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The peak and off-peak Avios redemption calendars for 2019

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British AirwaysIberia and Aer Lingus have released their peak and off-peak Avios redemption calendars for the whole of 2019 which you can see below and in our 2nd article today.

There is a permanent link to this article in the HfP menu bar if you need to refer to it later.

There are substantial differences between the two main calendars for BA and Iberia. Especially when travelling during school holidays on a route served by both by BA and Iberia, it may well be cheaper to book on Iberia.

If, for example, you want to travel on British Airways in April 2019, you will be paying the peak Avios price from 5th April until 23rd April. However, if you look at the Iberia calendar, you can see that Iberia’s peak period is only from 17th – 22nd (as well as 12th + 13th and 26th +27 th).

There are also differences around February half-term. The whole month of February is off peak for Iberia whilst BA has peak days between 15th and 18th as well as 21st and 24th February.

For example, Saturday 10th February is peak for BA and off-peak for Iberia. On that day, a Club World return from London to New York would be 120,000 Avios return (peak BA price).  In comparison flying from Madrid to New York on the same day would be only 68,000 Avios return (off-peak Iberia price).  The taxes and charges would also be £380 lower on the Iberia ticket as long as you book it via the Iberia website (£537 v £157).

The summer holidays peak season starts earlier on Iberia (19th June) and ends one week after BA.

The days around Christmas are also interesting as BA sees the full second half of December as a peak travel time whereas Iberia sees 25th and 26th December as off-peak dates.

For clarity …. these charts apply irrespective of which website you book on.  If you book an Iberia redemption on ba.com, it still uses the Iberia peak and off-peak chart.  Similarly a BA redemption book on iberia.com will use the BA chart.  You should still ensure that Iberia redemptions are booked on iberia.com as the taxes and charges are usually substantially lower.

There is a separate article with the Aer Lingus 2019 peak and off-peak Avios calendar which is here.

British Airways calendar:

(green=peak, blue=off peak / click to enlarge)

2018

BA September to December 2018

2019

BA Avios off peak calendar 2019

BA Avios off peak calendar 2019

BA Avios off peak calendar 2019

Iberia calendar:

2018

2019

Iberia Avios off peak calendar 2019

Iberia Avios off peak calendar 2019

Iberia Avios off peak calendar 2019


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

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.

American Express Amex Gold

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 (SPECIAL OFFER) 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, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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 and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

(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 (49)

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

  • Chris says:

    What a strange calendar.

    Weekends in May/Sep are off peak even though availability for short breaks disappears as soon as seats are released.

    Midweeks during school holidays tend to have cheaper cash fares yet are priced as peak.

    JFK in August is cheap- why is this peak? And AUH/DXB??????!!!! Who travels there in August?

    • TripRep says:

      Maldives in March is also off peak, one of the best times to go IMHO.

      Also what’s with the colour coding, why green of peak? I’d of thought green would be more appropriate for off peak???

      • TripRep says:

        *of = for

        • pauldb says:

          *of(ii) = have 😉

          I think it just shows BA think of avios redemptions as a cost more than a revenue mgmt option. They’ve committed to provide 2J/4Y seats, and they can more surely sell those seats in the school holidays so their pricing can be higher. It’s too complicated to nuance that by have different calendars by destination.

        • TripRep says:

          pauldb – good point, typed too early this am…

          btw – did you see my reply to your car hire comment on still wanting to use Advantage?
          https://headforpoints.com/2018/06/13/club-aspire-lounge-gatwick-north-opens/comment-page-1/#comment-262358

        • pauldb says:

          I have now :). AFAIK from their website Advantage are on airport at MCO but take your point on the possible wait. Still, for a £100+ saving I might take a chance.

      • anikaanika99 says:

        I know!!! They changed it from last year’s calendar where blue was peak and for about 15 minutes I was trying to figure out why Summer would be off peak 🙂

    • Sussex Bantam says:

      I would suggest you just overlay the school holiday calendar – that will answer your question !

      • RussellH says:

        Which school holiday calendar is that?

        Apart from English half-terms, which are not the same throughout the country, it takes no account of Scottish school holidays, which start in around two weeks time.

        • Barry cutters says:

          Population of England = 53million,
          Population of Scotland = 5.3million.

          This is probably why .
          Oh and probably some of the reason why Scotland doesn’t have as many flight options.

          -apologies if you feel hard done by.

        • RussellH says:

          Tour operators inflate their ex EDI / GLA / ABZ prices massively at the end of June and drop them again in mid August.

          I would have thought it worth BA’s while to do the same.

        • Lady London says:

          Lucky you. I guess that’s one advantage of not being in London!

    • AndyR says:

      It’s a single calendar for the whole BA network so obviously wouldn’t make sense for all destinations!

    • Anna says:

      Anything in August is priced to gouge the parents of school age children, regardless of whether the destination is actually in its peak season!

      • Doug M says:

        Exactly. It’s not peak or off peak for a particular destination, it’s the time most people want, or have to travel. I’d imagine much more complicated dynamic pricing is on the way at some point.

      • Doug M says:

        Random Thinking: Another thing on this which is odd, and obviously this is not a study, just anecdotal. But lots of people like a Summer holiday because they always have done. Their children are often grown, but they continue with the July/August holiday as if it’s in their DNA. They visit places where they could go for half the price in June or September, with equally nice weather, and without the drama of all the extra people clogging the airports without a clue how to prepare for security and that sort of thing. Airports in Summer don’t just have more people, they have the wrong sort of people, especially if you’re a entitled solo traveller with little patience for other people’s dramas.
        Don’t get too irate, part of this is intended as mildly humorous.

