To get the crew familiar with the aircraft before they start long-haul operation, the new aircraft are going to be tested on the Heathrow to Madrid route.
From 20th July to 3rd August and from 17th August to 31st August, an A350 is due to fly IB3166 and IB3167:
IB3167 (BA522 as a codeshare) leaves Heathrow at 18.50, landing in Madrid at 22.15
IB3166 (BA7058 as a codeshare) leaves Madrid at 15.55, landing in Heathrow at 17.20
Oddly, only the Madrid outbound flight has been updated to an A350-900 so far. The return flight from London still shows a long-haul A340 but that must change because it is the same plane. On ba.com, both flights still show as an A340.
You clearly need an element of faith if you are going to book one of these! I would be very wary of booking one for non-refundable cash rather than refundable Avios.
I have booked myself on one to give it a go. Remember that, whilst you will get a flat bed business class seat, you only pay the standard Avios cost of 30,000 Avios return.
Here is a handy tip which I have covered before – Iberia has better Avios availability for its own flights on iberia.com than can be booked via ba.com. If there are no Avios seats in business class on IB3166 or IB3167 showing on ba.com, use Combine My Avios to send your points over to an Iberia Plus account and book from there.
Remember that you can only use Combine My Avios with Iberia Plus if your Iberia account is 90 days old and has earned at least one Avios.
PS. If you book your return flight on Iberia Plus with Avios you will be offered an interesting ‘part cash, part Avios’ deal. I was offered the chance to pay 15,000 Avios or 3,000 Avios + £105. This means I was basically ‘buying’ 12,000 Avios for £105, which is just 0.875p each.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 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. 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.
The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.
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.)