Revealed … the peak and off-peak Avios redemption calendars for 2018

Both British Airways and Iberia have released their peak and off-peak Avios redemption calendars for 2018 which you can see below.

There is a permanent link to this article under ‘Key BA links’ in the HFP sidebar on desktop and tablet.

This came as a bit of a surprise as we thought that they had given up on publishing the full year in advance.  Recently you only found out 355 days in advance, when tickets came up for sale, whether a day would be peak or not.  Releasing the full year makes planning a lot easier.

There are substantial differences between the two calendars.  Especially when travelling during school holidays on a route served by both by BA and Iberia, it may well be cheaper to book on Iberia.

If, for example, you want to travel on British Airways in April 2018, you will be paying the peak Avios price until 15th April.  However, if you look at the Iberia calendar, you can see that their peak prices only start towards the end of the month and 1st-26th April is off-peak.  (Easter Sunday is 1st April in 2018.)

There are also differences around February half-term. For example, Saturday 10th February is peak for BA and off-peak for Iberia. On that day, a Club World return from London to New York would be 120,000 Avios. In comparison flying from Madrid to New York would be only 68,000 Avios. The tax would also be £369.44 lower on the Iberia ticket as long as you book it via the Iberia website (£528.65 v £159.20).

The summer holidays peak season starts earlier on Iberia (22nd June) and ends only two days before BA which means you won’t be able to save much here.

The days around Christmas are also interesting as BA sees the full second half of December as a peak travel time whereas Iberia has got a couple of off-peak dates the week before Christmas and before New Year.

There is a separate article with the Aer Lingus 2018 calendar which is here.

British Airways calendar: (blue=peak, green=off peak / click to enlarge if necessary)

2017

BA Avios off peak calendar 2017

2018

BA Avios off peak calendar 2018

Iberia calendar:

2017

Iberia Avios off peak calendar 2017

2018

Iberia Avios off peak calendar 2018

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Comments

  1. mark2 says:

    Is/will there be similar charts for Aer Lingus please?

    • mark2 says:

      It’s 2145 Tuesday in Vancouver.
      OT
      We arrived at Seattle airport at 1430 for our flight at 1730 on Alaskan Airlines (changed from the 1530 booked a few months ago with no notification). We were told that the 1730 was now cancelled and we could not go until 2300 and not check in until 2000 i.e. hang around landside for 5 hours!
      After a lot of pressure they agreed to send us on Air Canada and the United people who checked us in neglected to charge us the $75 for three checked bags.
      Fortunately the American Express allowed us to go into the Centurion Lounge 4.5 hours before our flight. The food, drink and ambience put BA CW lounge to shame.

  2. Shame that IB doesn’t do RFS.

    • SteveB says:

      Or a bigger route network. Together they would offer far more redemption versatility and offer some alternatives to BA, but I guess that’s the point.

      • They do offer a lot of alternatives to BA – the long haul route crossover is not huge. These are not places on your ‘must visit’ list, unfortunately. Do they still do Micronesia, where slavery is legal?

  3. Whitsun half term is also peak on BA, off-peak on Iberia. Could be useful for some.

  4. Kathy says:

    This would have been really useful 4 months ago when I was trying to book my flights for next year! Trust me, nothing is more frustrating than staying up until midnight to book a flight only to find that it’s switched to peak time and you don’t have enough points!

    • Wally1976 says:

      I tend to just assume everything is peak and I get a nice surprise if it isn’t! Good to have the correct info though.

  5. Diydegsy says:

    Hi slightly OT but does anyone know what happened to the map search on BA as it seems to have disappeared and it was the one thing I used to easily find redemption flights without putting in all the info if that makes sense, plus it was easy to see at a glance what was available anywhere in the world.

  6. Polly says:

    Rob, now you are here, is there some restriction with booking flights on Iberia, are their cancellation options more restrictive than BA or avios?

    • More restrictive on partners (ie you can’t cancel) but you can cancel Iberia and, now, BA redemptions made via Iberia Plus IIRC. Not that there is any good reason why you’d be making BA bookings on the Iberia site.

  7. OT we’ve just had a ‘Happy Birthday’ email from Norwegian saying if we update our profiles we will be entered into a draw for 10,000 cash points.

  8. flyforfun says:

    Are the “Peak” dates always peak and fixed? I thought that they would want to encourage leisure travelers to go to business destinations when during the non busy times, eg New York over the summer.

    • Stu N says:

      Suspect that is primarily managed by cash sales and increased Avios availability e.g. deals in long haul business and First immediately before Christmas, NYC/ Washington deals in F/CW over the summer months in the January “world on sale” sale.

