Last chance to book in the current BA and Virgin sales – BA deals improved by ‘triple Avios’

Tomorrow, Wednesday 21st, is your last chance to make a booking in the current British Airways and Virgin Atlantic sales.

I wanted to do a recap today of some of the deals on offer.

British Airways

Since the sale was announced, British Airways has launched its generous ‘triple Avios and triple On Business points’ promotion.  As long as you travel before 11th December you will receive triple base Avios when you fly.  This makes these sale prices more attractive for Autumn travel.

The home page for the BA sale is here.

Travel dates are all over the place.  You can book well into 2017 on most routes for travel from September – the main exception is the USA where you can only book World Traveller and World Traveller Plus flights between Christmas Day and 29th March.

You should take a look at the small print at the bottom of the sale website for all the travel date details.

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.

If you can be flexible with dates, there are some decent fares available.

In general, fares in First and Club World are higher than we saw in the last major sale in June.  Very little got me very excited – I picked out in Club World:

Montreal at £1,332

Toronto at £1,332

£1,500 for a lot of the Caribbean routes from Gatwick

£1,352 to Abu Dhabi (which remain cheaper than Dubai despite being a 30 minute taxi ride away and using a new Boeing 787)

£1,500 – £1,700 to India

£701 to New York in World Traveller Plus looked a decent deal especially if you can use Avios to upgrade to Club World.  Similarly £599 in World Traveller Plus to Abu Dhabi is not bad, especially with 150 tier points.

Here are some major destinations, priced as World Traveller / World Traveller Plus / Club World / First:

New York £398 / £701 / £1,581 / £2,283

Miami £460 / £852 / £1,950 / £2,577

Abu Dhabi £379 / £599 / £1,352 / £1,852

Mumbai £420 / £770 / £1,517 / £2,113

Bangkok £498 / £1,049 / £2,199 / na

Tokyo £547 / £1,108 / £2,045 / £3,912

There are also some deals on European short-haul flights with some destinations at £200 return or less for 80 tier points. I spotted Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bergen, Billund, Bordeaux, Brussels, Friedrichshafen, Geneva, Genoa, Hamburg, Hannover, Innsbruck, Jersey, Lyon, Rome, Rotterdam, Seville, Stavangerm, Stuttgart, Valencia, Venice, Verona and Vienna. There are plenty more under £225 return as long as you stay away over a Saturday night.

Remember that ‘Part Pay With Avios’ can be used with these fares although there is no special offer at the moment.  ‘Part Pay With Avios’ has actually got worse!  The maximum discount at present is £200 for 35,000 Avios points (was 30,000 points) per return flight although you can now claim this off all fare classes – it was previously capped at £100 for economy flights.

It is also worth pricing up BA’s ‘flight and hotel’ or ‘flight and car’ options.  Adding a one-star hotel for just one night of your trip, or a small car for one day, can bring down the cost to less than just a flight.  Pop over to BA Holidays here and do a test booking before booking anything as ‘flight only’.  Another benefit of booking your flight as a holiday is that you pay a deposit now with the balance only due five weeks before departure.

The best thing to do if you are interested is to go to and have a look around.  The full sale details are here.

British Airways business first class sale

Virgin Atlantic

I didn’t focus much on the Virgin Atlantic cash sale because it was primarily for Economy and Premium Economy only.  Details of the Virgin sale are here if you want to take a last-minute look.

In general, you can book for travel between Christmas Day and 5th April, although it varies by route.

More interesting is the reward seat sale which runs until Thursday 22nd.  You will receive 30% off the miles required for Economy and Premium Economy redemptions.  This is same deadline as for the parallel ‘buy miles’ bonus.

Virgin taxes on Economy redemptions are lower (by roughly £100) than British Airways although they are roughly similar for Premium Economy.  Following the Avios devaluation last April, you will also need substantially fewer miles than BA for an identical route.

Here are some example prices in both Economy and Premium Economy – the Premium Economy deals look particularly attractive:

New York – 24,500 miles + £259 / 38,500 miles + £415 (this is up £70 since the February sale!)

Barbados – 31,500 miles + £211 / 49,000 miles + £347

Delhi – 29,750 miles + £254 / 49,000 miles + £390

Hong Kong – 35,000 miles + £278 / 56,000 + £427

Almost all other routes are bookable too.  A full list of taxes and the miles required can be found here.

What is interesting about this sale is that you can book for any time in the next 11 months.  There are no date restrictions as long as seats are available.  Remember that, even with 30% off, not all of these deals necessarily make sense in low season.

(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.)

Now official, with pictures - 'The First Wing' comes to Terminal 5 in April
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  1. Rob, I’m pretty sure the BA sale ends today (20th).

