An Avios flight redemption bonanza to parts of Asia …. if you’re up for travelling at the moment

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This is, I admit, not necessarily the best time to be planning a holiday in Asia.

However, hear me out.

British Airways has opened the floodgates on Avios availability to some Asian cities between now and, in some cases, the end of 2020.

You may never, ever see it as good as this again in Club World.

Don’t dismiss the idea.  The key with Avios travel is that you can cancel your ticket and get all your Avios and cash back for just a £35 per person fee.

If British Airways cancels your flight due to coronavirus, you will get it all back without a cancellation fee.

On some routes, if we look ahead to December – ten months from now – there are loads of dates with virtually unlimited amounts of Club World availability.  Coronavirus could be a lot worse by December, but it could also be a lot better.

Here are some screenshots from seatspy.com this evening.  They show days where BA is offering AT LEAST 9 (NINE) Club World seats outbound.

If you don’t need nine seats for your family, you will have even more options 🙂

Avios redemption bonanza to Asia

There are probably MORE than 9 Club World seats on these dates, but ba.com won’t show more than 9.  I have only looked at outbound travel but the return patterns are similar.

The ‘hollow’ rings are off-peak dates.  The ‘solid’ rings are peak dates.  Click to enlarge.

To Singapore (Singapore is only wide open until May):

Amazing Avios business class availability to Asia

Hong Kong (Hong Kong is only wide open until August):

Amazing Avios business class availability to Asia

Tokyo (not so good due to the Olympics, but still plenty of days with 9+ Club World seats):

Amazing Avios business class availability to Asia

Amazing Avios availability to Asia

Beijing:

Amazing Avios business class availability to Asia

Shanghai:

Amazing Avios business class availability to Asia

Seoul (to be honest, I think the days with 9+ Club World seats are just standard availability with no coronavirus impact):

Amazing Avios business class availability to Asia

Oddly, seats are still very restricted to Bangkok, Osaka and Kuala Lumpur if you want nine Club World seats.

It’s up to you if you want to risk a booking, but it is really a one-way bet given the Avios refund rules.

PS.  If you missed it, take a look at our recent article on the top 10 reasons to think about getting the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card.

(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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Comments

  1. Secret Squirrel says:

    Is the avios transfer points system not working at present? Used it successfully a few weeks ago but not letting me transfer points to BA tonight?

    • Someone told me the other day that Avios to BA was not working … is your BA account a household one? Seemed to be a restriction.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Yes, a HH account which only a few weeks ago was not an issue. Thanks, I’ll undo the account & give it another go.

        • Yorkieflyer says:

          If this is true then it’s a real nuisance as I would need to remove Mrs Yorkieflyer and then couldn’t add her back for 6 months? Arbitrary changes like this are really unreasonable

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            If you do dissolve your HH account, do not worry too much as I’ve dissolved & reinstated a few times in the last year.

  2. They need to drop the amount of Avios to entice people.

    • Give it time …

      • I think that could go at least two ways. Wouldn’t be surprised to see some spectacularly cheap fares coming to entice people to fly, maybe with nice hotels thrown in as the chains are feeling the pinch. Probably be non refundable though but this is where your article fills the gap. Be interested in your thoughts Rob on how to keep airline/hotel elite status for those whose travel has been significantly curtailed.

        • Difficult question, which of course will depend how things pan out. I would suspect if your travel history has a lot of China and HK in it (possibly Japan and Singapore too) then requests not to be downgraded will be looked at positively.

          • Thanks Rob.. Looks like we’re just going to have to sit it out…..

          • The Original David says:

            Come to Asia for a mattress run, is surely the answer! I’m jumping between Accor and IHG properties in Thailand right now for between £25-£40/night, and then getting a good chunk back in points. Should have Accor Gold and IHG Plat all tied up before the end of March…

          • My partner won 2 nights stay at a 5* hotel in Shanghai (valid until end-May) and we don’t know what to do. This was before Coronavirus and we were contemplating to go but now probably not…

        • lebron 23 says:

          hyatt auto-extending status for 12 months if you have address in asia

    • The fees…. That’s the problem.

