In the summer of 2016, my husband and I both applied for the Chase British Airways credit card. Since British Airways is a partner of American Airlines and we live near an AA hub, we’ve gotten a lot of use out of those British Airways Avios (miles).
Direct flights under 1150 miles only cost 7500 Avios (compared to 12,500 AA miles for the same flight on the same metal). We used our Avios for award tickets home from Puerto Vallarta last year, and we also used them to book tickets to Kauai for our upcoming Spring Break trip.
Somehow we still had about 30k Avios left in our family account. I decided to put them to good use by booking a last-minute trip with my son to see my mom in Denver. This was our first flight since summer!
Visiting Grandma at her New Place
This year has been tough for my mom since we lost my dad earlier in the year. My mom has memory issues and even though my kids and I just visited her again this summer, I want to visit her every few months. It’s hard to get my entire family of five to Denver that often, but my plan is to take one kid with me each time.
My son and I flew out of DFW on Saturday morning. He was a little bummed to see that the snow had disappeared in Denver already. We can never seem to time our trips right for that. The mountains were snow-capped in the distance.
A few months ago, my mom moved into a retirement home that offers different levels of care. We actually stayed in her apartment there on a sofabed. Yep, our hotel was an old folks home!
My son was really in his element there. He just loves old people! And they loved him. He got so much attention there. We enjoyed playing pool and putting together a puzzle. I brought a cookie decorating kit with me, and my son and mom decorated cookies together.
We left to go out to eat once, but the rest of the time we ate at the home’s restaurant. That afternoon, we attended a family party at the retirement home. There were crafts, food, and even a snowball fight!
That evening, we even got to go on a “field trip” in the retirement home’s bus to a choir concert. Oh yeah!
If you really want to know if your parents’ retirement home is ok, try staying there overnight. I felt assured that my mom was in a good hands.
While we were there, I saw a lady that had three generations of family visit her for the party: her grown children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It really warmed my heart to see how close her family was.
I also witnessed some despair from some of the residents. One lady said, “I have six siblings and they’re all dead. I’m not even sure why I’m still alive.” I was so sad to hear her say that.
If you have parents in a retirement home or nursing home, please visit them as often as possible! No matter how cool or exciting the home’s planned activities are, nothing replaces family visits.
Killing Time at Denver International Airport
We had to fly back to Dallas the next afternoon. We left for the airport a little early because my son wanted to go ice skating at the airport. Admission and rental skates are completely free, and skating goes through January 7. I love that the airport offers this for the second year in a row! Just head towards the Westin signs and you will see the skating rink outside.
After my son had his fill of ice skating, we went back inside to eat dinner before our flight. We soon discovered that our flight was delayed. Ugh!
We asked a guy at the Information desk for suggestions on how to kill more time at the airport. He gave us a few good ideas!
He recommended walking the sky bridge between the main terminal and Concourse A. It has lovely mountain views, and the planes go underneath the bridge.
Next, we went to the secret secluded top level of Concourse C. There are lots of empty chairs and a lot of nothing up here! If you ever want to nap on a long layover or practice gymnastics, this is the spot.
Fun fact: Concourse B is almost a mile long! After ice skating and walking around the other two terminals, we weren’t up for a full mile. But, we did take the underground train there to hit some of the coolest shops in the airport. We found a toy shop on the upper level with some unique, off-beat stuff.
Accumulating British Airways Avios via Credit Card Bonuses
Chase British Airways Visa is not subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule. The current bonus is 50,000 Avios after spending $3000 in the first three months, plus 25,000 additional Avios if you spend $10,000 or more in the first year. The card has a $95 annual fee. You can only get the sign-up bonus once every 24 months, so I hope to apply for this card again later in 2018.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to British Airways Avios. However, all cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards are subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule. I recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred card if you are new to the miles and points hobby.
You can also transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to British Airways Avios at a 1:1 ratio. Keep in mind that American Express has a one bonus per lifetime rule. However, there are many cards that earn Membership Rewards. My husband had the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card a few years ago and I had the Amex Platinum card. I can still apply for the Gold and he could apply for the Platinum to earn more points in the future.
HSBC points also transfer to British Airways, sometimes with a bonus. However, you need $100,000 in assets at HSBC to qualify for the credit card.
Are you a fan of British Airways Avios? What was your favorite Avios travel redemption?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.