New Avios weekly promo – save 50% on selected last-minute routes!

Last Friday saw the launch of a new trial product on avios.com – 50% off a last-minute break.

How last minute?  For next weekend.

Here is the current selection of deals.  As you can see, you will be flying out on Friday or Saturday and returning on Sunday or Monday.

There is no flexibility in the dates.  There is flexibility in terms of which flight you book yourself on, but the calendar day is fixed.

You can only book tickets in economy and the taxes and charges are not reduced.

Avios last minute deals

Whilst the website does not mention this, you can mix and match promotional and non-promotional dates.  Imagine that you are happy to fly to Edinburgh next Saturday but prefer to return on Tuesday instead of Monday.  In that case, you would pay 2,000 Avios (half-price) for Saturday but the full 4,000 Avios for Tuesday.

Since cash tickets increase in price the nearer you get to the day of departure, these deals could represent good value – although that assumes you would normally book a flight to New York for cash at 5 days notice.  New York, for example, is 13,000 Avios + £317 return next weekend.  The cheapest BA cash ticket is £691.

The other cities included are Oslo, Frankfurt, Boston, Brussels and Edinburgh.

New deals will be launched next Friday.

Remember that you cannot book these deals at ba.com.  You must use avios.com and transfer your points from British Airways Executive Club into an avios.com account.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the 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 suppose this is BA’s compensation for the reduced rate of earning avios?

    Possibly of some use if I fancy a last minute weekend away. Hopefully some interesting destinations will pop up

  2. Interesting! Can this be combined with the Lloyds Avios upgrade voucher?

  3. An interesting and welcome improvement.
    For anyone trying Edinburgh, The IBIS, South Bridge is normally available @ £25 via According Happy Mondays. Just off middle of Royal Mile and they normally throw in breakfast

    • Accor

    • Agree, it’s a very good deal. Not so much during the Festival when their prices go sky high, but I guess folk are willing to pay it!

    • See if the Mercure Prince’s Street is showing, too. My brother got an upgrade to a superior room with views over the Gardens and the castle. An excellent deal for £40.

  4. Great so looks like Avios are learning from BA in only offering last minute deals from London! Shame if they offered them half-price from the regions it would bring us back to the pre-devaluation redemption rates too!

  5. Good for an impulsive weekend away, agree that New York is an unlikely last-minute destination though, given how pricey hotels tend to be. Unless they’re willing to do the ‘secret hotel’/Priceline thing Leisure travellers will likely end up paying the same cash price overall as booking a cash economy flight and getting a better advance purchase rate on their hotel.

    • Talking of Priceline, has anybody used them for stays in the USA ? prices look good but a bit apprehensive booking somewhere not knowing which hotel I would be staying in.

      • We did it a few years ago for a New York trip and ended up in the Holiday In Express Midtown-57th St. Ended up costing us £1584 for 2 rooms for 6 nights in May 2012. So about £130 a night per room.

        • They were double-double rooms, by the way. That trip was inspired by the impending change from ‘Airmiles’ to Avios – I had enough Airmiles for a return trip to New York in economy and I was determined to get a truly free (no taxes and fees) flight out of them! My friends ended up paying about £430 for their economy flights, IIRC, which I believe means I ended up getting the equivalent of 0.43 per avios! But with no fees to pay it made for a really cheap holiday – under £400! My next NYC trip will cost more than double that in cash for 4 nights and 35k avios but I will be in CW both ways (travelling alone this time, so it is partly due to not being able to share the hotel cost).

      • Priceline was excellent to use 10 years ago as the USD exchange rate was better those days. I use to get Marriott Hotels in Bangkok and Sydney for next to nothing. But remember, any points or benefits from status isn’t gotten. With Hilton and IHG that is.

  6. I was just going to book a ticket so this is a great find, raffles.
    only problem I have an avios account with zero points / activity but plenty of BA points (I m BA gold).
    I transferred some BA points over but I can t benefit from the RFS as i had no activity,
    Any suggestion how i can quickly earn 1 avios so I can save on the tax?

    Thanks

    • Buy a local one stop train ticket on line, the cheapest possible! Then you earn a few avios! Easy!

      • The website says avios would be credited latest 13 dec. are you confident they post immediately. I want to promo for this week so need the points in my account promptly

        • Could you transfer 2.50 tesco club card points to earn?

          • Or sign up for Reward for thoughts and do the first survey via avios?

          • I transferred 2.5£ clubcard points. Any idea how long this takes to be credited?
            There are only 5 seats available so I Cant wait too long.
            The miles saved are lost on the 25£ extra tax i would have to pay if i cant benefit from the RFS.

          • If you have transferred in the past, usually 1-2 working days

            If this is your first transfer (to avios.com, which is separate from BAEC), then there is a risk your details don’t match, in which case you will receive a new avios.com card in the post and have to use the live chat to merge accounts… that took me 3 weeks

        • Sorry Jac, no avios points post immediately. Didn’t quite realise you needed them like now! Thought you meant a quick cheap way to keep your avios account live. As Raffles points out, it’s good to buy one item a year to keep activity live. Same for IB and BA and AA, I guess. We use train ticket or groupon purchases now and again on all these accounts to keep them valid.
          Maybe Jerrys suggestion. Can’t comment on when these avios would post? Jerry

          • Or play Avios Suitcase. I think those are the only avios I’ve had go in to that account for a while.

