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How many Avios do you need to fly Business Class?

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How many Avios points do you need for a Business Class flight?  The answer, I’m pleased to say, is far fewer than you think.  If you’ve never experienced Business Class then it could be nearer than you think.

Let’s take a look at the Avios pricing table:

Following a recent revamp of the British Airways website, you can no longer see a simple chart of how much an Avios redemption flight costs.  You are expected to plug your route into this ba.com calculator.

Luckily we have a copy of the chart here.  The basis of Avios pricing is this simple grid, which prices British Airways flights based on the one-way distance flown.  This is the pricing chart introduced in April 2015:

Redemption chart 2

The zones relate to the distance flown:

  • Zone 1:  1 – 650 miles
  • Zone 2:  651 – 1,150 miles
  • Zone 3:  1,151 – 2,000 miles
  • Zone 4:  2,001 – 3,000 miles
  • Zone 5:  3,001 – 4,000 miles
  • Zone 6:  4,001 – 5,500 miles
  • Zone 7:  5,501 – 6,500 miles
  • Zone 8:  6,501 – 7,000 miles
  • Zone 9:  7,000+ miles

If you want a simple list of cities listed by the Avios needed, I have put one together.  Click here for our full list of Avios redemption pricing by destination.

This chart is for one-way flights.  This means that the cheapest Business Class Avios redemption costs just 7,750 points.

7,750 points is what you need for a one-way flight from London to a European city under 650 miles away.  This covers much of France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

You might think it is extravagant to fly Business Class for such a short flight.  I disagree.  This is what you get for your 7,750 Avios, plus £25 in taxes and charges, flight to Amsterdam:

Use of priority check-in desks – no queueing!

A bigger luggage allowance – 32kg

Use of ‘Fast Track’ security – less queuing than you would have otherwise

Entry to the British Airways lounges, where you can eat and drink, entirely for free, to your hearts content before the flight.  You can also stock up on newspapers and magazines, use the business centre and generally just relax.  A handy tip is that champagne is not on display with the rest of the wine but is available (free, obviously!) if you ask.

Priority boarding – you are given ‘Group 1’ boarding

Seating in the first 3-4 rows of the aircraft

An empty middle seat guaranteed

A free meal – and they are generally OK these days

Free hot and cold drinks, including champagne

Doesn’t that sound better than heading to Luton or Stansted and dealing with the crowds before finding yourself on Ryanair?

Of course, if you want to a flat bed Business Class seat to a long-haul destination it will require more Avios.  Zone 5 is the cheapest long-haul zone which covers Dubai, New York etc.  This requires 50,000 Avios one-way off-peak and 60,000 Avios one-way peak.  This is a lot more points but, of course, it is a different experience.

My personal view, however, is that it is well worth 7,750 Avios to fly Business Class inside Europe if you’ve never experienced it.  Once you have, you’ll be hooked.

(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.)

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