British Airways launches an Avios sale – £1 taxes and 50% discounts (full analysis)

I dropped in an additional post yesterday to publicise the ‘flash’ sale that British Airways had launched with no notice and no fanfare.  I have now had some time to write a longer article with a little more detail.

It is a repeat of two separate promotions that BA has successfully run in the last 12 months – reducing taxes to £1 on some Reward Flight Saver short-haul routes and offering a 25%-50% discount on the Avios required for selected long-haul routes.

The sale is also now available at avios.com so there is no longer any need to move your points over from avios.com to ba.com.

The short haul deal covers 10 European routes.  You will pay the usual Avios price but the taxes charge is reduced by £34 to just £1!

The routes are:

  • Algiers
  • Alicante
  • Barcelona
  • Faro
  • Larnaca
  • Malaga
  • Malta
  • Naples
  • Tenerife
  • Venice

The list of Avios required for each route is here.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that they are all in the 15,000 to 20,000 Avios per seat band and are generally ‘Winter sun’ routes. This means that these are places which you might actually want to visit in the depths of a UK Winter.

Only economy seats are available.  You need to book your seat before midnight on November 17th and travel before January 31st.

New BA short haul seat 1

The long haul deal covers 35 routes as you can see here.

The number of Avios required for World Traveller (ie economy) seats is reduced by HALF on 30 routes and by a quarter on the remaining five. The taxes figure is unchanged.

This is not as good a deal as the short haul offer.  Long haul flights are generally cheaper during the Winter and economy Avios redemptions can often be terrible value, with the taxes figure only £100 or so lower than buying a cash ticket directly.

Having said that, there are some good destinations here.  Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Johannesburg (surprised to see this in their peak season), Kuwait, Rio, Riyadh, San Diego, Singapore etc are all guaranteed to be more pleasant than the UK in November.  It is difficult to argue that Cairo and Tel Aviv are not a good deal for 12,500 Avios points return.

As usual with these deals, if it works for you then you have got a bargain and qudos to BA for putting in some attractive options.

(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.)

My review of Qatar Airways Boeing 787 business class and its impressive 1-2-1 layout
Last chance to win £560 of Heathrow lounge access and spa treatments with Plaza Premium
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. My friend took advantage of this offer yesterday evening. She paid 25K Avios + £362 as opposed to £682 for a cash ticket in January for LHR-BLR-LHR. She was very happy.

    • Deleted as can’t count ….

    • How are you calculating 2p/avios? Saving is £320 for 25k avios gives 1.28p/avios ignoring the avios you would earn on a cash ticket.

      Cash ticket would earn 10k avios minimum, more with status so effectively you are trading 35k avios for £320 and hence a value of 0.91p/avios.
      Silver/Gold would be 0.71p/avios.

  2. κῦδος indeed 😉

  3. Perhaps the greater value lies in the long haul Iberia destinations. Business class on offer and they have reasonable surcharges!

  4. Mr Bridge says:

    WOW all this and IAG are going to start paying dividends in 2015…im rich…..lol

  5. Speedbird_ABZ says:

    Hmmmm, ABZ/DXB 20,000 Avios + £403 “taxes”.
    ABZ/DXB cash £445.
    LHR/DXB 20,000 + £340.
    Free UK connections? £63 extra “taxes” to fly ex ABZ?

    • You always pay the taxes/fees/charges for the UK connection. For shorthaul RFS means you do not pay any extra, but longhaul you will pay the extra cash.

    • Yip, when redeeming long haul always cost the flight with and without the domestic connection and take account that it may be cheaper paying for the domestic flight (and earning a few avios). Although its then separate tickets they can check your bags all the way through.

      • Speedbird_ABZ says:

        No point on this deal, just as well paying an extra £42 and earning more Avios and TP’s, plus keeping hold of my 20,000 Avios as well.
        I do prefer to use my Avios for European redemptions, much better value usually.

  6. Well this is nice the week after I book EDI – DXB in J at full whack.

    • Sorry didn’t read the post first, thought it was for the worldwide redemption’s :)

  7. avios.com is also doing reduced RFS on Club Europe to Amsterdam – Bologna – Dublin – Dusseldorf – Frankfurt – Lisbon – Oslo – Stockholm.

    RFS is reduced to from £50 (return) to £35 on Club for travel to the end of the year.

    http://www.avios.com/gb/en_gb/spend/avios-treats#offer1?from=treats

  8. Hi just a quick question, does anyone know if u can change the name on avios redemptions, within a family account?

    • I think once the ticket has been issued then it is cancel and rebook – £25 charge, old booking refunded in full, new booking charged at current price.

    • No, not once the ticket is issued. You would to cancel and rebook assuming availability was there.

  9. For those of us in NI, you can pay the reduced amount of avios when flying from Dublin which reduces the taxes also. Eg Dublin – San Diego was coming out at 34k avios + £230 or close enough to that

    Still not amazing but at least better than normal

  10. I may have misunderstood something here, but I’ve used my Lloyds Aviois upgrade voucher at the same time as this deal so have bagged a return trip to Houston in PE for 25k Avios.

    The taxes came in at £406.06, and the cash fare is £1172.06, a difference of £766.00.

    I would’ve earned 12106 Avios, so a total ‘cost’ of 37,106 Avios I’ve saved £766.00.

    766 / 37106 = 2.06p per Avios redeemed.

    Is that correct?

  11. LondonFoodie says:

    Not bad, combined with 2-4-1 for a friend ended up costing LHR-JFK-LHR 20k points+£730 taxes. A bit extortinate, but still quite good value.

  12. sandgrounder says:

    Iberia have launched a 50% off sale too. MAD-GIG-MAD for 50k & £138.50 in business anyone?

  13. Slightly off topic but it was exactly a year ago when Amex had their last 20K Amex bonus, fingers crossed there’s another around the corner.

    More importantly, happy birthday Rob!

  14. Beirut for 12.5k avios + £178 as opposed to £480 cash.

    Thanks BA