How to book Avios Reward Flight Saver flights on British Airways ‘Fifth Freedom’ routes

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I have written many articles in the past about Reward Flight Saver redemptions, where British Airways caps your ‘taxes and charges’ fee at £35 return for economy, £50 return for business or £55 for First (now Moscow only, I think).

This article in our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series looks at how Avios Reward Flight Saver works on short-haul British Airways flights.

As well as shuttling around Europe with Reward Flight Saver, there is another way you can benefit from the low taxes – by taking a British Airways ‘Fifth Freedom’ flight.

Antigua BA

A ‘Fifth Freedom’ flight is one where the plane stops en-route to its final destination to drop off passengers, and also takes on new passengers at the intermediate stop.  British Airways uses these so called ‘Fifth Freedom’ rights to sell tickets on flights which neither begin nor end in the UK.

Until around five years ago, ‘Fifth Freedom’ flights on British Airways contained a clever little bonus. However short and cheap the journey, like the sub-1 hour flight from Bahrain to Doha which existed then, you still received full long-haul tier points.  This was a very cheap way to maintain your BA status!  However, BA finally woke up to this and now you only receive standard short-haul tier points for these routes.

Here are the remaining British Airways ‘Fifth Freedom’ short routes.  The list has got shorter in recent years as BA has launched more direct services, culling tags such as Bahrain to Doha and Abu Dhabi to Muscat.

  • UVF (St Lucia) – GND (Grenada) (50 minutes, Wed)
  • UVF (St Lucia) – POS (Port of Spain) (65 minutes, Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun)
  • ANU (Antigua) – SKB (St Kitts) (45 minutes, Wed and Sat)
  • ANU (Antigua) – PLS (Turks & Caicos) (2hr 5 min, Thu and Sun)
  • ANU (Antigua) – TOB (Tobago) (85 minutes, Tue, Fri)
  •  GCM (Grand Cayman) – NAS (Nassau) (95 minutes, Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat)

These routes are available as Reward Flight Saver although the pricing has got messier due to the new Avios pricing selection which can reduce the taxes and fees to as low as £1 in return for more Avios.  Club World on the routes above costs 15,500 to 18,000 Avios + £51 return, depending on whether you travel off-peak or peak.  Turks & Caicos is a longer flight and costs 27,750 – 40,000 Avios + £50.50 in Club World, return, depending on date. Alternatively, you can use the new Avios pricing selection which can reduce the taxes and fees to as low as £1.

If you have never tried BA’s Club World then this is a cheap way to do so if you are in the region – and possibly turn your holiday into a ‘two centre’ one at the same time.

PS.  It is worth noting that Heathrow to Moscow is also treated as a Reward Flight Saver route and is operated with long-haul aircraft – currently a Boeing 787 – on selected services.  It is usually the early morning flight during the summer season.  Whilst getting a Russian Visa is a bit of a pain, Moscow is a fascinating weekend break, especially if you can get there on a flat bed for virtually nothing in taxes and charges!

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. Don’t waste avios on CW from GCM to NAS. You get one alcoholic drink and no food as F & B are only loaded on at NAS. There’s also no lounge at GCM – you get a £12 voucher for instead to use at Subway!

    • I don’t actually know if you would even get the voucher if you were only travelling to NAS.

    • What does £12 get you at that Subway?

      • It’s not too bad, I got a pizza, coffee and 3 cookies with mine! Which you need because they BA feed you until a good 5 hours into that flight.

        • They don’t feed you, even! Typing skills still asleep.

        • That does seem good. Last time I was in GCM paid over $80 plus tip for 2 beers and two club sandwiches. Not in a resort either just a local bar on 7 mile beach.

    • I wouldn’t want to get on at NAS either. Have you seen the CW cabin after the LHR to NAS sector? It looks like a cross between a jumble sale and a pillow fight.

      • Lol! Yes but they change crew at NAS so you’re getting fresh staff not doing very much for 90 minutes!

  2. How about Singapore down to Sydney…..good luck with seats.

  3. At the risk of taking over the blog, there are loads of One World options as well.
    Cathay Pacific:
    Vancouver-New York
    LATAM Airlines:
    Punta Cana-Miami
    Easter Island-Papeete (this is not technically fifth-freedom because Easter Island is part of Chile)
    Qatar Airways:
    Phnom Penh-Ho Chi Minh City
    Sao Paulo-Buenos Aires
    Royal Jordanian:
    Bangkok-Hong Kong
    Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur
    Sri Lankan Airlines:
    Tokyo-Male (1 direction only)
    Probably a few more I’ve missed as well.

  4. In Europe the LATAM Airlines one from FRA-MAD is good too, but you can usually get it for cash pretty cheaply.

  5. Any chance of an article with all the 5th freedoms with other carriers in Europe? For example, I think Emirates do ATH-MLA as well as MXP-JFK.

  6. Another side-effect of “new RFS”: I appreciate not many will use a 241 voucher on RFS. I booked a oneway T-355 241 RFS and then, a week later, grabbed my inbound at 1am online full-avios. In the past I would then call BAEC in the morning and they would refund half the avios.
    However, even though I selected the base rate avios option (20k avios + £25pp), my inbound was a “new RFS” (could have been £1 fees, canx £1, etc.) While it could have been the agent/supervisor I spoke to, there was no way I could get this new RFS booking converted to 241 (remaining seperate). I had to canx and then have them add it to the outbound – luckily the 2J seats reopened for me.
    I assume this is still fine longhaul, but seems no longer shorthaul.

  7. missed off Singapore to Sydney, this is a busy but good one.

  8. Are there opportunities to fly Virgin to/from the Caribbean (I have VFC points), then do a second trip on BA RFS while there? Any suggestions please?

  9. NOT a fifth freedom but just great value is KWI-LHR in F at 42000Avios & £175 for the full 7 hours of F ! Tag on an EDI at +£30.00 (ish) for Concorde Room access at LHR in between. Off peak. Bargain !

  10. No sin-syd route?

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