Why I love Reward Flight Saver

When British Airways relaunched Air Miles and the Executive Club last November, the one change that came totally out of the blue – and in a very positive way – was the introduction of Reward Flight Saver.  This allows anyone who has earned 1 mile in the last year to book a short-haul reward flight for just £27 in taxes and charges, or £34 for Club Europe.

Historically, short haul redemptions were a waste of time unless you needed the flexibility or were travelling at short notice.  Miles & More is the perfect example of this – it is very easy to find M&M European awards where the taxes actually come to MORE than the price of buying a cash ticket, because LH artificially pushes down the taxes on cash tickets if a competitor on a route is charging less.  Whilst BA never got this bad, you were still looking at c £100 of taxes for a short-haul flight to Europe which, when added to the 9,000+ miles required, made the redemption very, very bad value.

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Now everything has changed.  At 9,000 miles plus £27, a Reward Flight Saver redemption is probably the most valuable redemption you can get!  A flight to Germany in economy will be around £150 these days, so you would be getting almost 1.5p per Avios of value.  If I can get 0.75p on a long-haul J or F redemption then I consider it OK.  Club Europe is also good value, especially if you have no status – upgrading just the outbound of a trip to Germany would be an extra 4,500 miles (one way) and £3.50.  That’s a bargain for access to the Heathrow lounges and the Club Europe service, such as it is.

Other things you may not know:

  • Reward Flight Saver flights are also available on Iberia and, in South Africa, on Comair, albeit Comair charges a slightly higher taxes number
  • You can add extra domestic legs in the UK or Spain onto a Reward Flight Saver for free.  This is a good deal if you live in the UK regions, and also a good deal for getting to parts of Spain (via a change in Madrid) that are not served directly from the UK.

The one downside of Reward Flight Saver is that it has made it pointless for me to chase a renewal of my BA Gold card.  A lot of the tier points came from self-funded CE returns at c £250 each, but when I can get the same seats for 18,000 Avios and £34, I can’t justify paying cash.

(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

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