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We have previously flagged the link-up between Avios and Flybe, that enables you to both earn and spend Avios on flights with the UK regional carrier, Flybe.
This arrangement now has an additional option: you can now use your Avios to “part pay” for your Flybe flights.
To be honest, I’m pretty underwhelmed by this development.
While the precise amount you will save on your Flybe flight “depends on the route and time of year”, the average savings are apparently as follows:
- £7.50 saving = 1500 Avios
- £15 saving = 3000 Avios
- £22.50 saving = 4500 Avios
So that equates to 0.5p per Avios, which is far from impressive.
Why use this option when you can make full payment for 4500 Avios one-way?
This is the key point for me.
You can currently redeem your Avios for Flybe flights in full (you will have to pay tax and fees, additionally) at the following rates.
Frankly, I am absolutely not going to be a redeemer of Avios at 0.5p a point, so really the only viable redemption option for me is one of the above where the redemption flight means I get considerably better value than 0.5p a point.
That said, you can rest fairly assured that the availability for “part pay” will be substantially better than availability for whole flights paid by Avios. Even where such flights are available, there’s no guarantee you’ll get good value for your Avios – anything less than 1p for me, and it’s unlikely I’ll bite.
One obvious benefit the “part pay” option has over the full pay option, is that you will still earn up to 4 Avios per £1 spent on the flight, as follows:
How does the Flybe option compare to other “part pay with Avios” options?
Ever the curious type, I took a look to see what it meant in practice and whether if offered good value. My example for this was a flight from London City up to Edinburgh, as I knew that both airlines fly that route fairly regularly.
I chose flights that were closest in terms of departure times as that makes the comparison as fair as possible.
The BA flights were £185
The FlyBe flights were at similar times, but were more expensive, by about £50:
To keep it as comparable as possible, I priced it up using a BA ‘Plus’ fare which includes a bag and seat selection, and the FlyBe ‘Get More’ fare.
Clearly, the BA win on price, and on comfort, as they operate the Embraer E170/E190 on this route, as opposed to the propeller-driven Dash 8, a far noisier and less comfortable aircraft.
I know what I would prefer…!
But what about the Part Pay?
Flybe offer a discount of £45 for 9,000 Avios, which is poor. British Airways will give £60 off for fewer Avios.
So who wins?
- Cost: British Airways
- Avios Part Pay value: British Airways
- Comfort: British Airways
It is really hard to see why you would choose the Flybe option here! Clearly they need to work on their offering if they want me to spend my Avios with them (or fly with them at all!)
It’s probably worth mentioning that, in both of these cases, I wouldn’t use my Avios for part pay given that 9,000 Avios plus £35 will get me a Reward Flight Saver flight on this route, which ultimately offers the best value.