Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The best economy deals in the British Airways sale

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I’m splitting our coverage of the new British Airways sale into two articles.  This one looks at the best World Traveller (economy) offers whilst a second future article will look at the best deals in premium classes.

The best way to look at what is available is to play with the Low Fare Finder tool which you can find on ba.com here.  This is effective if you are flexible with your dates, as you can easily see the lowest price, month by month, for every British Airways route.

Here are a selection of prices I picked out.  I have also listed alongside the biggest ‘part pay with Avios’ option available.  Remember that it doesn’t always make sense to to maximise ‘part pay with Avios’ and you will find you get a bigger ‘pence per point’ ratio by using fewer points.

British Airways World Traveller seat

The BA ‘part pay with Avios’ system is totally different to the Virgin Atlantic model.  Virgin offers you 0.6p per mile, with no maximum and no minimum.  British Airways is generally more generous if you use a small quantity of Avios but less generous – trending towards 0.5p per Avios – for larger quantities.  You also cannot pay for a flight entirely with Avios via the ‘part pay’ route.

The full BA sale website is here.

Deals include:

North America

  • Chicago £295 / £179 + 20000 Avios
  • Fort Lauderdale £299 / £149 + 28000 Avios
  • Tampa £299 / £149 + 28000 Avios
  • Orlando £299 / £149 + 28000 Avios
  • Austin £364 / £180 + 36000 Avios
  • Nashville £376 / £180 + 38500 Avios
  • Pittsburgh £419 / £179 + 47000 Avios
  • Phoenix £599 / £249 + 69000 Avios
  • Las Vegas £689 / £339 + 69000 Avios

Africa

  • Johannesburg £415 / £159 + 50000 Avios
  • Durban £435 / £159 + 54000 Avios
  • Cape Town £529 / £179 + 69000 Avios

Asia and Australasia

  • Singapore £419 / £159 + 51000 Avios
  • Hong Kong £520 / £170 + 69000 Avios
  • Sydney £609 / £259 + 69000 Avios

South and Latin America

  • Buenos Aires £529 / £199 + 65000 Avios
  • Rio de Janeiro £529 / £199 + 65000 Avios
  • Sao Paulo £599 / £249 + 69000 Avios
  • Santiago £749 / £399 + 69000 Avios

As usual, it is also worth pricing up a combined ‘flight and hotel’ or ‘flight and car’ package via BA Holidays – see here.  The pricing may be similar and you can get away with just paying a small deposit now, with the balance due five weeks before you fly.

New York, for example, starts at £379 per person in January or February for three nights in a 2.5 star hotel, plus World Traveller flights.  You still earn Avios and BAEC tier points when you book via BA Holidays, but you won’t earn BA On Business points in the ‘small business’ loyalty scheme.

In terms of travel dates, ba.com says:

Travel in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus from London Gatwick to Cancun, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Las Vegas, Antigua, Bermuda, Barbados, Grenada, Kingston, Lima, Male, Mauritius, Providenciales, Port of Spain, Punta Cana, San Jose (Costa Rica), St. Kitts, Tobago and St. Lucia is available for selected outbound travel dates between 8 January 2019 and 30 December 2019.

Travel in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus from London Heathrow to Austin, Nashville, Chicago, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Abu Dhabi, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Seychelles, Muscat, Tokyo (Haneda and Narita), Osaka, Hong Kong, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Sydney, Nassau, Grand Cayman, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Santiago is available for selected outbound travel dates between 15 January 2019 and 13 December 2019.

Some routes require a Saturday night stay.  There is a minimum advanced purchase requirement of 7-21 days depending on route.

Full details of all these offers, including the rest of the small print, are on the BA sale website here.  In a future article I’ll look at the premium cabin deals.

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 ba.com 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 (July 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

30,000 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 (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel 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 (45)

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

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    In the case of WT bookings, you also get a checked bag by going through BA Holidays, don’t you?

  • The Original Nick says:

    @Ali, do you have the £200 off £600 Alex offer? If so, look at Amex Travel and check WT+ flights LHR-DXB. I booked mine for £638. I’ll then UUA to CW.

  • Roger says:

    OT_ but BA 241 Voucher

    If there is no J availability now for outbound, can I book Y outbound and J inbound and if in future more seats are released can I upgrade to J by calling BA? What are the fees in this scenario?
    Assume I will extra avios plus tax differences. Anything else I should be aware of?

    Well there are 2 J seats (plus 4 Y), for outbound and 6 J for return destination next year.
    I have two 241 vouchers to use.

    • Tom1 says:

      Yes – plus £35 pp change fee I think.

    • Anna says:

      I’d also be interested in how this works – can you upgrade an existing 2 4 1 booking (I thought you could only “upgrade” by one cabin class) or would you have to cancel and re-book?

      • Polly says:

        Correct, you can only upgrade by 1 cabin class, so Roger would probably need to book PE for those legs he wants to upgrade. Interested to see if this is possible too.

        • Matt says:

          I think that the UUA by one class limitation only applies to cash base fares.

          I’m 99% sure that you can book Y now and ugrade to J or F if availability opens up.

        • Anna says:

          Roger – you have to ring them to add on the return. Very annoying flaw in the system!