  2. OT

    The embarrassment of multi currency apps when I read the room rate off in the wrong currency, so it was 70% more than expected, then a hugely helpful Accor staff knocking a chunk of the rate to cover my mistake.

    Note to self: Take more care.

    • When I was in Turkey this year, the St Regis quoted me ‘160’ for a car transfer to the airport. I took this as Lira ( eg £40) which was a bit more than I paid coming in but still ok. When I paid my room bill (I had it charged to the room) it turned out they meant 160 Euro!

      I kicked up a stink and the price was dropped to 160 Lira.

      • SHould have flown Etihad :-)

        I am flying back to Istanbul next week one the Etihad Business sale from March. PLanning to be at the Conrad for a champagne breakfast and the swimming pool that was being rebuilt last time.

        Need to find out whether I get the chauffeur.

  3. I can’t find anything on the BA site but, is the triple avios valid on flight and hotel bookings within the period?

  4. I managed to get this confirmed, this is NOT extended to flight and hotel bookings.

    • Barry cutters says:

      It is for The flight portion . Just not on the additional points for holidays

      • It is a flight only promotion so is not valid on Holidays, or the flight portion of a combined booking. That’s not to say some might not slip through (depending on booking class used I guess), but it has definitely been limited to exclude them.

  5. Raffles previously mentioned that a referral scheme is coming in the Autumn.

    • There was one, it was dropped at Easter, it is coming back in a new form (this is from the mouth of the Virgin credit cards head).

  6. Barry cutters says:

    Is world traveler to Abu Dhabi not 90tp each way?

  7. OT: I’m looking to raise 35000 avios and considering buying them with 10500 bonus in current sale making them about 1.26p/avios. Massively higher than I have ever paid for avios before but still works well for me for redemptions I have in mind which are over £3000 each for direct flight on BA. Anybody aware of any other options to get the 35k avios I need cheaper at moment? I could use clubcard points but holding off in hope of a bonus in next two quarters. I could also raise 20k via accor-IB but that woud cost €400 in hotel stays so not a good option.

    • I’d rather convert Tesco at non bonus than buy at 1.26p. I presume you’ve used up the usual BAPP, Amex Plat and SPG cards and partner referrals etc?

      • Yes, options are purchase, directly or indirectly, or clubcard. I will need clubcard-avios later so I need to trade off standard clubcard conversion versus buy avios bonus now agaibst an uncertain clubcard or purchase bonus later. I’ve never had such a dilemna since taking up the hobby seriously about a decade ago. For me at least, the combined impacts of devaluatios in earn/burn rates and decrease collection opportunities is finally begining to bite.

    • I think Amex Plat has 35k signup bonus for £3k spend.

    • 34000 Avios would have cost you
      2000 – EUR 19
      4x 8000 – EUR396
      less the EUR10 discount code
      —> c.GBP350 or (if you factor in the PluStore Avios on top —> well under 1p/ Avios

      Were you asleep July 8th? :)

      • Thanks Harry, no not asleep. At that time I was refusing to buy at anything over 0.5p/avios and only required 75k for 1xOW z7 CW redemption which was no problem but now I need 2 redemptions at 150k leaving me a 35k shortfall. I will ponder it until last day of the sale before deciding to buy or go the long way home on revenue tickets with Sri Lankan.

  8. James Wattana says:

    Regarding this part of Rob’s post:
    “Adding a one-star hotel for just one night of your trip, or a small car for one day, can bring down the cost to less than just a flight.”
    I can’t see anyway of booking a flight for 1 week, with a hotel or car for just 1 day. The flight + hotel option doesn’t allow the dates to be changed only for the hotel part?
    Any ideas how to do it, please?

  9. I cannot find an NYC WT+ for love nor money at £701..

  10. O/T. I’ve got a stack of Tesco vouchers that I want to convert to Avios. I’m waiting for a ‘20% extra with BA’ offer like the one they did last year. I’ve seen the Virgin equivalent from Tesco this year but no BA offer. Do you think there’ll be another one, or is it unlikely?

    • No one knows but you’re waiting like most of us

      • We’ll find out in a couple of months I suppose. If they don’t, I’ll just convert as normal.

        • It depends how much you need the avios and whether you have plans for them. I think I’ll make do with another round of CC churning when back from hols and keep the Tesco points until a bonus comes along

    • They seem to be favouring competition entries to win more Avios when you convert Tesco CC. For me the guaranteed 20% bonus for transferring to Virgin was better than the (unlikely) chance of winning more Avios.

  11. OT – does Iberia ever launch a sale? In my 12 or so months reading the site I’ve rarely seen reference to it. Looking at booking flights to Cuba

  12. Another O/T, this time an update of the MTX Connect 6000 Miles and More offer. 5000 miles were just uploaded to my account, so hopefully everyone else here who took part will also get theirs today! That was very quick indeed.

