Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Which routes have the most and least Avios reward flight availability in Club World and First?

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Here is something to strike up a debate for your Monday morning!  Which British Airways routes have the most and least Avios availability in Club World business class and First Class?

A couple of weeks ago a reader asked me if I’d ever analysed British Airways Avios reward availability by route.  I hadn’t, but the email set me thinking and I thought I knew a man who could find out – Tim Rogers, who runs the fantastic Reward Flight Finder tool (rewardflightfinder.com).

(I should mention here that Tim has generously volunteered to sponsor the Head for Points reader dinner at Quo Vadis on 10th October, as a thank you for the support we’ve given his site.  If you are coming along you’ll be able to meet Tim on the night.  We’ve upgraded the drinks budget thanks to his help!)

Which routes have best and worse Avios availability

Tim pulled all of the Avios reward data on Reward Flight Finder and sent it over.  I have taken the raw numbers and turned them into something easy to digest.

What you have below is very simple.  It is a list of all British Airways long-haul destinations and the number of days (out of 355, the BA booking window) that you can get 2 x Club World or 2 x First Class seats for an Avios redemption FROM London.

I have run the results by volume and, separately, alphabetically.  It is based on the position as of 10 days ago.

There are a few things to bear in mind when you look at these numbers:

BA guarantees 2 x Club World seats on every flight.  If a route shows a very low number, it does NOT mean that seats were not released.  It means that they were booked immediately, often the full 355 days in advance, and that this is a route where BA rarely releases more seats.  (Remember that you can use rewardflightfinder.com to set up alerts so you are emailed when seats open up on your preferred route.)

This only looks at OUTBOUND seats from London.  For low numbers, the situation is worse than it looks – if there are only 21 dates with two seats to Durban, for example, the chances of you finding two seats BACK from Durban when you want them are very low indeed.

The analysis takes no account of seasonality.  There may be 140 days when you can fly to Dubai but 90 of them are in June, July and August when you probably don’t want to go.

The analysis takes no account of short notice availability.  Sydney, for example, is often easy to get at short notice – last Wednesday, for example, there was Club World space for last Friday but nothing else until April!

If a route has First Class, you cannot add together the number of dates with 2 x Club World and 2 x First Class.  If there are 50 days with 2 x Club World and 20 days with 2 x First Class, there are NOT 70 days you could potentially travel with a flat bed.  It is more likely to be just a little over 50 days.

Some of these routes do not run every day, so you wouldn’t expect a big number in the first place.

We ran this analysis in September.  Does the number of available seats change over the year? 

Sydney is artificially low because it just looks at ‘through flights’ – there is marginally more space if you are willing to break your trip in Singapore

Remember that this analysis is based on two seats. Solo travellers have more choice, families less.

Here is the 1st version, ranked by Club World availability (out of 355 possible days):

City
2 x Business
2 x First
Accra
328
290
Abuja
320
244
Doha
310
47
New York
309
65
Boston
305
252
Lagos
300
185
Bahrain
283
49
Washington
278
15
Riyadh
270
23
Moscow
261
0
Jeddah
256
55
Beijing
234
99
Tel Aviv
231
87
Shanghai
229
153
Philadelphia
217
114
Chicago
211
47
Montreal
209
 
Toronto
208
15
Mumbai
205
12
Kuwait
203
40
Houston
201
37
Hyderabad
200
 
Baltimore
198
 
Chennai
191
 
Atlanta
188
34
Beirut
184
 
Austin
182
130
Seoul
176
 
Los Angeles
163
2
Mexico City
163
52
Rio De Janeiro
158
 
Amman
157
 
Cairo
157
 
Bengalaru
154
 
Delhi
153
24
Abu Dhabi
151
26
Dallas
149
58
Denver
148
95
Nashville
142
26
Dubai
140
15
Nairobi
138
103
Islamabad
133
 
Sao Paulo
133
112
Buenos Aires
131
 
Miami
125
33
Las Vegas
123
1
Pittsburgh
121
 
Johannesburg
118
31
Bermuda
116
85
New Orleans
106
 
San Jose (CA)
101
 
Barbados
94
40
Santiago
90
23
Kuala Lumpur
89
19
Seattle
77
17
Narita
69
 
San Francisco
69
0
Tokyo
69
37
Singapore
67
13
Orlando
64
 
Antigua
62
 
Vancouver
62
6
Tampa
56
 
Bangkok
55
 
San Diego
51
7
Kingston
47
 
Calgary
46
 
Hong Kong
44
4
St Lucia
43
9
Nassau
42
 
Grand Cayman
41
 
Port of Spain
33
9
Punta Cana
32
 
Charleston
31
 
Osaka
31
 
Turks and Caicos
27
 
Phoenix
23
4
St Kitts
23
 
Durban
21
 
Cancun
17
 
Mahe (Seychelles)
17
0
Sydney
14
3
Tobago
11
 
Grenada
9
0
San Jose (C’Rica)
9
3
Mauritius
7
 
Lima
5
 
Muscat
4
0
Cape Town
2
4
Male
0
 

This is the second version, ranked alphabetically by city:

