Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

British Airways launches flights to Durban – a chance to visit South Africa on Avios this Winter

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The two British Airways routes to South Africa are always very tricky if you want Avios availability, especially Cape Town and especially over the peak Winter tourist season.

The exciting news is that British Airways has announced a new route to Durban.  It is not, at the time of writing, bookable via but I would expect the seats to appear during Wednesday.

There will be the standard two Avios seats available in Club World on all flights once booking opens, even for the peak Christmas and New Year dates.  There will also be the four guaranteed World Traveller / Economy seats.

Whilst Cape Town is probably more attractive than Durban, there are plenty of connecting flights between the two cities – including FIVE flights each day on British Airways, operated by its South African franchise partner Comair.  These can be booked on Avios although you cannot use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.

Here are the details of the Durban service.

The first flight is 29th October

It will operate from Heathrow Terminal 5

It will use a Boeing 787-8 (so no First Class)

It will operate three days per week – outbound on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, returning on Tuesday, Friday, Sunday

Flight times are 15.45 outbound (arriving 05.35) and 07.35 inbound (arriving 17.45)

So, if you fancy a South African break this Winter but thought you had missed the boat over Avios availability, you luck is in.  Keep an eye on and hopefully the flights will become bookable on Wednesday.

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 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 double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year 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.

Comments (57)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Jean Baird says:

    A million thanks just booked two business class tickets from Jersey to Durban in March 2019 using 2-4-1 comp. ticket and Avios plus taxes as soon as seats became available i.e. today!!

    Just missed out on bonus Avios points if 50% if you buy them boo hoo

    Please let us know if the Avios bonus comes back out …

    Thanks once again for news of this route

  • aliks says:

    Lots of availability left as of the time of this message, but business class seats are going fast around main holidays.

  • Tim says:

    Availability to Durban is now live on BA Redemption Finder – check it out at There are plenty of seats available, even in Business!

  • MudIslandMlungu says:

    Got in at 11am on Wednesday when it went live. Got 17th Dec to Jan 6 in Club on 2-4-1.


This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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