Last chance for the BA sale, the generous ‘part pay with Avios’ deal ….. and AA redemptions before devaluation

The current British Airways ‘Premium Leisure’ sale ends tomorrow, 22nd March.  This is offering deals over Easter, the Summer and right into early 2017.

The home page for the sale is here.

On most routes you can travel up to 28th February 2017.  It varies by route so take a look at the small print at the bottom of the sale website.

The easiest way to check out the best prices to a specific destination is with the British Airways Low Fare Finder tool on This will show you the cheapest price on any route, in any class, on month by month basis.

British Airways business first class sale

And one more day to get 1.33p per Avios point with ‘Part Pay With Avios’

Tomorrow is also the end of the current generous ‘Part Pay With Avios’ promotion.  The only exception is for Euro Traveller short-haul economy flights where the deadline is extended until next Sunday 27th.

Until 22nd March, you can get the following discounts using ‘part pay with Avios’ to reduce the price of a cash ticket:

Club Europe – maximum saving of £100 for 7,500 Avios

Euro Traveller (short haul economy) – maximum saving of £100 for 7,500 Avios

Club World and First – maximum saving of £200 for 15,000 Avios

All of these deals are offering you 1.33p per Avios point which is an excellent deal.  Remember that, because you are buying a cash ticket, there are no availability issues and you will receive Avios and tier points back when you fly.

The discounts work even on the cheapest tickets.  I was able to get a Club Europe return to Amsterdam down to £97 return after spending 7,500 Avios points – this is a cheap way to pick up 80 tier points if you are chasing status.

Not all routes are included for some reasonThe official Part Pay With Avios website is here.  Click on the ‘Find Out More’ button to see the special promotional rates – the rates shown on the home page are the normal ones – and the list of routes covered.

American AA 350

Finally, the American Airlines devaluation is nearly here

Changes to American Airlines’ redemption chart come into effect tomorrow.

Here is the new reward chart for flights on AA planes.

Here is the new reward chart for partner airlines, which includes BA and Etihad.

It isn’t pretty.  There has been very little movement on economy redemptions.  Business Class has taken a hit.  First Class has taken a complete beating.  Let’s take London to Abu Dhabi on Etihad (or BA, but you’d be mad to choose BA given the fuel surcharges) as an example.  This used to cost:

  • 40,000 miles return in Economy
  • 60,000 miles return in Business
  • 80,000 miles return in First

This was a great deal even before the April 2015 Avios changes.  Since April 2015 it has been even better as Avios pricing went up to 100,000 – 120,000 points for BA Club World return.  From tomorrow, AA will charge the following:

  • 40,000 miles return in Economy
  • 85,000 miles return in Business  (up 41%)
  • 125,000 miles return in First (up 56%)

Yes, it is a big hit.  It is still a far better deal than redeeming Avios, however, unless you have a British Airways 2-4-1 voucher to use.  Of course, it isn’t that simple for most of us since earning AA miles for a UK resident is a lot, lot harder.

Another amazing deal was from the UK to Australia.  This used to cost:

  • 90,000 miles return in Economy
  • 120,000 miles return in Business
  • 160,000 miles return in First

From tomorrow it will cost:

  • 120,000 miles return in Economy
  • 170,000 miles return in Business (up 41%)
  • 230,000 miles return in First (up 44%)

Again, a big increase.  Again, it is still far fewer miles than an equivalent Avios redemption (100,000 in Economy; 300,000 in Club World; 400,000 in First – plus the fuel surcharges).

If you want to take a look at other routes, the links above bring up the relevant award charts and there is a link in each chart to the current pricing.