    • It is a stupid system. You have the Middle East and Caribbean at peak pricing in the UK Summer, when no-one wants to go, and low pricing when tourism is busier!

      Fundamentally they want to leg more Avios out of you during school holidays. BUT …. business travel drop sharply during school holidays so there are fewer people on the planes paying big bucks for the flexible tickets. It makes more sense to encourage redemptions during this time.

      • Agreed, they are well aware that there are an awful lot of people who really can only travel during the school holidays, and would not be able to have a family holiday otherwise. There simply isn’t the option to pick a cheaper time of year to travel. Similarly, holiday companies ramp up the prices every time the government cracks down on parents who take their children out of school in term time – £1200 for a week in a caravan in the UK (complete with unpredictable weather) in May half term next year, anyone? (I was comparing the price of Haven holidays with Eurocamps, the latter, with RFS flights to Nice, works out around £360 cheaper, with a much higher chance of decent weather!)

        Perhaps there needs to be a separate page for parents of school age kids with tips to beat the school holiday price hikes!

        • Wally1976 says:

          “Perhaps there needs to be a separate page for parents of school age kids with tips to beat the school holiday price hikes!”

          +1 to this! RFS at T-355 days works for me currently but I’m sure there’s other tricks.

  9. barry cutters says:

    Has anyone had a birthday offer from IHG before offering 565k points ???

    • Genghis says:

      What? What are the conditions of the offer? V nice if you get it. I do recall @Liz being given a generous offer though not sure if she received it?

      • Barry cutters says:

        It’s a weekend stay within 90days . Just as Liz had below. I did find it unbelievable when I saw it so didn’t get too excited. As it happens I will do a weekend stay with them more than once for cash anyway . So I’m going to do it and then chase up once points are not received . I know I’m not going to get the full amount, but I’m will kick up a fuss and see what happens.. It too is the balance of my account -must be a computer error.

    • Steve-B says:

      Impressive. I got a mere 5000 bonus for my birthday earlier this year.

    • It’s a computer error Barry – I had an offer of 125102 pts which was the balance in my account at the time of my birthday – I had to complete a weekend away within 90 days which we did specifically to get the offer then IHG reneged on the offer – I would have been better off buying the points for the amount we spent – I and another complainant reported them to the ASA but I didn’t get anywhere with that either – I battled back and forth for weeks and eventually got 34k out of them – the offer is still sitting in my app! So if they are doing it again I would ask them to confirm it in writing before you commit to any spend and I would refer them to the ASA again and tell them they are at it again.

      • Oh wow – didn’t realise that was how things turned out for you, Liz – how rubbish! It’s a perfectly believable offer too, that they said they’d match existing account balance.

        • I gave up in the end – wasn’t able to deal with one person. I tried to get them to give me at least 60k which was the cost of the 2 nights in the Edinburgh hotel and also the cost of buying 60k which is the amount I could have bought with money I spent on a weekend away we didn’t need and wouldn’t have done otherwise. It all fell on deaf ears as far as IHG were concerned – they didn’t care that the offer sat on my account for weeks in error and that they didn’t withdraw it before I spent any money. It’s still sitting there now.

        • Out of interest did you ever try ihgcare at ihg dot com? They’re the one IHG team I’ve had consistently decent interactions with (although appreciate they might not want to get involved now!)

        • That’s dreadful customer service – and I’ve just applied for the IHG MasterCard, oops! Did you approach the FSA? I mentioned them to Lloyds recently because I was unhappy with their response that it would take 26 weeks to post my avios and immediately Lloyds posted the avios manually and gave me £200 compensation.

        • FSA sadly wouldn’t be an option in this situation as it’s nothing to do with a financial product, just to do with the IHG scheme/app…

        • @Alan – no I didn’t have that email address at the time – it did get escaped to customer relations but they were no better. ASA submitted my complaint and someone’s in the same letter but the response by IHG was that it was an error and that they had fixed it so ASA could not do any more – it was up to me to pursue them if i wasn’t happy with the compensation.

          @ Anna I didn’t contact the FSA. I am in the same boat as you with Lloyds. I have to phone up each month and get my points added manually. I’ve just had the upgrade voucher added manually too. My complaints manger told me that we will get all the points again after 26 weeks so I am not complaining really – I’ve had £312 in compensation and over 5k pts more than I’ve earned – so if we get them all again in 6 mths time then I’m ok with that!

        • Technically I had 3 offers in my app – one for 1000 pts, one for 125102 pts for doing nothing and the 3rd one was 125102 pts for the weekend away – so I should have received 251204 pts – so don’t trust anything you get offered.

