British Airways has made a huge announcement this morning about Avios availability across the BA network.
The number of guaranteed Avios seats per flight has been increased SUBSTANTIALLY.
Long-haul flights will see at least 14 seats released when booking opens up at 355 days before departure. Short-haul flights will see at least 12 seats released.
This is a permanent change and has also been applied retrospectively. Additional seats are available on virtually EVERY British Airways flight between 28th July 2021 and 17th May 2022, which is as far out as you can book.
How many Avios seats are available per flight?
This is a genuine game-changing improvement to the Avios programme.
The two key points, at least from a HfP perspective, are:
- the number of guaranteed Club World seats per flight is now four and not two – this is huge news for families
- two World Traveller Plus seats are now guaranteed for the first time
Avios seats per flight from 28th July:
- Club World (long haul business) – 4 seats per flight
- World Traveller Plus (long haul premium economy) – 2 seats per flight
- World Traveller (long haul economy) – 8 seats per flight
- Club Europe (short haul business) – 4 seats per flight
- Euro Traveller (short haul economy) – 8 seats per flight
Avios seats per flight at the moment:
- Club World (long haul business) – 2 seats per flight
- World Traveller Plus (long haul premium economy) – nothing
- World Traveller (long haul economy) – 4 seats per flight
- Club Europe (short haul business) – 2 seats per flight
- Euro Traveller (short haul economy) – 4 seats per flight
There is still no guaranteed commitment to releasing First Class seats.
For absolute clarity, this new policy only applies to British Airways operated flights. It does not apply to Aer Lingus or Iberia, or of course to British Airways partner airlines. Iberia made its own recent changes which saw an increase in the number of guaranteed economy seats and two guaranteed seats made available in Premium Economy.
What seats have been opened up today?
For flights up to 27th July 2021:
Nothing has changed. You will not see any additional seats released.
For flights between 28th July 2021 and 17th May 2022:
British Airways has released additional seats to take each flight up to the new guaranteed minimums. However, this doesn’t mean that you will see the full amount.
Two Club World and four World Traveller seats were already released when those flights first became bookable. If those seats have been taken, you will only see the additional two Club World or four World Traveller seats today.
You will therefore see somewhere between 2-4 Club World / Club Europe seats and 4-8 World Traveller / Euro Traveller seats, depending on how many had already been booked.
Because the guaranteed two World Traveller Plus seats are brand new today, you WILL see 2 x World Traveller Plus seats bookable for Avios on every long haul British Airways flight between 28th July 2021 and 17th May 2022 – unless someone beat you to it.
On many peak flights you will still see no Club World seats because:
- if BA has already opened up 4 x Business or 8 x Economy seats on a flight, no more have been released even if the seats previously released have been booked
- the additional seats started to drop into the BA system from yesterday afternoon – many peak services have gone to people with SeatSpy alerts set up or who simply got lucky
The SeatSpy widget in the sidebar to your right, on desktop or tablet, or under this article, if you are reading on mobile, can help you search a particular route for a full year in a couple of seconds.
For flights from 18th May 2022, which are not yet bookable:
Going forward, on long haul you will see four Club World, two World Traveller Plus and eight World Traveller seats appearing at midnight GMT (currently 1am BST) each day.
Short haul will see four Club Europe and eight Euro Traveller seats released.
What do these Avios changes mean in practice this morning?
For a family of three or four – you WILL see lots of flights, even at peak dates, with four seats showing in economy. You will NOT see lots of flights with four business class seats available. BA has only released an additional two to top-up the two that were released when the flight first became bookable.
For a solo traveller or group of two – it’s your lucky day. You should see two business class seats, even on peak dates on peak routes, as well as two premium economy seats and four economy seats.
In truth ….
If you are a family of three or four, the real benefit from these changes will be in the months to come, not today. Every time that British Airways adds a route back to its schedule, four Club World seats will immediately appear for every flight for you to book.
As usual Head for Points will do its best to let you know immediately when new routes are added.
I’d probably get booking immediately but if you want to read some quotes first …..
Tom Stevens, Director of Brand and Customer Experience at British Airways, said:
“Our Members appreciate the benefits their Executive Club membership brings, but the feedback we hear is that people would like us to make it easier to book flights using Avios. We have listened and acted on this, and today’s announcement directly addresses this feedback, opening up six extra reward seats on a short-haul flight, and eight on a long-haul flight. We hope this means that a family holiday, or that big friendship group trip away, will be much easier to book using Avios.”
Adam Daniels, Chief Executive at IAG Loyalty, said:
“This is an exciting change that we have worked closely with the British Airways team to deliver. We hope it offers Executive Club Members even more opportunities to spend their hard earned Avios.”
Now, go and book something – click here for ba.com.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
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:
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:
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.)