    There was supposed to be a further 1000 miles for the 20 euro top up, I assume they will follow later.
    An excellent deal!

    • Well done Andrew. I have not yet received the sim after 4 working days:-(

      • I was staggered it only took three days to go from Luxembourg to the UK tbh. Hope you still get the miles!

        • By the way, to get the extra thousand miles, you actually have to spend the 20 euros you added to your balance.

          • Yes, thanks for the reminder Andrew. The only problem is that I am not sure if I have made the cut and whether there is any point of toping up the sim with €20 now.

            • Email them and check. They replied to me within 24 hrs.

            • I had received and activated the SIM and topped up my balance by then, but it’s possible that they took the first 1000 people to order a SIM, in which case you may still have a chance.

  13. Last time I took a ride from Dubai Marina to corniche in Abu Dhabi it took me 1hour 10 minutes, but still worth it in terms of new aircraft and saved ££!

  14. OT: Can I just check that the Virgin Black CC PE upgrade vouchers need to be booked within one year of their issue or whether the flights need to be taken within one year. It might make a difference as to whether I jump on one of these sale redemptions.

    • Once the vouchers are issued they expire in one year. You can use the vouchers as far out as you want. I used mine in the sale to upgrade flights in Aug 17

  15. OT. @TGLoyalty. Thanks for the heads up on the Curve ‘BUDDY’ referral code. Bagged my wife a free Curve Blue.
    If others are trying, after entering the code, note it still says £35 on the first screen but the confirmation email says £0 cost.

  16. I guess the triple avios offer is not valid for existing bookings, despite travelling before december 11? I already had some bookings (AA and BA) for this period…

  17. OT:
    Does anyone know if there’s an easy way to generate/transfer into Copa Connectmiles? I have an upcoming trip for which I need 20k Copa miles (2 x 10k one-way tickets) but have no idea how to transfer into Copa.

    I have a decent amount of AMEX points, some avios, and some orphan hotel points in Marriott….any ideas on the most cost-effective way of doing this?

    As usual, thank you all for the tips / guidance.

  18. O/T this points dude in Spain writes:
    Google translate for you lot :)
    ‘American Express and Iberia are offering an extra bonus of 20% for transfer Membership Rewards points to Avios. The normal transfer rate without the bonus is 1 MR = 1 Avio , so with this promotion would be getting 1.2 MR Avio for each point .
    Transfers must take place between September 9 and October 9, 2016 , and must be performed from the Membership Rewards page , which can be accessed here.

    For some reason unknown to me, this offer often promoted only by email . Note that the page does not reflect Amex information about the bonus , even at the time of the transfer, but will see reflected in their accounts. For years it works.
    Not the best I’ve seen . Last year offered a bonus of 30%.’

    OK if you have a Spanish Amex card – just wondering if it might work for transfers from UK Amex to Iberia. Somebody care to be the guinea pig? (all my Amex points are currently sitting with Diamond Club MBNA)

      • You can log in with your UK details – it changes to UK Amex site – then change country to Espana, then click my link above – it all stays in Spanish and is the bonus transfer page. Somebody should give it a go – ie try transferring MR points to Iberia on this link – I think you would have a decent chance of getting 1.2 Avios per MR point.

        Annoyingly, as I said, I have no MR points on Amex Amex cards at the moment.

        • Sorry, at this time we can not process your order. Please try again and if the problem persists, contact the Permanent Customer Service to holders on the phone 900 814 500.

    • Harry,

      works from Mrs Roberto’s spanish amex card to her UK BAEC account.. I could not get it working for her amex to her iberia. She is getting the bonus..

      I on the other hand could not get it work from my spanish amex to my uk BAEC but did get it working with my uk Iberia..

      Both our iberia/ba accounts are uk registered with a UK address. Hope that helps chum..

      And yes it’s a minimum of 1MR to both ba or iberia which is a touch too…

      • interesting!

        I must buy myself a Spanish villa (actually I prefer Castilla y Leon!) & spend my last 25 years there :)

        on the bucket list

  19. What has happened today to the Intercontinental Ambassador ??

  20. Thanks for the reminder.

    Locked in a 430 quid trip to New York for March. Got the 8pm BA flight after work on a Wednesday night on the way over and the 11am AA flight on Sunday on the way back. 2 days annual leave and no overnight flights.

  21. Graham Walsh says:

    In the Virgin Sale I managed to get Virgin flights for Easter next year to New York and return from Boston using the PE upgrade vouchers. I then had to buy the bonus sale PE for my 2nd son. Total of £1200 for the 3 of us at Easter in PE. Also saved 30k points by booking in the sale. The guy at Virgin was surprised the seats were available.