Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The complete guide to Avios redemptions from UK regional airports

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I have been threatening to put together a full list of flights from UK regional airports which can be booked with Avios points for some weeks.  The job has proved messier than I imagined.

I have given it my best shot but I am sure a few options have slipped past me.  Please post below with any additions and I will add them in.  This list should be considered a work in progress for now.

Short-haul redemptions are NOT covered by Reward Flight Saver unless operated by a BA franchise.  These flights will often be a very poor use of Avios points because the taxes represent a very high percentage of the fair.

Avios wing 13

Some services may be seasonal.  Some have not yet launched but are due to start later in 2015.  Domestic British Airways flights have been ignored.

airberlin is not listed because it now only flies to Guernsey and Jersey with no UK mainland services.

A note on Flybe:

ba.com and avios.com have different Flybe reward availability so it is worth looking at both.  Because not all routes are included, it has not been possible to list them here.  The current list of Flybe UK departure airports can be found listed at the bottom of the page on the Flybe website.

A note on Vueling:

Vueling redemptions can only be booked using Iberia Plus Avios points.  You need to have an active Iberia Plus account (ie have earned at least 1 Avios point in it) and the account must be 90 days old.  You can then transfer points across from British Airways or avios.com.

Oneworld members

Aberdeen

Aer Lingus to Dublin (telephone booking via BA)

Belfast

Aer Lingus to Fara, Malaga, Palma

Vueling to Barcelona

Birmingham

American Airlines to New York

Aer Lingus to Dublin, Cork, Shannon (telephone booking via BA)

Air Malta to Malta (bookable via avios.com)

Vueling to Barcelona

Birmingham is also a major hub for Flybe

Some Monarch services from Birmingham are likely to be bookable via avios.com.  You can see a list of current routes here.

Bristol

Aer Lingus to Dublin, Cork, Shannon (telephone booking via BA)

Air Malta to Malta (bookable via avios.com)

Aurigny to Guernsey (bookable via avios.com)

Cambridge

British Airways (SUN-AIR) to Gothenburg

Cardiff

Aer Lingus to Dublin (telephone booking via BA)

Air Malta to Malta (bookable via avios.com)

Vueling to Alicante, Barcelona, Majorca, Malaga, Barcelona

Doncaster

Aer Lingus to Dublin (telephone booking via BA)

East Midlands

Aer Lingus to Dublin (telephone booking via BA)

Aurigny to Guernsey (book via avios.com)

Edinburgh

American Airlines to New York

Qatar Airways to Doha

Aer Lingus to Dublin, Cork, Shannon (telephone booking via BA)

Iberia Express to Madrid

Vueling to Barcelona

Exeter

Aer Lingus to Dublin (telephone booking via BA)

Air Malta to Malta (book via avios.com)

Glasgow

US Airways to Philadelphia

Aer Lingus to Dublin, Cork (telephone booking via BA)

Air Malta to Malta (book via avios.com)

Inverness

Aer Lingus to Dublin (telephone booking via BA)

Leeds Bradford

Aer Lingus to Dublin (telephone booking via BA)

Some Monarch services from Leeds Bradford are likely to be bookable via avios.com.  You can see a list of current routes here.

Luton

Iberia Regional to Vigo

Some Monarch services from Luton are likely to be bookable via avios.com.  You can see a list of current routes here.

Manchester

American Airlines to New York

American Airlines to Chicago

Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong

US Airways to Philadelphia

Qatar Airways to Doha

Air Malta to Malta (book on avios.com)

Aer Lingus to Dublin, Cork, Shannon (telephone booking via BA)

Aurigny to Guernsey (book on avios.com)

British Airways (SUN-AIR) to Billund and Gothenburg

Finnair to Helsinki

Iberia Express to Madrid

Vueling to Barcelona

Manchester is also a major hub for Flybe

Some Monarch services from Manchester are likely to be bookable via avios.com.  You can see a list of current routes here.

Newcastle

Aer Lingus to Dublin, Cork (telephone booking via BA)

Air Malta to Malta (book on avios.com)

Newquay

Aer Lingus to Dublin (telephone booking via BA)

Norwich

Air Malta to Malta (book on avios.com)

Southampton

Aer Lingus to Dublin (telephone booking via BA)

Aurigny to Guernsey via Alderney (book on avios.com)

Southend

Aer Lingus to Dublin (telephone booking via BA)

Comments (60)

  • Rob says:

    I agree – until, recently, I did hear of someone getting one! Until BA makes a formal announcement that you cannot book Aer Lingus short-haul then I will keep it on. Even if you could get one, the taxes would make it pointless in most cases anyway.

    • John says:

      Was talking to someone from EI at DUB about this recently.

      The seats are theoretically available, but they’re snapped up by Americans who’ve used the apparently endless high avios earning credit card offers to fly EI transatlantic to DUB, spend a few days in Ireland and then continue on EI to UK or continent (taxes minimal ex-DUB)..

