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

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Time is running out to book in the British Airways long-haul Avios redemption sale.

You need to book by Thursday night, 21st November.  The good news is that you have until 30th April 2020 to travel.

You can get 50% off World Traveller and World Traveller Plus (premium economy) redemptions, as well as 10% off Club World and First. 

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

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.  It does not seem to work with Lloyds Avios Rewards vouchers.

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.  When this promo launched two weeks ago, the cheapest fare on ba.com for the next 12 months was 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.  Remember that you need to book by midnight on Thursday.

What does Fans of M.O. (Mandarin Oriental’s loyalty programme) offer you when you stay?
Bits: Get 1000 Avios with £100 BA Amex spend, 40% bonus buying Hyatt points, Virgin codeshares with WestJet

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Comments

  1. How does BA WTP compare to LH PE: better, worse or much the same?

    • The Original David says:

      Probably depends a lot on route, but I’ve seen that LH has just sharply down-graded the second PE meal on long-haul routes to be a cold vegetarian snack box. OMAAT did a write-up of the changes on 6th November. Their latest hard product looks probably better than BA’s PE seat, but not sure if that’s on all aircraft. Pre-departure beverage is a fruit juice rather than the sparkling wine on BA.

    • BA premium economy is a separate cabin, on LH it is all one cabin fitted with two different kinds of seats (premium economy at the front and then changing to economy seats).
      If you are upgraded then BA business class is much more private. LH business class is the most open business class I know and your feet share a small cubby with your neighbour.

    • BA have been making improvements to WTP in the last year – improvements to meal service, new amenity kit, blanket, pillow etc.

      Incidentally I’ll be on it on Friday for a review. Stay tuned…

      • The Original David says:

        Doesn’t help the woeful hard product though, with its class-leading lack of storage space. The A350 is slightly improved, but otherwise you don’t even get so much as a water bottle holder! And there’s a fighting chance you’ll be on a non-refurbed 777-200 with its seat design from 19 years ago and with a power socket that nobody even makes adaptors for anymore.

        • Thanks everyody for comments. Think I’ve heard enough already to make my decision 🙂

        • Class leading? Have you been in the new Virgin Upper Class suite yet…?

          • The Original David says:

            WTP’s “class-leading *lack*” of storage space – i.e. no other PE product in the world has so little at-seat storage. On reflection the old PE on Cathay’s regional flights might be just as bad, but other than that I’m struggling to think of anything worse.

  2. OT: Topcasback are running a 25% bonus for Avios payouts to BAEC. I havent seen it advertised but it’s showing on the payout options screen.

  3. Alan Clarke says:

    Used a BA 241 voucher and 180,000 avios to book 2 adults and 1 child club world return to Oman.

    How do i calculate my value per point??

    • Price up for cash (in pence) minus the cash you had to pay for the redemption then divide by 180,000.

      ie if cash fares are £2000 for 3, fees of say £800. Do £2000 -£800, in pence is 120000. Then divide by 180,000. That would be 0.66p per point.

      • It depends.

        If you are in effect buying the avios you earn (i.e. using an avios earning card vs a card where you get cash instead; taking avios from certain reward portals instead of cash; taking avios from Tesco when there are alternatives) then I’d argue you need to compare to the cost of the flights you would otherwise have paid cash for. It’s pointless generating a false ppa when this is the value you compare to your buy price to see if you’re doing the right thing or not.

        • Even taking JPa’s example at face value, avios (and TP too if valued) earbed onbthe cash flight heed to be factored in, reducing the ppa still further.

    • Rather than calculate the value per point I like to compare my total cash outlay with the cash fare that would otherwise be charged. So for our outbound legs in F from MAN to MIA and back in Y from GCM next Easter for 3 of us I paid about £2000 “fees” (I class the avios as free, despite what anyone else on here says!). The cash price of those flights would be a total of £7500. So I consider that I’m getting £7500 of value for an outlay of about £2200 (BA fees plus BAPP fee). This makes me very happy, which as is often pointed out here, is the most important thing!

  4. Shame there is little CW/F availability to Asia for January and beyond

    • Got to the point that unless you manage to get your seats T-355 (and there is even luck in that) then you are very fortunate if you get the seats you want at a later date. Reward Flight Finder is invaluable.

    • A very quick and random look at RFF shows outbound in CW on Jan 14th to Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul. I sometimes think I have access to a different system from some people – would recommend subscribing to get the enhanced search facility if you haven’t already!

      • The following day there’s CW to all those places, plus Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur!

        • Not saying thdy are big there. Chances of getting the dates you want at time you look or have the avios or 241 are slim. If you are flexible with dates and destinations then I guess it is reasonable but for those who are not then using miles can hard.

      • Its thanks to Reward Flight finder i eventually got the flights i wanted on almost the exact dates. I had to be flexible, started off with flight to HKG in/out – went off that idea, changed to Shanghai out and Seoul in, then eventually got the flights to KUL i wanted albeit in CW (still hanging on for F). A bit of flexibility helps, especially in Asia where Air Asia flights are a relative bargain.

  5. If I may ask a dumb and likely oft asked before question on behalf of myself and possibly others similarly hard of reading; in making a speculative long haul redemption in Y that I may well have to bin, am I on the hook for the taxes and charges, or the £35 cancellation fee with the remainder of taxes paid being refunded and the avios returned?

  6. Can you get the discount on Avios if you book a Gold Priority Reward seat?

    • Excellent question, no idea! I would guess that you could, because all that happens for a GPR is that Revenue Management is asked to manually move a seat into the Avios bucket which the call center agent immediately grabs. Payment etc is as per usual.

  7. Erico1875 says:

    We booked 1 way EDI to Bengaluru (BLR) CW at the start Oct using a 2 4 1 voucher. At the time we didnt have enough Avios for the inbound. Normally its 25K for WT each. So with this 50% sale I thought JACKPOT. 12.5K Avios and Ill phone and add the inbound using the 2 4 1.
    Disappointing, but as the outbound was booked presale, they cant give us the 50% discount on the inbound.

  8. Malaysia says:

    Made my first Avios redemption since joining BAEC under this offer. Redeemed a BA 241 to Tokyo on the exact date that I wanted for my birthday in late January. Paid £828 and 77,250 Avios all in, for mixed class tickets, outbound in WT and inbound in CW. I am quite thrilled with the purchase.

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