The British Airways Winter sale launched just before Christmas. We covered the excellent Club Europe deals (from £140) at the time but the long-haul deals slipped through the net due to time pressures. You still have plenty of time, however, with these deals available for booking until 30th January.
I also know that many HfP readers are holding out for the Qatar Airways sale prices first before booking Business Class tickets. This is not a bad strategy unless you are looking for North America (wrong direction), the Middle East (no connections due to the blockade) or have no interest in starting your trip from another European capital.
Qatar’s prices are much lower (last year for example we saw Business Class to Tokyo from Brussels for £650, earning 560 BA tier points, whilst the BA sale wants £2240), you earn Avios and tier points and the quality of seat and service is higher. I have no idea when that is due to kick off unfortunately. To be fair the Tokyo deal was extreme and only available for one day but there is usually a lot available for under £1000 return in Business.
The home page for the BA sale is here. You can book until 30th January.
Travel dates vary by route so take a look at the small print at the bottom of the sale website. In general, you can book until early December 2018. There seem to be fewer date restrictions than usual.
The easiest way to check out the best prices to a specific destination is with the British Airways Low Fare Finder tool on ba.com. This will show you the cheapest price on any route, in any class, on month by month basis.
If you can be flexible with dates, there are some decent fares available.
In general, the premium deals are more expensive than the last sale, but some First Class deals are attractive.
As usual I strongly recommend also getting a price via the BA Holidays website here. Packaging a hotel and flight, or a car and a flight, can sometimes cost less than the flight itself.
Economy and Premium Economy deals
If you are looking for a real bargain then I suggest looking at World Traveller (Economy) and World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) fares which are down sharply, especially to the US and Middle East. We don’t really focus on those much on HfP but I would highlight:
- Boston – £308 World Traveller / £751 World Traveller Plus
- Chicago – £384 World Traveller / £757 World Traveller Plus
- Montreal – £407 World Traveller / £732 World Traveller Plus
- San Jose (US) – £444 World Traveller / £787 World Traveller Plus
- Bermuda – £581 World Traveller / £933 World Traveller Plus
- Lima – £485 World Traveller / £857 World Traveller Plus
- St Lucia – £473 World Traveller / £768 World Traveller Plus
- Abu Dhabi – £319 World Traveller / £569 World Traveller Plus
- Muscat – £299 World Traveller / £509 World Traveller Plus
- Male -£672 World Traveller / £1168 World Traveller Plus
- Shanghai – £416 World Traveller / £788 World Traveller Plus
Remember that World Traveller Plus fares can be upgraded to Club World with Avios, either during the booking process (use ‘Book and Upgrade’) or later. There must be Avios availability for redemption seats in Club World for you to do this.
The cost is the difference between a Club World and World Traveller Plus redemption. You can look up Avios pricing by route in this article.
Premium sale deals
As I said above, the deals are not as good as they were in the Summer sale. However, there are some excellent First Class offers. In general, these are priced at roughly £400 above the equivalent Club World fare.
Here are some major destinations, priced as Club World and First:
Boston £1366 / £1789
Chicago £1475 / £1898
Fort Lauderdale £1688 / £2124
Montreal £1411 / No First
New York £1389 / £1792
Philadelphia £1372 / £1789
Kingston £1194 / No First
Punta Cana £1288 / No First
Abu Dhabi £1249 / £1649
Dubai £1499 / £2093
Muscat £1099 / £1593
Shanghai £1890 / £2443
In general, Asia prices are not too attractive – even Bangkok, widely discounted by everyone at the moment, is still £1699 in Club World. South Africa is also very high (£2855 Club World to Jo’burg, more to Cape Town).
If you were looking at Dubai, remember that Abu Dhabi is cheaper and it is a £40 / 1 hour taxi ride from the airport to Jumeirah. That is only a little longer and a little more expensive than the ride from Dubai International. It is worth taking a serious look at Muscat, however, as the fares are even cheaper and Oman has some good hotels.
There are some amazing deals on European short-haul flights. There are a lot of routes out of Gatwick for around £140 return, earning 80 tier points. There was one deal, no longer bookable, for just £114. Full details are in this article.
And don’t forget ….
Remember that ‘Part Pay With Avios’ can be used with these fares. The maximum discount at present is £250 for 45,500 Avios points per return flight in Club World and £300 for 55,000 Avios in First – which is pretty terrible, to be honest. You can learn more about ‘Part Pay With Avios’, including the rates for other cabins, on this special page of ba.com.
Don’t forget to compare pricing with BA Holidays too. Their home page is here.
To maximise your miles when paying, your best bet is the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card which earns double Avios (3 per £1) when you book at ba.com or via BA Holidays. You do not get double Avios if you book with the free British Airways American Express card.
Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers triple points – 3 per £1 – when you book flight tickets in a foreign currency, because it triggers both the ‘double points for airline spend’ and the ‘double points for foreign spend’ bonuses.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
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.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.
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.
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.
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.)