British Airways has decided to close Flight Pass, its ‘bulk buy’ discount scheme for regular travellers.
Flight Pass allowed you to buy route passes for economy travel on flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and City.
It was managed on behalf of British Airways via a company called OptionTown. You could not buy a Flight Pass directly from British Airways.
Flight Pass was only available for economy flights. There were multiple permutations based on:
- how many people would share your pass, up to six
- how many tickets you wanted to pre-pay
- whether you wanted it for a specific city or a whole country
- what expiry date you are willing to accept and
- how close to the date of travel you wanted to book
Here is a Flight Pass in practice
At one extreme, you could buy 12 one-way flights between Heathrow and Newcastle for £821, so £68 each. This includes taxes.
To get this price, you had to book all the flights within three months AND you must have booked for travel 90 days in advance. The only person who could use the Flight Pass was the original purchaser. This is obviously very restrictive but would work for a weekly commuter to London.
Taking another example, 12 one-way tickets, shared between two people with 12 months to use them and booked 30 days in advance, would have cost £893, so £74 per seat.
‘Real’ flexibility came at a cost. If you insisted on being able to book your Newcastle flight four hours before departure – instead of 30 days – the price shot up to £165 per seat each-way.
The net result was always the same, however. Your flight price was fixed, irrespective of what a ticket was selling for on the day you booked. You could pay for your pass in instalments.
A number of readers had significant issues with Flight Pass and OptionTown during coronavirus, usually linked to an unwillingness to extend the life of passes and the difficulty in getting refunds for booked but cancelled flights.
British Airways now appears to want to draw a line under the entire episode. If you have outstanding coupons, you have the option of cashing them in for a pro-rata refund. No new passes will be sold.
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.)