Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

100,000 extra Club World Avios flights have been released for booking

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British Airways has confirmed that it is offering thousands more seats for Avios redemption across its network for the next few months.

We wrote last week that we had been seeing increased Avios seat availability across the British Airways network including to the east coast US as well as some parts of Asia.

We have also seen the introduction of temporary additional flights to Seattle, Cape Town and Miami.  These flights, using aircraft no longer flying to Asia, need filling up.

These changes are a direct impact from the disruption caused by coronavirus.  The reduced demand for travel between London and Asia is clearly affecting the airline and forcing it to respond by encouraging people to fly to other destinations in the short term.

Avios wing 14

British Airways is releasing a total of 100,000 additional Club World seats for Avios redemption across its entire network. It is attempting to pull a massive demand lever and generate bookings in other parts of its network in order to keep cash coming in.

The additional seats are being made available for travel from today, 24th February, until 31st July.  This gives you good coverage of the Easter break as well as a significant chunk of the Summer, although it finishes too early for many state school pupils.

If these seats are spread out evenly – which won’t happen! – it would means there are approximately 800 additional Club World seats available for Avios redemption per day.  This is about 10 seats per route, per day.   British Airways usually only guarantees two Club World seats per flight so this is a BIG increase in availability.

That said, based on what we saw opening up last week, it seems that the seats are heavily focused on key business routes where traffic is down the sharpest. Leisure routes are likely to see fewer seats opening up.

EDIT: We now have a list of excluded destinations: Chatam Islands, Cape Town, Durban, Hong Kong, Incheon, Kansai, Kuala Lumpur, Muscat, Nassau, Narita, Beijing, Beijing Daxing, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney.

You can book on the British Airways website here.  You have a week to book.

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


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

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

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

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

There are special sign-up bonuses on both of the BA American Express cards until 28th February 2022. The bonus on the free card is doubled to 10,000 Avios and the bonus on the Premium Plus card is increased from 25,000 Avios to a huge 40,000 Avios.

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios (SPECIAL OFFER) and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 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

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 30,000 Avios.

30,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 4th February 2022.

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

30,000 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 45,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

45,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 28th February 2022.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

45,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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 (106)

  • Henry says:

    Until they put each seat on sale count me out.

    • Vit says:

      +1 (haha)

    • Peter K says:

      Agree. If they were serious they’d lower the fees to £400 a person or less. That’d get the seats booked.

      • Rhys says:

        But that is exactly what they can’t do, as that is the very reason they are releasing these seats!

        • LewisB says:

          Why can’t they lower the surcharges?

          • Stu N says:

            The whole point is to get cash into the business – lowering the surcharges would defeat the point of releasing the seats.

            This is NOT purely to get bums on seats.

          • Peter K says:

            @StuN
            I appreciate that they need the cash, not just people on the flight, but if they sold 60000 seats at £400 per person (+avios) rather than 30000 at £600 they still make more money in the short term. Plus then more potential people to pay to choose seats, go through their portal for car hire, hotel selection etc

          • Rob says:

            Not really …. because APD and airport taxes are well over £200. Going from £600 to £400 costs them 50% of the (net) revenue and would not double bookings.

          • Go says:

            They’ve been happy to increase the surcharges when there hasn’t t been any corresponding increase in taxes and charges.

      • Thywillbedone says:

        Indeed. BA not worried about my cash crunch when paying their ludicrous surcharges…so I’ll return the favour for their cash crunch.

  • Eli gold says:

    What does “you have a week to book” mean?

    They’ll be pulling all unsold seats in a week?
    Sounds strange

    • Rob says:

      Basically yes. They are releasing Avios seats based on getting £x of notional revenue from the points and taxes. In a week it goes back to £y, and £y is higher.

      • Stu_N says:

        Cash is probably the main driver for this but it will also release liabilities for Avios in circulation and 2-4-1 vouchers.

    • Lady London says:

      It means, from British Airways “we need cash in the next week”

      Should we all be looking out from 21st March as well? would be another week before a month end when BA/IAG has to report on various positions including cash.

      Plus, end of March is both Quarter End.
      And also Year End for a lot of British companies.

  • Robert says:

    It’s an industry wide issue, not just BA.
    Tough times ahead for the airlines, and the knock on effect to passengers. My usual routes are already showing big fare increases. With the outbreak still increasing its only going to get worse before it gets better.

    • Rhys says:

      Yes but the other airlines aren’t adding 100,000 extra Club World Avios seats!

    • Lady London says:

      tough $hit. Perhaps that might force airlines to provide some benefits to people prepared tobeloyal to them, that they annihilated to those that had booked with them, when times were good.

      No sympathy whatsoever. I want airlines in business, but continuing to honour loyalty benefits they offered when people booked. No sneaky devalup
      ations, or pushing up fees they keep but claim are ‘taxes’ that they insist on adding when people want to use the miles for flights that they earned by giving those airlines their business.

      And as pointed out by other posters if British Airways hadn’t snuck up their so-called ‘taxes’ to ridiculous amounts well exceeding the market price of Transatlantic Economy tickets, for Economy award tickets, and also amounts even higher for J or F, they would be getting overall more cash in from this attempt to encourage people to give them cash for award tickets. Extinguishing the avios liability is just a small by-product.

      • Nick says:

        To be fair, at no point does BA ever call them ‘taxes’ – they would get rapped on the knuckles if they did. The only people who do are lazy (ahem) journalists and bloggers who can’t be bothered writing ‘taxes, fees and carrier charges’ like the airlines do.

