Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Why the changes to the British Airways Premium Plus Amex could be better than we thought

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We ran two articles yesterday on the changes to the two BA Amex (British Airways American Express) cards.

The changes to the free British Airways American Express are outlined here.

The changes to the £195 British Airways Premium Plus American Express are outlined here.

If you are one of the very few people to still have the Silver-coloured British Airways Premium American Express, there is no article. However, you need to know that your card is being closed on 31st August.

Full details of the companion voucher changes are on this page of ba.com.

It seems that we may have been too hard on the Premium Plus changes.

American Express sent us a mass-market press release about the BA Amex changes. This did not go into the levels of detail which are important to Head for Points readers. After the original article went up I spoke with a senior Avios person and we clarified some of the details.

The key change is this:

For companion vouchers earned from 1st September 2021, it appears that you will be able to redeem for ‘I-class’ (‘discounted Business Class’) Club World seats as well as standard Avios availability.

Your chances of getting Club World seats are, in theory, much improved if you have a voucher (issued after 1st September 2021) from a Premium Plus American Express card.

For clarity, this does NOT apply to existing 2-4-1 vouchers or any vouchers earned between now and 31st August.

This is a logical but potentially valuable change

We have been banging on for years on HfP about how it made zero sense for British Airways to be selling Club World seats for £1,299 or £1,499 in a sale, but not making them available for 120,000 Avios plus £550 of taxes.

From BA’s point of view, the maths is virtually the same, so why didn’t they do it?

Going forward, if there is a very cheap British Airways Club World cash ticket available to be bought, it should be bookable with Avios using a 2-4-1 voucher.

The devil is in the detail, of course

British Airways is very capable of moving flights around inside different ticket buckets. I-class is one of two discounted business class ticket buckets, so BA could very easily pop seats into R-class instead if it didn’t want to release them for 2-4-1 redemptions.

We won’t know how this works until 1st September when people start receiving the new vouchers. We can then compare Avios availability with I-class Club World cash availability to see if there is a true match.

It is promising, however. What is even more promising is that, if this is only made available to UK holders of BA credit cards, it creates a pool of seats which can’t be accessed by US credit card holders or those who have frequent flyer miles with oneworld partner airlines.

You may want to slow down your Premium Plus spending

If, like me, you are currently close to triggering a Premium Plus 2-4-1 voucher, you may want to hold on for 3 months.

There may be substantial extra value in triggering it after 1st September. This isn’t guaranteed, and it may turn out to be a damp squib, but it would be a shame to miss out. If it is as good as promised, it will justify the £250 annual card fee.

You can find out more about the BA Amex changes on this page of ba.com.

PS. The ba.com link above highlights an annoying quirk. You will not be able to combine an ‘old’ and ‘new’ Premium Plus 241 voucher in one booking. This throws up even more issues as I will discuss tomorrow.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – June 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

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

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 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

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback (3% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (194)

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

  • Jon says:

    Redeeming for I class seats – would they stay in I class or be issued into U fare bucket? Could have interesting implications if the former… 😉

    • BJ says:

      I am sure they have thought of that and the answer is likely no or it would probably have been heralded yesterday. Unless they are saving that for another day.

    • QFFlyer says:

      I was thinking that, they’d be coded as revenue flights. Limited additional cost though I imagine, a few points and status credits, even if credited to a partner FFP.

    • DT says:

      Seems extremely unlikely they’d let you earn TP and Avios on a redemption. Would be an amazing benefit if they did though.

      • Jon says:

        It used to happen quite regularly on another OneWorld airline… 😉 But yes, I’m inclined to agree that they wouldn’t do it intentionally. Although it would be a brilliant perk and perhaps a very good reason to justify the increased cost of the BAPP. A good way to reward brand-loyal customers even if they’re not the most frequent flyers or highest spenders on flights. And of course they could just increase the redemption rates to offset the rebate – which would penalise everyone else but perhaps drive more to the BAPP as a result?

      • QFFlyer says:

        QF provide status credits on classic flight rewards to Points Club members (those who’ve earned at least 150k QF points in the prior year). Not at the revenue rate, but they soon add up.

