miles is the more economical route to take.

Bottom Line

The good news here for BA flyers is that they will now be able to earn and burn Avios on an airline where, up until today, that was not possible.

The bad news is that tier points cannot be earned on Fiji Airways operated flights (per the BA agents I spoke to today) and that Avios will not be a particularly economical currency with which to purchase flights to/from Fiji….but if you have ever priced up a long-haul Avios booking you probably expected this already.

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