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BREAKTHROUGH: See ALL BA Avios seats from London, for dates you choose, in one click!

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If you know where you want to go and when you want to go, the process for booking Avios redemptions is good.  Compared to other airlines and other alliances, the Avios seat booking system on ba.com works well in terms of the number of airlines it shows online (virtually all of them) and how you search.

If your plans are fluid, however, it is not as good.

A year ago, Head for Points reader Tim launched “BA Redemption Finder”.  This sits at www.baredemptionfinder.com.  (BA, for clarity, is supportive of Tim’s efforts and is happy to see the site operate.)

“BA Redemption Finder” is the quickest way of checking Avios availability for British Airways flights.

The best bit is that the site is free.  It is a website not an app, but is optimised for both mobile and desktop.  It is simplicity itself.  Type in where you want to fly from, where you want to fly to, how many seats and what cabin and you will see – instantly – full availability for the next 355 days.  On mobile it looks like this:

BA Redemption Finder

Here are some results for two Club World seats from Heathrow to Tokyo – on the actual site, you get the full year on one scrolling screen.  Dark blue means it is a peak date, light blue means it is off-peak pricing.  The left column is outbound, the right is return – click to enlarge:

BA Redemption Finder

It gets even better.  You can set up email alerts for a fee of £3 per month.   Set a date range, route, class and number of passengers and you will be notified when seats become available!  Free email alerts are also available if you happy with less frequent notifications – although you may lose the seats.

The site is so smart that it even shows the extra economy Avios seats made available to BA Gold members.

There are a few issues:

It cannot handle connections, only direct point to point searches

It does not show oneworld partner airlines – so it is best used to check availability when you want to use an Amex 2-4-1 voucher.  If you are not using a 2-4-1 voucher you should use ba.com instead as it will show you Qatar, Finnair, Royal Jordanian, American etc as well.

There is still a slight delay on the data feed compared to real time availability, but very modest

These are mainly trivial points, however, in the context of what is an amazingly fast and usable site.

BA Redemption Finder has now got even better!

Tim has just launched a new feature which turns the app on its head.

You can now search BY DATE.  The site will show you EVERY BA route which has Avios availability in the class of your choice for those dates.

Let’s look at half-term next February, which for us is Saturday 16th February to Sunday 24th February.

Step 1: Go to baredemptionfinder.com and select “I don’t know where I want to go” from the home page

Step 2: Select your dates, number of seats and travel class (I want 4 people in Business) and run the search

BA Redemption Finder

Step 3: Sort the results as you wish – if you want to go long-haul, reorder the results by “Distance (most to least)” or “Avios required (most to least)” and vice versa for short haul

And then you get a screen of results:

BA Redemption Finder

Obviously you still need to do some work.  As well as searching Saturday to Sunday, I would also want to check Saturday to Saturday, or possibly Friday (after school in the evening) to Sunday.  I would also want to look at First Class.

There is no option to mix classes, so if you would be happy with that you’d need to do separate one-way searches and try to match places where you can get, say, Business outbound and First back.

This is a real breakthrough for everyone who complains “I can’t find anywhere to go”.  If you are restricted on when you can travel, this service will solve your problems.

This new feature is currently free!

Tim is planning to make this a paid-for feature at some point, not surprisingly.  For now, however, it is totally free.  Give it a try.

PS.  I was talking to Tim about this new feature last week and he said that he wrote the code over a weekend, whilst his wife was away with friends.  Let’s put this in perspective.  British Airways has a massive IT team and a massive budget and cannot deliver a feature like this.  One guy, working alone, is able to develop it over a weekend ……

You can take a look at BA Redemption Finder here.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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Comments

  1. Stuart_f says:

    Fantastic site and one I’ve used to snag 2-4-1s in F.

    One tiny request, would it be possible to put the furthest booking date somewhere on the page. eg Today, 355 days out is 2 Nov 19 but BA redemption finder shows me the whole of Nov and I have to work out if there’s no availability because it’s gone or because it’s not released yet. (1st world problems I know).

    • A Dickinson says:

      +1

    • This site seemed very helpful to me on a route with very limited availability during the UK winter months like LON to SYD.

      I think BA quite deliberately and purposefully obstructs making it this easy to look up Avios redemption availability for months ahead in order to hide just how poor and/or non existent Avios redemption availability is on some routes and/or in some cabin classes.