    • ChrisC says:

      They will likely find a way to turn the I fare into a reward fare as part of the booking process.

      Possibly as part of the same way of them offering the extra avios seats to premium plus card holders that won’t be available to non voucher avios searchers.

      You would likely need to be in your BAEC account, select “use voucher” or some such option and it then displays all the reward and I inventory seats together as one figure.

    • pauldb says:

      They already let Gold and GGL customers book revenue seats with avios – V class, double avios and Jokers – so I pretty certain they have this under control. Plenty of us also have Covid rebooking in revenue classes too, even full J.

      • QFFlyer says:

        Might work with partners then – my rebooked Avios flight from the strikes in 2019 was put into full fare J on QR. I earned points and SCs with QF as a result.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Yeah this happens on reroutings.

          However, remember 2-4-1 can only be used for BA metal.

  • Amy carpenter says:

    Here’s me thinking since yesterday I needed to trigger by September to get the best value. Now it looks like I need to hold off but I don’t know why 😖

    • DT says:

      There’s no reason to trigger before September. The new 241 will have greater flexibility by not having to book exUK.

      Even if the addition of I class availability for redemption is a damn squib, a post September 1st 241 is still better than one today.

      I guess you should only trigger before September if you’re on the free card and aren’t going to upgrade to BAPP before triggering or if you need to use the upcoming 241 with an existing 241

      • Jon says:

        There is possibly one other reason, perhaps – if you want to book hard-to-get seats for June/July/August next year the moment they’re released, you might be better to trigger your voucher asap – although in theory the pressure might be reduced given the (presumed) extra seats available to the new voucher after September – but I can imagine that might be a risk some prefer not to take.

        • BJ says:

          Many dates in June also moving to peak next year hence use of a voucher even more attractive.

    • BJ says:

      My partner is in the same boat. It is very frustrating. In such cases the card is a dead duck and unfortunately it remains a half dead duck if you trigger the voucher early in your qualifying year. Thus the upgrade downgrade drama will just continue unless they stop it. It is a pity they did not take the opportunity yesterday to launch changes rendering the card more attractive after the voucher is triggered. As things stand, post 1st September the card still offers little to make it a keeper.

      • Jon says:

        I wonder what the economics would be of, say, doubling the Avios-per-£ earning rate for all spend after the voucher has been triggered? I.e. what portion of BAPP holders stop spending on it entirely after hitting the £10k, and how many of them would continue if the earning rate was higher…

        • BJ says:

          Something has to be better for them than losing fess to cancellations and downgrades which I imagine must be a significant number.

        • David S says:

          I get my 241 voucher then put all my spend on another card until my new earning year starts

    • Memesweeper says:

      Unless you have an unused companion voucher *and* a desire to travel as a group of four, I can’t see a reason not to hold off until sept.

      • chris1922 says:

        I’m a family of four, and have three 2 4 1 vouchers in my account at present, with another about to trigger. If I want to book 4 pax and 2x 2 4 1, they need to be the same type of voucher, so post September terms is a pain.

  • Chris Heyes says:

    I Would expect sometime next year Amex will introduce (enforce)
    The rule they keep telling us that “you must pay with the same Amex”
    It’s there in black and white in t&c just never been enforced ?
    Now that will be devastating ?

    • BJ says:

      That’s my worry I expressed yesterday, and if they tighten up on upgrades downgrades too then the whole thing becomes much less attractive. If they go down this route then they really should do something to make card use more attractive after the voucher is triggered as I’ve just discussed àbove.

      • Dwb1873 says:

        So you want them to make playing the card levels to your advantage more attractive? Not sure they might see it the same way!

        • BJ says:

          No, you have misunderstood my point I think. That is what happens now, I am saying that if they close that door they need to make BAPP even more attractive to hold onto. For example, higher earning rates as Jon suggested. The incentive to use BAPP after triggering the voucher falls a bit flat.

    • Dwb1873 says:

      Devastating – why?

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Because a lot of people get the 2 for 1 by only holding the paid card for 1 month and the free card at all other times, so barely pay any card fees.

