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Finally …… the full British Airways peak and off peak Avios calendar for 2020

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What are the peak and off-peak dates for redeeming Avios points in 2020? 

British Airways still hasn’t officially released the peak and off peak dates for reward flights in 2020 but we now have some clarity on what the calendar will look like next year.

(If you are looking for 2019, the peak and off-peak Avios dates for British Airways and Iberia are here and for Aer Lingus here.)

We have managed to get our hands on what we believe is the full 2020 timetable via BA contacts.  We have turned this into a neat little table, below, which gives a better overview of the entire year’s peak and off peak availability.

British Airways normally releases the calendar in June, and some people have been speculating that the lack of an announcement might mean that it is moving to revenue-based redemptions next year.  Now that we have the calendar, however, we can be fairly confident that redemptions will remain on a peak and off peak basis for 2020.

There are two things to remember:

This calendar only applies to BA.  Iberia and Aer Lingus have their own peak and off-peak dates, which can often be helpful.  October half-term is off-peak for Iberia, for example, so New York in Business Class from Madrid is 68,000 Avios vs 120,000 Avios for a peak-date BA flight from London.

The BA calendar applies wherever you book a BA redemption, whether it is on ba.com, iberia.com or avios.com.  Similarly, if you try to book an Iberia redemption on ba.com it will NOT follow the dates below.

All redemptions on partner airlines such as Qatar Airways are charged at peak rates, 100% of the time

Note that peak dates are in yellow whilst off peak is in white.  Click to enlarge:

British Airways peak and off peak calendar 2020

Don’t ask why Tuesday 11th and Tuesday 18th August are off-peak!  It is also isn’t clear why Wednesday 15th April (Easter Wednesday) is a solo off-peak day.  This is not an error – you can check yourself on ba.com as 15th April is already bookable.

As you would expect, peak dates cover all the school breaks as well as the majority of bank holidays.  The only bank holiday weekend during an off-peak time is the first May bank holiday, which was moved from its usual Monday slot to Friday 8th May to coincide with VE Day.  It is still possible that BA flips this to a peak date!

As a reminder, here is the peak and off-peak Avios pricing chart for British Airways flights:

Cost of Avios reward flights redemption chart

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

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Comments

  1. Thanks for this, but are we really to believe that 7 June and 11 and 18th August are isolated off peak dates in the summer period? Also, doesn’t summer peak usually begin on a Monday, here we have it starting 4July? Probably true though as they will probably want to capture the USA holiday.

    • *7 July

      • The Original David says:

        A few years ago every Tuesday and Wednesday was off-peak, wasn’t it?

        • Yes, when they first launched peak. 2015/16.

        • Matt B says:

          I flew out on a Tuesday in the Easter holidays this year, and BA had that day as off peak. It meant I needed more Avios to upgrade to F than I planned.

    • I BJ, I guess we’ll see when the award flights are released but historically BA have been known to have mid-week days as “off peak” during otherwise “peak” weeks. I imagine these are days with less demand as a lot of people like to fly at weekends.

      • David/Anna, now that you mention it I recall that. It would be good if this does prove to be the case as it provides a little respite, especially for family groups if they can get the seats required. I need 6 of July so missing that Tueday by one day otherwise it’s extra for my insurance. Using a 241 though and expected to pay 90k anyway so no personal loss for me.

  2. Stuart says:

    Somewhat O/T question.

    Can I book EI flights (for myself) over the phone to BA using pooled household Avios?

  3. Neil Spellings says:

    I have this as a Google Calendar/iCAL file so I can overlay it onto my work Outlook calendar which helps when planning trips/holidays. You’re all welcome to use it (assuming the comments system allows me to post links, otherwise Rob has the details so he could amend the copy)

    https://calendar.google.com/calendar/ical/spellings.net_f7nes10a3kektonq6am9bhqafk%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics

  4. Were I a cynic, I would say that the random off peak days are a marketing ploy so that they can say that off peak days are available EVERY MONTH !

    • Could be right …. or there is a % of off-peak dates they want to hit.

      • Or they haven’t officially released the list as they are planning to introduce dynamic pricing, so this is just a temporary list until they do.

      • How long has the peak/off-peak regime being around?
        It might (or not) be interesting to analyse how the yearly proportion has changed since it’s inception.

  5. I booked the 15th of april off peak day on sunday I can confirm it is true, redemtion to singapore, happy days!

  6. Simon says:

    So if you book for next year before the calendar comes out, is it just educated guess work what tariff applies?

    • Stu N says:

      If you’re trying to plan in advance and avoid peak days then it is guesswork until flights are actually released 355 days out. When you book it will go through at the “correct” rate for the day.

      • Shoestring says:

        booked RFS ticket T-355 one year @7500 Avios, then later it went down to 6500 – I forgot to try to get 1000 back but I reckon they’d have said tough anyway

    • No, because the off-peak / peak dates are always shown during booking. The only benefit of this calender is to help you with advance planning – you still can’t book until 355 days before departure.

      I feel a rush of Summer holidays from 11-18th August 2020 coming on, for a start.

      • So those dates might end up peak next year!

        • Agree. It’s hearsay.

          ‘British Airways still hasn’t officially released the peak and off peak dates for reward flights in 2020 but we now have some clarity on what the calendar will look like next year.
          We have managed to get our hands on what we believe is the full 2020 timetable via BA contacts.’

          Which is a different position from the title ‘Finally …… the full British Airways peak and off peak Avios calendar for 2020’

          • BA can obviously change this chart at any point until 355 days in advance, since that is when flights open for booking. The chart we published is the chart BA intends to work with. Someone may wake up tomorrow and decide that 11th August should be peak after all, but there’s nothing we can do about that!

