BA sale

Get 10% to 50% off long-haul Avios redemptions – ALL ROUTES, ALL CLASSES

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British Airways has launched an Avios redemption sale!

Until 21st November, you can get 50% off World Traveller and World Traveller Plus (premium economy) redemptions, as well as 10% off Club World and First.  You must travel before 30th April.

You can see more on official promotion page on ba.com here.

We’ve seen similar sales before, but this is the first time that premium cabins on all routes have also been discounted.

Unfortunately, you are still on the hook for taxes, fees and carrier charges which are not reduced as part of this sale.

The other catch is that – of course – this depends on redemption availability being open. If there are no seats available to redeem, you can’t benefit! As far as we are aware, no additional Avios seats are being made available. Your best bet for checking availability quickly is with Reward Flight Finder.

For clarity, you CAN combine a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher with this offer.  I am assuming that Lloyds Avios Rewards vouchers, ‘Gold Upgrade For Two’ vouchers etc can also be used.

EDIT: British Airways have confirmed that this sale works with the 2-4-1 voucher. If you had problems yesterday BA recommends you try again today.

Does this change the economics of redemptions in World Traveller?

Generally, redeeming your Avios for a long haul economy ticket is poor value, since you often end up paying almost as much as you would for a cash ticket.

For example, on a return trip to New York, you are paying £260+ on taxes and fees PLUS 26,000 Avios (off peak). Given that cash fares for New York in economy are often under £300 in the winter months you are using 26,000 Avios for a very, very small discount.

In this sale, however, you are paying 13,000 Avios plus the £260+ taxes and fees. That makes an economy redemption slightly better value, although it is still not a great use of points.

How do other classes fare?

Let’s start with World Traveller Plus or premium economy, again between London and New York. Taking a look at BA’s low fare finder tool, a cash ticket will set you back at least £750+.

If we look at an Avios redemption, you can expect to pay around £475 on taxes and charges. Outside of this promotion you’d be paying 52,000 Avios (return) on top of that, which means you’re redeeming an Avios at less than 0.5p – a poor redemption.

With the 50% off promotion, the Avios component is reduced to 26,000. This is virtually 1p per point based on a £750 cash alternative. It is likely to be a whole lot more if you are not flexible with your dates –  the cash price goes over £800 as we get into April.

The Avios economics are even better for redemptions in Club World or First, despite a lower discount of 10%. This is because – on the whole – redemptions in business or first class are typically the best value anyway.

Club World return to New York is typically £1,300+ during the sales. At the moment, the cheapest fare on ba.com for the next 12 months is just under £1,500.

A normal redemption sets you back 100,000 Avios + £668. That means you are using 100,000 Avios to save roughly £832, which works out at 0.83p per point. That’s not great, but if you wanted to fly in December, January or March, the cash fare is £2,500+. You’d be getting 1.8p per point or more.

With this sale, you’d save 10,000 Avios and the total Avios cost would reduce to 90,000. This means you would be getting almost 1p per point even during the cheapest months.

A redemption in First is even better value, as cash fares are almost always over £2,000+ and frequently top £3,000. Despite this, the taxes and fees portion of a redemption are identical to a Club World ticket, at £668.  136,000 Avios are required, reduced to 122,400 with the 10% off in this sale.  That means that you are looking at signficantly more than 1.2p per Avios regardless of when you redeem.

Conclusion

As an HFP reader you are most likely already familiar with the economics of Avios redemptions. This redemption sale obviously increases the value you get in the flat bed cabins which were already the best place to redeem.  It also means that some economy and premium economy redemptions become competitive when compared with the cash alternative.

As always, you should do the maths for your particular dates and ensure you are getting value for money.

You can see the full details of this sale on the BA website here.

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Comments

  1. Berneslai says:

    Does anyone have any recommendations on what I can do with a family of 4 with 220k avios in a household account and 2 Amex 2-4-1 vouchers? I’ve been through the articles on this site but I still don’t know my best usage – I assume that finding 4 reward seats (largely in school holidays) is a fools errand.

    • Shoestring says:

      Depends if you like Europe – RFS return fares in Europe would leave you plenty of change & is amongst the best value BAEC offers

      • Shoestring says:

        and it’s easy enough to get 4x reward flights in Europe in school hols, I do it up to 5x a year 🙂

    • With the discount, you just have enough for 4 peak CW to the US East Coast. There are a few options out on 4th April (IAD, BOS, YYZ) and NYC back on the 19th (one day late). But bear in mind fees are £2600 for four!

      Depending on kids’ ages, consider a few nights in IAD and NYC with a week in Florida for in between.

      Or a summer trip staying in the BOS/YYZ/NYC triangle is perhaps a little easier, but I like going somewhere warm at Easter!

      • berneslai says:

        Thanks for the in-depth response. I like the look of that, and the dates work, but may freeze to death – I’ll save up for Miami!

        • You could use the avios and 2 4 1s to start and end your trip in NYC/Washington/Boston and have a week or so in Florida (as suggested) or the Bahamas or Caribbean if you don’t mind paying for (and the aggravation of) more flights. Miami can be a bit of a T-355 destination and also you would struggle to find 4 seats in CW both ways.

