How to Tell if You Have Earned a British Airways 2 for 1 Benefit

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I got the British Airways Visa Signature® Card earlier this year in part because I find Avios extremely useful on short-haul domestic trips operated by British Airways partners like American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, and in part because I wanted the “Travel Together” benefit where my husband and I can can fly on a British Airways flight for the same number of points as if I went by myself (though we have to pay the enormous taxes/fees for both tickets).

I knew that I must be close to the threshold to earn the “Travel Together Ticket” ($30,000 in spending on the credit card in a calendar year), but I couldn’t find anything in my British Airways account to indicate that I had in fact earned the ticket.  I’m sure I could have figured out how much I had charged on the card this year if I tried, but I didn’t really have the time or enough interest to do that right this second.

Luckily for me, I received an email this week from British Airways informing me that I had indeed earned the Travel Together benefit and that I had 24 months to use it.

British Airways Travel Together

When I logged into my account to search for a flight, the process to use the Travel Together ticket was very easy as it was a simple box to check when searching for award flights.

Travel Together BA

As an example, it showed I could fly myself and my husband (or whatever companion I selected) from Houston to London in business class for 100,000 Avios round trip, or first class for 150,000 Avios for both of us.  The taxes and fees (and fuel surcharges) are a bit over $1,000 per person.  This is a crazy amount of money to have to pay to redeem your points, but when you take into account that you are getting 2 for 1 for your points it makes it a little better….once.  We plan to use our Travel Together Benefit we earned this year once just to have that experience of flying a premium cabin on British Airways to get to Europe, and then we likely won’t use it again.  As an added bonus, premium cabin availability on British Airways is actually relatively good.

British Airways is also a really good program if you want to bring a lap infant along for the ride as the charge is a flat 10% points instead of 10% of the selling price of the ticket like many programs do.  This means that you, your partner, and your infant could all take advantage of this benefit.  Parent A would pay the full price in Avios, Parent B would owe no Avios with the Travel Together benefit, and lap-infant would owe 10% Avios.  Both parents would owe the full taxes/fees, but the lap infant would owe a much smaller portion of taxes/fees as shown below on an example itinerary.

BA Infant TicketEven with the multitude of ways to put spending on credit cards, $30,000 is still a ton of charge on one card in one calendar year, and most people probably don’t want to pay $1,000+ in taxes/fees on a premium cabin award ticket.  That means that going for the Travel Together benefit is certainly not for everyone, but it may be useful to some of you.  I’m just glad they make it easy to tell if you have earned the benefit!  I look forward to when we are able to put it to good use in the next couple of years.

Have you ever used the Travel Together benefit of the British Airways card for your family?

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Comments

  1. Congrats on earning your 2-for-1! When redeeming, if this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime type of redemption, I recommend splurging on BA F (and then, only if it is the new F cabin), and preferably on a *really* long-haul segment (IAH-LHR or maybe AUS-LHR on the 787, but certainly not just NYC-LHR). The BA C cabin is alright, but nothing truly special. I redeemed (2) 2-for-1’s for a trip last December for my family of four, and though we paid through the nose (as you mention) because of taxes, fuel surcharges and UK aviation departure fees, because it was 2-for-1 I figured the 300K total Avios was worth it. Also, good to see that online redemption of the 2-for-1’s is now possible – it wasn’t as of late-2011/early 2012.

    • Jetsetr, that is the plan. 😉 At least do F one way, but potentially both ways if availability lines up. It would likely be IAH-LHR for us. They do seem to have made it a pretty easy process with the online redemption!

  2. I use these coupons every year to take the better half to London for New Year’s Eve.

    If you run a business on the card the spend is easy to hit.

    Fuel surcharges suck but at the low cost for the round trip in terms of points I’m not gonna complain.

  3. I’ve used two of these and have two more in the queue. Even with the fuel surcharge, it’s still worth it to me, since I am getting 1/2 off of my points. I like First. Going to check out the A-380 next time, although I like flying out of SFO since you board from the lounge.

  4. Have you tried buying premium economy between IAH and LHR (RT for a little more than $1000 each), then upgrading them to business class for 50K avios RT each? For two of you, it would be the same amount of cash and avios as you redeem the 2-for-1 certificate, but you will get maybe 12K eqm each this way.

  5. @bgiagg – That’s a good point and a viable strategy, assuming that the Premium Economy pricing is in the ballpark of what the incremental taxes for the full C redemption. But IME, the Premier Economy pricing tends to always be higher when I’ve looked at the dates I’ve wanted/need to travel 😉 The counter to your salient point is that if you want to fly F, the strategy (out-of-pocket, cash-wise) to buy C and upgrade to F can be cost-prohibitive. Frankly, if one is going to fly TATL, and one is going to fly BA, then better to do so in their F cabin, as their C product is nothing special.

