Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How many Avios do you need for flights on British Airways partner airlines? (Part 2)

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Yesterday we took a look at Avios pricing when you fly with British Airways partner airlines, primarily other members of the oneworld airline alliance.

This means flights on 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.

Shockingly, there are now SIX Avios redemption charts:

  • off-peak flights on British Airways and Aer Lingus
  • peak day flights on British Airways and Aer Lingus
  • off-peak flights on Iberia (pricing differ from BA)
  • peak flights on Iberia (pricing differ from BA)
  • partner flights, as we featured yesterday
  • multi-partner award flights, which we are looking at today

I suppose I should be grateful that the complexity of the scheme effectively keeps me and the rest of the team in work, but it would be good if it could be a little bit simpler ……

What is the Avios multi-partner award chart?

95% of British Airways Avios collectors do not know that British Airways has the chart I am about to show you.

Importantly, this chart is the best one to use if you planning an Avios trip to Australia or New Zealand (for 2022, probably!) because it allows you to combine flights from different oneworld partners.

The only snag is that you can’t use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.

The chart below is for economy travel.  Multiply by two for business class and by three for first class.

OneWorld Avios redemption chart

You can see the original by clicking here to ba.com and scrolling down to click on ‘Partner Airlines’ and then ‘Avios costs for booking on two or more oneworld airlines’. 

When would I use the multi-partner Avios chart?

This is the reward chart that British Airways uses to price redemptions which include two or more oneworld partner airlines, EXCLUDING British Airways.

(For clarity, you CAN include British Airways flights in your booking but there must also be two flights on the itinerary from different oneworld partner airlines.)

If, for example, you flew from London to Amman on Royal Jordanian and then caught a Qatar Airways flight to Doha, it would be priced using the chart above.

Importantly, this reward chart did NOT change when British Airways increased the redemption costs for partner airlines in 2019.

Take a moment to note what I just wrote.  Whilst a standard Avios redemption in Business Class on BA costs 3x an economy redemption, using the multi-partner chart only costs 2x.  This makes the multi-partner chart very good value for Business or First Class Avios tickets.

How to use this chart to get to Australasia

If you use oneworld partner airlines to get to Australasia, you have (or will have, once normal services resume) a lot of options.

You have Finnair, which flies to many key cities in Asia.  Cathay Pacific can get you into Hong Kong and then down to Australasia.  Japan Airlines can do the same via Tokyo.  Qatar Airways can do the same via Doha.  Malaysia Airlines can do the same via Kuala Lumpur.  And, of course, there is Qantas too.

You will struggle to find a way of not finding business class availability when you have all these airlines to choose from.

Here is a real example from a Head for Points reader which was sent to us:

  • Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda (Japan Airlines)  5,957 miles
  • 3 day stopover
  • Tokyo Narita to Brisbane (Qantas)  4,426 miles
  • Holiday
  • Cairns to Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific)  3,451 miles
  • 3 day stopover
  • Hong Kong to Manchester (Cathay Pacific)  5,988 miles

(The easiest way to get distances is via the gcmap.com website. You need to enter airport codes into the box, eg HKG-MAN, and click ‘Distance’.)

Because this involves three non-BA oneworld airlines it prices off the multi-partner chart above.  As he was travelling 19,822 miles, the total cost in Business Class was 200,000 Avios plus under £600 of taxes.

This is a far better deal than 300,000 Avios (peak day) plus £700 of taxes if you booked London to Sydney on British Airways in Club World – and you won’t be doing that anyway, because availability on BA has historically been non-existent beyond the guaranteed two Club World seats per flight.

The itinerary above is actually a very simplistic way of using the multi-partner chart.  If it wasn’t for the fact that this itinerary is so close to the 20,000 mile threshold, you could have added in a number of domestic flights on Qantas or Japan Airlines.

What else can you do with the multi-partner reward chart?

Here is an example of a round-the-world routing using the multi-partner chart.

