British Airways has launched a new flight and holidays sale – click here for details. The sale is called ‘What are you waiting for?’. Probably a message to those who didn’t book flights during the last sale in March ….
Note that you can save an additional £100 on holiday packages (flight+hotel or flight+car) over £2,500 and an additional £50 on holiday packages over £1,250 when you book by Tuesday 7th May.
This sale is a good fit with the exceptionally good Lufthansa and SWISS sale currently running. The British Airways deals are good for North America but less good elsewhere. The Lufthansa / SWISS deals – see here – are only aimed at the Middle East, India and Asia.
World Traveller deals
Whilst World Traveller is not a big focus for HFP or its readers, it is worth flagging up that there are some decent deals out there. For example:
- New York is £278 in September, when the weather is still pleasant
- Miami is from £283 in January / February 2020
- Johannesburg is from £598 in May / June 2019
- Hong Kong from £398 return for much of the year (not July / August) and into early 2020
- Barbados is available at £425 at some point in all months in 2019 (bit more in July)
World Traveller Plus deals
The following routes have World Traveller Plus fares in the £700’s return on selected dates.
Upgrading World Traveller Plus tickets to Club World with Avios remains one of the better ways to use your points. You will need ‘100% Avios’ reward seats to be showing in Club World in order to upgrade a World Traveller Plus cash ticket.
This HFP article explains how to upgrade your British Airways flight with Avios.
For £700-ish you can get, on the right date:
- Abu Dhabi (£578!)
- Bahrain (£650)
- Doha (£565!)
- Dubai (£592!)
- Fort Lauderdale
- Las Vegas
- New York
- Port of Spain
- Punta Cana (£634!)
- San Francisco
- St Kitts
Club World deals
There are some deals in Club World which look very interesting. The only snag is that you need to book a long way ahead for the best prices:
- Atlanta from £1,398 (December 2019 – March 2020)
- Boston from £1,469 (December 2019 – January 2020)
- Chicago from £1,432 (December 2019 – March 2020)
- Houston from £1,398 (December 2019 – March 2020)
- Nashville from £1,448 (December 2019 – March 2020)
- New Orleans from £1,398 (January – March 2020)
- New York from £1,366 (December 2019 – March 2020)
- San Francisco from £1,398 (December 2019)
- Toronto from £1,399 (December 2019 – March 2020)
Most other North American destinations have similar pricing.
Remember that as of 1st October BA hopes to operate their new A350 featuring the new Club Suite on Toronto flights BA93 and BA92!
On many routes to North America, you will only pay an extra £400 return to fly First Class. Factor in the additional tier points (420 vs 280 in Club World) and the extra Avios earned and you may want to pay the extra.
(EDIT: some of these deals appear to be sold out, which makes you wonder how much availability was there initially)
As I mentioned above, you can also get a VERY good deal in First Class on many North American routes:
- New York from £1,798
- Philadelphia from £1,798
- San Francisco from £1,798
- Washington from £1,798
- Mexico City from £1,848
- Dallas from £1,848
- New Orleans from £1,803
£1,798 for what works out as over 24 hours in First Class to San Francisco and back is definitely not a bad deal. You’d pick up 420 tier points for a return First Class trip.
I couldn’t find anything under £2,000 for Asia, Latin America (apart from Mexico City) or the Middle East. It is weird that Dubai, half the distance of San Francisco, has a ‘sale’ price of £2,955 in First, especially as this route will have Club Suite from October on the A350 service.
The cheapest fares are generally for travel in late 2019 / early 2020.
‘Part Pay With Avios’ can be combined with sale deals
‘Part Pay With Avios’ can be combined with the flight offers and has been improved for the duration of the sale.
This is not always a good deal so take care. Taking a World Traveller flight to New York in November as an example, I am offered:
- £10 off with 800 Avios (1.25p per Avios)
- £30 off with 3,500 Avios (0.86p per Avios)
- £70 off with 10,500 Avios (0.67p per Avios)
- £100 off with 17,000 Avios (0.59p per Avios)
With 100% certainty, redeeming 800 Avios for £10 off is worth it. A lot of people will find 3,500 Avios for £30 (0.86p per point) acceptable too.
I am less excited by getting 0.67p for redeeming 10,500 Avios or 0.59p for redeeming 17,000 Avios. Unless all your Avios come from flying paid for by your employer, I would want to be doing better than this.
We also wrote a full ‘Avios Redemption University’ guide to how ‘Part Pay With Avios’ works which is here.
Short-haul deals in Club Europe
There are also a lot of European routes with return Club Europe flights for under £200 per person.
Use the Low Fare Finder to track them down – select ‘Europe, UK & Ireland’, ‘Return’ and ‘Business’.
Get an even better deal with BA Holidays
There are also some good deals over at BA Holidays, assuming you are happy to package in a hotel with your flight (and you can often make substantial savings if you do).
Whilst it is hard to get your head around, the weird ways that flights are priced means that booking a flight with a car or a flight with a hotel can be cheaper than just booking a flight. Note that if you add a car or hotel it must be for the full duration of your holiday if you want to trigger a package discount.
Some headline World Traveller deals are:
- New York from £379 per person – for travel between 6th and 31st January 2020 including including three nights at a 3* hotel and return flights in Economy from Heathrow
- Barbados from £549 per person – for travel between 1st and 30th September 2019 including seven nights at a 3* hotel and return flights in Economy from Gatwick
- Barcelona from £109 per person – for travel between 10th and 27th November 2019 including three nights at a 3* hotel and return flights in Economy from Heathrow
Remember that you don’t need to pay now when you book a BA Holidays package. You just pay a deposit and can settle the balance up to five weeks before departure.
You also earn an extra 1 Avios per £1 when you book BA Holidays packages. This is on top of the standard Avios you receive from the flight and the double Avios you would receive if you pay with a British Airways Premium Plus credit card.
(Note that you do NOT earn On Business points in BA’s small business loyalty scheme if you book a flight as part of a BA Holidays package.)
Get an extra discount this Bank Holiday weekend
You can also save:
an additional £100 on holiday packages over £2,500 and
an additional £50 on holiday packages over £1,250
….. when you book a BA Holidays package by Tuesday 7th May.
Don’t forget there is also a 50% bonus when you buy Avios
As we covered yesterday, BA is also offering a 50% bonus when you buy Avios during the sale period.
And what does BA’s Chief Commercial Officer think of the sale?
Andrew Brem, British Airways Chief Commercial Officer, said about the sale:
“We know that our customers like variety when they are looking to travel so we are delighted to offer over 120 destinations in our sale. We’ve got fantastic offers to suit all budgets and tastes, from city breaks to wilderness adventures to beachside lounging”
So there you are 🙂
All sale deals must be booked by 21st May for travel between now and 31st March 2020.
The BA sale home page with all the offers is here.
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 triple points – 3 per £1 – when you book flight tickets in a foreign currency, because it triggers both the ‘double points for airline spend’ and the ‘double points for foreign spend’ bonuses.