City
2 x Business
2 x First
Abu Dhabi
151
26
Abuja
320
244
Accra
328
290
Amman
157
 
Antigua
62
 
Atlanta
188
34
Austin
182
130
Bahrain
283
49
Baltimore
198
 
Bangkok
55
 
Barbados
94
40
Beijing
234
99
Beirut
184
 
Bengalaru
154
 
Bermuda
116
85
Boston
305
252
Buenos Aires
131
 
Cairo
157
 
Calgary
46
 
Cancun
17
 
Cape Town
2
4
Charleston
31
 
Chennai
191
 
Chicago
211
47
Dallas
149
58
Delhi
153
24
Denver
148
95
Doha
310
47
Dubai
140
15
Durban
21
 
Grand Cayman
41
 
Grenada
9
0
Hong Kong
44
4
Houston
201
37
Hyderabad
200
 
Islamabad
133
 
Jeddah
256
55
Johannesburg
118
31
Kingston
47
 
Kuala Lumpur
89
19
Kuwait
203
40
Lagos
300
185
Las Vegas
123
1
Lima
5
 
Los Angeles
163
2
Mahe (Seychelles)
17
0
Male
0
 
Mauritius
7
 
Mexico City
163
52
Miami
125
33
Montreal
209
 
Moscow
261
0
Mumbai
205
12
Muscat
4
0
Nairobi
138
103
Narita
69
 
Nashville
142
26
Nassau
42
 
New Orleans
106
 
New York
309
65
Orlando
64
 
Osaka
31
 
Philadelphia
217
114
Phoenix
23
4
Pittsburgh
121
 
Port of Spain
33
9
Punta Cana
32
 
Rio De Janeiro
158
 
Riyadh
270
23
San Diego
51
7
San Francisco
69
0
San Jose (CA)
101
 
San Jose (C’Rica)
9
3
Santiago
90
23
Sao Paulo
133
112
Seattle
77
17
Seoul
176
 
Shanghai
229
153
Singapore
67
13
St Kitts
23
 
St Lucia
43
9
Sydney
14
3
Tampa
56
 
Tel Aviv
231
87
Tobago
11
 
Tokyo
69
37
Toronto
208
15
Turks and Caicos
27
 
Vancouver
62
6
Washington
278
15

 


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2021)

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

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

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 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

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

If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

(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 (178)

  • Aston100 says:

    Sorry O/T:
    I asked to cancel my wife’s BA PP Amex and got this message fro mthe live chat people:
    “If you have earned a British Airways Companion Voucher, please be aware that Companion Voucher bookings must be made using the British Airways Card they were earned with. This is set in the Terms and Conditions on the Companion Voucher. Cancelling this Account may mean you are unable to redeem your Companion Voucher. ”
    They also repeated the point that an unused companion voucher will be voided. Also that the payment of taxes etc for using a companion voucher has to be made with the very Amex card that the voucher was earnt through.

    This sounds a bit different from what I’ve read on this site in recent times.

    • Shoestring says:

      trust HfP, not BAPP CS

      • Shoestring says:

        you do need an Amex card (any) available to you, though

      • Aston100 says:

        OK but you can understand my hesitation when the words of warning and references to t&cs is coming from the customer services of the card provider.

        • Shoestring says:

          Absolutely

          Probably 100+ hfp regulars have been told the same as you and got nervous but nobody here has ever got the bad outcome

        • Craig says:

          I was one of those nervous people, cancelled 5 weeks ago and the voucher is still sitting there waiting to be used. Supplementary card on a different account will be used to pay the fees.

        • Rob says:

          No, if you read this site regularly you’ll realise that the LAST place you should go for information is the customer services of the airline / hotel / card provider …..

    • 1nfrequent says:

      I just did a BA Companion redemption booking using a Gold Amex. The chap on the phone didn’t care about whether it was the BA Amex (literally told me that as long as it was an Amex the system would allow it).

      1F

  • Simon says:

    O/T as no Bits — Marriott: does anyone know if you can use your free SPG (25,000 point max hotel) night certificate IN TANDEM with a Suite Night Award? I have 9 of these to use before year-end, which I’ll not achieve. Usually, at participating hotels, once a booking has been made you would notice a “Use your Suite Night Award?” query within the booking itself, but, in making a dummy booking with my free night certificate yesterday at a Renaissance hotel, no such SNA offer was noticeable within the booking… does anyone know if these stack? Certainly, SNAs are doable on redemption bookings — I used one at the St Regis Osaka in Feb — but would appreciate any reader experiences of trying to use them on a free night certificate booking. Thanks in advance.

