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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.

British Airways BA 777X 777 9X

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.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2022)

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.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

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

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

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

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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 card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

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

Comments (27)

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

  • Anna says:

    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!

    • Anna says:

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

    • John says:

      What does £12 get you at that Subway?

      • Anna says:

        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.

        • Anna says:

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

        • xcalx says:

          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.

          • Anna says:

            That’s a rip off even for 7MB! Were you on a cruise 😱 – they get extra fleecy if they know you can’t go back and complain!

          • Shoestring says:

            We’re definitely not going there!

    • Chris M says:

      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.

      • Anna says:

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

  • Mikeact says:

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

  • Mikeact says:

    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.

  • Concerto says:

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

  • Concerto says:

    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.

  • pauldb says:

    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.

  • Robert says:

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

  • Mark M says:

    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?

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

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