      • Bazza says:

        You should read more of robs articles in detail and you will start to understand these things.

        • DWB1873 says:

          Oh nice and patronising. Thanks.

          I read all the articles. What I notice is some people get very worked up at perceived loss of benefits where I, in my simply silly world, see them manipulating the cards to their benefit, then feeling wronged when those routes get adjusted.

          Devastating is a pretty strong word to use for tightening up of air miles! It’s annoying, frustrating – but devastating?

          Maybe we just have different perspectives.

          • BJ says:

            If the rules permit it then it is hardly manipulation. I think what you are getting at is that it doesn’t seem in the spirit of the agreement, gaming if you prefer? But that works both ways, most of us have been legged over at one timed or another by company X, Y and Z failing to honour the spirit of agreements too.

          • JDB says:

            @BJ when you say “if the rules permit it then it is hardly manipulation” do you feel the same way about multinationals who use the rules to avoid paying much tax here? In reality is just degrees of the same thing. Neither passes the ‘sniff test’ and it isn’t the sort of morality I would like my children to have.

          • BJ says:

            I would hope that my morality and that of your children could withstand greater and wider scrutiny than whether we adhere to rules and indeed the spirit (if there is one) of minor financial products 🙂

      • Chris Heyes says:

        Dwb1873 Devastating because if you have a 241 Voucher valid for two years
        It means you “MUST” keep the exact card that you earned the voucher with ?
        No downgrading card or even changing card for a differant Amex like you can now
        You would as will most people with a voucher you cant use because no longer having the earned card
        Devastating for most HFPs

        • DWB1873 says:

          Well I’m one of those mugs who doesn’t churn their card (because I can’t be bothered and earn enough miles without needing the hassle – so by choice) – so, for me, not devastating at all. 🤷‍♀️

          • Mikeact says:

            I agree…churning has its risks, and quite right too. And if it is implicit that the same card has to be used then so be it….and why should Amex or any other card issuer change their rules just to suit high spenders.

          • Chris Heyes says:

            DWB1873 Sorry but yes in that case I’M in total agreement with you but I’m sure you are not the only mug on here though !
            We have two 241 vouchers to use but haven’t got the Amex cards anymore that we got the 241s with so if we needed the card we wouldn’t be able to use any of them so devastating for us ?

          • CarpalTravel says:

            Dwb1873 – I keep the same card but not out of laziness, but more because upgrading for one month to then downgrade again seems like taking the extreme mickey – whether it is allowable or not. It is similar to a certain well known deals site where people where signing up to a streaming music service, getting a free smart assistant device and then immediately cancelling the service and requesting full refunds. Such abuses (theoretically permissible or not) will only go to hurt future offers and jeopardise schemes for the rest of us.

          • Erico1875 says:

            Me too.
            The wife and I generate about 50K avios and 2x 2 4 1 vouchers off our cards + various offers thst help towards the fees
            I couldnt be bothered with down snd upgrading continually

        • Mark says:

          I doubt that would stand up to challenge as a fair contract term, especially if not made clear in the promotional material. The offer is to earn a voucher by spending £10K on the card in a year, the voucher being valid for two years. If you were to give up the card at some point after earning the voucher, I would argue it would be unfair for that to effectively invalidate the voucher especially if it means you have to incur potentially another two annual fees. I get there is an element of that already in insisting on payment by Amex. I wonder if anyone has tried to challenge that, but at least it doesn’t require further spend and can be worked around so long as the holder is aware of it in sufficient time before the voucher expires.

          Of course that doesn’t mean they couldn’t tighten up on the upgrade/downgrade trick in other ways which, in my view, is gaming the system. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be tempted (though in this case I never have….).

          • JDB says:

            The terms are made clear and are provided at the application stage. I don’t see what a court could find unfair (in its legal sense) about the terms not only freely entered into, provided in advance but also ones which are both reasonable and logical.

        • Lady London says:

          I don’t think retaining a paid card for that sort of potentially lengthy period would turn out to be legally enforceable.

    • MattB says:

      The response to that will always be Amex/BA may not want to test the legality of selling a £250 product that offers a 241 voucher that would in reality could cost the consumer up to £750 if they kept the card open for the earning period and subsequent 2yr voucher window.

