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British Airways returns to Kuala Lumpur – EXCELLENT Avios availability

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After a 14 year gap, British Airways announced yesterday that it is resuming flights to Kuala Lumpur.

The service will begin on May 27th 2015.  It will be operated by a four class Boeing 777 which will include First Class.  BA has stated that it intends to prioritise the route for a Boeing 787 aircraft later in 2015.

The flight times are both overnight.  The outbound will depart at 20.15, arriving at 16.00 the following day.  The plane will then sit on the ground for seven hours (an expensive option when dealing with $200m aircraft) to depart at 23.05.  It lands back in London at 05.25.

Given that Malaysia Airlines joined the oneworld alliance last year, this is a slightly surprising move.  Malaysia Airlines is operating TWO A380’s from London to Kuala Lumpur each day, each of which will have substantially more capacity than a 777, and which features Malaysia’s latest seating.  You can earn Avios and British Airways Executive Club tier points on either service.

Let’s look at the redemption opportunities.

Avios availability to Kuala Lumpur is excellent.  In fact, I have NEVER seen such good Avios availability on any route.

Here is a screenshot looking for 2 Club World seats:

rsz_british_airways_kul

As you can see, there are two seats every day for this period.  In fact, from what I could see there are – in general – seats in EVERY class on EVERY day at the moment.  Club World tends to have 4 seats available, First Class has two.

Kuala Lumpur is, of course, very close to Singapore and it is easy to connect between the two by numerous modes of transport.  This offers an additional opportunity for anyone looking to connect to the British Airways Singapore to Sydney service down to Australia.

Malaysia Airlines also runs a number of routes to Australia and New Zealand from Kuala Lumpur.  These include (subject to change at the moment) Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Auckland.  You could therefore use your 2-4-1 voucher to fly to Kuala Lumpur on British Airways and then book a second Avios redemption, at full price, for a connection on Malaysia.

Comparing taxes and charges

If you are simply looking to fly to Kuala Lumpur and do NOT have a 2-4-1 voucher, I would give British Airways a miss.  The taxes on a Club World return ticket from London to KL will be £558 plus 140,000 Avios.

If you take the Malaysian Airlines service (on an A380 remember, with flat beds) in business class, from Heathrow, you will pay just £442 in tax – saving £116.

For an even bigger saving, head over to Amsterdam or Frankfurt or Paris (Paris is an A380 city).

Because Amsterdam is closer to Kuala Lumpur, you only need 120,000 Avios in business class.  The tax is only £279.  This saves 20,000 Avios and £279 in tax per person.  This is a Boeing 777 route.

From Paris, the tax is just £330.  You would get an A380 here.  From Frankfurt, it is £321 with a Boeing 777.

Note that some of these routes are at risk in the current Malaysia Airlines restructuring, now that the airline has been renationalised.  You may, though, come out on top if that happens as you may be able to get rerouted from London without needing to pay additional taxes or Avios.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2021)

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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.

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

Comments (41)

  • Adam W says:

    Why does the UK Govt impose a tax of £558 on BA Business class seats but just £442 on MH?

    • Alex says:

      They don’t. The difference is due to fuel surcharges. BA imposes higher fuel surcharges than MH.

      • Adam W says:

        But the article identifies them as ‘taxes’ five times and there’s no mention whatsoever in there of ‘fuel surcharges’. Surely, Raffles knows his stuff???

        • Dominic says:

          I think ‘taxes’ is just short-hand for those bits of cash that get added to what is offered as the base fare. I’m quite certain Raffles knows his stuff, but is just presenting things simply for his readers, who lack his detailed expertise!

          • Rob says:

            Yes, we’ve had this discussion before! I know precisely what I mean when I write taxes, but I don’t like to write out ‘and surcharges’ every time I use the word. At the end of the day, you have to pay it and that it is the key fact. What you are actually paying for – and whether you should morally and legally be paying it – is a different story.

          • JQ says:

            Why not just call everything fees? Basically they are just fees to use Avios, because BA could pay the tax on your behalf, as they (unlike FR) might do when an APD rise is announced to take effect before you fly but after you book.

  • Anon says:

    Could be handy for getting to SW Thailand via Langkawi.

    Also useful for getting to Perth, WA

    • James67 says:

      MH has flights to Krabi and Phuket from KUL falling under 650 miles. AI r Asia to just about anyplace in Asia.

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Tbh I had assumed that this was going to be ahead of an announcement that MH are dropping LHR.

  • richie says:

    is this an early indication that mh are going to go down to 1 daily , or even stoping lhr all together?

    • Raffles says:

      I doubt Malaysia has firm plans but BA may be taking advantage of their difficulties to turn the screw. Hard to see how 2 A380s and a 777 can be filled each day.

      • richie says:

        probably thats why they are putting the 787s on the route. i imagine malaysian willl drp down to 1 a380 / day visiting lhr

      • amer says:

        I doubt MH will drop London! They’re still very popular amongst the large Malaysian community here in the UK. Flew with them last month and the flight was definitely full. No doubt there will be a dip in MH passenger numbers, but I’m also expecting a dip from Malaysians flying UK-KUL with EK (3x daily to KUL), EY (2 daily) and QR..

        • JQ says:

          Agreed. MH, being the airline of a former British colony, is as unlikely to drop LHR as Garuda is to drop AMS, like QF and NZ. BA can’t think like this though.

    • James67 says:

      Have no idea what their loads are but I am guessing still okay from London if award availability is anything to go by. This is less readily available to London than other routes. That said, they have been releasing the odd F seat lately. I snapped one up a few weeks ago to replace my QR flight which proved to be right move as launch date do a 30th is now 10 October on QR 3 and 4 and probably January for QR 1 and 2. I am not superstitious and looking forward to sleeping night away instead of connecting in Doha. MH in J is good for couples with pairs of seats in conventional layout. Those with option are best to redeem AA miles as only 52.5 and 75k required each way in J and F from UK to all over Asia. I am surprised at BA using a slot for this instead of code sharing. Incident. Great J fares ex UK to Asia on MH at moment. Probably even much better from AMS. OT: good fares across all classes on Etihad exEDI after they launch next year.

  • xcalx says:

    I would book this as one ways If your looking to venture further into SE Asia returning through KUL can reduce taxes even further. eg If returning from DPS Bali to LHR with Malaysia Airways Taxes are £ Zero and from BKK only £13.

  • TravelMush says:

    lots of new options to pop home as i am currently based in and around KL – nice

  • Mr Bridge says:

    I am not normally superstitious, but everyone knows bad luck comes in 3’s. Thats why MH is not an option for many people

  • Col A-B says:

    Odd – I keep checking http://www.baredemptionfinder.com/ and can’t find any reward seats at all. Off to check directly on ba.com now.

    • Raffles says:

      The data used by the Avios app, and therefore baredemptionfinder, is always a few days old. These flights were only announced yesterday.

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