Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

British Airways launches a new flight and holidays sale – save more when you ‘part pay with Avios’

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

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)

The British Airways Low Fare Finder tool is your friend.

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!)
  • Antigua
  • Austin
  • Bahrain (£650)
  • Boston
  • Bridgetown
  • Cancun
  • Chicago
  • Delhi
  • Denver
  • Doha (£565!)
  • Dubai (£592!)
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Grenada
  • Las Vegas
  • Lima
  • Montreal
  • Mumbai
  • Muscat
  • Nashville
  • New York
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • Port of Spain
  • Punta Cana (£634!)
  • San Francisco
  • Shanghai
  • St Kitts
  • Tampa
  • Tobago
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver

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.

British Airways sale

First Class

(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.

50% buy Avios bonus

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.

The link to buy is here.

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 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.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

Huge 30,000 points bonus until 12th May 2024 Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (91)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Matt B says:

    OT – I’ve got 2 reward Flights booked on BA metal but via Iberia using points from the 9000 promo. Both flights have been moved from LHR to LGW. The timings of new inbound aren’t great meaning I’d need to take an extra day off work, so I’d rather move to an earlier indirect flight. I assume I need to ring Iberia? Looking at other options would they book me on Vueling instead? Or just BA/Iberia?

    • Lady London says:

      The normally best advice would be to look at the schedules to find alternative flights / reasonable reroutings that would work for you. Then calk them and ask for those instead. If your booking was an Avios one in this case thé airline is not restricted to just avios seats fir the rebooking.

      Although you have a right to choose something very close in timing to what you had booked originally and theoretically you can assert this right, practically airlines would rather book you in order of their preference rather than yours.(and you have the right to your preference over theirs, within reason). Airline preferred order as follows
      1. Their own flights. Particularly, keeping the first flight on the ticket as theirs. Because first flight in a ticket determines where the lions share of revenue from that ticket goes. So they would rather you travel a whole day or two later on their own flight, than 2 hours later on a competitor’s flight. They wll just rebook you on their choice. But you have the right to request what is closer to what you booked even on a competitors flight which they will try not to provide.

      2. Their next choice would normally be another airline they own or have a deal with. Iberia Vueling for example.

      3. Their next choice, routings within their own alliance in this case OneWorld.

      4. Any other flight. They really are unlikely to go for this even if you have the right, without a serious bit of prodding.

      However in the case of Iberia if you ask for anything different than what they have booked you to for their own convenience, the agent is going to say they are not allowed and quite likely hang up on you.

      had that 12/14 times (logged) on my Christmas flights when Iberia chose their own rerouting that made the trip not worthwhile and refused to consider alternatives that would still keep the purpose of my trip. And yes Shoestring I am still going to go after Iberia under EU261 for that one.

      Good luck @MattB when you call them perhaps you will get better results than me. Please let us know.

      • Lady London says:

        PS even if they:ve just changed only the outgoing or the return you can get the whole ticket changed to something that gives you something closer in terme of time away, date of arrival back, particular days of the week that you needed to be at your destination, etc. A change from lhr to lgw does change lots and I would not accept it or any additional costs (which if you negotiate an alternative will not be paid by the airline but should be paid if they are necessarily incurred by the airline’s rescheduling that you did not change)unless i wanted the over all results.

        • BJ says:

          OT @LadyLondon, sorry but I’m clueless what you were referring to in comments directed at me yesterday, Am I missing something important?

          • Lady London says:

            Rob’s also said it today in comments. You mentioned no bonii for a while on amex and mentioned two years. Yet you mentioned elsewhere you have a business. In that case on amex it’s not 24/its 6. Unless I missed something.

          • BJ says:

            Ah ok, sorry for the confusion. I may have mentioned before my partners family have business and we travel sometimes so he can help with that. We make money from buying and selling property here and there, now and then but nothing formal. I have already retired from my main profession and I have two volunteer positions that I enjoy so not really interested in developing business interests and opportunities in any serious way, it’s just not me. Thus, I’m stuck with personal cards only. Thanks though for being perceptive and nudging me in the right direction 🙂

        • Shoestring says:

          @Lady London – IAG treat all their London airports as ‘London’ for EC261 compo so it is quite difficult to get them to accept that moving you from one airport to another is inconvenient. They have even refused to reimburse the cost of taxis if they make you arrive back at Gatwick when you left your car at LHR! But on appeal, people win. Even then, don’t go over £50 on a taxi as they expect you to take the standard public transport.

