30 Rockefeller Plaza skyline at sunset

The reasons to book a last minute flight: endless. The amount of cheap last minute flights available: very limited. There’s no magic day to book flights, nor is there one website where they’re always cheaper, but there is a pretty rock solid way to save money on last minute flights. In case you hadn’t already guessed, it’s miles, but not the ones you might expect…

30 Rockefeller Plaza skyline at sunsetJust 7,500 Miles Can Cover A Ticket Worth $1000’s…

Nope, not United, Delta, Southwest or American miles. We’re talking British Airways “Avios” miles. British Airways is a transfer partner of American Express and Chase, meaning, you can instantly create British Airways miles using credit card points from either program. Before you ask, no British Airways doesn’t have any secret flights in the US, but you can use their miles on their partner American, at excellent rates.

a plane flying in the sky7,500 Miles Covers Any Economy Flight Up To 1,152 Miles Away…

British Airways decides the cost in miles not by cash, but by distance, so any flight that’s up to 1,152 miles away is just 7,500 British Airways “Avios” miles one way. You can find the distance by using a pedometer during your next flight, or by using GCMap.com. Simply enter your origin and destination, and the site will let you know if you fit the distance.

a city skyline with lights on the waterThis Works, Because American Unloads Tons Of Last Minute Availability To British Airways…

A week or more out, you stand a chance to get a great deal. Less than that, it gets dicey. Fortunately, American Airlines consistently loads tons of availability using miles into the British Airways system-within 48 hours of departure. Put it this way, your ideal flight is either sold out, or you’re plain unlucky if you can’t get availability for a short haul flight with American, using British Airways miles-last minute.

a plane flying above the cloudsHere’s How To Actually Do It…

First, you need a British Airways Executive Club account, it’s free to sign up for. Once you have that, you login, scroll over “Executive Club”, then click “Spending Avios”, next “Book a Reward Flight”. From there you’ll search your preferred departure and arrival cities, the date, and look for availability, by scrolling down. If you see it, you can book it for just $5.60 out of pocket, plus the miles. Amazing.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. This is downright inaccurate. Avios used to be great for last-minute bookings on AA flights. AA has dried up availability on many domestic routes. See for instance NYC-YYZ, which used to have several daily frequencies with wide open SAAver space. Now there’s nothing on the route for months at a time.

    1. um… no it’s not. Sure, some routes don’t have the avail they once did, but many still do. I can pick virtually any flight, any day between NY, BOS, DC, just to name a few. I’m sorry your useful route is no longer ripe, but it does not make the entire post “downright inaccurate”. That would be an inaccurate categorization.

  2. Hey there, I just started reading your blog here on boardingarea and I enjoy your content. It’s very insightful and refreshing content. Keep up the good work!

    1. thanks very much Troy! Will try my very best to keep things refreshing and informative. Hope to chat more soon!

  3. Just wanted to say how useful I find your blog! Your posts are direct, to the point, and most importantly I LOVE the tips and tricks you have to find flights for the least amount of points/miles. Keep up the great work and insights 🙂

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