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Cheap 2019 flights (inc Feb half term) for those who go more than once

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I know I've posted this before, but I still think it's worth a reminder particularly as thoughts turn to next season's bookings.

For anyone going more than once in a season, it is possible to bulk buy your flights in advance at a potentially considerable discount.

e.g. I've just booked 16-23 Feb 2019 LGW<->GVA return on BA for £160/person, flexible (date/time changes allowed), inc baggage. The non-flex version is just £125 return/person inc bags. The standalone fare on this route is £850/person!

The way it works is that you book a block of tickets (effectively a coupon booklet in old-style ticketing) that can be used at any time, on a named route, by named passengers, within a booking window. https://britishairways.optiontown.com/ is the link.

I've purchased 8 return tickets valid from mid Dec to mid March (3 months) for 4 named people (me and family) LGW<->GVA. This costs either £997 total for non-flexible tickets, or just under £1300 for flexible tickets. There are various variables (e.g. number of days in advance you will make the booking, whether you want all London airports or only specific ones, how long the validity window will be etc.) which drive the pricing.

Happy planning!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
That's very interesting. I haven't seen that option.

I just tried the link but couldn't see if you were able to book business class tickets using that system. Do you happen to know if this is possible? The problem with a standard economy ticket with BA only includes a single bag hence the thought about booking club.

At the moment, I am trying to book everything using Avios. For various reasons, I tend to collect Avios at a large rate (circa 150,000 points per month) so that has been my first option. However, those tickets can't be changed and you need to book pretty much when they create 355 days in advance.

Using your option, is it realistic to book on high demand days like the start and end of school holidays? Of course this assumes there are seats available, but I know sometimes an airline will hold back the sale of the cheaper fares for potentially higher yielding, later booking customers.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
It's economy only at present. Just one bag but that one bag can be a big ski coffin bag with all your stuff in; in addition BA's carry on allowance bag size is so large that it can easily fit a week's ski gear including boots into carryon. Almost every flight I've had in the last year, they have offered free checking for carryon size bags.

If you're accruing 150k Avios a month then you should be Gold (at the very least), in which case you can use Avios whenever you want as long as you're prepared to pay double the normal Avios points. Also, Avios tickets can be changed as long as there is availability on the new flight. I change a lot of mine!

The Optiontown fares that I link to above have last-seat availability. i.e. as long as there is a seat available in your cabin, even if it's a "full fare" Y seat, you can have it. I've successfully booked onto flights where only the most expensive seats were available.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
snowdave wrote:

If you're accruing 150k Avios a month then you should be Gold (at the very least), in which case you can use Avios whenever you want as long as you're prepared to pay double the normal Avios points. Also, Avios tickets can be changed as long as there is availability on the new flight. I change a lot of mine!

Unfortunately my Avios points are accrued with Amex spend, so these don't count to the main Exec Club level, hence no gold level. Which is a pain because as you say with gold you get increased availability of Avios if you pay double points.
snowdave wrote:


The Optiontown fares that I link to above have last-seat availability. i.e. as long as there is a seat available in your cabin, even if it's a "full fare" Y seat, you can have it. I've successfully booked onto flights where only the most expensive seats were available.


That is very useful information and means that Optiontown fares look like a very good deal imho if you want to fly at high/ish demand times.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
can't you only book 90 days in advance at the earliest?
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I think they are minimum booking windows, not maximum. So the answer to your question is no, you should be able to book much further out than that.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@eddiesteadygo, ah yes, it says "at least" 90 days - missed that
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Just had a look at this again now, but found a query which I wasn't sure of the answer to. It seems on the high demand flights to Geneva (e.g. school half term) BA are only selling "Economy (Plus)". This is of course different from World Traveller Plus which has a different seat type.

So I am wondering does Economy (Plus) on shorthaul qualify as being economy and hence would be bookable with these group buy type of tickets?
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
what's the minimum amount of flights you have to buy in order to be eligible for the bulk buy discount?
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I've just been looking and it seems you need to buy 2 return tickets per named passenger. So if there was 4 names passengers you would need to buy 2 return tickets which equates to 16 one way flights.

Depending upon the answer to my last question, that would make it VERY good value for money if you book in peak time.

Just to add, the wording on the site refers to cabin, so I think whilst BA might be selling Economy (plus) on their shorthaul flights, as that is still in Economy cabin, I would presume they are bookable with this type of tickets.

On that basis, this is an excellent discovery by the OP.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@eddiesteadygo, I think that Economy (Plus) equates to Economy (with a bag)
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@eddiesteadygo, as Alastair says, economy plus is economy with a bag for short haul.

Iíve successfully booked Feb half term with this, on flights that were about £850/person otherwise.

As @mikeycharlton says itís 2 return flights per person as a min, although you can use them unequally so you could do one family trip and 4 weekends for yourself.

Edited to add - the massive bargain is where you can book the flexi fares on the four hour freedom option, for about £20 more than a normal ticket. Then if plans change, so can your flights. That said, at peak periods all flights are full so you wonít necessarily be able to change.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Just looking at doing this and looks fantastic. Can I just confirm that if flights are showing available to buy via BA app, then I will be able to select and book these via this once I have bought my flight pass? Just wanted to make sure that I have missed something. As I am looking at this for half term flights, even if we donít use the extra flights it is still significantly cheaper than booking onto those flights for the one trip.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Correct, Optiontown (the agent) describes it as "last seat availability" although to be fair, that should technically say "last economy seat availability". If there is a seat available on the flight, you can book it.

There's a number of threads on Flyertalk about it.

The only thing is that you have to select and book through Optiontown rather than BA, and similarly all changes have to be made through Optiontown so it's not always immediate but my limited experience so far is that they are reasonably responsive. It probably took 24hrs for my initial booking to come through the systems, but future bookings were instant. I set up my account and booked my first flight immediately.

Worth playing around a lot with the permutations of options to get the cheapest deals, you should be able to get c. £1k for 4 people with 2 returns each.
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