  6. Couple things. First I’m close to hitting the companion 2 for 1 and I’d like to look at cheaper places to go. I assume LHR surcharges would be higher than some other destinations.
    Also if IAH doesn’t work for you I would look at the new Austin-LHR to see what aircraft and availability might be there. I know Austin is not Houston but it could be an interesting alternative for you.

  7. @DaninSTL – the challenge that I found with the 2-for-1s is that (at least when I redeemed last year), that travel had to originate in the US, and of course, travel has to be on BA. So that pretty much means traveling to/from LHR. Combined with the fact that when the program changed to “Avios” and essentially became a “point-to-point, distance-based” program, that awards from the US to, say, JNB became TWO awards, and the LHR-JNB segment would not be eligible for the 2-for-1 because it originates in the UK. Unless the rules for 2-for-1 award calculation/usage have changed, this is a major downside to “looking at cheaper places to go.” And just FYI, the AUS-LHR route has already been announced that it will be served by the 787 DreamLiner.

  8. Quite frankly, personally I would rather buy a W fare on United and upgrade with a GPU and earn the miles than spend a $1K on a non mileage earning ticket. IAH to LHR is not much over $1k for a W fare on United. I don’t want any part of BA’s fuel surcharges.

  9. I redeemed one this past May-June SFO-LHR-LYS and return NCE-LHR-SFO. Found availability for FC wide open on almost every day 330 days out and so booked. FC food on SFO-LHR steak was tougher than shoe leather and gave it back after one bite and feasted on healthy greens instead………coming back they essentially forced us to spend a night in LHR to catch the next day flight which was not optimum………but I was very happy with FC, the pajamas, and even the Concorde Room which had very nice cabanas that we reserved ahead…….and the spa was another nice free treat that we reserved ahead…………although if you can find the Concorde Room on an overseas connection to the continent then you are smarter than me…………

  10. I would not pay that much for F to go to London. Go somewhere else. London is a waste of time. Just my 2 c. BTW, more tix for Sochi go on sale today 😉

    • Great theatre in London…..much better than NYC………already have Billy Elliott and Wicked tickets and definitely will do Book of Mormon and Spamalot……….then there is the Churchill War Room………and the Middle Eastern food is just horrible in London……………yes most definitely a waste of time for the uncultured……………

  11. We’ve done IAH-LHR for the last few years using the Companion Pass. If you are doing this once, you want BA First. Done biz 3yrs & then first this past summer. It’s a whole nother level! The window seats have much more space than the middle, so just tell your hubby to ring the FA if he needs something. 🙂

  12. Nick, I think that is my exact plan for an upcoming trip to Europe, however that plan only works if you have access to GPUs and there is confirmable space. I personally would not purchase a W fare on a gamble, though I know many do.
    JustSaying, sounds mostly good (minus the steak) thanks for sharing!
    Wings, I love London, but our final end point would likely not be London, that is just the segment I care about getting in BA F.
    Chase, I think that is the plan! 😉

  13. So is Jetstr correct about the Companion pass only being good to LHR? e.g. IAH-LHR-DEL in F for 2 would cost 450k Avios, not 300k, even with the TTT?

    • DBest, it is not just to LHR. Just have to originate (and end) in the US and be on BA operated flights. However, since Avios are distance based I will not being going too much further than that with them. Here are the terms:
      With the Travel Together Ticket, you can bring a companion on your next reward flight without using any additional Avios. There are no restrictions with a Travel Together Ticket—bring someone with you anywhere and in any cabin your Avios can take you. All travel must originate in and return to the US.

  14. @DBest, @mommypoints – In my situation with the TTT, back in late 2011/early 2012 when I booked, because I was using two (2) TTTs to enable my family of four to travel (for the price of two), not only could I *not* redeem *one* TTT online (as Mommypoints showed she could do in this post), but it was especially not possible for me to redeem two TTTs online – I *had* to call into the Executive Club to book my awards (and to make matters worse, I booked before there was a promoted and dedicated BA First call-in number). So it’s entirely possible that the info the non-BA First phone agent gave me with respect to use of the TTT to points beyond LHR was simply incorrect. In my case, though, the “point beyond LHR” issue didn’t matter, because not only did I build a stopover in LON, but my ultimate final destination was LPA, which was served by IB via MAD, not BA, so it wasn’t possible to “continue use of the TTT” since I was on non-BA metal.

  15. We just did a trip to Europe using the 2 for 1 with our 5 month old son in May. It was a great experience in F and only needing to pay an extra 15K or so miles to take our son was well worth it!

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