  3. Is this all matched by inbound availability?
    I was doing a similar run through on another airline and was surprised that the inbound flights had consistently fewer reward seats.
    Seoul looks normal indeed on the screenshot posted.

    • Yes, seems to be.

      I know what you mean though – I was looking at Barbados for August this week and there is loads out and none back.

    • Totally agree – I have been watching for flights in May for sometime – I can find plenty out but not many back – Same for Cyprus in September – Loads going out – hardly anything coming back ! – Surely this is a strategy – We have X number of reward seats available !

    • On a night flight I’m going more and more towards Y or PE to save avios. I don’t find BA flat beds particularly conducive to sleep and don’t really take advantage of the F & B.

  4. I’ve been following Singapore as a destination for a month or so, think more is opening up through Star Alliance.

    My partner also mentioned the lounges in Changi were dead (quiet) yesterday.

    Expecting next March’s Kris Flyers deal to out match Avios

    • Agree. Think we can expect availability opening up across the board plus, those airlines who traditionally don’t open J and F class to partners may now take a view.

  5. I don’t think this is unusual at all, (more flights out than back.) This seems to have been the case for ages….I posted a question about this on FlyerTalk probably some two years or so back and never did get to the bottom of it. That’s one reason I always, usually, book one ways out and back…..seems to perhaps bring up more availability, sometimes . Or even through Avios.com, where availability can be different. Likewise, looking via other OW carriers can Qantas, Cathy etc, can show anomalies. I had to call BA last year, as I found a couple of redemption seats I wanted, but weren’t showing on BA.
    More to the point, I don’t have any BA status these days, so I guess I only ‘see’ basic availability, whereas you guys probably have access to far more seats. At least we have Club seats direct to LAX next week, thanks to a Lloyds voucher..coming back? We’re on Delta, just a few Dollars each in charges, which makes the overall cost, there and back, pretty painless.
    (Be nice though, to get a complementary Silver card !!)

  6. I’ve been praying for 2 CW seats before Xmas to come up, currently booked into WT and CW return to KUL, happy fly into HKG, BKK, SIN or upgrade my KUL flight so fingers crossed something comes up.

  7. LetBAgonesBe says:

    I am planning a trip to Shanghai in May.
    No amazing deal hotel-wise, despite the fact that for example W Shanghai reception told me that the I was looking to arrive, they would have only 1 other person checking in.

    I wonder if luxury hotels will eventually drop prices or they just leave it as it is.

    • Depends how much pain they’re under and how much cash the chinese government hands out in stimulus to keep everything open.

      Stock market is shockingly resilient given what the downside risk could be if this is the start of a pandemic.

      I’m not saying it is, just that once upon a time the spivs would have priced that in, but now it would appear we’re invincible. Irrational exuberance?

    • I believe they are closing down hotels and reshuffling clientes un the open ones. Probably a measure to protect average room rates.

  8. Shoestring says:

    O/T so are we going to gave another occasion in quick succession where Avios are on sale under 1p on Iberia – and HFP refuses to cover it, citing pressure of articles etc?

    • Where can I find these sub 1p Avios?

    • But mostly it’s barely under 1p, and that only if you get the exchange rate prompted, which is often not the case. An awful lot of people don’t think that buying Avios at 1p is much of a deal. I get it suits those you have a 241 and struggle to raise the Avios, because they don’t fly that much, and there are certain routes/holiday times where it pays off. But Avios at 1p is frequently not a good deal, especially if you fly and are earning plenty of them. Cash is king.

    • A BA one usually follows with no issues over FX fees, transfer issues etc. For eg Avios now seem to be blocking HHA transfers to BA.

      • Shoestring says:

        I’d err on the side of assuming user error until proven otherwise – I successfully transferred IB—>https://www.avios.com/eu/en/signin—>BAEC HHA just 10 days ago or something like that

        if somebody would like to try it who knows what they are doing, we’d know for sure

      • Shoestring says:

        we know the BA price will be £3215 for 300K Avios (it always is!)

        whereas you could prefer to pay EUR3601 = £2993 right now on a FX fee-free card

        obvs the average HFP reader would prefer to waste the difference (£222) because they can’t be @rsed to buy at Iberia instead of BA – and transferring the points back to BAEC is so arduous

        • Also it can be a good way of helping trigger a 2 4 1 or other bonus which outweighs the extra cost.

