Do you get additional Avios seat availability as a British Airways Gold member?
Today I want to look at whether British Airways makes additional Avios seats available for booking for Executive Club Gold card members.
In short, yes, it does.
For the general membership, British Airways guarantees to offer two business class and four economy tickets available for Avios redemption per flight.
In addition, British Airways typically releases supplementary seats (including First and World Traveller Plus where there are no guaranteed seats offered) depending on the performance of the route. In low season you may be more likely to find such availability as British Airways has fewer full-fare paying customers vying for the same seats.
Avios availability is opened to booking at midnight GMT 355 days before departure though, as stated above, they may add additional seats incrementally throughout the year.
Gold card members see better Avios availability in Economy / World Traveller than other members. If you are in a Household Account and only one of you is Gold, make sure that you search for seats via the Gold cardholders account to maximise your chance of finding something.
British Airways Executive Club Gold members do NOT get better availability in World Traveller Plus, Club World / Club Europe or First Class.
What happens when there are no Avios reward seats available?
There are two further options available if British Airways is not showing any available seats for Avios.
As a British Airways Executive Club Gold card holder, you can force British Airways to open any seat for Avios redemption as long as it is available for cash. The snag is that each seat acquired this way costs double the Avios of a usual redemption. This offer is not available online – you must call your Executive Club service centre.
This is possible up to 30 days before departure. It can be exceptionally good value at peak times, especially over half term when flight pricing is exceptionally high to popular destinations. This is called a Gold Priority Reward and I explain them in this article.
If you are a Gold Guest List holder, which admittedly requires a crazy amount of British Airways flying, there is another option. (You can learn about Gold Guest List in this article.)
Twice a year, Gold Guest List members are given a redemption ‘joker’, allowing them to open up to five seats for Avios booking at the standard rate. Crucially these jokers give you the opportunity to redeem in all four cabin classes on British Airways and you can use it alongside a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher. Such redemptions are only permitted once across an entire flight – if someone else has used their ‘joker’ on that aircraft, you will have to select an alternative.
(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works. You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )
(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 1.5 million monthly page views. Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios? Click here to read our latest news stories, click here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series. Read this article to learn how you can get 10,000 FREE Avios by signing up for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card.)