As I wrote yesterday, a selection of Flybe flights are now available for redemption using Avios points on ba.com.
I was probably a little harsh in that article on the value you can get from these redemptions – it seems I picked a bad example. Readers were happy to show me Flybe flights priced at up to €360 which were available for 4,500 Avios points.
Flybe flies to a number of small airports in the UK where the Air Passenger Duty regime does not apply.
The UK is the most taxed aviation market in the world, with the possible exception of Chad
The following [Flybe] departure airports are already exempt from APD :
Benbecula, Barra, Campbeltown, Guernsey, Islay, Inverness, Jersey, Kirkwall, Sumburgh, Stornoway, Tiree and Wick
The following routes are already exempt from APD:
London Stansted – Dundee
London Gatwick – Newquay
The ability to avoid APD applies to any flight which connects to a flight from one of the airports above. This leads to some impressive savings.
Let’s take the Cathay Pacific flight from Manchester to Hong Kong.
A one-way business class redemption on that route costs 60,000 Avios + £187.
(By the way, Cathay Pacific is offering EIGHT business class seats for redemption on that route on some flights.)
However, if you book Inverness – Manchester – Hong Kong, the cost changes to 64,500 Avios + £70. A saving of £117 may not be enough to make it worthwhile buying a one-way ticket to Inverness to start your trip, but if you live in Scotland it certainly looks attractive. Similar deals are available via London if you fly down from Inverness and connect to a Heathrow or Gatwick flight.
Here is another example:
Heathrow to New York in Club World, one-way, costs 40,000 Avios + £351.
However, if you book Newquay – Gatwick and Heathrow – New York, the trip costs 44,500 Avios + £222. You save £129 per person.
So, some good news if you live in Cornwall or northern Scotland. The impact of the Avios changes has just been sharply reduced. Other HfP readers with time of their hands will also be able to make modest savings if they fly to Inverness or Newquay to start their redemption.
(PS. You only ‘lose’ the APD on the Newquay to Gatwick route. If you use Flybe to fly from Newquay to Manchester or Stansted, full APD will be charged.)
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)
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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) 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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.