  • Will says:

    Picking up on male, etihad run a 787 with F cabin out of there. Possible to link nicely to an A380 appartment to London with AA miles for no more than a return to Abu Dhabi as male is sane price on reward chart.

  • Tom says:

    Your numbers tally with my personal experience. I can usually find awards in CW and First to the East Coast of North America. But for the West Coast it is much harder. San Francisco in particular can be very hard to find much at all, ditto for San Jose. Interestingly when BA flew to Oakland award space was easy, although there was no F on that flight: 777-200 from Gatwick.

    LA, Seattle and Vacouver are all tough to find as well.

    It’s a shame because flights to the East Coast are almost too short to really enjoy F, and I normally would not pay much more for that.

    • Richmond says:

      I never use avios for longhaul from London, but bought last minute avios tickets from LA and HKG couple of times and it was always easy.

  • Chelseafi says:

    I’m really surprised how little availability in first for Vegas there is. I’m going in Nov, 2 out in first & club return, I’m sure when I booked last Dec there were loads more dates 2 seats in first out???

    • Matt B says:

      Last month I booked my flight back from Vegas for next summer, and at the time you could book almost every day across July and August in CW with a fair few in F. Almost all gone now. Wouldn’t be surprised if people who didn’t get first choice to LAX etc used those flights instead

    • Mawalt says:

      Vegas in November is not easily available. My wife and I went there in November 2017 in J (U), and could not find any decent availability, so ended up flying to SFO. So I would say sometimes it’s the other way too!

      F reward availability on SFO/LAX/Vegas routes is extremely limited.

  • Harry T says:

    Very OT:
    @Shoestring – your favourite World Remit £55 offer is available for 24 hours on your usual site.

    • Shoestring says:

      It’s the easiest 5500 Avios to earn – provided you have a foreign bank a/c!

      Worldremit rates are very sharp, so no problem there. They are happy for any genuine 18YO+ to be a new customer & no problem if you all send £200 to the same foreign bank a/c & live at the same house, just use different email addresses.

      • Shoestring says:

        You could always have a friend abroad with a foreign bank a/c who wouldn’t mind you sending them £200 for safekeeping!

      • Jtz says:

        I just wanted to add I done this last time with 3 genuine accounts, to 2 different bank accounts abroad, world remit denied 2 and had to ask for my money back that they had taken
        Tread cautiously

    • BLT says:

      Worldremit seem to have a 1.1% spread and a £2.99 fee per transfer. So maybe fine to get the new customer bonus but not competitive vs Revolut etc

      • Boi says:

        Depends….we are going to Canada next month( I have an account there). So I just transferred £200. With £0.99 fee. By far that beats Revolut with £55 CB. I can do new customer with friends and family names….it’s about taking opportunities but not long term use. I now use various companies to drip feed my accounts. I have accounts in 5 countries (GBP/EUR/CAD/USD/BWP) just to facilitation my travels. I transfer when the rates are favourable.

  • Roy says:

    O/T IHG Rewards Premium Card:

    Anyone else seeing non-IHG hotel stays earning double points and showing up on the IHG points statement as hotel spend? It’s happened to me twice now in the last two months – both with Accor properties paid for by Curve and charged to my IHG card.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Were they ex IHG hotels?

      • Roy says:

        I very much doubt it. The hotels were a Novotel Suites and an Ibis, and both had the modular bathrooms. And the Ibis was one half of a dual-branded Ibis/Ibis Budget.

        And in any case, payment was via Curve so I don’t believe they would have received the merchant account details of the hotel – only the (truncated) name and the fact that it was hotel spend.

        (They were outside the UK, but they showed up on the IHG statement as hotel spend, not international spend. And anyway, no other Curve spend outside the UK gets me double points).

        I guess I need to try charging a non-IHG hotel in the UK directly to the IHG card and see what happens with that.

        • Roy says:

          Actually, sorry, I don’t think the ibis did have the modular bathrooms – I was confusing it with another stay. I still think it was probably new build, given the fact that it’s a dual branded hotel.

          The hotels were the Novotel Suites Hamburg City and Ibis Hamburg City, if anyone happens to know the history of those hotels.

    • Adam says:

      Yes! Was very surprised as well! Paid with curve for Sofitel in Warsaw.

    • BJ says:

      Not really but waiting for Rob to post an article, presumably at an agreed time with amex.