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Genuine improvements when booking with Avios on

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The BA Executive Club representative over at Flyertalk announced some genuine ‘enhancements’ to functionality this week.

To give BA credit, their online booking system for reward flights is getting pretty darn good now. It isn’t perfect – anything requiring more than one connection generally throws it – but it beats a heck of a lot of the competition. Lufthansa, for instance, doesn’t let you book any rewards online unless they are on Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian or LOT.

One of the more glaring omissions, though, was the failure to book mixed class redemptions. Just a fortnight ago I had to call to book a Club World out / First back ticket – luckily they waived the telephone booking fee for me.

This has now been fixed, although oddly the system can only handle three booking classes! Search for First or Club World and you don’t see Economy results, only World Traveller Plus, Club World and First. Search for Economy (World Traveller) or World Traveller Plus and you don’t see First!

Here is a typical screenshot with the new look:

BA screenshot, of course, has had this functionality for ages. However, that was no use if you were booking with a 2-4-1 voucher or booking a BA partner airline. ( still allows you to see seats in all four booking classes at once, rather than just three!)

There are also some other little tweaks on, to quote:

Improved RFS (Reward Flight Saver) signposting and new icon to distinguish from standard redemptions
A ‘change flights’ button on the fare quote page to make it easier for you to change selected flights
A new ‘back’ button on the fare quote page to allow enable easier navigation between pages

So, thumbs up to BA for this one. What we REALLY need – although this is unlikely to happen – is for BA to dedicate an special fare class to reward seats in the Global Distribution Systems.

This would allow you to use a 3rd party service such as ExpertFlyer to list flights you wanted to fly on and then to receive an email if Avios seats opened up. You can already do this for a lot of airlines.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (15)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • James67 says:

    What is the issue with one connection now? This is probably why when I tried a dummy booking fot DUB-BKK and BKK-GLA it only shows me BA availability with the one stop in LHR. In past it would give me 2 stop optionz with AY, MH or RJ. I guess I now have to call to book these? You mentioned booking a return; is there any advantage of doing so cersus two one ways?

    • Volker says:

      I need to travel from Glasgow to Berlin in December, and for the first time, the system offered me e.g. GLA-LHR-FRA-TXL and GLA-LHR-DUS-TXL, partly on Air Berlin metal. No Reward Flight Saver though plus a higher Avios requirement, so I’ll stick with GLA-LHR-TXL on BA.

    • Rob says:

      Booking a return on BA metal, long-haul, is often cheaper because BA plays games with fuel surcharges, which actually differ based on the ability of the market to sustain them. A one way London to New York and a one way New York to London has SUBSTANTIALLY higher surcharges than a LON-NYC-LON return.

      • James67 says:

        Thanks, will be careful to check that out in my redemptions for next year. However, I guess I will be losing avios and cash if I had to cancel or change return leg after departure? For the moment I’m sitting toght for a conversion bonus from Tesco. If it doesn’t appear by the week following next statement I will probably just convert anyway in hope of a redemption sale from BA later in the year. Best result though would be another premium seat sale with WTP to BKK, HKG or SIN around £800-1000 in conjunction with availability for MFU but I realize thats a lot to hope for 🙂

  • Will says:

    I never had to pay a phone booking fee for multi class reward redemption. The argument was no other option. It was a pain. Glad it’s been fixed. Thanks for the info 🙂

  • Colin says:

    The functionality is much improved, when i search for GLA – KUL it now uses MAS for a GLA – LHR – KUL.

    Previously a search would have routed me either via Helsinki with Finnair or HKG via Cathay Pacific.

  • Tim says:

    I thought the major issue with was that unless you start in London you can only book economy flights.

  • Brian says:

    Now if they can also add the ability to book or upgrade open jaw online that would be another big improvement. I often fly LHR-AUH DXB-LHR, usually booking WT+ and upgrading to CW with Avios and they never waive the booking fee even though it is impossible to book online.

    • Adam W says:

      The policy is to only waive the telephone booking fee when the website will not allow you to book something that it was designed to do. As the website isn’t set-up to book open jaws, the policy dictates that you pay the telephone booking fee.

  • richie says:

    it seems to not let you book a lhr-dubai flight if you choose a qantas flight. you can see the avaliability however you cant book it. its been like that since qantas splt up with ba on the kangaroo routes. anyone know why?

    • Rob says:

      AA does not show these, so I think it is a bug. Either that, or they are only available if booked with a DXB SYD (the old ‘married segment’ chestnut).

  • Andrew says:

    Anyone know how I can book an open-jaw flight with Exec Club, either full Avios or as an Avios for Upgrade? Will I just simply need to call them and make a fuss that it’s the only option if they want to charge me a fee?

    • Alan says:

      It depends on what you’re wanting to book – if it’s an RFS booking then you can just book as 2x one-ways (as taxes/fees are precisely half). However if you’re wanting to book it all as one, either to use an Amex 2-4-1 voucher or due to the taxes/fees for 2x one-ways being greater than a return (as noted above) then you need to call them. It’s certainly worth asking nicely re fee being waived – I’ve certainly heard of folk being successful.

      • Andrew says:

        Thanks. I called them this morning to book and the agent informed me at the start of the booking that as an open-jaw upgrade booking couldn’t be made on-line there wouldn’t be an off-line service fee. So that was good, no need to even have a rant.

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