          • You’d voluntarily pay an extra £200 for the same product to trigger a 2-4-1?

            Now this is the customer Amex are looking for…

    • Lady London says:

      OT hey Shoestring have you any idea where the people that quoted you got their 50x from? J am wondering if that is from industry tables that are amended from time to time or the quoter’s discretion

      Also wondering is the risk of having to honour the existing arrangement and pay out each year is so high, when normally they’d only have to do for, say, 25. So wondering where does the 50 come from? Or, is it just a number of years value that is obliged to be stated and only so high as the value is temporarily so high due to low interest rates.

      Have a feeling I might get 51 and wanted to know is this an indicator of high risk passing from quoter to me that the 50/51 is an indicator of or purely due to interest rate phenomena (which I would regard as temporary)

      • Shoestring says:

        I assume it wasn’t from any published tables but would have been the fund trustees agreeing a ‘fair’ formula with their retained actuaries. Tideway told me they know many funds are still extremely keen to get their numbers of deferred pensioners down sharply, so are deliberately erring on the side of generosity. In theory, ISTR that the trustees wanted to be scrupulously fair about it, ie taking the present discounted value of money into account, somebody dying at average age eg 80 would have cost the fund exactly the same whether they stayed in or not – adding in any scheme variables such as does surviving spouse get 50% or 67.7%?, how good is the annual increase eg CPI or RPI? etc

        Also I mentioned nearly 50x but that was not taking into account annual increases for remainers, so obvs a fair bit less in reality

        • Shoestring says:

          weekend papers had the usual string of pre-budget rumours about adverse changes to pensions – but there is one persistent story that keeps coming back and has even the right wing quality newspapers saying they can’t understand why it’s lasted so long in its present generous unlimited format – the 25% tax-free lump sum

          • Lady London says:

            15% within about a year I would say so Nov or next Mar, possibly with provision for lower later.

            Guessing first budget esp of new Chancellor has to focus on confidence post Brexit.

        • Lady London says:

          Thanks for your reply Shoestring. The quoters are in the 10pc of db funds in UK that don’t give any annual increases at all. My accrual is pre 1997 so they can get away with it. Even for post 1997 they have given increases in 2 years only. They have publicly stated their policy is to give no increase unless they are legally compelled. Other countries compel and that’s all they pay. For sure they are in deficit. Any recovery made by improving investment returns will just reduce company payments into fund accordingly. They’ve been sued for not paying any increase contrary to previous promises and it failed.

          So no increases not even inflation no-brainer to get out and even a tracker fund should do better. Yet I am being advised by.a savvy.ex boss to stay. The only downside i can see is transaction charges because tracker fund should make back management charges and inflation as this is the UK. So highly unlikely interest will ever be negative – quite the opposite is the case. So wondering what am I missing as getting out asap seems a no brainer

  9. The Streets says:

    Fees and taxes seem to be creeping up for reward flights. Last week I booked two one way First Class flights to HKG at £396 for later this year. Today, booked three more one ways this time to Bangkok in Business which broke the £400 mark. Can’t remember it being this high before

  10. In Japan at the minute and flying to Seoul this afternoon. Can’t see why either place is any less safe in relation to Coronavirus than remaining in Europe as things stand

  11. Question. If I book a reward flight with BA using Avios and a BA/Amex Companion Ticket, (Rob’s article – An Avios redemption bonanza to parts of Asia …. if you’re up for travelling) and I cancel the flight what happens to the Companion Ticket, which in my case would have expired ie the date by which it has to be used. I have assumed that it will be lost, and not extended?

    • You have to fly the outbound by the expiry on a companion voucher anyway, it’s a use by, not book by date.

    • I presume you mean companion voucher (both tickets would be cancelled)? Normally it’s lost once it’s expired but BA has been known to extend them under exceptional circumstances, so if your flight was cancelled by BA, say, due to coronavirus fears you might persuade them to extend the voucher.

      • Lady London says:

        Someone reported in past 3 days or so BA did reissue a voucher valid for a further year after a flight was cancelled. I think the original voucher was a Lloyds upgrade voucher though.

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