Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

My pick of the best long-haul flight deals in the British Airways sale

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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.

British Airways business first class sale

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.

Club Europe

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.

The best thing to do if you are interested is to pop over to ba.com and have a look around, starting with the Low Fare FinderThe full sale details are 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.


British Airways BA Amex American Express

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 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

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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 (53)

  • John says:

    Any idea when that Qatar Airways sale might begin?

  • Robin says:

    Does anyone know, if you have an unused flight on the end of a ticket, do you receive BA tier points for the flights that you have flown, or are they suspended waiting for the final leg … (thinking of not using it…) hmmm Thanks!

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