    • Tesco transfer should credit overnight, but you need to hope the seats are still there.

      • Thanks. I transferred tesco points and joined Reward for thoughts. Now hope the points post before the seats are gone.

      • This week some Tesco conversions were overnight, some others nearly 48 hrs.

    • Buying the smallest number of Avios allowed would be instant I think. Anybody think different or that it wouldn’t count?

    • Fyi, the 600 points for joining Rewards for Thoughts posted today so I managed to secure the seats at the discounted avios together with the RFS tax.
      Jerry thanks for the tip !!!

      My tesco conversion points have still to show up (so looks like it could take 48 hours)

      • Hi Jac did you manage to complete Rewards for Thoughts surveys from the UK? I have never been able to, always get a message to say my country isn’t supported.. Any insight on how you did it would be great! thanks

        • Meera, I am in the UK and use Rewards For Thoughts every day.

          You could try downloading Hola which should hide your location. Then try the surveys.

  7. As far as I can tell, the discount only applies to economy fares

  8. I looked at this when they sent me the email.

    You hint at this with your Edinburgh example, but presumably us folks in the regions can just pay the typical Avios amount for ‘positioning’ to LHR (ie. from MAN), and then jump on this sale price for the rest of the trip (and it can be bundled into all one ticket?)

    I suppose it’s just the chance of being able to pick up a last minute connecting redemption flight from MAN (I’m unsure what the chances of that one are though?)

  9. Whilst I am not worried about BAs financials, how are they making money in the EDI route , once you have added up 2 lots of apd and airport charges, how does £35 and a handful of avios make up for that?

    • The 56 SNP mps paying full whack will make sure the Scottish routes are profitable for the next 4 years.
      This is yield management at its finest, similar to supermarkets discounting chilled food by 90% minutes before it gets binned.
      The reasons that this is so clever is that it doesn’t encourage anyone who has to travel to a certain destination to wait, since if you need to go to Brussels then Oslo is no use.
      It’s very similar to what charter airlines have done for years.

      • But surely they are loosing money, £26 apd, plus airport charges, esp at lhr mean the marginal cost is more than £35, without even considering marginal fuel burn etc

      • Unless there is some change to constituency boundary’s, whether its an SNP or any other Scottish MP there will always be 59 Scottish MPs going to London, SNP or otherwise, well after 4 years.

    • Lady London says:

      Steven if the seat had flown empty then they would have got nothing. so they will take £35 plus lose the liability for the miles you pay as they are better of than they would have been anyway. it doesn’t make a profit but it still offsets some of their overhead.

      • But as a result of someone taking that seat, ba now need to pay £26 in apd, plus pay Heathrow for the service cist,which is levied oer passenger plus any baggage handling fees,so not only does the £35 disappear,they need to pay more out of their own pocket

        • They are getting people to spend avios on seats that wouldn’t otherwise be sold. So yeah maybe they are not making much money on this, or even just breaking even, but I am guessing it is preferable to someone keeping their avios and then using on a flight where the seat could be sold for cash. I’m purely speculating of course but I imagine it is a long those lines.

        • You don’t seem to get that it’s £35 plus Avios, eg 8000 Avios for the return flight to Frankfurt. The Avios have a value, let’s call it £80.

          So you are buying a return flight for maybe £115.

          Whereas you seem to think you are buying it for £35.

          • However, does highlight the fact that my 4 September tickets at T-355 days Avios + Money which worked out at about £50 each (1 way to deeper Europe) were rather good value, I can’t see BA made much money out of me, quite the opposite if I knock back a few G&Ts lol :)

          • Firstly, its 4000 avios in the sale,secondly there is no way that an avios is worth 1p as a liability for ba, I reckon each avios would have a liability of 0.25 p, meaning 4000 is £10, not 80

          • 4000 Avios + fees RETURN would be cheap lol

            Have another look, maybe?

            Not sure I buy into either the 1p or 0.25p liability/ Avios from BA’s POV. They can account for it in various ways – but isn’t the main idea that the wasted/ unused Avios will remain wasted, but the used Avios (redeemed by Avios redeemers) do eat up a seat that could otherwise have been paid for?

          • Well I had another look as I said above and you’re right about 4000 return, so point taken.

            But my second para remains valid.

          • http://greenandgold.uaa.alaska.edu/images/weekly/20120516-Accounting-for-Airline-FFP.pdf

            That is a report on how to account for air miles. If Ba use the deferred revenue method, avios would represent a very small liability, far smaller than the 1p value many give to it

          • It can’t be a 1p liability – too high.

            However, all of the non travel redemptions get you around 0.5p and those involve Avios paying cash to a 3rd party. If we all redeemed tomorrow for hotel rooms then that is a huge cash hit.