  2. The best value in these examples BY FAR is to buy that £750 premium economy cash ticket and upgrade it to Club World using Avios (if available). This blows the redemption discounts out of the water. May seem obvious to some, but worth reiterating for the beginners.

    • I do agree with you Alex W, but the thing that came as a surprise to me when I did exactly for San Diego flights was that there were additional taxes to pay to the sum of £400! £100 per person per leg (we upgraded both ways). I still considered it good value but it was a surprise nonetheless because this point always seems to be missed when promoted on here (article or the comments).

      • Shoestring says:

        APD increase
        Band – Reduced rate (for travel in lowest class available on aircraft) – Standard rate (for any other class of travel)
        Band B (Over 2,000 miles) – £78 – £172

        • TGLoyalty says:

          But PE already attracts the higher APD.

          Either way the taxes and fees should have been no different to the difference between what you would pay for a PE vs CW redemption

      • Lady London says:

        That’s not taxes it’s BA taking greedy surcharges and perhaps hoping you’ll think they are taxes again.

        APD (i.e., the tax) and airport charges do not change when a passenger moves between PY (Y+), J and F. The government tax is the same for all 3 classes. It’s only lower for Y. It’s a single higher rate for all other classes. So as far as APD (tax) is concerned the only time any more is payable is when you move from Y to any other class. Not amongst those other higher classes (PY, J, F) as the APD (tax) stays the same for all of them. Currently VAT (sales tax) is not charged on airfares bought in the UK. So APD is what is actually tax.

        BA has never announced it but in the course of the past year or so they have added huge costs to Transatlantic redemptions, in particular. This seems to have included charging additional amounts for upgrades that cannot be for APD/tax.

        For example if a passenger upgrades from J to F then the APD/tax amount stays the same. So if BA is charging, say, an additional £200 as well as the difference in Avios between the two classes, then you can be sure that is money BA is keeping for itself as it’s not tax.

        What is upsetting some people is that when BA takes this extra money that is for itself to keep, apparently BA agents are still calling it “tax”. It’s felt that this could be misleading to the great majority of BA’s customers who would not know the difference and might wrongly think this money is tax required by the government when actually the money apparently still being called ‘tax’ by BA, is being taken by BA.

    • +1, UUA now generally a better use of avios long haul than straight redemptions.

      • Harry T says:

        Do you mean if you’re not using a 241 voucher?

        • Yes, I mean straight redemptions. They are not bad on flexibility too, most underlying long haul WTP fares can be changed for around £280 +fare difference ( which seems to vary less on WTP outside peak times). The £35pp fee is applied too though as an avios redemption for the upgrade is also being changed.

          • And if you have less avios to start with, or are finding them increasingly difficult to collect UU, and sometimes part pay with avios is a good option.

  3. Is this supposed to work with the “Pay cash and upgrade with Avios” option?

    • Shoestring says:

      no – that’s *not* an Avios redemption, by definition

      • Yes UUA is a redemption and requires availability in the higher class. But no I don’t think it will get a discount.
        “Pay with cash, reduce cost with Avios” aka PPWA, is not a redemption and doesn’t require availability.

        • Shoestring says:

          OK it’s not a *reward flight* (which is what I meant by ‘redemption’ & so do 99% of other people on this thread 🙂

          [Simply book a *reward flight* in our economy (World Traveller) or premium economy (World Traveller Plus) cabins before 21 November 2019, for travel between 7 November 2019 and 30 April 2020.]

    • Sounds like you did the ‘pay with cash and upgrade using avios’ option? What you should do is just book the WTP fare for cash then upgrade it later as a separate transaction, ideally within 24h so you can cancel if the award seats disappear. Search upgrade using avios here on HFP for the article that explains why.

  4. Doesn’t look like the 241 vouchers are working (based on my sample of one).

  5. Definitely not working for me using my 2for1 voucher (London to NYC) in March.

  6. Mr Pawel Siewko says:

    I was waiting for this promo
    9750 avios off peak
    Fir flights from GIG/HKG and very low taxes around 30gbp

    Perfect if someone coming back fro. Asia south America

    Just time frame not for me this year

  7. OT – Amex offer, 5% back from LNER every time until 31/12/19.

    • Plus 4 other new offers, just posted them on the credit card article.

    • Very disappointed with my Amex Plat offers, much worse than on basic BA card.

      Eg £10 off £30 at BP on free card £5 off £30 on Platinum…go figger

  8. For me, part-pay is much better now than going for an Avios ticket. No availability restrictions, full tier points and Avios earned back and if you take the maximum reduction and look at the price to pay it’s around the same as Avios needed and taxes and charges for an Avios ticket.

  9. I tried to use my Amex 2 for 1 and it does not work. I called BA just now too and they said you cannot use any voucher on this offer.

  10. Reeferman says:

    Rule 13 of the T&Cs says “This offer cannot be used in conjunction with ………any other travel vouchers, travel class upgrades ….”
    So am guessing it’s not going to work with the 2-4-1 nor with the Lloyds Upgrade Voucher (unfortunately for me!).
    When I do a dummy booking on line with the 2-4-1, it’s definitely not working.
    Happy to be proved wrong though.

  11. Jessiefan says:

    Is this likely to spark a Virgin reward sale?

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