Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

British Airways to run a 777 to Madrid, offering Club World and First

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

I ran a long article yesterday on ‘how to fly long haul planes on short haul redemptions’ – read it here.  This was mainly about ‘fifth freedom’ flights but also touched on some oneworld Heathrow flights which use long haul aircraft, mainly:

Selected Finnair flights to Helsinki using a brand new A350

Selected Iberia flights to Madrid using A330 / A340 aircraft

Both of these offer flat beds in business class and can be redeemed using Avios at the standard rates.  I have done both of these services – here is my review of Madrid to London on an Iberia A330 and here is my review of London to Helsinki on a Finnair A350.

Max Burgess

By coincidence, British Airways has just announced a similar move of its own.

From 26th March, the 7.20am BA flight to Madrid will be operated by a Boeing 777.  The return leg leaves Madrid at 12.20.

This appears to be compensating for a Boeing 767 service which is being switched for an A321 and may therefore be a cargo issue.

The Iberia long-haul flight usually leaves Heathrow at around 6.30pm, meaning it leaves Madrid around 4pm.

If you book yourself on this flight, business class passengers will be sat in Club World and will get a flat bed.

Even better, British Airways Gold card holders are able to select seats in First Class albeit with the standard Club World service (which itself will be the standard Club Europe service).

Not a bad excuse for a weekend away next year ….


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 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 (37)

  • Keith says:

    Do you think it will be possible to pay to select seats in First, or for status holders only?

  • Sam G says:

    I would also caveat that standard practice in these circumstances is that the F cabin is only used if booked load warrants it. Also on ad-hoc uses of the 777 in Europe before WT+ has been either CE or ET

    So worse case you could allocate in F and be seat shifted to WT+ if CW was full at that point

    Though we will see in practice, my understanding this flight is well timed to connect with S.America flights so is usually very busy

    I wonder if BoB will be in place on these, will be a pain to swap out the bars and load the hardware

    • john says:

      IFE will probably be disabled though as is usually the case when a mid-haul A321 runs a CE route (such as Rome).

  • barry cutters says:

    i don’t understand the economy seating. it was showing a 2-4-2 layout all the way back to row 42?? all 777s in the fleet are 3x3x3 in the back to my knowledge , with some about to become 3-4-3.
    is the 2-4-2 a mistake?

    • @mkcol says:

      Very odd.
      They’ve omitted the C & H seats but put in G.

      Having dug further what I see they’ve done is retain the seat numbering from Club & pulled it all the way back.

  • LondonFoodie says:

    Just took the LHR-HEL yesterday and was very positively surprised to be on the A350. It is a fantastic product!

  • James says:

    OT – has everyone who has taken Qatar ‘R’ class flights had their miles and tier points? I flew my outgoing flight 3 days ago and they still haven’t posted. I know BA said they weren’t going to but then I’m sure I read people were getting them anyway

    • Clive says:

      You should get them without problems but I believe that there is only one sweep for miles a week so be a little patient.

    • AndyR says:

      I got mine ok from flights in November. I believe they usually credit on Wednesday for Qatar.

      • James says:

        Thanks guys. Last time I remember checking and they were there. Was only concerned because of the hysteria back in April!

    • Nick says:

      They normally post on Wednesdays..

    • Zoggle says:

      Interesting point you make here. I flew Zurich – Doha – Adelaide in November, with Qatar all “R” fares (boarding pass said “J” though). Fantastic experience on both the 787 and the A350 ,it was only 6 months old 🙂
      My points did not come through until I used the “missing points” feature on the exec club site. I think, coincidentally, the points turned up the next day (Wednesday).
      However what did worry me was the response from BA regarding all 4 flights…. “The flights do not qualify for TP or Avios”.
      If you use the BA miles calculator, they show as being eligible, so BA seem to be sending conflicting signals on this topic.

    • keith says:

      I had to submit a form for missing Avios/tier points after not getting anything…although my wife had got hers OK. Took about a week and they have just posted.

  • Piero Tintori says:

    You can also fly on a A330 Aerlingus – Malaga including their business class offering.

  • Piero Tintori says:

    You can also fly on a A330 Aerlingus Dublin – Malaga including their business class offering.

    • Rob says:

      Didn’t know that ….. could be tempted.

      • Lumma says:

        Any idea how you book into business on this? The a330 seems to be the early flight, but nothing shows up for business class on the aer lingus website and no availability on avios.com first reward flights either. Can you book the flexible ticket (which is under €200 on the day I want to go) and select a seat up front?

  • Bob says:

    Is it Rob Junior pictured on the photo above?

    Wouah! Time is runing quickly.
    I remember him as a child pictured in the A380 emirates bar.

    I can see him being, in a not far future, the HFP consultant in teenagers’ point of vue ;-).
    But school studies is a top priority, first of course.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, that is my 5 and a half year old. Pic taken last month. He just happens to be as tall as most 7 year olds.

      • Bob says:

        He is going to be a tall man then!

        That’s fun to see him on a pic doumenting a post. It is another reason making your site genuine.

        And he plays very well his role. Ok I know he had probably not noticed you were taking a pic of him at that time.

        What a great HFP team (with Anika too)!

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.