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

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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.

BA 747 retirement

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)


BA Avios off peak calendar 2017


BA Avios off peak calendar 2018

Iberia calendar


Iberia Avios off peak calendar 2017


Iberia Avios off peak calendar 2018

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 (64)

  • mark2 says:

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

    • mark2 says:

      It’s 2145 Tuesday in Vancouver.
      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.

  • John says:

    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.

      • Rob says:

        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?

  • Alan says:

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Rob says:

      It was never accurate, so it is probably good it went.

      • Nick says:

        I actually found it helpful for working out where I could go with my pile of avios and while it was inaccurate, it did at least show which routes generally had more availability than others.

    • Polly says:

      The world chart is there, but very well hidden now. I wonder why??? Very frustrating, as it’s such an easy tool, maybe that’s the reason! Can’t remember how l found it, but had to keep going into further pages and suddenly it was there! Annoying, really. Perhaps they don’t really want us to have it easy when booking up our 241 J and F flights.

  • 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?

    • Rob says:

      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.

  • Cate says:

    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.

  • 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.

    • Rob says:

      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.

      • Anna says:

        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.

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