      • JDB says:

        The point is the terms and conditions are quite clear when you take out the card and earn the voucher. Like Brexit, you cannot expect that all the benefits to remain open to you if you leave. The majority of cardholders aren’t switching / churning between the cards and it is actually quite galling to see people, in polite terms, taking advantage of the system. These are presumably the same people moaning about the new card fee who don’t realise that all this churning, welcome bonus and fake retention bonuses have to be paid for, so higher fees are inevitable. Ultimately, these cannot be the cardholders Amex wants/needs to retain, so they will eventually restrain these marginal clients by putting a stop to dodgy stuff.

    • sayling says:

      Can someone post a link and reference to the T&C where it states you must pay with the same AmEx, please?

      I’m fairly sure I looked myself some time ago and the requirement was more about being able to produce the card at the time of travel, to prove identity…

      • JDB says:

        It is at terms 1 and 15 of the T&Cs applicable to both BA Amex cards. The requirement to use “the card” for payment and also to remain eligible for the promotion at the time of travel.

        • Genghis says:

          There need to be some more lawyers as commentators on HfP.

          Some questions if there are any:

          1) Does the fact that Amex doesn’t not apply such terms de facto render the de jure contractual terms unenforceable?

          2) To say that terms are documented in advance does not make them “fair”. As @Mark mentioned, you’re paying your fee and spending £10k to get the 241. That’s the deal. Is the requirement to hold the card and pay for two more years’ fees until you’ve actually travelled “fair”? Any thoughts of actual lawyers?

          • Will says:

            I’m not a lawyer but a bit of context may determine the decision.

            – take care for 1 month, spend and cancel once voucher issued perhaps not much sympathy,

            – hood card for 13 months, generate 1 voucher through supermarket spend monthly in year 1. Perhaps looked at more favourably

          • sayling says:

            @Genghis – the T&Cs are nothing to do with AmEx – these are BA’s T&Cs

        • JDB says:

          @Will – you are absolutely right. Both the Court and the Ombudsman would consider the context and their concern is usually for terms that are not made clear and/or unexpected consequences. They will also be more concerned where potentially unfair terms affect a large number of people, especially more ‘vulnerable’ consumers. The FOS has a different view of ‘unfair’ terms on free cards vs paid or reward cards.

          When any ombudsman / judge sees the full context of applying & cancelling etc. there is no prospect of a cardholder winning a case. If Amex did think it a problem to enforce, they could also simply cease their generous pro-rata refund policy.

          • Genghis says:

            @Will. Personally I do not see the difference. Like I said, the deal on the BAPP is spend £10k to get the 241. Whether that is done in one month or twelve, the customer has still satisfied the requirements to earn the 241.

            Obviously cancelling after 12 months earns Amex much more revenue than after one due to them giving prorata refunds (defined in terms), but that’s not relevant for the argument as to whether it’s “fair” for Amex to require the customer to hold the card significantly more than after the voucher has been earned.

        • BJ says:

          Are you mot missing the point: amex themselves do not adhere to their own T&C in practice? Why ignore that whilst taking issues with customers who adhere to the T&C?

        • Ed says:

          The wording in term 1 is clear “ You can only receive a Companion Voucher if you are a Member of the British Airways Executive Club and are the main Account holder within a British Airways American Express Card Account (a “Cardmember”).” this cardmember term is used elsewhere I think it would be deemed reasonable that if you hold a ba blue you are a cardmember even if you’ve trigger the voucher on the bapp

        • sayling says:

