I like boxing and have done my fair share of travelling to watch fights. Billie Joe Saunders is rumoured to finally get his shot against Saul Canello Alverez in a bout that will no doubt take place stateside. There’s a good few variables but I plan on being there when it happens.
Variables = Points
The dates could be either May 1st or May 8th, at either Las Vegas or Dallas, or just not al all… With all those variables it makes sense to try and book with points as you get a whole load of flexibility. My first thoughts were flying to LAX as it’s a main hub in the West. If the fight is in Vegas, I can tick off the whole driving from LA to Vegas thing off my list. If the fight is in Dallas, it is easy and cheap to get an internal flight due to it being a popular route.
A quick search for seats on SeatSpy shows there’s business class available with BA from April 29th to May 2nd but no first class. If you look at February though, there are quite a few flights with First Class available on that route. I am tempted to book 26th Feb to 28th Feb in the hope that it gets cancelled. If it did get cancelled I would be allowed to change my dates for free and I wouldn’t need there to be Avios availability. So long as there were cash tickets available I would be able to get booked on the flights I actually want.
First Class would be 170,000 Avios and £506 but i could use my AmEx 241 voucher and take some one with me for an extra £506.
If I’m ever buying a cash ticket, I’ll always start by looking for the cheapest economy ticket available. Regardless of it being a 2-hour flight or a 20-hour flight, I get plenty of status perks to make it bearable and it means my travel budget goes further. My first goto is ExpertFlyer which displays the cheapest base fares that are available from all airlines. As you can see American Airlines, Finnair and Air France all have prices for my dates at £21. You then need to add all of your taxes and fees, as you can see though I have my journey starting at Inverness to save on the £145 Air Passenger Duty. There’s that and the fact Inverness is just as close to me as Heathrow is with Inverness being a much nicer drive and easier parking.
Pricing it up on BA brings it in at £247.40. As you can see, the £21 base fare with all the aditional taxes and BA’s surcharge. I’d no doubt use the offer of £20 off for 2,000 Avios as it gives me a value of 1p per Avios so the total would be £227.40. As you can see I’d earn 14,860 Avios back so could even be tempted by the £60 off for 9,950 Avios, I’d still be up almost 5,000 Avios and I’d onl be paying £187.40. Wow, i’t been a while since I’ve flew to LA for that cheap.
The icing on the cake would obviously be access to both British Airways First Class Lounge at Heathrow and Qantas’ First Class Lounge at Los Angeles.
That’s not mentioning the fact that both flights are empty so you can conver the 4 middle seats into a bed. Oh the flight home is on an Airbus A380 (double decker) so you can sleep upstairs on the smoothest aircraft in the sky too, nice.
Better Than Economy?
At this point, I’ve pretty much just sold economy to myself. None the less, i’ll check out premium economy to see how things look price wise.
ExpertFlyer is showing the cheapest base fare for my route and dates as £236 for Premium Economy.
That translates to £462.40 by the time BA add the taxes and surcharges. £215 more than economy for a comfier seat and the ability to take luggage. Being a BA Gold member I get to take 3x 32kg bags instead of the 2x 23kg bags that BA include with Premium Economy.
If you factor in that you cant lie down across seats because the armrests are solid in premium economy, I can’t really justify the extra cost. I have just spotted that I can take £120 off for 21,500 Avios, it’s a poor deal but as I’d earn 23,268 Avios from taking the flight… Hmmm, perhaps book Premium Economy use 21,500 Avios and pay £342.40. I am much more likely to be upgraded than if I was flying economy and if I really want to go to sleep on the flight home, I could just give someone in economy my seat, paying it forward sort of.
Business Class For The Lols
The cheapest business class ticket is a complete mixed bag. You start on KLM from Inverness to Amsterdam. You then fly with Delta on an A330 which has Delta Suites onboard to Seattle then a 737 to get you to LAX. On the return it’s a simple Virgin Upper Class Suite to Heathrow, finishing with BA back to Inverness. You can imagine though, if theres any changes to be had it’ll be an absolute ball ache… There are some nice seats to try but for £1,224 and no way of reducing the price it’s a no from me. That extra £980 over economy or £760 over premium economy can be spent on better tickets for the fight, an upgraded room at the hotel, alcohol or ofcourse frittered away in a flash of madness on the casino floor…
For me, it will be Economy for cash with BA I think. If others are joining then I’ll no doubt book premium economy so that I can take 3x 32kg bags then others I’m flying with can book basic economy and save £90 each on luggage. Yeah, 11 hours is a long time in economy but with copious amounts of alcohol to drink in the lounge and a massage to be had before the flight, it isn’t so bad.