      BA’s Exec Club’s own one week at a time availability grid is total rubbish, especially in terms of how long it takes to move from one week to the next and in terms of its determination that if you change the week of the outbound date you also wanted to change the week of the return flight date too.

  2. Totally OT:
    When buying Avios using a large value Clubcard voucher to extend points validity, when does the change appear?

    I ‘bought’ £2.50 of Avios using a £25 clubcard voucher 2 weeks ago. The Avios have posted but the points change has not yet been returned.

    • I have a feeling it turns up in your next statement but Shoestring and Ghengis would probably know for sure!

      • definitely next statement, just got mine the other day after spending 2.50 from it a month or so ago.

    • You have to wait for your next allocation of Clubcard points. The return of excess points is lumped in with the award of new points.

    • They appear on your next quarterly statement.

  3. O/T – carrying on the Tesco refund theme… Any tips on successful refunds on the Christmas Saver CC points?

  4. “British Airways has a massive IT team and a massive budget and cannot deliver a feature like this.”

    They can, but it’s not a priority.

    Sure keeping systems running & Cyber Security is more pressing at the moment

    • Will merrett says:

      I’ve been an avios collector for 10 years and while I appreciate there may be more pressing issues if you can’t implement a feature in 10 years that one man can implement in a weekend your doing something wrong.

      It’s not even critical, if it didn’t roll out smoothly the worst thing that would happen is some extra functionality wouldn’t exist, it wouldn’t affect existing tools. So to sign it off as live should be relatively easy.

    • Surely teams covering product enhancements and developments do not have responsibility for cyber security? I would imagine they have an independent team to look after that.

    • Quoting cyber security is not an excuse for a poor system that is part of their business functionality, if people can’t book flights easily even if its a redemption (liability) then they should spend more money on this area. A security audit team should be separate from the developers of the system anyway.

  5. OT – but new Amex offers on my Amex gold. £100 off £500 with United Airlines and £30 off £100 at Harvey Nichols.

  6. Any reason i can’t find Nashville? (BNA – I think)….

  7. I’ll just add my thanks as someone else that has bagged a 241 return in F using this tool.

    I’ll also add a question/request – would it be possible in future to add the ability to select a particular flight or time range? For example, last year I was searching for LHR-DEL, I was quite flexible on dates. There was a lot of availability on the flight that gets in to Delhi at something like 04:00, but very little on the flight that I wanted, which gets in about 08:30. Using this tool, it just showed availability, but not the flights I was interested in. I hope this makes sense?!

    • +1. Will be looking to book a 241 F return to nyc, will be very flexible on dates, but will need an early morning out and a late evening back 2 days later. Having an email alert when available would be great

  8. No Bits today so going to post here.

    Heading to London Gatwick for the first time in ages for a flight next week. Which is the best lounge to head to as a PP/Plat card holder and how many guests can I bring with me?

    • Shoestring says:

      1 free guest but you can pay reduced rate for the others £20 each, unlimited numbers I think

    • N or S?

      If S your only option is No 1 UNLESS the new My Lounge is open yet.

    • Is there any reason all you selfish deliberate thread polluters are so absolutely determined to prevent this discussion remaining focused on the original topic when this article was an important one that deserved all the subsequents posts and discussion remaining focused exclusively on that matter.

      Of course Rob actually encourages this by failing to ever delete all these totally irrelevant Off Topic posts.

      • @Julian, you OK big guy? That was a ‘Granddad on a park bench shouting at kids’ level rant. Just scroll on past the non-topic comments. It will always happen and sometimes there’s nuggets of info in the responses.

        • The Off Topic babble is easily avoided if Rob either ruthlessly deletes any Off Topic responses in the discussion on any particular topic (the key offenders would soon learn not to bother) or if Rob would introduce a normal proper Subject based internet discussion forum linked to the subject matter on his website.

          Perhaps I should have applied for that assistant job after all but I think it would only have interested me if the working location(s) for some or part of the time could have been considerably more flexible.

        • If you find it so distasteful, your best alternative is probably not to read it.

        • If Rob was that bothered about OT posts then he would do something about it. Personally I like the idea of putting OT posts under “Bits” but there wasn’t one today so that’s not an option.

          As others have said if you don’t like them, ignore them instead of adding to them and encouraging others to do so while you’re at it.

        • No, his right. The poster could have waited a day.

