Avios to the rescue: New Year’s in Nashville

My prime US carrier for awards is rapidly becoming British Airways and its short-haul low, low, low prices and no close-in ticketing fees for redemptions on American Airlines. I mentioned in My Week in Points that I now have a principal, long-haul program, Delta SkyMiles, and a short-haul, Special Ops-type program that helps in a pinch, British Airways Executive Club.

Holiday plans went way last-minute this year, and I needed to get 3 adults somewhere not Tri-State to maintain sanity. I don’t know why I humor my Delta account, I knew everything would be 60k or more in coach, and I don’t care what my balance is or what is rumored to be changing in the program, I cannot bring myself to book a high-level award. American and United I eliminated because I do not have any elite status with them so would be hit with insulting close-in award fees, a capricious fee not justified by any cost to the airline.

I thumbed through the trusty Wikipedia pages for LGA, JFK and EWR for American Airlines destinations, checked availability for some on American, with its excellent award calendar, and found Nashville had a few flights with the necessary MileSAAver awards to be available for booking via British Airways. New York to Nashville slips into the 7,500 Avios zone so 3 adults was 45,000 Avois + $15. Via American, due to the close-in fees, it would be 75,000 + $240.

Never been in Tennessee, we are looking at a couple days in the city and the rest somewhere quiet on a lake, certainly spoilt for choice (as in a wife appeasement trip!). Reader suggestions welcome!

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