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British Airways now guarantees 14 Avios seats per flight – 250,000 just released for booking

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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 twoit’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.


British Airways BA Amex American Express

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:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 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

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

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:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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 (319)

  • Liam says:

    I’m wanting an open jaw, into Tokyo and out of Singapore with a 2-4-1. I booked the outbound leg online, then called. Spoke to the first person pretty quickly, got transferred to exec club, after an hour wait was told I’d been put through to the wrong department, so was transferred again – waited another hour – then got cut off with the “please hang up” message. Trying again this morning and I’m half an hour in despite calling when they apparently opened at 8am!

    • Jon says:

      Slight tangent, but just to note, or may be of use to other readers – if it’s not too late and your plans allow you to do the trip the other way around, taxes/fees ex-Tokyo are about £25, as opposed to £200 ex-Singapore. Not sure it makes any difference if booked as a return / open-jaw on one PNR, but if you do it as two one-ways you should save a bit (I believe the trick is to book the return leg online with full Avios, then call to have the 241 applied and half the Avios refunded – but someone more knowledgeable than me can no doubt advise). HTH.

      • Liam says:

        That’s good to know – we were hoping to do the trip that way round but unfortunately the additional seats on return from Tokyo on the dates we can do were gone very quickly yesterday – likely due to cherry blossom season!

        Not sure if BA have wait limits of 1 hour – but queued from 8am-9am this morning and was cut off (again). Trying yet again now!

  • Kevin Duff says:

    Does anyone have a view on Australia opening up in Jan 2022? Usually go there for two months to visit my daughter. Found 2-4-1 availability in CW – but if they won’t let us in then it’s meaningless. Any suggestions?

    • AJA says:

      Very much doubt it will be possible to travel in Jan 2022 unless Australia ramps up its covid vaccination program.

      • Babyg says:

        usually i would say book it as LHR-SYD is difficult to find, and its only £35pp to cancel… however the new 4 seats in club policy will make things so much easier… I agree its unlikely… but if you dont book now and it opens up you will have zero chance of booking later IMHO

    • John says:

      I think the Australian government has been pretty consistent in its messaging TBH that mid-2022 is a more likely date. We were hoping to spend some time out there this year with my brother-in-law, before my son starts school (and we’re constrained by school holidays), but no chance.

    • DT says:

      The chances in Jan are virtually zero, mid 2022 at a minimum

    • George1976 says:

      Zero chance. The government have already said mid 2022

  • Sab says:

    What I have noticed is that BA have got the Easter Holidays in 2022 when kids break up as off peak .. we’ll to Dubai they have was surprised to see that

    • pauldb says:

      I think most of London is 2-17 April which is peak, but some of us are 9-24 April. And it’s the second combination BA have missed with their peak dates.

      • GT says:

        I made a booking for next Easter a couple of days ago. The agent initially claimed it was a peak rate flight. It took quite a while and eventually a reference to her supervisor to get it agreed as off peak. She claimed it was an error in her manual.

      • Rob says:

        Yup, my lot are back on Wed 19th with Tue 18th being an inset day.

  • Steven Miller says:

    Yes, this is all good news, but those wanting First class seats from using Avios are still in the dark !
    Does anyone know what BA’s policy now is with regard to releasing these seats that have all but dissappeared?

    • Rob says:

      When BA is certain it knows what aircraft will be on what route, they will release F. Why do it now? You pay 160k Avios to fly to NY in F and if it switches to an A350 you are due 120k Avios as compensation.

      • Jimmy Mac says:

        I had my LHR-YVR-LHR in First (half price sale booking) downgraded to CW. It was 85000 avios in the sale, do you know what compo I’d get back if I downgraded to CW, rather than cancelling it?

        • ChrisC says:

          You would get reimbursed* 75% of the cost of the downgraded sector (excluding proper government taxes and airport fees) but you must actually fly and then claim afterwards.

          * the regulation specifically states ‘reimbursement’ when it comes to downgrade and not ‘compensation’ so you need to ask BA for reimbursement.

          • Let's fly says:

            Does it matter how far in advance you’re downgraded? What about if its a BA holiday booking? Would that make a difference?

  • Nevine says:

    I just booked BA business flights with car to Crete so as to take advantage of double tier points, only paid £150 deposit so far. In manage my booking, only shows normal number of Tier Points – 160 instead of double – any ideas why this is?

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