London – Delhi – Hong Kong – Tokyo – Los Angeles – New York – London is just under 20,000 miles.  This would be 200,000 Avios in Business Class for the whole trip.

It is worth noting that I have never seen a firm list of the rules for booking multi-partner reward tickets.  Most BA call centre agents will never have booked one.

In theory you are limited to eight sectors with just one overland sector (ie where the next flight departs from a different city) although I know people who have got away with this.

There is some confusion over how multi-class bookings are priced. The rule APPEARS to be that it is based on the longest flight so if that leg is in Economy and the other flights are in First, you are only charged Economy mileage. This happened to a friend of mine recently ….. but there are accounts of cases where it was charged based on the highest sector in the entire booking, however short. Caveat emptor.

In theory you can book a segment in economy – and the rest of the itinerary in business – and upgrade that segment later for free if availability in business appears

In theory, there appear to be no rules on backtracking although this may be down to badly trained agents.  One example I saw was basically multiple holidays from London to somewhere, back to back, to get to eight sectors!  If the agent allows it you could book, say, London to Qatar and home, London to Hong Kong and home, London to Tokyo and home, London to Kuala Lumpur and home as one booking – as long as you are using at least two oneworld carriers – and save a huge number of Avios on booking four holidays separately!

In truth, no-one seems clear. So few people book from this chart that we don’t have enough evidence to go on.  The ‘eight flights maximum’ rule does seem to be firm – but that still gives you a huge amount of flexibility to put together a great trip.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 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:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion 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

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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 (29)

  • Marco says:

    My recent experience booking this type of flights is that the “no backtracking” rule is now strictly enforced.
    Tried to book HKG-MAD-PRG-MAD-TFN//LPA-MAD-LHR-HKG (and several variants of it), and several agents refuse to book it citing the general roundtrip rule (Clause 15.13 of BAEC T&C); but then, they permit the booking of HKG-LHR-PRG-MAD-TFN//LPA-MAD-CDG-HKG without much trouble.

    To avoid much hassle dealing with fares team, try book the ticket with Hong Kong or India office, they will work and get the avios and tax quotes, and ticket issuance within the same phone call. As long as the route permits, and you have done your homework, ticket issuance should be done within 30-45 minutes.

  • Charlieface says:

    Can you do a multi-carrier with a OneWorld affiliate? In other words, does the affiliate count as a second carrier independently of its sponsor e.g. Qantas and QantasLink, or AA and American Eagle?

    This could potentially help people flying to say the US or Australia, without needing to get two separate airlines

    • Rob says:

      Good question, no idea!

      • Nick says:

        Eagle counts as AA, in the same way that CityFlyer counts as BA and Globus counts as S7. So you can indeed use them, but they’re not an ‘additional carrier’ to trigger this chart. Otherwise everyone would just book on Eagle to get multi hops around the US.

    • AJA says:

      Further to Mikeact’s response below I also think that AmericanEagle flights would be possible as they earn Avios and TP when crediting to BAEC. Would be odd not to be able to redeem on them. The flight numbers are usually AA prefixed too.

      • Charlieface says:

        No, you’re not getting it. QantasLink and American Eagle have always been valid redemptions, if they don’t show up online you just call up.
        The question is do they count separately from the main airline as two carriers for the multi-carrier award.

    • Lyn says:

      I don’t really see how they could count as separate airlines for this purpose. I think all their flights are marketed by Qantas / American and share the same QF / AA airline codes.

  • Mikeact says:

    I would say yes as we used the Link to get right into the Outback…it was a regular Qantas flight number. Nobody queried it when I included it as one of our segments and of course back out again a few days later.

  • Boston based says:

    Able to book BOS-NRT-SYD-HBA//MEL-HKG-BOS using JL and CX. Just under 25k miles. Cost for J class was 240k avios and $456 (USD) per person. I verified availability of all flights before calling the gold line. Took 20 minutes and the itinerary autobooked! No need to be sent to the fare desk. The avios and USD were exactly as expected.

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