Book today if you want to lock in the old prices.  However, all is not lost with American Airlines. There are still reasons to credit your flights to AA, especially if you are a business traveller who is regularly on fully flexible business class tickets and earns the bulk of his/her miles from flying.  The redemption chart remains cheaper than the BA one in many instances, you get access to the fantastic Etihad product and – except for BA redemptions – you won’t be paying any fuel surcharges.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. Query on AA Redemptions, hope someone can answer this.
    I have 44000 miles and wife has 26000 miles, so in total 70k miles.
    The redemption we are looking at is 40000 miles return per person.
    So questions are
    1. Is it good idea to buy 10000 miles? Or pay the balance as cash?
    2. There is no option to combine miles, so do we need to book this by calling AA Customer Services?

    Any response greatly appreciated.

    • I don’t think you’d be able to pool the miles unfortunately. If you have SPG points, you can convert them, but it’s a bit late now if you want to book before devaluation.

      Purchasing miles may be an option, depending on how much you are willing to spend on the “free” ticket.

  2. Does anyone know if the AA devaluation will affect me booking on AA via Etihad?

    I was / am planning a trip in September 2017 from MAN to HNL in Y – cannot book until September due to the dates i want to travel…

  3. Very relevant article today. Our flights were cancelled last night due to the France air traffic control strikes, so now we’ve got to head into Spain instead to get home. Luckily there’s either availability over Avios and everything in J is on sale, so cheers for the heads up, Rob.

  4. BA have confirmed on Twitter that this is an ex-LON sale only (for Europe at least), connecting flights excluded – really disappointing as especially with part pay with Avios some of these CE deals were excellent. Extremely frustrating, they could have easily offered connecting flights for a small amount extra, instead costs almost double for non-LON departures. With the doubling in cost of RFS this is really driving business to the LCCs.

    • Duncan Stevenson says:

      As someone who lived in Scotland, I wouldn’t dream of using BA for a European flight. It’s simply not worth the extra time and the extra cost of Avios. When they had the free RFS domestic leg it was a great deal and with family in London it meant spending a couple of days with them for basically nothing.

      I guess I can understand why they’ve scrapped it, but it makes BA compeltely unappealing for short-haul EU flights.

      • Totally agree re RFS, Duncan – these used to cost about £100 (based on my Avios valuation of 0.75p), but now costs at least over £200 so the LCCs are competitive even with priority boarding, etc.

        For cash tickets I was happy enough to consider them at a small amount over the ex-LON sale prices, esp for the extra CE TPs and using the part pay discount, however at twice the price there was no way it made sense.

  5. I’m wondering if the AA devaluation will affect Avios bookings via BA?

  6. Does anyone have a hint on how to find what normal Club World tickets cost? All the search engines are showing the current BA/AC sale prices, and I’m trying to figure out if this is the best time to book. I’m looking at LHR-YVR in CW this summer. Each return ticket is £1,800 and I have the part pay with Avios option of £200 off for 15K points.

    I’m dreading booking this and then seeing a 2for1 CW sale come up in a few months…

    • In my experience, it seems that sales and better offers often come along after booking (which is one of the reasons why using Avios is still quite good, because of the flexibility to cancel) – the only thing you can do is to make sure that you’re happy paying the price you pay. If you’re happy to pay £1,800, then go for it, especially with the part-pay deal – if there is NOT a sale, then you’re going to be paying more, aren’t you?! If, on the other hand, £1,800 is a bit steep for you, then hold off…

    • That seems a fairly reasonable price ex-UK to me, I’m paying just over £2k for an ex-EU CW/F return to SFO in May and that was half the price of the ex-UK ticket for the same date.

    • Have you priced out of Dublin or Oslo?

      ITA Matrix (search HFP for my article) may be your friend here to find a cheaper starting point.

      • Out of Dublin, I’m getting a price of around £1,500 per ticket, CW with the connection in LHR. So, this tells me that Dublin is still a great deal. :-)

        However, it doesn’t really help us as we’re travelling with an infant and can’t do the Euro-hop for cheaper fares.

  7. Looking at this deal but…… did the Copenhagen – LHR – Chicago in Club for July 2016, BA sale October….. just checked on my booking and the Avios / Tier points are now Zero!! Something I’m missing ??

