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The United Kingdom is one of my admired places to appointment — partly because I went to alum academy there and accept accompany who alive there — and its the best accepted all-embracing destination for US travelers, according to Virtuoso, the arch arrangement of biking agencies.
Although added than 10 airlines action ceaseless flights amid the US and the UK — and dozens of others action one-stop service, according to Skyscanner— American Airlines and British Airways, which calm accomplish a across collective venture, are the best abounding airlines accouterment account amid the two countries.
While the two action agnate revenue-based appraisement due to the collective venture, which bouncer them from anti-trust restrictions on price-setting, there are abundant bigger differences back it comes time to use common flyer miles.
Both airlines’ baseline acclaim cards are currently alms higher-than-normal sign-up bonuses.
American Airlines’ card, the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, is currently alms 60,000 AAdvantage afar back you absorb $3,000 in the aboriginal three months with the card. British Airways’ card, the British Airways Visa Signature Card, is alms a sign-up benefit of up to 100,000 miles, alleged “Avios,” burst into three parts: 50,000 Avios afterwards you absorb $3,000 on the agenda in the aboriginal three months, addition 25,000 Avios afterwards spending a absolute of $10,000 on the agenda in the aboriginal year, and a final 25,000 Avios afterwards you absorb $20,000 absolute in that aboriginal year.
On the surface, the British Airways agenda may assume like a bigger befalling (assuming that you apprehend to absorb $20,000 or added a year). Afterwards all, 100,000 afar is added than 60,000. Plus, you can use British Airways Avios to book flights on American Airlines, and carnality versa.
However, both airlines’ common flyer programs assignment differently, and if you’re attractive to fly from the US to London, you should abstain application British Airways Avios.
That’s because British Airways imposes banknote surcharges on flights. It’s a bit complicated, but in general, surcharges are answerable by British Airways in a few scenarios:
As you can see, that agency that no bulk how you use Avios to get from the US to the UK, you’ll accept to pay banknote surcharges, which can bulk a few hundred dollars for a round-trip in coach, and can ability the bags in aboriginal or business class, alike back you’re already application miles.
However, application American Airlines AAdvantage afar to on flights operated by American Airlines won’t accept any carrier-imposed surcharges.
Alike admitting you won’t be answerable carrier-imposed surcharges back you book American Airlines flights to and from the UK, you’ll still accept to pay taxes on your accolade ticket.
Back you leave the US on your American Airlines accolade ticket, the taxes are abandoned $5.60 — that’s a security-related tax answerable by the US on all abandonment flights, calm or international.
However, back aerial the added way, behindhand of which afar you acclimated to book and which airline you’re flying, you’ll pay two added taxes, according to biking and aerodynamics website The Points Guy (an Insider Picks partner).
Aboriginal is the Air Commuter Duty. The bulk varies based on how far you’re flying, and can be a bit complicated, but is about £73 (about $100 at time of publication) for abridgement flyers branch to the US, and £146 (about $200) in exceptional economy, business, or aboriginal class.
Next is a “Passenger Account Charge,” which is answerable by the airport you’re abandonment (it’s technically answerable to the airline, but anesthetized on to the passenger). The bulk varies by airline, but the best big-ticket is London-Heathrow at £42.06 per commuter (about $56 at time of publication). Every added UK airport is cheaper, about beneath £20.
With these fees included, addition aerial round-trip into London Heathrow on American Airlines, afterwards accepting appointed with AAdvantage miles, will pay about $170 on top of the afar they used. While that’s not ideal for a “free” accolade flight, it could be worse.
However, if you use British Airways Avios, or use AAdvantage afar to fly on a British Airways plane, you’ll pay hundreds added in fees — sometimes about as abundant as if you aloof paid banknote for the absolute ticket.
That said, it’s still accessible to get a lot of bulk from British Airways Avios. The affairs has a few candied spots with basal — or aught — surcharges, including flights on American aural North America, flights from the US to Ireland, or short-distance flights throughout Europe, Asia, or Australia as allotment of a beyond trip. They’re aloof not ideal for best across travel.
This agreeable is not provided by the agenda issuers. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations bidding actuality are those of the authors’ alone, and accept not been reviewed, accustomed or contrarily accustomed by any issuer.
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