Save 50% on ALL BA long-haul economy Avios redemptions – but is it worth it?

British Airways has brought back its (fairly regular) Christmas sale on long-haul World Traveller Avios redemptions.

You save 50% on redemptions to 90 destinations worldwide!

Full details can be found on this special page of ba.com.

Is this worth it, or is there a sting in the tale?

On the face of it, this offer looks better than it has in previous years.  The reason is the very generous travel dates on offer.

Historically BA has used this deal to fill seats over the quiet Winter months.  Importantly, because cash prices are generally lower over the Winter than the Summer, economy Avios redemptions begin to look even poorer value at this time of year.

Even with an Avios discount of 50%, once you have paid the full taxes and charges – taxes and charges are NOT reduced by 50% – your redemption is still often a bad deal unless you want the flexibility to cancel your trip or change your dates.

This offer is valid for World Traveller redemptions until 30th June 2018.  This means that you can travel in late Spring or early Summer when prices are starting to creep up and still benefit from 50% off the Avios required.

Here are the core details:

This offer is only valid for World Traveller (economy long-haul) redemptions

You must book by 17th December

You must travel between 4th January and 30th June 2018

The discount only applies to British Airways flights and not partner airlines

And also note:  “Reward flights are strictly subject to availability which may be very limited or not available at all on some routes including Sydney, Santiago de Chile, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, San Jose (Costa Rica) and Grenada.”

I am guessing that a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher can be combined with these fares, although it is not specifically mentioned except that “this cannot be combined with any other offer”

The British Airways ‘Low Fare Finder’ tool (click here) shows how the value from the deal improves as you get further into 2018.

Los Angeles, for example, starts at £462 return for cash in January but moves to £546 after Easter.  An off-peak redemption in this sale will cost 16,250 Avios return plus £399 of tax.

In January, you’d be mad to use 16,250 Avios + £399 if you can pay £462 cash instead.  However, at £546, you are getting closer to 1p per Avios.

Johannesburg is also 16,250 Avios plus taxes (£334) under this offer on an off-peak date.  At £536 cash in January you are getting 1.25p per Avios.  When the cheapest cash tickets jump to £607 in April, you are getting 1.7p per Avios.

It is also worth noting that the cheapest cash prices I quote above may be at inconvenient times or inconvenient days of the week, so you may get an even better deal.

Conclusion

In general, redeeming your Avios for long-haul economy redemptions is the worst possible way to spend them.  That is not necessarily the case with this promotion, and you may find that there are good deals to be had.

Take a look at the sale page of ba.com here and see what you think.

(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.)

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Comments

  1. Did BA stop flying to Maldives after March?

  2. Mikeact says:

    The offer is also on Avios.com….chatting to them last night, flights were loaded. In fact I snagged two decent seats to Jo’burg when prices are high. They weren’t too sure about the Lloyds question and have to call back this morning. If it is valid, they will ‘ sort it out ‘ for me.

    • Braiden says:

      I can also see it on avios.com , but doesn’t seem to work with the lloyds upgrade voucher.

  3. You have to remember that you are not earning points either with redemptions, so when you add the cost of these lost points to the cost of the points you have to pay, it is even worse. Or am I missing something? If it costs 16,000 points for the flight, and I do not earn, say, 4,000 points I would had I paid the cash price, the actual cost to me is 20,000. BA and their economy deals are almost a con.
    Can you take these into consideration in future posts?

    • I tend not to, because it over-complicates things as it is dependent on route and whether you have BA status. A BA Blue, earning 0.25 Avios per 1 mile flown, is going to get about 1,500 points from a flight to New York. That’s not enough to make much difference. LA is a different question of course.

    • Chris – +1 – I tend to do this for Virgin Miles aswell… But as Rob points out it varies depending on your earning rate

  4. LondonFoodie says:

    Good value on TLV flights. Cash flights are £457+ on most dates in May. Deal is £397+20,000 so 2.5 per Avios.

    • Genghis says:

      I think you might need to check your numbers. I make that only 0.39ppa

      • LondonFoodie says:

        Sorry my bad! – these prices are for two pax.
        So each is 10,000 Avios + £198

    • Why would you even fly BA on this route on a redemption when there are other pay flts, via ATH for example? Just asking?

  5. I’ve had a look on the BA website but can’t find it. Do you know if there is a comprehensive list of the 90 destinations? Rather than having a set destination, i’d rather find places I’ve not been…

  6. OT – but still reward flights

    Have the Delta flights that use to be only 5.60 dollars in tax now gone? For example NYC -london one way is now showing as 501 dollars..

  7. tassojunior says:

    This is the best reward sale I’ve ever seen !
    From the east coast 6500 miles plus $178 wide open through June.
    Stop thinking in terms of only roundtrips. It’s 2017. Everything’s 1-ways.
    BA has plenty of London-to-Europe rewards for 4000 miles and a few dollars.

  8. Does a redemption sale ever happen for Club World?

    • Not on a regular basis. Only when BA is in dire straits and wants to keep its ‘% of seats filled’ stats up to stop the City guys dumping the shares 🙂

  9. Eli Gold says:

    I waited and waited for this sale last year and it never came.
    2 years ago if I remember correctly it was a 30% sale