Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Taking a look at the highlights of the new British Airways sale

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British Airways launched its September sale on Tuesday with offers in all travel classes.

The home page for the sale is here.  You can book until 21st September.

Travel dates are all over the place and it would be take me a full article just to list all the permutations.  You can book well into 2017 on most routes for travel from September – the main exception is the USA where you can only book World Traveller and World Traveller Plus flights between Christmas Day and 29th March.

You should take a look at the small print at the bottom of the sale website for all the travel date details.

British Airways business first class sale

The easiest way to check out the best prices to a specific destination is with the British Airways Low Fare Finder tool on ba.com. This will show you the cheapest price on any route, in any class, on month by month basis.

If you can be flexible with dates, there are some decent fares available.

In general, fares in First and Club World are higher than we saw in the last major sale in June.  Very little got me very excited – I picked out in Club World:

Montreal at £1,332

Toronto at £1,332

£1,500 for a lot of the Caribbean routes from Gatwick

£1,352 to Abu Dhabi (which remain cheaper than Dubai despite being a 30 minute taxi ride away and using a new Boeing 787)

£1,500 – £1,700 to India

£701 to New York in World Traveller Plus looked a decent deal especially if you can use Avios to upgrade to Club World.  Similarly £599 in World Traveller Plus to Abu Dhabi is not bad, especially with 150 tier points.

Here are some major destinations, priced as World Traveller / World Traveller Plus / Club World / First:

New York £398 / £701 / £1,581 / £2,283

Miami £460 / £852 / £1,950 / £2,577

Abu Dhabi £379 / £599 / £1,352 / £1,852

Mumbai £420 / £770 / £1,517 / £2,113

Bangkok £498 / £1,049 / £2,199 / na

Tokyo £547 / £1,108 / £2,045 / £3,912

There are also some deals on European short-haul flights with some destinations at £200 return or less for 80 tier points. I spotted Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bergen, Billund, Bordeaux, Brussels, Friedrichshafen, Geneva, Genoa, Hamburg, Hannover, Innsbruck, Jersey, Lyon, Rome, Rotterdam, Seville, Stavangerm, Stuttgart, Valencia, Venice, Verona and Vienna. There are plenty more under £225 return as long as you stay away over a Saturday night.

One route that caught my eye for the wrong reasons is Cape Town – this continues to be offered at around the £3,000 mark in Club World which is terrible.  Johannesburg, oddly, is just £3,200 in First Class and probably better value if you don’t mind the connection to Cape Town.

Remember that ‘Part Pay With Avios’ can be used with these fares although there is no special offer at the moment.  ‘Part Pay With Avios’ has actually got worse!  The maximum discount at present is £200 for 35,000 Avios points (was 30,000 points) per return flight although you can now claim this off all fare classes – it was previously capped at £100 for economy flights.

It is also worth pricing up BA’s ‘flight and hotel’ or ‘flight and car’ options.  Adding a one-star hotel for just one night of your trip, or a small car for one day, can bring down the cost to less than just a flight.  Pop over to BA Holidays here and do a test booking before booking anything as ‘flight only’.  Another benefit of booking your flight as a holiday is that you pay a deposit now with the balance only due five weeks before departure.

The best thing to do if you are interested is to go to ba.com and have a look around.  The full sale details are here.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Comments (36)

  • Mike says:

    OT: Does anyone know what the usual time is for amex -> avios (BAEC) conversion?
    I started a transfer yesterday, it took an entire day just to get the “we’ve received your request” email which says that it will take up to *ten* working days! (ridiculous)

    • Tom says:

      Mine was credited almost immediately. Requested the transfer at 11pm, and posted into my EC account the following morning.

    • mark2 says:

      the emails arrive long after the points (usually) in my experience.

  • Adrian says:

    The general feeling of the sale is underwhelming, almost all of the prices are higher than previous sales, you can tell how poor it is by how little discussion these is on FT. There was a feeling that BA might want to bring some cash into the business, this just isn’t going to do that. I wonder if the next sale will be a CW one, ideally we all want an ex-eu sale!

  • Emily says:

    There’s also some weird glitches, dub – lax in PE in Oct pricing at £1600, but when I called they quoted £890. London – Tampa in CW in Nov showing at almost £5,000, called and its £1895!

    Now if only I can find a mistake fare in my favour!

  • dicksbits says:

    The sale is crap

  • dicksbits says:

    The BA website is quite often wrong. It makes you wonder what they’re doing at Waterside. Even on a normal day, no sale, it can be wildly out, until you point it out to them. For instance, connecting J fares in I class on IB metal were showing over £1k rtn to LEI from LHR via MAD. At last year’s open day I pointed this out to a BA staffer who promised to look into it. A few days later hey presto, he emailed me back to say that the staff had ‘forgotten’ to load I class on that route and the cheaper fares were now there. Are they serious about getting money into the business or what.

  • Duncan Stevenson-Price says:

    Somewhat off topic question. Booked CW EDI>LHR>IAH, DFW>LHR>EDI using Avios and a 2 for 1. If I wanted to change the return flight to one day later, is this possible? I can see there’s both CW and 1st Avios availability for the following day. Originally I wanted to return first class anyway but there was no availability.

    What is my likely outcome if I call them?

    • James R says:

      If the availability is there I cant see why it would be a problem.. They might just cancel the current booking at rebook the dates you want like you could online. You might have to pay a fee though.

      • That’s good to know. I’ll give ’em a call tomorrow morning and see what they say.

        I wish the lady at the time had just checked the surrounding dates, as I told her when I booked that I wanted CW out and 1st back. Hey ho!

    • Alan says:

      Shouldn’t be an issue, will be a change fee though.

      • Duncan S says:

        On the off chance that anyone looks at this in the future and has the same question:

        I called them today and was able to change the flight for £35/person change fee plus any difference in taxes for the cabin change. This included the date change and the cabin change. The difference in taxes was about £4/person and the difference in Avios was 18,000/person, but still covered by the 2 for 1 voucher. I was worried the voucher might have been used up or something, but I only had to pay 18,000.

        Now booked into 2A and 2K on the return flight, given First tickets can actually book a seat without the obscene £80/person/leg that Club World customers are charged…

  • Canuck says:

    Used to live in Gibraltar. I think that Hotel is just opposite the frontier in La Linea and not in Cadiz (1 hour away). Either way, it’s a great little area to visit! Enjoy.

    • goglobalnz says:

      We stayed there earlier this year for a fraction of the prices of the Gib hotels. We went for the 1 bed suite which was huge. Recommended.

      There’s a marriott a little further along the waterfront if it must be a chain

  • Graeme says:

    Well I’m happy with the sale!! Netflights were selling BA WTP fares yesterday for £400 return from LHR to YYZ departing Sept or Oct. Booking Class was E on a Finnair codeshare flight number. Didn’t last long but I had heard the fourth Thursday in August always has great flash deals. Current fares are £1100 in the sale. Mistake fare I’m thinking!!