      • RakishDriver says:

        Is there any reason this raging post, lacking in any form of contribution, coherence or punctuation, has still not been deleted?

      • Eric the Half a Bee says:

        @ Julian – take a deep breath and, here, have some of these as I have some spares: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

      • No Bits today so cool it. You like a rant don’t you.

      • we’ve had the “OT” discussion before when Rob was asking for comments/suggestions on the site. I dislike the OT comments too – a bit like an elderly relative commenting about something totally unrelated to what is being discussed. Also the search engine does not find anything in the comments – only the body of the article. So the OT posts are (much like the elderly relatives ramblings) totally forgettable within a short period of time.
        I would like a voting button to identify “OT” comments. you could then have a setting to control whether you want to see these ramblings or ignore them.

        • Shoestring says:

          I play a silly game in supermarkets – it’s called ‘spot the OCD/ OAP/ just stressed or stupid people’ – all you have to do is space your shopping out in a very relaxed measured way on the belt (not cramped together) then put the divider down at a nice big interval & a 45 degree angle not tight up to your own shopping.

          About 85% of people will get mildly irate at that. They’ll straighten out the divider & push it tight up to your shopping.

          WTF? I don’t want your smelly breath coming near me, I want a bit of Lebensraum lol That’s my way to give me an extra 50cm in the queue (and work out who’s a dwork/ nutter/ wierdo/ OAP).

          Some old folk even push my own shopping up tighter!!!

          I class objections to off topic posts in the same category. HfP has more than its fair share of OCD people.

          Post as you like. That’s where the gems get discovered.

        • Shoestring says:

          Personally I blame Raffles for not having a Bits thread every day 🙂

        • +1 on the gems. Life would not be the without these lovely gems!

        • – missed out the word “same”

        • Shoestring – You sound just as bad as Julian… I’ve never seen anyone act that way in a checkout line before and people are quite right to get annoyed at you.

          As to Julian, just ignore him. From the writing style of his previous posts I think it’s something he can’t help.

      • Lady London says:

        Sometimes the OT’s are asked by newbies who don’t know where to start asking about something. I’ve got grumpy about the fact that you might think they’ve not bothered to search the site themselves before occasionally. But in my better behaved moments, I remind myself that everyone starts somewhere. for sure I did my share of OT’s and basic questions in the early days – one of which was even answered by Rob long before HfP even existed. So I try to be more tolerant (but it is a strain 🙂

    • Lady London says:

      In the same terminal as Easyjet (I forget if this is called north or south) No. 1 Lounges. You can pay £5 to reserve if you are going to arrive at a peak time – turning away Priority Pass passengers at peak times seems to be a particular problem with No. 1 lounges, followed by Aspire lounges to some extent.

      In the other terminal, the one BA departs from, you do have No. 1 Lounge (new) but PP should also be offering you credit in a decent place to eat there – check the app. It;s called something like the Granary. The PP app is usually up to date within about a week so you can check there.

      The lounge scene in LGW seems to have improved a lot in very recent years – although still not inspiring, it’s adequate.

  9. wetboy1uk says:

    Not as good as possibly suggested – tells me that the route LGW to FLL is not available for BA redemptions.,

  10. OT – if I pay for something abroad whilst still in the UK (e.g. buying something from an overseas shop over the phone) with my Amex gold/plat card, do I still get charged the 3% fee?
    Thanks

    • yes if it is charged in a foreign currency, only if they charge you in £ you wouldn’t get charged.

    • Yes – the fee is for transactions in a foreign currency, not in a foreign country.

    • Lady London says:

      Yes. Every card does this so far as I can tell.

      Paypal’s and Amazon’s rates seem to be slightly better. I let my card do it because there’s not much in it. And when I dump the card I can mention an outrageous FX charge is part of the reason why !

      • Only slight difference I think is Creation’s definition of “abroad” for double points being physically abroad, not say $ in London.

        • Just spoke to Creation on the phone, they said no if it’s in foreign currency you will be charged 3%

        • Indeed. Charged 3% but only get single points. Depends how it all gets booked.

      • Neil Spellings says:

        Not “every card” adds FX fees.

        Halifax, Curve and Revout are ones that spring to mind. I’m sure there are more. Search MoneySavingExpert site for more examples

    • Thanks all 🙂

  11. OT: can anyone confirm that a 2-leg journey with AA will earn the same avios and tier points as two point to point journeys using BA’s avios calucator? I know it works this way for BA themselves, but unsure if the same applies to partner airlines.