      They book through the BAEC US call centre (or center) which is seemingly good at hunting out seats for (those largely credit card earning) customers.

      This side of the atlantic, BAEC don’t seem bothered about trying particularly hard (regardless of how you earn your avios) to find EI shorthaul availability, although the call handlers are generally fine about looking for transatlantic from DUB.

      Odd approach to customer service.

      • takke says:

        I just enquired about availability yesterday, and the agent said there was space on all flights, but when I called back later to book the one I wanted, I was told there wasn’t any space on any flights. It seemed implausible that the flights would have sold out in that time, so I hung up and called again and got it booked and ticketed. So it may be worth trying a couple of agents if nothing comes up (hold times were ~7 minutes so it was worth doing, at busier times it may be a lot of hassle)

  • Rich says:

    Raffles, this is an incredibly useful list, thank you!

  • Andy says:

    How would I go about finding availability for MAN-PHL? I’ve tried BA.com and it just tries to route me via LHR (sometimes on a US Airways service to PHL!), Avios.com won’t do it, even signed up to Qantas FF but they don’t recognise PHL as an airport.

    • Rob says:

      avios.com won’t find it.

      The easiest way would be to use the AA website to find dates with reward seats at the lowest price level (sAAver). Plug those dates into ba.com and it should appear.

      See 3rd June to 8th June for example which comes up with availability in Economy.

      • Andy says:

        Ahhh, excellent, thank you very much. No availability listed for the dates I was looking at in October, but at least now I know what to do in the future.

  • callum says:

    While I see why you wouldn’t want to type them all out, the Flybe website says that all routes are included – what makes you think they aren’t?

    • Rob says:

      Because I saw an internal BA document which said that only selected routes were included! It also said that you wouldn’t be able to book Flybe services from London City, though, but you can ….

      • callum says:

        Maybe that’s just through BAEC? Unless Flybe specifically didn’t want any redemptions on certain routes, it doesn’t make any sense to block them on Avios.com – what with that being Flybe’s loyalty scheme!

        • Rob says:

          avios.com redemptions are price driven as Avios buys the ticket for cash. Air Malta confirmed this once. Tickets below a threshold price can be booked, others cannot.

          • callum says:

            Ah, I knew Avios bought Air Malta fares like that (I remember your article!) but hadn’t seen anything showing they do it with Flybe.

            Though in that case, surely all routes are available?

          • Rob says:

            I think some routes never have tickets for sale for cash for less than the price Avios pays, eg London City.

  • Rob Holly says:

    Monarch flights from East Midlands end later this month. All routes discontinued.

    • Rob says:

      Looks like the new management are taking action to cut the losses. Will delete.

  • Tim Millea says:

    I left the wi-fi of home this morning before the post arrived and only just reconnected at my £7/night all-inclusive hotel – and very impressive it is too. A great post, many thanks Raffles.

    The companion article would be maximising the value of Avios redemptions from regional airports under the new rules. This is somewhat different and more challenging as it would likely involve a cash ticket fom a regional airport on a low cost carrier to join a One-World carrier route originating outside the UK, avoiding paying extra Avios and cash within destination zones 1-3, BA’s fuel surcharges and hefty UK departure taxes long haul. E.g. Madrid is great to go West and especially South America as it is on the way. Helsinki, potentially OK to go to the Far East but handicapped by poor connections from the UK. Two connections make for a long day and so the Middle East hubs are not particularly useful except as final destinations via near-Europe.

    This matrix goes beyond even Award Nexus’ capabilities. It could be a good PhD project.

    Tim.

    • Rob says:

      Given long-haul J APD of £166 it will almost always be cheaper to fly to Amsterdam or wherever. However, it isn’t that simple of course. Smaller airports don’t have large numbers of flights to Amsterdam so you may be stuck with a long layover. Pricing moves around as well. Catching a peak 7am flight to Amsterdam to get a 12pm connection is likely to cost more than getting a 12pm flight to Amsterdam to catch a 5pm connection.

  • idrive says:

    HI can someone advise a nice weekend destination served by BA from London to visit in Early march? I need to add it into a RFS. thanks

  • Chewbacca says:

    For Aer Lingus does that mean you could book LHR to ORK as well over the phone and as someone mentioned would you get the same Aer Lingus price as it’s not available on BA.com?

    Would that qualify for Avios earnings/tier points with BA?

    I often book this route but was under the impression that the codeshare flights quoted for BA were for long haul transfers?

    • takke says:

      If you are on a BA marketed flight operated by EI you should earn Avios and Tier Points. I am not sure exactly how many you would earn. However, BA won’t sell you an LHR-ORK ticket – that codeshare is only available for something like JFK-LHR-ORK or whatever.

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