Booking Reward Flight Saver on BA ‘Fifth Freedom’ routes

I have written a few articles in the past about Reward Flight Saver flights, where British Airways caps your ‘taxes and charges’ fee at £35 return for economy, £50 return for business or £55 for First.

As well as shuttling around Europe with Reward Flight Saver, there is another way you can benefit from the low taxes – by taking a British Airways ‘Fifth Freedom’ flight.

Antigua BA

A ‘Fifth Freedom’ flight is one where the plane stops en-route to its final destination to drop off passengers, and also takes on new passengers at the intermediate stop. BA uses these so called ‘Fifth Freedom’ rights to sell tickets on flights which neither begin nor end in the UK.

Until around four years ago, ‘Fifth Freedom’ flights on British Airways contained a clever little bonus. However short and cheap the journey, like the sub-1 hour flight from Bahrain to Doha, you still received full long-haul tier points – a very cheap way to maintain your BA status. However, BA finally woke up to this and now you only receive standard short-haul tier points for these routes.

Here are a few British Airways ‘Fifth Freedom’ short routes:

  • ANU (Antigua, see photo above of a stranded plane!) – GND (Grenada) (70 minutes)
  • ANU (Antigua) – SKB (St Kitts) (30 minutes)
  • ANU (Antigua) – TAB (Trinidad & Tobago) (85 minutes)
  • AUH (Abu Dhabi) – MCT (Muscat) (65 minutes)
  • BAH (Bahrain) – DOH (Doha) (55 minutes)
  • GCM (Grand Cayman) – NAS (Nassau) (90 minutes)
  • POS (Port of Spain) – UVF (St Lucia) (60 minutes)

Note that the Male / The Maldives to Colombo service was dropped in March.

All of these routes are available as Reward Flight Saver. Club World is 18,000 Avios + £50 return, First Class (where available) is 27,000 Avios + £55.

If you have never tried BA’s Club World or First Class service, then this is a cheap way to do so if you are in the region – and possibly turn your holiday into a ‘two centre’ one at the same time.

PS.  It is worth noting that Heathrow to Moscow is also treated as a Reward Flight Saver route but is operated with long-haul aircraft on selected services.

(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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Comments

  1. I think you’ve missed PLS and POS but I could be wrong.

  2. nathanjf says:

    I live in Cayman and the GCM->NAS is excellent, having built up a great avios balance before moving here. Thanks Raffles!

    • Tough life! That said, my wife has an open offer to move to her banks office in Curacao but we’ve really never fancied it.

      • You really do have a good wife Rob.
        Just think-a move to Curacao-no need to go off and find a day room, you could just wander off and find a hammock! 🙂 .

      • ING ?

        If she cottons on to any future “day-room” habits (think hotel rooms by the hour), she might just take up that offer (solo!)

        😉

        (JOKE)

    • Waribai says:

      Yes, great holiday destination. Living there though especially with school age kids…not so sure!

  3. Flyingbee says:

    There is also St Lucia – Grenada which I’m flying soon!

  4. for the cricket in ten days time I am using my BA companion voucher for the following:

    LGW-GND First
    GND-UVF Economy using RFS “Fifth Freedom”
    UVF-LGW Club

    slightly OT, each sector has a different luggage allowance. Does anyone know if my luggage quantity and weight stays the same, am I effectively subject to the lowest common denominator (ie the Fifth Freedom flight in my case)?

  5. Probably also worth adding that BA specifically include flights in “southern Africa” under RFS – so (for example) CPT-JNB is 15k Avios and £56 in Economy, 30k Avios and £64 in Club. No doubt there are others on the Comair network.

  6. Mikeact says:

    Do theseflights have to be booked by phone ? Either Avios.com or BA themselves ? (Straight forward or hassle? )

    • ba.com, same as usual (or indeed avios.com)

      • mikeact says:

        Not Avios.com. All BA flights have to start and finish in the UK.(Shane said on web chat!)

        • Avios.com are a complete nightmare. No joke. They can’t even do GLA-LHR-BHD (as 4500 + RFS as it should be before April 28…indeed they have never opted to assist with this type of booking – even stating that a stopover – in London – isn’t permitted thats longer than 24hrs – exactly, work that logic out)

          They even tried telling me once that BHD isn’t in the UK (many natives would not be happy if they heard that!)…and stuck with the stance even when I clearly clarified it for them.

          And the worry is, they’ll be taking over this lark in the not so distant future.
          Heaven forbid….

        • avios and BA have different rules on stopovers (avios doesn’t allow it), so I’d be moving the points into BA to make booking. Also the two websites can still sometimes have differing reward availability.

  7. Tim Millea says:

    Are there any 7th or 9th freedom Avios One World redemption opportunities nearer to home?

  8. FIRSTclstraveller says:

    People should bear in mind that the service offered on these routes is usually very minimal – drink and canapés at least and no wash bag/pyjamas.

    • gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

      You certainly get wash bag etc. on LHR-DME, but you have to ask.

      • Surely you shouldn’t have to ask? In which class do you believe this to be the case?

        This isn’t a fifth freedom route, it’s a regular Club World (and First on some flights) route.

        Am curious to learn otherwise if you have more recent knowledge? Ta

        • Definitely didn’t need to ask for the washbag on LHR-DME and v.v. in F in Feb. They did however ask if we wanted the sleep suit unwrapped (as procedure) or if (having read our minds) we’d rather keep the cellophane so we would take them away to use another time.

  9. What's the Point says:

    AUH to MCT is another.

  10. Forgive me if i am wrong… but don’t BA offer DOH>BAH along with what someone has already stated the comair flights in SA (crappy aircraft though)

    • I think it’s implied that all of the listed options are valid in reverse too – and BAH-DOH is up there

      • Sorry i must have missed that listing last night…

        • What's the Point says:

          I think Rob has added to the post as people have posted.

        • I usually do this, which is why comments can sometimes appear to contradict the text, but this case I didn’t as I have been travelling all weekend and not had time to check.

  11. 18000 avios for NAS-GCM sounds good, since the normal fare is 965 euros which I think is not very cheap for a 5th freedom route.

  12. Someone mentioned Comair within South Africa earlier, however also worth mentioning is their JNB-MRU service which is also available as a RFS. Great alternative to zero seats in premium cabins on the ex LGW direct service is the ex LHR option via the A380 to JNB then to tag on the Comair service on top. The flights are perfectly timed to/from MRU to the first flight into JNB and the last flight out of JNB (from/to LHR).

  13. I have read in order to qualify for a rewards saver flight , one must have collected 1 avios in the last 12 months. Would transferring from my Ultimate rewards account qualify or must it be earned on a paid ticket? Thanks so much.