Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

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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 points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2022)

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

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Barclaycard Avios card

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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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British Airways American Express

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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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.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

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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.

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American Express Business Gold

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (37)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • 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 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)!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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