This seems a slightly odd time to launch a Middle East sale, with the peak travel period to the region coming up. I get a feeling that British Airways has been hit by a nasty combination of:
falling leisure demand (the UAE currencies are pegged to the US$ so everything has got 20% more expensive in £ terms in recent weeks)
increased capacity (Doha and Muscat are to get their own dedicated flights instead of being tagged on to existing services)
falling corporate travel demand post the EU referendum
massively strong competition from Etihad, Emirates and Qatar – exacerbated by the fact that you can earn Avios and tier points on Qatar and, as long as you book it as a Qantas codeshare, Emirates
The 25% discount is valid on:
You can travel in:
World Traveller Plus
…. but not First.
You must book by 7th August and travel before 11th December.
The EARLIEST travel date varies by route:
Abu Dhabi – 1st September for WT, 21st July for WTP, 1st November for CW
Bahrain – 1st September for WT, 1st October for WTP, 1st November for CW
Doha – immediately
Dubai – 1st September for WT, 21st July for WTP and CW
Muscat – immediately
The discount applies to both one-way and return tickets.
Full taxes must be paid – these are not discounted by 25%!
The offer CANNOT be combined with a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher. This is a rather odd decision in my view – BA either wants to fill seats or it doesn’t. The Middle East is not exactly a top choice if you want a break on your own compared to, say, New York. It isn’t clear if you would be blocked from using a Lloyds Avios Rewards upgrade voucher.
It cannot be added retrospectively to an existing booking. If availability is still there for a booked flight, you need to weigh up the £35 per person cancellation fee against the Avios saved from rebooking.
If you are heading to Dubai, remember my handy tip. Flying into Abu Dhabi is more sensible – you land three hours earlier than the first BA Dubai flight and you get to fly a new Boeing 787. A taxi into Dubai will only be £40 and, time wise, it adds 30 minutes at most to your transfer if you staying near The Palm.
Remember that Doha and Muscat are new routes and you will find the best Avios availability there. From Doha you can use 4,500 Avios each way for connections on Qatar Airways to elsewhere in the region.
Read all the small print before booking – details are on the Executive Club news pages here.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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.
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.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
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.