    E.g.
    FLL – CLT 948 avios, 40 tier points
    CLT – LGA 815 avios, 40 tier points
    So 80 tier points in total?

    This would be a tier point run as there are more efficient ways to get from Miami area to New York, but for 80 tier points the price I’m looking at would make it worth it.

  12. O/T – Was looking through avios redemptions for CW to NYC over Xmas holidays and the taxes and surcharges are now £650 per ticket… I’m sure last October I paid around £530….

    • Yes, they’ve been hiked quite a bit this year. I personally suspect that BA want to a) make as much money as possible out of redemptions and b) actually squeeze some customers out of the market. I’m going to be looking very carefully at cash prices in future and only using long haul redemptions when there’s a big saving to be made.

      • Though on the plus side, it might put Americans off using BA for redemptions, accustomed as they are to paying nominal fees!

      • It’s crazy – Just checked Virgin and they are at £645.00 too….

        Going to be concentrating on hotel points in 2019 I think…

      • Or even c) because BA wants to raise charges for commercial customers and redemptions are just a happy (for them) coincidence. Remember that corporate deals don’t offer their discounts on carrier charges and you’ll see exactly why it’s in their interests to raise them higher. They obviously won’t be complaining about Avios customers getting hit, but it’s caught-in-the-crossfire rather than being the actual target.

    • Well, somehow the 241 need to be subsidised.

    • Fly Iberia if you can – not ideal if you have a 2-4-1 however.

      68k return in off peak, in a better 1-2-1 business cabin, with lower taxes (I think £250.)

  13. Lady London says:

    Well actually in a sense, British Airways do do married segments for Avios.

    I used to find a lot, that searching for x to Lon got me nothing, but searching for x to somewhere else that BA would route via London, miraculously produced the flights available including the one that had not shown up just searching for an end destination of London. This was not a one-off it was frequent and over a period. I can only explain it by some use of married segment as it didn’t seem to work if you wanted a stopover – had to be less than 2359 for it to see it as one route and for the BA system to cough up the avios seat I was looking for.

    I’ll bet BA is still operating that way now, too

  14. Does it only work with flights FROM London, and not TO London?

  15. I bought a holiday package to New York with hotel and economy flights when there was a sale, I wanted to find out is it possible to upgrade my flights to premium economy using avios from march 14th – 19th?

    If someone could give me some advice on this I would really appreciate this.

    • If it’s not possible to do it via the “Manage my booking” page, they might do this over the phone for you. I am assuming there would need to be redemption availability in PE though.

      • Hi Anna

        Thanks for your response, I tried to go through the app in “manage my booking” and “upgrade with avios” it just says “sorry we are unable to change or cancel your booking online” I need to call in which is a bit frustrating considering you got to jump through all the hoops. I called up last time and it’s annoying to have to do that every day to find avios seats/redemption

    • You probably can’t. The cheapest economy ticket types cannot be upgraded even if there is Avios available in World Traveller Plus. Unfortunately your BA Holidays receipt is unlikely the show the exact ticket sub-class so (assuming there is Avios availability in WTP for the upgrade to work) you need to call BA to try. My guess is that it won’t work however.

    • It might be possible with a fare adjustment for the difference between the lowest band and the upgradable ticket but would have to be by phone.

  16. Great tool HFP/Tim Rogers. I’ve taken the liberty of posting this on the FB closed group, BA Fan Page, courtesy of you guys. Hope this OK?

  17. Unless of course I missed how it works, is it possible to search just one way as this is easier to see availability?

  18. Can I use the site to alert me if a seat becomes available in CW? Booked a cash ticket in WT+ and would like to use my Lloyds Avios voucher to upgrade either one or both legs of the journey. Or will it also depend on my ticket class code?

    • Yes, that’s what BARF is for.

    • Graham – The Lloyds upgrade voucher doesn’t work that way (at least I was told this on the phone lines)… It is for pure avios bookings and it’s more a case of paying the avios for the class below that you are originally traveling e.g. WT+ you pay the avios for WT or CW you pay the avios for WT+

  19. I find the BA mobile app’s –> Reward Flights –> Reward Flight finder functionality very useful. It gives me a detailed availability for the cities I want to travel to instantly. I have used it many times to confirm availability and then eventually book the reward flights on the BA website.

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