Have you been struggling to find Avios seats for redemptions or upgrades? Even though there are cash tickets for sale on the same flight?
In this article I want to explain how, and how you can beat the system.
There are only a limited number of seats made available for Avios redemptions on each British Airways flight.
The good news is that – unlike virtually all other airlines – British Airways guarantees that there will be two Club (business class) seats as well as four economy seats available to book with Avios on every BA flight. That is six guaranteed seats in total.
These seats are made available as soon as seats are available for sale. This means at midnight 355 days before departure.
There are NO guaranteed seats in First Class or World Traveller Plus (premium economy) although these are usually made available at some point.
These seats are reserved exclusively for Avios tickets and cannot be booked with cash.
In addition to the six guaranteed Avios seats that British Airways provides on each of its flights, you will also often find it adding additional seats at other times in the months leading up to the departure. These will NOT be bookable 355 days in advance but will appear at random during the year.
In general, you do NOT need to book 355 days in advance – I never have! It is only necessary on the most popular routes, which as Sydney, Cape Town and the Maldives. Read this article for the best way to ensure you get the seats you want with Avios on a British Airways flight.
There are ways of opening up more seats for Avios redemptions, however. If you are a British Airways Executive Club Gold status holder, you can force open any seat that is available to book for cash using Gold Priority Reward. Whilst this is an expensive way of doing it – you will be charged double the normal Avios fare – it does mean you can book onto any flight that is still selling tickets.
(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.)
Get 20,000 Avios from Amex Gold, or 30,000 Avios from Amex Platinum! (April 2021 offer)
The sign-up bonus on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold converts to 20,000 Avios and the card is free for the first year.
You don’t qualify for the Amex Gold bonus if you have a British Airways American Express card. You DO qualify for the bonus on The Platinum Card, which converts into 30,000 Avios – find out more here:
If you have your own small business, the best way of earning Avios is via the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa. It has a sign-up bonus which converts to 10,000 Avios:
You can find out more about ALL UK credit cards which offer travel rewards in this article, updated monthly.