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How many Avios do I need to upgrade to Business Class?

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Today I want to give you an overview of how many Avios you need to upgrade your long-haul British Airways flight to Business Class / Club World using Avios points.

For other classes, this Head for Points article tells you all you need to know about upgrading British Airways flights with Avios.

The first thing I want to say is that this only applies to British Airways flights.  With only a few exceptions, which are very unlikely to apply to you, you cannot use Avios to upgrade flights with any other airline.

How do I upgrade my flight with Avios?

Here is a summary of the upgrade rules for Club World:

You can only upgrade to the next cabin up – it is not possible to jump from long-haul Economy to Business Class, because you are skipping over Premium Economy

The only option is upgrading from Premium Economy to Business Class or, if you are booked into Economy, from Economy to Premium Economy.  This article explains the complex restrictions on upgrading from BA Economy to Premium Economy

Any Premium Economy / World Traveller Plus ticket, even if bought in a sale, is eligible to be upgraded with Avios to Business Class

Extra taxes and charges may be required on top of the Avios needed

There MUST be Avios reward seats in Business Class to upgrade

To be eligible for an Avios upgrade to Club World business class there must be reward availability.

This means that there must be a seat in Club World which you can book directly with Avios.  If there is, you can use the same reward seat for your upgrade.

If there are no seats in Club World showing for Avios redemptions, you cannot upgrade from Premium Economy.  Keep checking back, however, as seats often up closer to departure.

Search on for a ‘full’ Avios redemption in the higher cabin to ensure it can be done before you start wasting time trying to upgrade.

What does it cost to upgrade my flight with Avios points?

The cost of the upgrade is the difference between a standard Avios redemption in the two classes.

A one-way peak Premium Economy / World Traveller Plus ticket to Dubai is 40,000 Avios for example, whilst Business Class / Club World is 60,000 Avios.  It would therefore cost 20,000 Avios each-way to upgrade the ticket.

This article shows the Avios needed for EVERY British Airways route – click here.

The table in that article is based on one-way flights.  Look at how many Avios are needed for a full redemption in the cabin you are booked, look at how many are needed for a redemption in the next higher cabin, and work out the difference.  That is the one-way cost of your upgrade.

Note that additional BA charges may be added when you upgrade.  There is no additional UK Government Air Passenger Duty if you upgrade from Premium Economy to Business.

You can choose to just upgrade a return flight in one direction if the upgrade is not available both ways or if you don’t have enough Avios.

How do I upgrade my British Airways flight?

You can process the upgrade online, via ‘Manage My Booking’, or by calling British Airways Executive Club.

Do I earn Avios and tier points based on the class I booked or the class I flew?

You will not earn Avios and tier points for the upgraded class. As this is an Avios upgrade, you will only earn Avios and tier points in line with the cash portion of the booking.  If you buy a World Traveller Plus / Premium Economy ticket and upgrade it to Club World / Business Class, you only earn Premium Economy Avios and tier points back.  You can read more about earning Avios and tier points on upgrades here.

(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 storiesclick 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.)