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25% off Avios redemptions to the Middle East – but NOT with a BA Amex 241 voucher

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British Airways Executive Club and avios.com are offering a 25% discount on Avios redemptions to the Middle East booked via their respective websites.  Full details can be found here.

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:

Atlantis Dubai

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:

Abu Dhabi

Bahrain

Doha

Dubai

Muscat

You can travel in:

World Traveller

World Traveller Plus

Club World

…. 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.


British Airways BA Amex American Express

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 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

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel 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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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 (39)

  • Joe says:

    O/T can anyone help me with the following query? I have a 241 voucher from my BAPP amex card. I have had the card for just over one year so recently noticed the £150 annual fee was billed to my account. However, do I need to keep the card to use the 241 voucher? There is a two year expiry on the voucher, which means, if I have to keep the card that I will incur two lots of the £150 annual fee just to keep the voucher valid? I spoke with an advisor at Amex last night who confirmed I needed to keep the card until I have redeemed the voucher. Is that correct? Any advice much appreciated.

    • ianwall says:

      I spoke to them this week. You should downgrade to the standard BA Amex, which removes the fee and keeps the voucher active.

    • Oly says:

      Not correct. Phone them and downgrade to the free card (in fact I think you have to do this online, just apply for the free card and when it says “Do you hold any other AMEX?” type in your BAPP number. Downgrading will get you the fee refund pro-rata and keep the 241 voucher 🙂

      I have done this MANY times now

  • Matt says:

    Re 2-4-1 eligibility, BA call centre were waiting for head office to revert (as apparently multiple enquiries) and they just rang me back to confirm definitely not…shame

  • Umberto says:

    I have recently booked via avios.com, the discount wouldn’t apply there?

  • mark1980 says:

    OT slightly. Looking to go to Dubai for the first time either mid – late October or early – mid November (basically avoiding October half term). Is there likely to be much difference in temperature between those 3-4 weeks? We have an 18 month old Toddler so don’t want it to be too hot but do want it to be reasonably hot (if that makes sense).

    • Rob says:

      That is half term! My kids are off 24 October to 4 November.

      You need to remember that Dubai is a big draw for a lot of countries so UK school holidays are a driver but not THE major driver of demand. Luckily German school holidays are phased across the country so you don’t get the same bump in demand.

      No major moves in temperature over that period. Early October is meant to be the most settled time of year but even Dubai weather is going crazy now – we had a day of thunderstorms in Easter and last October lost a day to a sandstorm. November would be a little cooler and perhaps more toddler friendly.

      Good place to bring a toddler. You don’t need to pack much – there are big Waitrose stores everywhere (plus Carrefour etc and lots of Boots) and everything you’d buy in Britain you can get. No need to bring 2 weeks of formula or nappies for example.

      • mark1980 says:

        Thanks Rob, I meant more like w/c 17/10 or 7/11 to avoid the 2 weeks of potential half term as prices do seem to be cheaper around then. Good to know about availability of shops – I know this is a long shot and a very niche subject but do you know if they sell Alpro Oat milk? My little lad has a cow’s milk allergy and would rather not have to lug a few litres of that out with us if we can avoid it.

        Also, my wife thinks we’re better off doing night flights so he can sleep for most of it. We live in the regions so I’m looking at doing MAN – SXF in the morning on easyjet circa £100 for the 3 of us with luggage arriving around lunchtime. Then Air Berlin TXL – AUH in business for 75000 avios plus approx £90 leaving around 10pm – would we be able to us the chauffeur for both SXF – TXL and AUH – Dubai or could we just use it for one of the legs? Return flight would be DXB – DOH – MAN on Qatar for 130000 avios and circa £80 in taxes.

        Any thoughts on any of this and hints / tips for night flights with a toddler?

        Thanks,
        Mark

        • Rob says:

          The Carrefour is Mall of the Emirates is potentially the largest supermarket in the world … although I wouldn’t like to put money on stuff like that being in stock. It may be possible that you could ring the Waitrose in Dubai Mall to ask.

          The Etihad cars are booked leg by leg, no problem only using one of them.

          We never did overnight flights with the kids to be honest. They were happy on the day flights and easier to manage. Toddlers sleep so much they are unlikely to trouble you too much anyway.

        • Nick says:

          Hi Mark, I’ve flown the evening flight on AB in J from TXL to AUH and it was a pleasant flight. The free chauffeur service from AUH to Downtown (my friends house) was an excellent service and it’s a nice journey fro AUH to Dubai during the early hours.
          I can’t comment on travelling with children as I don’t have any but the Air Berlin Business Class product is excellent for the taxes you pay and the Chauffeur service is thrown in with it.

          • Mark1980 says:

            Thanks rob and nick. Do you know if you’re able to use the chauffeur service at both ends if there are 2 of you travelling together? For example could we use it to get to Berlin airport under 1 person’s name and then use it again for Abu Dhabi to Dubai under the other person’s name? Thanks.

  • Burd says:

    Off topic- has anyone received any of the Groupon avios from 2 weeks ago into their Iberia Plus account?

  • Ian says:

    do you know if you can use the Lloyds avios upgrade voucher?

  • Avios to UAE - FlyerTalk Forums says:

    […] All the details here https://headforpoints.com/2016/07…e-middle-east/ […]

  • PG says:

    You can use a companion voucher with this offer. There is a link on the offer page that says they were aware of issues applying the companion voucher and this was fixed as of 29th July.

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