        • Kathy says:

          It’s mostly habit, but partly how you want your holidays to break up your working year and where the bank holidays fall. I’ve booked time off following the August bank holiday because that way I have a clear 9 days without work but only have to use 4 days’ annual leave. I couldn’t do that in September or June.

    • Dominic says:

      Having been there for a few August’s running, families flock there, much to my displeasure 😉

  • Spurs Debs says:

    Lucky me i just scrapped in on off peak dates, I booked 4 club class tickets for 4 April 2019 off peak to JFK and used my 241 voucher. I think it cost me 235,796 in points and approx £2200 in taxes,

  • Corin says:

    ok, I’m probably asking something that’s already obvious here (sorry). I’ve always used my VFC and AV points on long haul family trips.
    I’m now looking to book May half-term next year (25th May – 3rd June) LHR to Athens and Mykonos – LHR. Am I right in thinking I should transfer my miles to Iberia and book from there ? as May half term is not peak ? or does it not work like that?
    Sorry … total newbie at RFS/Short haul redemptions !
    thank you for any help 🙂

    • Genghis says:

      It doesn’t work like that as you would actually be flying on BA, not IB

      • Corin says:

        ok, that’s fine, saves me the hassle of transferring etc… just thought I’d check incase I was wasting some avios ! thank you

        • the real harry1 says:

          yep don’t miss the essential point ‘on a route served by both by BA and Iberia’

          IB doesn’t fly LHR—> Athens direct so isn’t bookable on the IB timetable, I guess you can book it on the IB portal but it would be using BA’s peak/ off-peak timetable, ie no ‘arbitrage’

          • Rob says:

            That was more to do with long haul, eg if you want to go to Barbados you’re using BA regardless, but if you are off to Tokyo then the IB flight is an alternative.

  • @alastairtravel says:

    I see for 2019 BA have adjusted October half-term to cover more weekends but opened up the midweek dates as off-peak at the same time.
    Broadly negative for me, but perhaps opens some opportunities for others

  • Anna says:

    Beat the system! My son’s Easter holidays begin on March 30th next year so for once we have managed to get an off-peak short break to Rome – looking forward to trying out the new lounge at FCO as well.

    • Stuart says:

      Was in the new lounge at FCO on Sunday. First impressions were good, the bar was very much like the Aberdeen bar that was featured on here. Power sockets everywhere and loved the tables at the seats that had a space to hide your carry on under. The alcohol selection was ok, but the food was very disappointing. We were on the 17.30 flight back and there was some bread, salad (no cheese or meat to go with), pastries and a chickpea soup which literally was chickpeas in rosemary flavoured water. The lounge also doesn’t have its own toilets, you have to venture back into the terminal to use them.

  • Nigel Williams says:

    OT – Will Amex Plat get me into the Lounges in LYS?

    • the_real_a says:

      I don’t think there are any Priority Pass or Plaza Premium lounges at Lyon, sadly.

  • Andrew says:

    OT no bits: any advice for cheap car hire from LHR for a weekend? Trying to avoid the likes of Easirent, and checked out the £1 Eurocar deals but sadly nothing works. Any Avis discounts/referrals etc?

    • Relaxo says:

      Whats wrong with Easirent?

      • Andrew says:

        The reviews look awful. Personally I would risk it but it’s my incredibly risk averse mum I’m making the booking for.

    • Lady London says:

      It’s all likely to be overpriced at this time of year.
      A key point would be to work out which terminal she’s wanting to pick up from, and which car hire companies actually have a desk in the terminal and whose cars are nearby (not some long bus ride).

      I found Avis T5 to be OK.

      Remember weekends can begin as early as Thursday evening for some car hire companies or end Monday. Certainly a Friday pickup would still get you weekend pricing. Just make sure you keep it for a Saturday night that will keep the price down. (well… relatively, at this time of year).

      IHG had a 35% off code for car hire, you might find it on their site if you are logged in.

    • Andrew (Different One) says:

      Perhaps take a coach or train somewhere cheaper than Heathrow to pick up/drop off the hire car?

      When I visit Edinburgh, I’ve given up on hiring at the Airport, I now take the tram to Edinburgh Park and pick up my booking from one of the based on the Sighthill industrial estate. Saves me a fortune.

  • Duncan says:

    Slightly O/T. I’ve enough points (using my two for one voucher) for two business class returns Lhr to Sydney. However when ever I check there is no availability for business class. Does anyone have any tips on how to do this?
    Thanks

    • Doug M says:

      I believe this is one of the destinations where you have to phone up just after midnight (1AM BST) exactly 355 days before you want the flight. You then do the same x days later for the return. 2 CW seats will be released, but they go very quickly because the experienced Avios users know you have to do this. Given the taxes and amount of Avios required some say Sydney is a bad use of Avios, have you considered one of the Ex-EU sales on the ME3.

    • Darren says:

      This route is the most popular and sought after as you would expect, the availabilty opens up 355 in advance, this link covers all aspects of the process.

      https://headforpoints.com/2018/01/15/how-to-use-a-british-airways-american-express-241-companion-voucher/

      Alternatively, if you miss out you could travel BA CW to Hong Kong or Singapore and a cash fare to Aus.

      • TripRep says:

        How do you know its the most popular? Are their stats on that? CW Maldives (no F) must be up there in a Top 10 list..

        • Darren says:

          Well I don’t, but this question is often asked and yes I would think Maldives is another.

          The stats I can see is that there is rarely any seats available on either route SYD/MLE but this may be due to the number of seats available for redemption v the number of people wanting them, i.e. sought after.

          I suppose the most ‘popular’ route would be to New York as there are more flights/redemptions available and booked, again I don’t have Stats but would be interested to see any.

    • DavidK says:

      baredemptionfinder.com is the easiest way to find if you are not using it already but that is a very popular redemption so you may struggle.

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