  7. Slightly OT but BA reward flight related. Any idea when we might expect a long haul economy reward flight sale (save 50% of the required avios)? The last one was over a year ago (June 2018) but before that they had the same offer the previous December. I know these are generally considered poor value but as I’m looking to do an economy redemption anyway (as not enough miles anymore to consider anything in a higher class!) it would be a bonus and I’ll hold off booking for now!

  8. Lewis says:

    Does a list of destinations by zone exist? Had a Google can’t find anything?

  9. James G says:

    OT

    This morning I booked 4 outbound one way flights to an EU city (reward flight saver) and used one of my Amex ba 2-4-1 vouchers.

    1) Do I need to ring BA to get the return one way flights added on? Or book the return flight online and then call?

    2) Any idea what happens if I want to come back early. But other 3 family members come back as scheduled? Have two Sub-options here.
    A- I call ba and ask to change just one of the 4 tickets. They will likely say no (as a voucher was used)

    B- I just book a new one way inbound flight for myself. Family of 3 then come back as scheduled and I am effectively a no show at the airport. Can the 3 be denied boarding, at the very last moment?

    • pauldb says:

      1) You can call to add the inbound, or book it online at full avios then call to get it “vouchered” for a 1x avios refund.

      2) Do you mean you will return early, or might? You cannot put yourself on a different flight with it being your voucher. Yes you can probably no show with no issue, but if you aren’t flying the leg you get no benefot from the voucher and waste your RFS charges. Is there any chance you can use the voucher for the inbound leg of a later, otherwise-seperate trip with one of your family.

    • Shoestring says:

      B is fairly easy, I hope. You (cardholder) must be one of the 2-4-1 party when you book – but you don’t have to actually travel. Ie if you are a no-show on the return flight, the other 3 won’t be denied boarding; their tickets are valid in themselves.

    • 1. Both seem to work
      2. You no-show. Family will be fine.

      • James B says:

        Thank you. Quick follow up

        If I call BA to cancel just my outbound ticket, are they able to do so ? Or will they insist all 4 tickets needed to be cancelled and then the 3 rebooked again?

        I know the 2-4-1 may be lost- but don’t want to pay the change fee x3 and also potentially lose the 3 award tickets if availability is gone

        • Shoestring says:

          cardholder has to be in the booking, so for outward tickets, you could be a no show but you could just cancel your part of the booking

          it’s only SH to Europe, right? So no show on 2-4-1s is probably going to be cheaper (than cancellation then rebooking) if you still want the other 3 to take their flights

        • Gut feeling is they will want to cancel two tickets – yours and the free one – with the other two remaining. That is logical but of course BA does not work that way.

          If there are kids on the booking you are stuffed anyway, aren’t you? If your wife is on the free ticket, they can’t cancel you and her as unaccompanied kids are not allowed. If the ‘free’ seat is a kid, the other two seats (wife and kid) would remain but you can’t rebook the kid as it would be a standalone booking.

          • James F says:

            Thanks rob
            Btw, How does one even know who is on the “free ticket”?

            More importantly, surely a standalone ticket can be booked for a kid, and can then be added on/linked to the existing parent booking?

            Haha this 2-4-1 is more trouble than its worth for Eu short haul.

          • Only a Gold can link two tickets IIRC. Not allowed for anyone else. It is called TCP ‘to complete party’.

          • Shoestring says:

            I don’t think it is at all easy to buy a standalone ticket for an under-14YO kid – definitely impossible online but I guess on the phone would be do-able once you explain they will be travelling with parent who already has a ticket

          • It’s doable on the phone, I added my daughter’s friend on to our flight at October half term….she will be 13 when we travel…she is on a separate booking

          • Spurs Debs says:

            I also have bought a stand-alone ticket for my grandson and had bookings linked as he was only 6.
            I paid with avois and had to do it by phone.

        • pauldb says:

          If you call them tonight (now – within 24hrs) I think there’s a chance they will be able to re-work the booking. I.e. remove you from the booking and refund the voucher so the 3x avios cover the other 3 travellers, and you have the voucher to reuse.

          • pauldb says:

            I also expect that if you did have to cancel (free <24hrs) to rebook, you can probably expect the 4 seats to reopen for booking. No guarantee though – what are you risking: are cash seats an acceptable price if not.

          • James F says:

            Thanks Paul

            Cash fares are crazy high. I am not bothered about losing 2 41 as it expires in a couple weeks anyway

            Last question, on my current booking ( 4 one way outbound tickets on a 241), if I don’t show, will the other 3 be Lloyds to fly, if I don’t show at the airport for the outbound.

          • James F says:

            *will the other 3 be allowed to fly

          • James F says:

            *will the other 3 be allowed to fly

          • pauldb says:

            They should be fine on the outbound, but are you thinking of adding an inbound. Some suggestion the system may have a chance to work our something’s wrong in time to mess with their inbound.

  10. PaulW says:

    We have been booking 2020 flights for 6 months+ why isn’t this released a year in advance ?

    • Shoestring says:

      because once it’s released publicly, BA lose the flexibility to make off-peak dates peak etc

  11. Gerry says:

    Hi Rhys,
    Thanks for this.
    ‘As you would expect, peak dates cover all the school breaks as well as the majority of bank holidays.’
    For all the problems those of us in the regions/countries of the UK have with BA and the faff of using Avios etc, they still come up trumps with their calendar. For at least 9% of the population the off peak dates do cover part of the school holidays, Scottish schools break up on 26th June 2020.

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