            In some ways, that is part of the risk of devaluing flight rewards. If I had 80k to use for Club to New York and, now it is 120k on peak dates, I decide to order £400 of wine instead, BA is far worse off than if I had redeemed for a flight.

          • Good point, Rob – here’s hoping they continue to keep this in mind to retain the value! Quite scary though even just at that base value of 0.5p thinking how much cash I’ve effectively got tied up in our HHA just now though – need to get spending more!

          • Even at 0.5p, 4000 avios is £20, add on the £35 rfs and that still doesn’t cover £66 of airport charges and taxes…..

    • Think of it as a loss-leader, or in other words, a form of marketing. Rather than pay for an extra advertising campaign, they run these offers – the cost of selling the seats at a slight loss is worth it, if you manage to convince people that Avios are worth collecting on the off-chance that a good offer will pop-up at short notice, rather than only being worth it for trips you can plan a year+ in advance. A lot of people simply can’t be bothered to spend a year collecting Avios in order to book a flight a year in advance.

      An offer like this makes it worth having a stash of Avios on the off-chance that a good, but short-lived deal will come along.

      • The 30,000 avios to get £500 off a CW seat achieved the same thing – just look at how many people on here were scrambling to transfer from Amex/Tesco in time to take advantage of that.

  10. For those in the North I guess only the international options are good since we have to pay for the extra Avios to get to London. But NYC in 2 days is not my cup of tea for sure. Shame it would been a nice deal even if they did the Avios at 50% for the domestic leg on European escapes.

    • Erico1875 says:

      As mentioned, you can go for longer but only the outbound Avios would be discounted. so 25% saving still

    • So why would you expect to get the travel to London (on short haul routes to Europe) for free? You decided to live where you live. Not as if the rest of us should subsidise your travel.

  11. I wasn’t that excited when i first saw the offers but being able to combine with the Lloyds upgrade voucher makes it a bit more exciting for me. Those long haul economy flights suddenly look a lot more attractive.

  12. It’s worth looking for the exit row seats at in economy, we paid £50 each on the way to Boston in Feb and it made the outbound bearable. Not sure if there is a way of seeing if those seats are booked already before you actually book the flight? Also there sometimes aren’t any depending on the aircraft layout, on the same trip over Feb half term my husband decided to pay to upgrade to World Traveller on the return. At Boston bag drop the three of us got upgraded to business and we were only Blue. It was a fantastic result.

    • I meant pay to upgrade to WTP on the return, then got bumped for free at the airport.

  13. Simon Schus says:

    It might be useful to go over the cancellation options for Avios.com purchased tickets.

    • Same as BA (free cancellation up to 24 hours before departure) with one and possible two exceptions.

      If you cancel a ba.com redemption online, you lose the LOWER of £35 or the taxes paid.

      If you cancel an avios.com redemption by phone – it can’t be done online – you pay the £35 fee on your credit card and get back whatever the taxes were. This makes changes to one-way short-haul redemptions more expensive as the tax is £17.50 and possibly less.

      The rules on avios.com redemptions say no changes after first segment flown. BA DOES allows changes to the return after the outbound is flown. Not sure if avios.com is strict about this in reality or not.

  14. Simon Schus says:

    Thanks, it was mainly for others that I was suggesting outlining the the cancellations. I’ve always known there were a few slight differences between BA.com and Avios.com bookings.

    I was actually surprised by one of them yesterday though. I telephoned Avios yesterday as I was looking for an open-jaw using the offer of MAN-LHR-JFK-[Amtrak]-BOS-LHR-MAN. As an open jaw, I obviously couldn’t book it online but Avios proactively offers to waive the telephone booking fee. Nearing the end of the process, I asked whether they had the 24 hour cooling off period (i.e. cancelling within 24 hours of making the booking, as long as you booked prior to 24 hours of departure). I was told that this did not apply to Avios bookings made through the Avios company. I was a little surprised as this is a different policy compared to Avios bookings made through BA on the telephone or the website. It is useful to know though given the ‘one week’ ahead nature of these ‘50% off Avios’ bookings – I’ve often made late plans in the heat of the moment and needed to cancel within 24 hours of booking realising there was a better routing or that the schedule didn’t fit so well to my intended purpose.

  15. Simon Schus says:

    * also, I’m trusting what I was told on the phone by Avios but did not verify it myself.

    • I am almost certain I have availed of the 24 hour cooling period with avios. I also thought I had cancelled a one way flight booked with them on the phone before and just lost the £17.50 in taxes but I may be wrong on this.

  16. Don’t forget that you can add a domestic leg for free on the long haul flights (if available!), I just priced a MAN – (LHR) – BOS – (LHR) – MAN for a total of 13.000 avios + £294

  17. As FYI I just received an email from BA confirming the 20% bonus on CC transfers

  18. Does anyone know if this is going to be weekly? I can’t see it updated since the original offers. Thanks

  19. Anyone know if this was a one-off or will have new deals each week? The flights I can see are all in the past!

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    Avios launches last minute weekend breaks