Booking Reward Flight Saver on BA ‘Fifth Freedom’ routes

I have written many 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 (now Moscow only, I think).

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 five 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 the remaining British Airways ‘Fifth Freedom’ short routes.  The list has got shorter in recent years as BA has launched more direct services, culling tags such as Bahrain to Doha and Abu Dhabi to Muscat.

  • UVF (St Lucia) – GND (Grenada) (50 minutes, Wed and Sat)
  • UVF (St Lucia) – POS (Port of Spain) (60 minutes, Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun)
  • ANU (Antigua) – SKB (St Kitts) (45 minutes, Wed and Sat)
  • ANU (Antigua) – PLS (Turks & Caicos) (2hr 10 min, Thu and Sun)
  • ANU (Antigua) – TOB (Tobago) (90 minutes, Mon, Fri)
  • Grand Cayman (GCM) – NAS (Nassau) (90 minutes, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun)

These routes are available as Reward Flight Saver.  Club World is 15,500 to 18,000 Avios + £50 return. Turks & Caicos is a longer flight and costs 25,500 – 30,000 Avios + £50 in Club World, return, depending on date.

If you have never tried BA’s Club World 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 and is operated with long-haul aircraft – currently a Boeing 777 – on selected services, usually the early morning flight.

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Comments

  1. Great picture, I loved those tail fins and the Irish one shown was one of my favourites. A brilliant idea destroyed ( like so much else) by phoney patriotism and Thatcher.

    • Err, the “world image” tail liveries ran from 1997 to 2001. What did Thatcher have to do with it?

    • The idea of having each tail fin painted in a different random colour scheme must be one of the worst branding decisions in history.

    • Not sure how Thatcher bashing is relevant to Reward Saver Flights. I’m glad you liked the tail fins. Many didn’t. As already stated it’s a pretty terrible example of branding.

  2. Are the ANU – TAB (Tobago) and UVF – POS (Port of Spain, Trinidad) flights also within RFS?

  3. I have the Moscow flight booked for next June and interestingly it shows up as being on a 787 rather than 777. Not sure when it is switching aircraft or if only on certain days…

  4. We flew to Moscow in First back in April and they only fly the First Class options on the Friday morning flight and back on the Tuesday afternoon – not sure if this has changed now.
    The traffic in Moscow is horrendous; word of warning – it took us almost 3 hours each way to get from the airport to the city centre. The staff at the Intercontinental Moscow are wonderful and possibly one of the best club lounges we have visited in recent years.
    x

    • Agreed about the traffic and we’re going during the World Cup so probably even worse then! But then we will be travelling with only hand luggage so will stick to the train and metro to get to/from the airport…

      • David Safir says:

        It can be cheaper (whether for cash or Avios) and easier to fly a OW partner such as AY into SVO rather than BA into DME; but the best way from DME to Central Moscow is by train to Paveletskaya and then pre-booked limo to your hotel.

    • Get the express train into Moscow – much easier! Agree about staff at Intercontinental – so helpful and upgraded us to the max. Do ask them to rent a portable WiFi hotspot – it’s a cheap way for all your party to get internet access throughout the city. Love Moscow and it’s a great way to get a cheap CW flight.

    • Even if you’re extremely unlucky with traffic it’s really tough to believe it took 3 hours even at 6 pm on Fri eve (especially going against the main stream). No I mean I trust you that it in fact took 3 hours, but it must have been something wrong with your driver, who was lazy, stupid or unwilling to use traffic app.
      I haven’t lived in Moscow since 2010, just visiting since then. I always take an Uber or taxi. It normally takes between 30 min (night, weekends) to 90-100 min (rush hour weekdays) from SVO to the city centre and a bit longer from DME.
      Aeroexpress is such a waste of time, coz you first need to wait for a train, then 30-45 min ride, then you still have to hop a taxi or subway. In most cases you’ll be saving time just taking a taxi from the airport. I would say Aeroexpress makes sense only if your destination is within walkable or 5-10 min taxi ride from a train station.

      and please don’t waste your money on ordering transportation from hotels. They tend to charge ridiculous rates (like 4-5X time the service actually costs). UberX charges fixed $17, UberBlack – $50, high profile taxi (Mercedes E, BMW 5) $50-60. Uber is allowed to pick up pax at Arrivals, so no problems with that (the same with Departures). Last time I had a chat with a guy on my AMS-SVO flight and he said he had prepaid $167+VAT for a car from Park Hyatt. They can get away with such nonsense coz many foreigners expect they would be robbed, raped, cheated and beheaded asa they leave a plane and danger is everywhere :D.

  5. Pangolin says:

    Rob, maybe you could do a feature on any interesting Fifth Freedom flights available intra-EU from decent Asian and Mideast airlines. For those of us who want to use airlines like SIA, for instance. You could categorise it by alliance perhaps.

    • There are hundreds of fifth freedom flights around the world – it would be a huge job to catalogue all of them!

      • Here you go !! Happy Flying !!!

        Very popular fifth freedom flights are covered on this table which is more than sufficient to crack on the best deal.

        https://www.flypointyend.com/5th-freedom-flights/

        • Great list, but (unless its no longer operating) there is also a BKK to KUL flight with Ethiopian. Reason I know this is that I went to the gate for this flight instead of my MAS flight. Sat at the gate looking at an Ethiopian plane thinking to myself he needs to hurry and leave or my flight will be delayed. BKK is a long terminal when you need to bolt it to your correct gate.

        • CV3V, I think that Ethiopian flight from BKK-KUL no longer exists. However the KUL-SIN ET flight does.
          The best one of course is the ET flight from Dublin-LAX

      • Pangolin says:

        Well I meant just the intra-EU ones and not Abidjan to Addis Ababa, etc.

        I checked the link gomigo gave but it’s clear that a lot of European flights must be missing. Even for SIA I couldn’t see MUC-MAN or ARN-DME, for instance.

  6. Train journey on shinkansen and ekiben to chow down on…better than inter Europe business class.

  7. NAS-GCM-NAS is pretty minimalist. Blocked at 90 minutes but basically takes an hour. In CW sometimes you get a drinks service with some nuts, sometimes you don’t if the crew can’t be bothered. I’m not sure it represents value as a “CW experience”. Also, no lounge in GCM.

    Also recently it has been Mon, Thurs, Fri, Sun (not Tues).

    • Same with St Lucia to Grenada blocked as 50 minutes, which essentially means a 20 minute hop straight up then straight back down. Not sure I’d bother paying for Club. Still at least it’s unlikely someone will need to climb over you during your 15 minute lie down…

    • Yes I flew this in August, got nothing at all between GCM and NAS in WT, orange juice & nut mix the other way in CW, not worth it. It would be an odd 2 centre holiday unless you desperately wanted to visit both places.

  8. OT – I booked a rtn flight to gla and got only given points and tier points for the ib
    Unfortately I have not got the ob boarding pass and ba won’t accept my original ticket purchase.
    Ba keeps saying I was not on that flight. I have explained that if I was not on the ob I would have gone down as no show and therefore the ib would have been canx but they say no boarding pass no points
    Has anyone had this problem before
    Every little point counts toward a gold status

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