Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How is British Airways Avios reward flight availability for late 2020 and early 2021?

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Now that all British Airways 2-4-1 vouchers have been extended by 6 months (see our article here), you may be wondering what to do with it.

Although it may seem a little early, now may be the time to consider travel for six to twelve month’s time.  You are likely to find better Avios availability on routes if you book now, as many people will not be booking holidays at present.

This is a mistake. Whilst the current restrictions on travel and movement are prohibitive, they will not go on forever. By booking travel for October onwards, you are securing your tickets now.

Which routes have good Avios availability?

If October rolls around and there are still restrictions in place (or you just don’t fancy travelling), you are only on the hook for £35 per person – all your remaining taxes and fees, as well as the Avios cost, are refunded, as we explain here. I’ve just booked a pair of tickets to Bangkok for travel in February 2021.

Whilst I wouldn’t bet on the aircraft types or seats at this stage – the scheduling for the winter timetable, which starts in late October, is yet to be announced – you can be fairly certain that British Airways will get you to your final destination if the route is running.

Late last week I had a quick look at BA’s top destinations on SeatSpy to see which ones had availability in Club World for two people or more. Here is Sao Paulo:

Montreal:

…and New Orleans:

These cities are also showing good availability for later in the year and / or early in 2021.  This is by no means an exhaustive list as I was focusing on mainstream destinations – although you can usually rely on Lagos being available if you want it:

  • Abu Dhabi
  • Austin
  • Boston
  • Denver
  • Dubai
  • Johannesburg
  • Los Angeles
  • Nashville
  • New Orleans
  • Mexico City
  • Miami
  • Moscow
  • Montreal
  • New York
  • Orlando
  • Rio
  • San Francisco
  • Sao Paulo
  • Seoul
  • Tokyo
  • Toronto

Not all routes are open – there is very little to Bangkok, Barbados, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Maldives, Seychelles for example.

However, here is one thing I noticed.  March 2021 is VERY widely available.  It seems that, once coronavirus struck, everyone gave up jumping in as soon as seats were released.  For example, there are NO DATES AT ALL with two Club World seats to the Seychelles between October and February, but 9th March and 16th March were available yesterday.

The 2021 calendar of British Airways peak and off-peak dates for Avios flight redemptions is in this article. You can see how the British Airways companion voucher works in this article.

You can book on the British Airways website, here.

To maximise your miles when paying the taxes, your best bet is the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card which earns double Avios (3 per £1) when you book at ba.com or via BA Holidays.  You do not get double Avios if you book with the free British Airways American Express card.  Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.

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