      • Darren says:

        You can book any class on a 241 avios now and if/when a higher class is available ring and change to it. Subject to availability taxes, extra avios and change fees.

        • Roger says:

          Another bolt-on to this if I may:

          If I book Oneway only, is 241 voucher available (in part) available to book for return trip?
          OR is my only option is to call BA to book the return?

        • Darren says:

          Yes, you could book one way only and then add on the return. A lot of people do this -355 days when flight availability is released. You have to call though.

        • Darren says:

          sorry, just noticed Anna had answered this upthread

  • Laura says:

    Great lead in prices , but few people would go long hall without a checked bag . Personally I would prefer BA going back to their standard fare with checked bag as lead in fare ! In my mind it gives false indication of a cheap fare as can be £100 and much more extra each way when you had a bag !!

    • Brighton Belle says:

      I can do 6 nights on hand baggage and that is with boxes of tech to get UK Tv anywhere there is internet. But checked bag is best if there is any chance of a beach.

      • Shoestring says:

        More on the TV tech pls?

        • Brighton Belle says:

          You can buy a commercial VPN but they can be blocked. It will work for weeks, months or even years. The BBC or streaming site detects multiple concurrent streams to a single IP address and concludes you’re outside the UK. Some sites are requesting access to your physical location via your iPad GPS, they read you are in Bolivia and shut you off. Or you deny access and they shut you off.

          A solution that works is a private VPN plugged into your UK home router. It is easy to make from a £60 Raspberry Pi. Google “how to make a VPN with a raspberry Pi”. All the code is free, just flow the instructions, you don’t need to know very much about computers. Install the files on your Pi, choose a few options etc.

          To connect to this abroad you install OpenVPN on your IPad or even better an Amazon FireTv plugged into the HDMI of the hotel Tv. OpenVpn is free.

          When you start the VPN on your device (iPad or Hotel TV) it connects to the local WiFi, goes to your VPN Pi plugged into your UK router and starts the Tv stream from your device in Bolivia to the BBC. The BBC just sees this as Shoestring streaming from his home computer with his UK IP address. You look totally domestic and private to their system.

          There are several other methods that work, slingbox, proxy servers, chromecast. I have tried them all. The Pi solution needs a solid internet speed of about 2 Mb upload as it is in HD. I use a Slingbox on SD that gets a watchable picture on the most dreadful hotel Wi-Fi in Egypt of 400kb.

          Google is full of useful stuff… but the Raspberry Pi solution delivers the best picture for less than £100 and a few evenings with a keyboard. You really don’t need to be a programmer to get this to work as the instructions on the internet are designed for numpties like me.

        • John says:

          You can always spoof your GPS

        • Lady London says:

          @John please explain spoof your GPS. I’ve noticed even keeping location services off is not always blocking enquiry access to the GPS

        • Brighton Belle says:

          Haven’t got a method to spoof your GPS on an iPad. Tried that.

          The Amazon Firestick works well because it doesn’t have location awareness. The BBC or Tv Player streaming site detects your device type, reads you are using a GPS dumb device so doesn’t try to interrogate your location. Plus the Firestick has a set of screens to get you hooked onto the local Wi-Fi. As simple as searching for Wi-Fi and entering the hotel’s password.

          • Alan says:

            I found Roku also good for dealing with hotel WiFi. Handy combining with Plex running on NAS at home 🙂

        • Shoestring says:

          Thanks Brighton Belle – was in transit earlier

      • Anna says:

        We find that using our Netflix account is normally more than enough for even a 2 or 3 week holiday!

    • Chuck says:

      I can do a 1 centre/climate on HBO no problem if in biz, you can take on 2 bags, size supposedly limited but up to 23kg each !

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Don’t forget you get two carry on bags with BA. The second one is billed as a handbag/laptop bag but you can comfortably fit a small messenger bag. Been using this a bit to bulk out luggage on European jaunts and best of all no baggage reclaim.

  • Heinztein says:

    Am I right in thinking that for the past couple of years BA have launched sales on Boxing Day? And, if so, is this current sale instead of them doing that this year? Thanks 🙂

  • FlyUpTop says:

    I take it all these fares are in selling class “O” so cannot be upgraded?

  • Delbert says:

    BA are so bad now on long haul that we’re bordering on never flying long haul ever again We can just about cope with short hops within Europe. Seriously.

  • Barry says:

    Just grabbed 4 CW seats LHR/MIA for £1,800 each. This is 747 service an aircraft I have always enjoyed the quiet upstairs cabin on. I cannot remember which are upstairs the best seats around the emergency exit, the row that does having the window seat avoid you stepping over the aisle seat. The BA seat map is not very clear as it shows both rows 62 and 63 having emergency exit access. Can anyone advise?

    Thanks

    • Genghis says:

      62A and K. If you’re skinny, 63 too

    • Alan says:

      Enjoy and fingers crossed no aircraft swaps for you! Lost my last three sectors where I had UD 64K selected due to BA switch to 777, was such a disappointment!

      • Phil T says:

        I lost my 2 x F seats to St.Lucia when BA changed plane from 4 class to 3 class.
        Only found out when I went to check my seats. and saw that they had put us into 2 naff J seats.

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

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