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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 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





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.

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 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 (39)

  • Tracy says:

    Shame Tel Aviv isn’t included.

  • Alex says:

    If I search for 2 people without my companion voucher, the discount is applied. However when I search with my voucher it doesn’t. Can anyone confirm they have managed to book using the 2-4-1 with the 25% discount?

    • Rob says:

      Thanks. Darn …. you’re right. Apologies. I couldn’t check this yesterday because I don’t have a 241 in my account but, when these offers have run in the past, they have always combined with the voucher. Article amended.

      This is an odd decision on BA’s behalf.

  • RIccati says:

    Can I note, for the record, that I commented about an immediate loss in purchase power for GBP (us going abroad) if the public votes for Brexit to the effect of same number 20% and was, well, heckled.

    The real reason for the weak GBP are problems with the widening current account deficit — the country needs capital inflows. Brexit introduced uncertainty about whether there will be capital inflows sent to the financial hub of London.

    • John says:

      But the pound hasn’t actually fallen by 20%, has it? (yet)

      If we use 1.5 (which has not been the case since several months before the referendum was even announced, and only briefly re-touched at the last opportunity to buy “cheap” pounds in the event of REMAIN) then that’s at best a 15% decline

      GBP against EUR is more like a 10% fall

      GBP against AUD is back to where it was 2 years ago though that says more about Australia than the UK

      The only major currency which has done well is JPY

      • Rob says:

        A 15% fall is a 17.6% price increase if we’re being picky 🙂

  • Samia says:

    If you are using MR points you can also connect through Paris with 4,500 points on BA and then fly with KLM – they are currently offering 50% discount on Economy redemption to Abu Dhabi at the moment (50% on Business to Doha and 25% Economy to Dubai).

  • Simmo says:

    Can these fare then be upgraded to First?
    OR would it not take into account the 25% discount? i.e difference between the full price avios amount of First and Club?

  • BlueHorizonUK says:

    Are we sure he deal has started as the terms and conditions says it begins at 12

  • Dave says:

    OT: Any chance another BA sale will appear before November?

    • Sss says:

      I am certain they will, but who knows which cabins and routes will be included. I booked in early October last year and got a rtn to Singapore in WTP for around £1k, pretty sure it was a sale.

  • Simmo says:

    After having a play around with this, It seems a great opportunity to take benefit of an ex-EU also.
    I’ve found a nice little way of saving cash for those avios rich, and cash poor.

    LHR-DOH-LHR (British Airways) 150,000 Avios + £ 936 (2 people in Club World)

    LHR-MUC-DOH-LHR (British Airways, Qatar, British Airways) 165,500 Avios + £ 585 (2 people in CE, Business, Club World)

    15,500 Avios to save £351 , can’t complain at that!

    • Rob says:

      Surely 3 tickets would be even cheaper because you’d save the long haul premium APD? BA would not check your bags through in Munich though.

      • Simmo says:

        Strangely it doesn’t????

        LHR-FRA (British Airways) 9,000 Avios + £ 25.00pp
        FRA-DOH (Qatar) 37,500 Avios + £ 162pp
        DOH-LHR (British Airways, Offpeak) 37,500 Avios + £ 171pp
        x2 =168,000 Avios + £716 for 2

        LHR-FRA-DOH-LHR 165,500 Avios + £ 591 for 2

        Dates I checked 08/09/16 -22/09/16 (off peak)

        • Simmo says:

          Ok something very strange is happening…

          LHR-DXB-DOH-LHR (BA, Qatar, BA) – given the Qatar flight is Eco
          = 159,000 Avios + £ 557.70

    • BlueHorizonUK says:

      is that booked as one ticket or two?

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