Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year 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.

Comments (319)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Matt says:

    For those blue/bronze members struggling to get through on the phone, I found that selecting the ‘change an existing flight’ option left me on hold for an hour before it dropped the call (twice) but selecting the ‘new booking’ option got me through to someone in 5 mins (who was happy to deal with a destination change)…

    Lesson learned for me!

    • Polly says:

      Good call, thanks.
      Always works for bt, sky, EE etc just chose option to cancel. Through in a minute!

  • Ed says:

    What a stroke of luck – saw this first thing and now off to Orlando in the Easter hols. Proper hens’ teeth stuff!

  • cinereus says:

    Are there even any low-fee sweet spots that exist? Otherwise this doesn’t seem very exciting.

    • Alex W says:

      For BA flights – start from Inverness or Jersey or fly one-way from Hong Kong or Brazil.

      https://www.headforpoints.com/2021/04/01/how-can-i-avoid-avios-fees-2/

    • James Pleasant says:

      Alex W nailed it. But why would you think that greatly increasing reward seat availability in both long and short haul across BA is going to give more low-fee sweet spots?

      Avios points that you earned for next to nothing are already cheap/ low-fee.

      The real sweet spot is that you can use your Avios points over about 3.5X+ more opportunities to fly.

  • Genghis says:

    Thanks Rob. Game changer for us now as a family.

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    A result of listening to their valued customers? Or an attempt to stem the outflow of Avios to Nectar?

    • sloth says:

      realistically how many people are actually doing this? I dont think its many, majority of people couldn’t be bothered

    • Erico1875 says:

      I also thought this.
      Quite strange really that things can turn upside down and Nectar becomes a better option than Avios.
      Not for me, but reading here, quite a few

  • CJ says:

    Snapped up LHR-HKG in CW as well as using my 241 for Jan 2022. Hopefully by then, most of the 777s will have the new suites so I have a better chance of getting it. The newborn will be 9 months old by then so hopefully it makes travelling a lot easier then getting stuck in WT! Fingers crossed as well that covid is pretty much over by then otherwise I’ll need to figure out how best to change my flights and push it back.

    • Sam G says:

      Hate to be pessimistic but the chances of HK moving from their current draconian border policy to letting in tourists from the UK in six months are very small. US would be a better bet

      • CJ says:

        Agreed, although it’s likely not to open up fully, I’d rather have this booked and then cancel/change later on seeing how hard it is too book these fights normally. This trip is to visit family so going on a trip to the US isn’t really an alternative!

    • Polly says:

      CJ what date are you flying, we are on the 17th.

  • Tom says:

    Game changer here too for this family..

  • Manya says:

    I’m pretty sure that across most long haul routes BA used to make more than 2 club world seats available anyways?

    Perhaps an incremental benefit on those routes such as Male and Sydney where they may have kept to two club seats per flight but for the other routes is there any actual difference?

    • Peter K says:

      The difference is that it is guaranteed, so you know you can get the seats of you are quick, not looking again and again throughout the year to see if more open up.

    • Doug M says:

      Huge change for families because you know there’s 4 at once. 2 and then a further 2 doesn’t help parents who either have to hope the second 2 open up, and they can grab, or travel as 2 x parent and child groups.

    • Rob says:

      Put it this way, my kids have never flown anything except CW/F and obviously we’ve never been able to book 4 seats at 355 days out.

      QED every long haul holiday we have done as a family, probably 25-30 since my first kid turned two in 2009, has been done on mileage seats booked nearer the time of departure when 4+ Business or First seats were there. Not all of these trips were on BA but at least half were.

      Some did involve a level of compromise though, eg flying to AUH instead of DXB and taking a 40 minute taxi ride, or turning a planned Japan trip into a combined Hong Kong / Japan / Beijing trip due to lack of seats into Tokyo over Easter.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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