        • Lady London says:

          Appreciate your wish to be fair-minded @Nick but factually, in many conversations British Airways agents call them “taxes” without any further clarification.

        • David says:

          BA (or its agents/employees) absolutely refer to it as taxes. I just upgraded a ticket from prem econ to J and the call centre repeatedly called the extra charges taxes.

          • Nick says:

            Well then you should report it to either BA or the ASA (or maybe both). But it remains true that “BA” does not do this, only some agents in its employ – and even then, most likely against their training. A reminder would likely be sent if you did mention it in feedback as they shouldn’t be doing it.

      • Polly says:

        That increase in taxes and fees to over 700 plus, made me give up our F241 to KUL, and buy that QR sale fare at 1090. They are just plain greedy calling them taxes, when blatantly keeping the bulk of it.
        This is a cash cow for BA to boost their coffers. Plus of course write down millions of avios floating about.

        • Thywillbedone says:

          Agreed. As I commented last week, it galls me to think there is an accountant somewhere in Waterside who thinks he/she is so clever by running down the Avios/2for1 liabilities in this way.

  • Ali Malik says:

    Maldives in ? 😛 (or will never be? :S )

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Just search CPT, can’t hardly any CW available?

    • Ali Malik says:

      not sure what CPT and CW mean x please educate?

    • Rob says:

      The new flight had a lot but much of it went last week.

    • AJA says:

      That’s because it’s one of the destinations excluded from the offer per point 4 of the T&Cs

      The destinations excluded from the 100,000 seat availability in the offer are: Chatam Islands, Cape Town, Durban, Hong Kong, Incheon, Kansai, Kuala Lumpur, Muscat, Nassau, Narita, Beijing, Beijing Daxing, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney.

      • Ant says:

        We got CT tickets in Club World on Thursday last week leaving Thursday evening 9 April – Easter bank holiday weekend and back Sunday 19th. 4 days holiday for 10 days in SA. Very pleased. Especially as these replace our trip to HK.

        • AJA says:

          Enjoy! Cape Town in April is lovely, it’s just the beginning of autumn so temperatures in the mid twenties Celcius and on average only 6 days of rain. I think you managed to snag the extra Avios availability due to the additional flight they added rather than being the seats available in this new offer.

      • Lady London says:

        Good indication of which routes British Airways makes loads of profit on?

  • MT says:

    Even Sydney in March, what a great opportunity to spend some Avios

  • PaulF says:

    Are all the seats already added? Or will more appear throughout the day?

    • Rhys says:

      We don’t know!

    • Lady London says:

      More will appear depending on how much cash British Airways still thinks they need right now.

      Short term prices for cash tickets won’t go down and may increase.

      If the pain for BA continues we can expect more, and more types of short term offers. Not yet though.

      • Russ 😷 says:

        Agree Lady London. Also surprised they haven’t (yet ?) cut back their in-flight catering to a cup of water citing Coronavirus. One thing’s for sure the airline industry is going to look a lot different by the end of the year.

        • Go says:

          Matter of time. Just had an email from Singapore airlines saying they are removing hot towels, pre flight drinks and magazines. No doubt BA will jump on this as a money saving option

  • Chris says:

    O/T Upgrading the return leg of an Avios redemption from J to F — BA will charge me the difference between the Avios price, right? Any thoughts on what BA would charge me for upgrading from J to F if the agent had actually forgotten to charge me any Avios at all for the original return leg in J a few months ago when I called to add it to the outbound on my 241…? Will I be rumbled when upgrading? High risk…

    • Jonathan says:

      Don’t even think of poking the bear. Firstly I would check if you’ve actually got a valid ticket for the return leg though. Seeing the flight in manage my booking & being able to select a seat etc is not enough, you need to check you have an e-ticket number. If not I’d call up or you might find you get to airport & can’t board flight. This would be tricky to resolve down route!

      • Stu N says:

        You can see if it’s ticketed in the BA App. Go to “My bookings” then the flight you want to check – if ticket number towards the bottom of the screen has a number 125- followed by 10 digits you’re ticketed. If not, and it’s been a few weeks since you booked you’d better call and check they have it in the queue as Jonathan says. I’d say it’s a racing certainty they will collect the Avios when they ticket the flight so in this scenario you’re looking at difference between F and CW Avios.

        If it is ticketed you _might_ get away with it, but there’s a chance they will catch up with you eventually. I guess you need to balance risk of this vs desire to go in F.

        • Chris says:

          Thanks, both. Yes, I received an e-ticket within a few minutes of calling to add the return leg. I have looked at my confirmation email more closely, and it appears that the BA agent added a GUF2 voucher to my booking when adding the return flights. (No idea why, as I hadn’t qualified for one.) The Avios price of 2 x Premium Economy returns would have been the same as I had already paid for 2 x Club World one-way, hence applying the GUF2 voucher to 2 x Club World returns would have shown no additional Avios to pay. I think I will take Jonathan’s advice and leave this one alone…

          • Stu_N says:

            Wow.

            I’d definitely let sleeping dogs lie…

          • pauldb says:

            The email referring to a GUF2 instead of a 241 is a common error. Did you get charged the cash element for the inbound flights?

          • Chris says:

            @pauldb Yes, I was charged the cash element for the inbound flights at the time of booking.

    • Mj says:

      I upgraded both of us both ways on a holiday booking almost 9 months ago…all fully ticketed etc but no avios taken. Due to fly soonish.

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