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Is British Airways running down Flight Pass?

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After making a fresh attempt to breath some life into Flight Pass last year, it looks like British Airways may be running it down.

Flight Pass is no longer available for sale for use beyond 31st December.  All 12 month passes have been withdrawn – we need to see if 9 month passes are withdrawn on 1st April.  OptionTown, which runs the scheme for BA, is not responding to queries.

If you don’t know about Flight Pass, via this OptionTown linkyou can buy route passes for economy travel on flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and City.

There are a huge number of pricing permutations based on how many people would share your pass, how many tickets you want, what expiry date you are willing to accept and how close to the date of travel you want to book.  You can buy a pass for one route or for an entire country.

For example, you can buy 12 one-way flights from Heathrow to Newcastle for £605so £50 each.  This includes taxes.  You must use them within 3 months AND must book 90 days in advance.  At the other extreme, 12 one-way tickets bookable up to 4 hours in advance will cost you £131 per seat.

Given the huge number of pricing options, it is impossible to say if this offers decent savings or not but I know many frequent air commuters use it.  Note that you can only book return flights with Flight Pass which means that it is less flexible than you may think – you may be able to book your outbound with just four hours notice but you need to lock in the return at the same time (changeable for a fee).

You have last seat availability.   If there are still seats for sale, irrespective of the price, you can book them – as long as you are inside the booking window of your Flight Pass.  There are no blackout dates or minimum stays.

All of this is irrelevant, of course, if the product is now on its last legs.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points 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 – 30,000 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

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

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 (81)

  • N says:

    This is as OT as OT will get… I’ve got £1.50 left on a prepaid mastercard – don’t know what to do to get it off! I can’t top up Amazon as Amazon take a pre-auth of £1, so when it tries to take off £1.50 it fails. Can’t top up 50p as minimum top up on Amazon is £1… Can’t load PayPal account from a card as far as I can see. Any other thoughts?

    • KevMc says:

      You should be able to use it on Paypal to send £1.50 to someone you know as a ‘Friends and Family’ payment. Paypal no longer charge a fee for using a credit card for this, since January.

      • N says:

        Good idea, but…

        “This card is not accepted. Please use a different card.”

    • Alex W says:

      150 penny chews.

    • Andrew says:

      Make a £1.50 payment towards a utility/credit card bill?

    • palcsaky says:

      Amazon: buy a 50p gift voucher first and 7 days later when the £1 pre-authorisation drops off buy a £1 voucher

    • Aeronaut says:

      Use it as part payment at a bricks-and-mortar retailer.

  • Kathy says:

    OT: Has anyone been successful getting Avios to credit from Viator, after booking via the avios.com partner link?

    They’re meant to credit within 14 days of using your voucher for the activity, it’s been 35 days for one of my bookings and over 14 for the others, and and nothing has shown up. I did chase using the email address listed on avios.com for missing miles but I’ve had absolutely nothing back – not even an automated holding email. I don’t want to give up on them – I’m due around 3000 avios from all the stuff I booked – but there doesn’t seem to be anywhere else to go to chase if there’s no response from the email address.

    • Anna says:

      Kathy, I had an issue with a viator voucher not arriving last year. I contacted their customer service via email and they sorted it out really quickly. Have you checked the viator website in case the contact details are different? Also have you raised a case with avios.com?

    • RussellH says:

      FWIW, I used to know several people who worked at Viator; they all seemed supremely competent and had I ever wanted to buy a service from them I would have had no misgivings.

      However, I seem to recall readng that they have recently been bought by Expedia, so no doubt things have changed at he top…

      • Kathy says:

        I’ve never had a problem with aviator bookings before, I’m just wondering if there’s problems with the tracking software and there’s someone actually manning the [email protected] inbox. Because all four of my bookings haven’t credited the Avios, and you normally get at least a holding email to say they’ll try to get back to you within x days….

  • Anna says:

    OT – Amex Platinum veterans – we’ve hired a car for a trip to France and my OH is the names driver. He is a supplementary card holder on my Smex Platinum account. We didn’t use the Amex to pay for the car hire. Does the Platinum car insurance policy cover us?

  • Rebecca says:

    O/T I upgraded to CW from PE using Avios at the weekend on a flight back from Abu Dhabi and have been credited CW TP instead of PE. I’m aware this is a mistake, would they take them away again?
    Whilst this is good (plus the extra avios!), last week I’d upgraded using cash a trip to Sicily in May as I needed the extra TP to keep silver status and now with these bonus ones that wasn’t necessary. Cost £149 which now seems like a bit of a waste.