        • Barry cutters says:

          Yes I also have a second offer for 10k

        • Re: Lloyds card. I assumed that Lloyds had sorted out the issue – I called and complained about the timescale and was given £150 (this was early May I think) and they manually added the 16k or so Avios I had accrued thus far. The “real” points then transferred over a few days later. So it was an easy and welcome way to double my points. I’ve since had my June statement and I think the points hit my Avios account the next day so all seems to be working now. Love this card and sorry you’re still having problems!

        • I like the IHG scheme and they are great for USA trips – we got either upgraded rooms, free breakfast, free drinks and snacks/food and cheaper parking in 12 out of the 13 IHG hotels we recently stayed in. I am pushing for Spire again for next year as we get great value from our pts bookings in the USA.

        • @Jack – we’ve had all our pts transferred manually since Dec. Each month when they don’t transfer I have to call my Complaints Manager and get them added. The longer it goes on the more points we will get duplicated.

        • Graeme says:

          do you seriously think its a believable offer?

        • Yes. Back in the mists of time there were ones (IIRC KLM) where they matched existing balances. You would assume for a genuine offer they would have screened out any balances that they were too high and they didn’t want to match.

        • Barry cutters says:

          No – as I said above it’s clearly too good to be true. It’s a computer error and shows your current balance in place of the targeted offer amount. In this case 565430 vs 10000.

        • Just checked, it was KLM I was correctly thinking of before – others have offered it more recently too – http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2016/06/24/deal-year-jetblue-will-match-miles-account/

          Granted these were match offers from competitors, but still perfectly plausible that they had decided to offer this sort of thing to a selected group of customers (remember lots of us didn’t receive any offer at our birthday).

        • Barry did you see my notes above – I had 3 offers – assumed the free one was a mistake but took the weekend offer to be genuine and acted on it – I was annoyed IHG wouldn’t reimburse me in points value for the error – so check before you do anything.

  10. Got a bit of a dilemma; the missus and I need to head to HK at some point next year. I have enough avios, virgin miles, a 241 and a Lloyds upgrade voucher. Which do you think would be the wisest/best value for money choice here:

    -Using 241 for PE out and CW In = 114k points and £1,018 in taxes for both of us.

    -Flying virgin PE out and BA with lloyds upgrade voucher CW in = 45k virgin miles, 78k Avios and £676 in taxes for both of us.

    Logically, the second option would be the best value, right?

    • Lev441 says:

      Second be sounds about right to me..!

      • Andy W says:

        Agreed second option.
        Less Tax and Virgin PE far better than BA, plus Virgin to HK is a new 787.

    • Lloyds one-way from HK definitely a good way of doing things on the tax front…

  11. Another Phil says:

    OT – is champagne available in CE for UK domestic? If so, what type?

  12. Just a quick one, is it possible to redeem a BA 241 voucher whilst booking flight + hotel via BA Holidays? I would obviously be paying for the hotel bit with cash and not Avios

    • No, sorry

    • Depending on how many are travelling, you could book a package holiday for 1 or more travellers and use the 2 4 1 separately, then add or amend room size later. Then you only have to pay for the package 5 weeks before you travel. We’re considering using 2 4 1 for OH and son to America next year, and book my flight and a car as a separate fly-drive package.

      • It’s just the two of us but I’ve just noticed for the first time that you can book holidays only via BA.com so might try that when the time comes

  13. Stu_N says:

    OT – have a BA Plus fare booking tomorrow (domestic). I want to change from a mid afternoon flight to a mid morning flight, which I can do for free on the day of travel. There’s loads of Avios availability and cash fares are low on the flight I want to get so should be OK.

    Anyone know if “day of travel” is from midnight, midnight GMT (so 0100 BST), or some arbitrary time in the middle of the night when systems update? Also, do you ever get pro-active upgrades offered after such a change? The tier points would be helpful and it’s a cheap way of getting them.

    • James says:

      Midnight

      • Crafty says:

        You’ve literally answered the question with any one of the 3 possible choices.

        • Stu N says:

          It’s midnight local time and you may get offered a cheap upgrade.

          But in my experience the upgrade didn’t complete, which meant the booking got locked so I couldn’t check in or choose a seat in euro traveller. Sorted at the airport, fortunately.

  14. I have a quick OT – is there ever an offer for bonus Avios to upgrade from BA Amex to BAPP?

    I don’t really want to lose the limit I have on my existing BA account. Not going to make the 10k this year as have been spending on the Lloyds card, but planning for my options for next earning year.