18 months ago, British Airways brought in a new pricing chart for Avios bookings on partner airlines. As we have barely mentioned it since, I thought we’d take another look.
This is a two-part article. Tomorrow I want to look at the multi-partner award chart. This is used to price flights which involve two airlines other than British Airways and which can be outstanding value.
How much are Avios flights on partner airlines?
Annoyingly, British Airways does not publish a chart of partner Avios pricing. That said, it doesn’t publish a chart for its own flights either! The chart below was put together via manually looking up different flights.
As a reminder, this chart applies only to flights booked with British Airways partners Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines.
- this is one-way pricing
- BA charges by leg, so for connecting flights you need to price each leg separately and
- ‘taxes and charges’ are due on top
- you can’t use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher on partner airlines
|Reward flight prices on BA partner airlines (plus taxes, fees and carrier charges)|
|Zone||Distance||Economy||Premium Economy||Business Class||First Class|
|* zone 1 does not apply to internal flights in North America|
In the 2019 changes, shorter routes went up more than longer routes. An Economy flight on the shortest sector (0-650 miles) became 30% more expensive. A First Class ticket on the longest routes (7,001+ miles) only increased by 3%.
British Airways has disabled the online reward flight price calculator. The best way of working out how much a flight will be, without doing dummy bookings on ba.com, is to look up the distance using the Great Circle Mapper tool at gcmap.com. Search by airport codes, eg LHR-LAX.
The old 2x, 3x, 4x system no longer applies
With partner airlines, British Airways has moved away from a multiplication system for Premium Economy, Business and First Class Avios redemptions.
Previously, First Class was always four times the Economy fare, and Business Class 2-3 times depending on the mileage.
Since the 2019 changes, the multipliers vary and often run to multiple decimal places. On average, it became fractionally cheaper (as a multiple of economy pricing) in premium cabins.
There was been no change to short domestic flights under 650 miles in the United States. These remain at 7,500 Avios in Economy, 15,000 in Business and 18,000 in First. You can read more about why short domestic USA flights are priced separately here.
There is no off-peak pricing with partner airlines
As you can see from the table above, there is no off-peak pricing. Every day is a peak day with partners.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you get a bad deal
Whilst you may think that this leads to poor deals, this is not necessarily true. We have written before about how you can exploit the mileage chart above to your advantage.
Frankfurt to Doha, for example, is 2,853 miles. This means that a one-way business class ticket on Qatar Airways uses Zone 4 pricing of 38,750 Avios. Using British Airways from Heathrow to Doha costs 60,000 Avios on peak dates or 50,000 Avios off-peak. You can make a big saving by buying a cheap flight to Frankfurt for cash – and that’s before you factor in a big saving in taxes and charges.
Can I use fewer Avios and pay more cash instead?
Yes, with virtually all partners you have the option of using fewer Avios and more cash.
A business class one-way flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok on Cathay Pacific, for example, is 16,500 miles (as per the chart above) plus £33 of taxes. You can reduce this to as few as 8,800 as long as you don’t mind paying £103 in cash as well.
What you cannot do is use more Avios and less cash. There is no ’50p’ or ‘£1’ option as you now see with many British Airways redemptions. As these are generally poor value anyway, it is not a great loss.
Tomorrow we will take a look at the multi partner pricing chart which can offer great deals.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
There are two official British Airways American Express cards:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:
(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.)