    • JamesB says:

      Something funny going on with this, happened to us too. We changed dates and both avios and TP shot up. I have no idea why but I’m not mentioning it and hoping for the best. If they come through it will sweeten the £370 change fee. For benefit of others be aware that if changing an UUA ticket you get hit with both the ticket change fee and the avios £35 change fee.

      • Rebecca says:

        Fingers crossed for you! I’m just going to have to try and get my moneys worth in food and champagne on the flight I needlessly paid to upgrade!

        • Stu N says:

          We got lucky on this quite a few months ago, no clawback so far.

          If it makes you feel better I spent a fair bit more than £150 on a mini tier point run to secure Gold and on that I got stuck at Heathrow overnight as missed a connection on the way home.

        • JamesB says:

          Figured out what’s going on with mine and will certainly not be getting the points unfortunately. Both the original and changed sector are currently on my booking. Once a new ticket has been issued I expect the original flight will disappear along with the associated avios.

    • Tom Cook says:

      We upgraded from CW to F using avios at Christmas – we got the 210 tier points + bonus avios for that element of the trip. They didn’t get pulled. Interestingly we have a flight to Abu in two weeks, upgraded from PE to CW (we’re CW coming back anyway) and the tier points are showing as 280 for the trip.

    • RussellH says:

      This happened to us last summer LGW-OAK in both directions. There was a separate award for the WTP and for the upgrade, so I assumed that that was how it was supposed to work. No problems since at all

  • wyvern says:

    Re Flight Pass:

    The same was true of BA Flight Pass last year – all the passes sold after 31 December 2016 (into at least April 2017) were only available until 31 December 2017, and the 12 month passes became unavailable after 31 Dec 2016, and the 9 month passes became unavailable after 31 Mar 2017.

    The terms and conditions of BA Flight Pass at any one time say all travel must be completed by 31 December 20xx, so I guess that maybe BA makes a fresh agreement with OptionTown to cover each calendar year? Hopefully this is just the same thing, and passes for 2019 will become available in due course.

    Ideally BA Flight Pass would be a permanent scheme with fixed no end date, but even if not, I would prefer that there was the ability to purchase the a flight pass to cover the entire remaining period if this is less than year, at the rate for the shortest pass that is no longer available, e.g. if 8 months 14 days remained of the fixed period, you could then still buy a pass at the cost of a 9 month pass which is valid for 8 months 14 days, even though you would be losing 14 days’ of its use, rather than only being able to buy a 6 month pass or shorter.

    The other change I would really like to see to the scheme would be the ability to book single fares in either direction rather than returns. Given the way BA prices shorthaul fares with a return no longer necessarily being that much cheaper, and singles generally half the cost of a return, this would make the Flight Pass product much more usable.

  • Duncan Stevenson-Price says:

    I’d love for BA to relaunch a Visa/MasterCard with the same benefits as BAPP currently offers and the same price. Even if it had to reduce the earnings rate slightly, being able to get 1 Avios / £1 spent (a lower earnings rate than the Vueling card mentioned) then I’d be reasonably happy.

    I do like Amex in some ways, but being able to use the card literally everywhere without even thinking (especially when considering the Amex Apple Pay issues) would be a joy!

    • John says:

      I have the BA Amex for the points, but have found worldwide that many places do not accept Amex.
      Their charges to the vendors are extortionately high (which is how they fund their generous customer benefits programmes).
      Most main chains accept them, but independent businesses often don’t. This has been the case as for over a decade and hasn’t changed much since.

      • Duncan Stevenson-Price says:

        I don’t have a huge issue with Amex acceptance domestically. And more and more small businesses are on board, especially with the increasing prevalence of Square, iZettle etc. for small businesses which all take Amex as standard.

        But still, I’d love to be able to use one card everywhere, and for that it has to be a Visa or Mastercard.

  • Jeremy says:

    Am I missing something? Why is 1 Avios per Euro on a Visa a low earning rate?

    • Graham says:

      I was thinking that. It’s a lot more generous than my Lloyds Avios Mastercard.

    • Rob says:

      Because of the €49 fee.

      Not an issue for a big spender but spend £1000 a month on a card with a £40ish fee and each Avios is subsidised by 0.33p of annual fee.

      • Alex W says:

        What about Amex Platinum then, its 1 point per £ is ridiculously stingy considering the £450 fee.

  • Cate ⛱️ says:

    The Vueling card’s interesting enough for us to pay the €49 fee. For short haul economy hops to BCN and over to the Balearic’s would soon pay for itself. Granted we live near LGW.

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