          • Lady London says:

            I’d like to see that tested in court. I don’t think it woud sustain particular with anything involving a switch between Heathrow and Gatwick.

            Without a chauffeur driven car it’s going to take you realistically well over 2 hours at minimum to transit between those 2 airports. Add that to a later flight time and you’re over the 3 hrs min for compo 5 hours (or whatever it is) on longhaul. The fact that an airport in Crawley, Sussex (not even an adjacent Country to London or Middlesex where Heathrow is) markets itself as “London” does not change the fact of the extra time imposed onto the poor passenger’s journey before he gets back to the destination he paid for.

            Even with a chauffeur driven car and even not considering traffic the transit time impact is still huge of this particular change.

          • Shoestring says:

            People have won delay compo from BA based on arrival time after taxis back at LHR when they have been forced to land at Gatwick not the planned LHR and take a taxi to pick up their car at LHR. See the Flyertalk EC261 compo thread yet again. But they had to drag BA all the way to a threatened MCOL hearing before BA caved.

          • Lady London says:

            *nothing new there then is there Shoestring in having to threaten mcol (or even do it) to make British Airways give you your rights under EU261.

          • Lady London says:

            * however Matt B got his ticket off Iberia so he will have to go via Iberia to deal with it which is even worse.

          • Shoestring says:

            With codeshares you can seek redress from either the operating carrier (BA metal = BA) or the marketing carrier (IB here, the one that sold Matt the ticket). However, getting fobbed off by one or the other is fairly common (and getting told to ask the other one). I suggest it is far easier to try to get compo from BA than IB if you are UK-based.

            Why does this matter? If you are on a BA/ AA codeshare & the operating carrier is BA, with AA as the marketing carrier, & route is USA—>EU, you are entitled to compo from BA under EC261 but not from AA.

      • Matt B says:

        Thanks for the detailed reply. Yes I have preferred alternatives, one on iberia via Madrid with a short connection, the other via Barcelona with a longer connection on Vueling. I would personally prefer the Vueling option. According to a message when I try and access my booking, It appears my flight has not been ticketed unless I confirm the alternative Iberia have given me.

        • Lady London says:

          Hum. I would try to do non-Vueling if what I want could be achieved on IB or particularly BA flights.

    • Tracy says:

      I had booked Madrid to jfk using the promotional avois then booked cash flights edi to Madrid to position. My return Madrid to edi was cancelled by Iberia and a later indirect via London was the only option. I argued that the later rescheduled flight meant that my stop over in Madrid was longer and I wanted my jfk to mad flight moved to a later one too, I was pleasantly surprised when they agreed, especially as that flight was a totally separate booking and had been unavailable for redemption when I originally booked (was my preferred time anyway). Long story, doesn’t hurt to ask 🙂

  • Janie says:

    I can’t seem to find First to Mexico City for less than £2,700?

    • Rob says:

      Just checked …. the one remaining departure date at that price is Christmas Day.

      • janie says:

        Thanks for that, can’t even find those! Was waiting for this sale too, how disappointing. Peru seems to be the only decent non US destinstion.

  • Sue says:

    Can only seem to find HK for £397 in eco in Feb 2020, WTP is showing as £898?

  • Sergey says:

    If I buy an economy ticket with a BA Holidays package, will it be eligible for an upgrade with Avios? I understand it depends on the ticket fare being applied, but which fare is being used in this case?

    • Rob says:

      I would be very surprised if it was semi-flexible, which is what you need.

      • Piers says:

        My flights on BA holiday were class S. I had economy return this month. I called about upgrade options on the first day of this sale (without realising) and (because of it) my return leg was upgraded to Premium Economy for a £160 refund. There were no options to upgrade with Avios but I didn’t think to ask why.

  • Journeying John says:

    Great ways to use BAEC Avios before swapping to a quality, premium airline who reliably deliver a basic service in clean and maintained cabins

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.