    • must have been a glitch now back again…..PHEW ready for this one now

      • Don’t worry, BA Manage My Booking (MMB) is notoriously unreliable! It also often misses out AA flights so often underestimates. As long as your BAEC number is on the booking it should all credit fine.

  8. Apologies for OTP
    I know that you always advise to book Iberia flights on Iberia due to low taxes. However, I have just come across another case where it may be advisable to book BA flights on Iberia website. Apologies if you have already mentioned this as I definitely missed it in that case.

    If someone uses Avios+Money to book reward tickets in economy then in case of airports where taxes are less than RFS charges, it is cheaper to do so on Iberia website (as if the existing complications weren’t enough !!!)

    For ex:
    01 June (off peak BA, peak Iberia)
    HEL- LON : 6,500 + taxes on both (without part pay with avios)
    2,150 + £46.7 – BA site
    1,950 + £41.70 – Iberia

    LED – LON : 8,500 + taxes on both (without part pay with avios)
    3,400 + £60.5 – BA site
    2,550 + £50.5 – Iberia

    20th June (peak):
    LUX – LON: 4,500 + taxes on both (without part pay with avios)
    2,500 + £28 – BA site
    1,350 + £28 – Iberia

    As Iberia doesn’t apply RFS this doesn’t really work from London. Also doesn’t seem to work for long haul but somehow for short haul in some cases you can “buy” avios for 20% less than corresponding BA rate. Cancellation policy is same as BA but costs Eur 25 instead of GBP 35 ! Of course you do need to put with with the buggy Iberia interface!

  9. Bagged 5 (yes FIVE) seats on the same flight on Etihad’s A380 first AUH – LHR for the family today! I feel like I have won the miles and points lottery.

    • Wow!

    • nice work !

    • Well done!
      Just curious, were AA agents able to see & book more F award inventory than actually shown available on the EY site? I rarely see more than 2 Guest First seats available there.

      • No, I have been watching availability closely and as you say etihad rarely release more than 2 F seats on the A380/B787. What happened is that the flight was scheduled to be on an A346 and had more award seats released, then Etihad changed it to an A380 but didn’t reduce award inventory. I called immediately and put them on hold, the AA agents could see all 5 (+1 on an earlier flight).

        Also got all 6 back in business on the same flight (A380) – J inventory seems to be more open than it used to be.

    • Holy Sh*t !!!

  10. Is the actual cut off time midnight in the UK or is it going to be midnight US time? Been on hold for 40 mins so far!

    • Midnight Dallas time

      • Thanks.

        I rang normal reservations first but as I want to redeem on Etihad they told me I have to call the Advantage team, is that correct? It says on the website its the reservation line for redeeming points?

        • Yes, will need to do this with AAdvantage team.

          best bet is AA Australia (+61 2-9101-1948 then press 4), they can see EY availability reliably. Good luck!

          • Indeed no issues with the Oz team being able to sort this for me (well for a work colleague, actually!). Also after 9am there now and I doubt most Americans would think of calling them so would definitely give them a shot!

          • Thanks for advice, going to the Abu Dhabi GP, managed to get the first apartment for 2 people coming back to UK!

            And thanks Raffles for reporting the generous AA credit card bonus all that time ago, set me well on the way.

  11. Doodles says:

    I have just booked a weekend in Verona for £60 with the maximum avios saving. Along with a £150 flight to Marrakech in Feb and a cheap flight to the US ex CPH this summer, I will achieve silver for the first time. Thank you HFP.

  12. Christoph says:

    Did BA increase the avios-price for getting 100 GBP off? Because some days ago it was 7’500 Avios, as also mentioned here. However, when looking at now it states 15’000 Avios for the maximum discount of 100 GBP?

  13. I think I’ve gone a little too crazy in this CE sale + 7,500 Avios.

    Marseilles in April
    Rome in May
    Venice in May
    Hamburg in June.

    Tempted by Malta for some diving too. Think I’ve lost the plot !