          So we’re talking here about BA’s T&Cs for the Companion Voucher, which are nothing to do with AmEx – they’ll give you a voucher once you have reached the spend target. After that, AmEx pretty much don’t care and aren’t involved.
          I believe that the particular terms JDB is referring to are in the section of the T&Cs headed ‘Rules and Restrictions’.
          1. The Cardmember is responsible for paying any Taxes, Fees and Charges relating to their Companion Voucher booking. Taxes, Fees and Charges apply per person. All Taxes, Fees and Charges must be paid for using the British Airways American Express Card.
          This suggests that you should not cancel the card until after you’ve booked your flights using the voucher; anecdotal evidence suggests any old AmEx will do, but to be on the safe side, don’t cancel the card until after you have *booked*, not earned, your companion voucher. All the costs are paid at the time of booking
          15. Cardmembers must remain eligible for use of the Companion Voucher in accordance with these Terms and Conditions and the British Airways Executive Club Terms and Conditions at the time of travel. British Airways and American Express reserve the right to refuse to issue or honour any Companion Voucher in the event that the Cardmember is in breach of the terms of the British Airways American Express Card or the British Airways Executive Club Membership.
          There is no section in the T&Cs that mentions eligibility per se, but there is a section that refers to ‘Using the Voucher’ – it could, therefore, be inferred that this particular section is the only pertinent part relating to “must remain eligible for use of the Companion Voucher” – and no term in that section refers to any condition that – at the time of travel – you need to have an active BA AmEx or a BAPP AmEx.

          That’s my take on it, IANAL though. Pandemic aside, if you’re waiting until near the end date of your voucher on a regular basis, you’re probably already keeping the BAPP or BA AmEx anyway. If you’re not keeping it, caveat emptor.

          Any dissent of this view?

          BTW – I’ve kept my previously cancelled BAPP AmEx, just in case I’m asked to provide some form of proof at check in or at the gate, in the unlikely event of being asked for ‘the card the booking was originally made with’. I very much doubt any BA employee will then use it to check the account is current…

  • Ed says:

    They’ve updated the text in that page overnight, but I still don’t their para 12 still makes little sense. I assume that is the para regarding ‘I’ bucket fares, but not particularly clear without the HFP accompanying wording.

    • pauldb says:

      Yes it has been rewritten, and seems like they’ve removed the “additional I class” provision. Ouch if so!

      • meta says:

        There was nothing about I class provision in T&C yesterday. Para 12 is still the same. I’ve just done comparison and just cosmetic changes to T&C.

    • FatherOfFour says:

      That paragraph also only refers to Club World. It doesn’t mention First, World Traveller + or Club Europe. I thought it could be used in all cabins?

  • Stu says:

    I might be playing the game all wrong then … my anniversary date is in August and invariably we’ve triggered the 2-4-1 by November and just keep spending for 1.5 Avios per £. Current year spend has just tipped £30K as we put everything on the card and pay it off. Should I be doing something differently?

    • Jonathan says:

      If you’re spending a lot then favours keeping BAPP. You’ve earned an extra 10k Avios (£100) by putting the £10-30k spend on BAPP vs free. If you spend £5k/year with BA then that’s an additional 10k Avios for the 3 vs 1 rate.

      20k Avios is basically your fee covered currently.

      HfP is clearly a bubble but it’s still only a minority of readers who do the regular up/downgrade cycle. If it was a significant number then AmEx would introduce restrictions on it.

      • Stu says:

        Thanks Jonathan, that at least ratifies I’m not playing the game wrong after all. And we defo do have at least one big spend with BA per annum, so we definitely trigger plenty of additional Avios that way …

    • Alison says:

      Stu, I do exactly the same so would be interested in what others recommend. Although my husband also has his own BAPP card so we trigger another 241 too. 2 x membership fees though!

      • Stu says:

        2 x £250 is nearly the Amex platinum fee and all the membership benefits with that. We’ve never been able to justify that but it might be a consideration for some, I just wish they’d give 1.5 per £ on the platinum card, then we might be tempted!

    • Ian McDowall says:

      Well most of the aviosites here would downgrade to the free card and get a pro rata refund of the fees. I don’t but only because I only trigger about 9 months in. So the refund amount would be relatively small.
      If you have a partner then obviously you would get them their own account and spend on their card only until they trigger the comp voucher too.

      • Stu says:

        My partner does have a card on my account but to be honest, we’ve been struggling to use our existing 2-4-1 vouchers, let alone triggering more. We find BA long-haul biz quite sub-par so had only ever used our 2-4-1 for First to Japan or KL. Now those are off the table, it’s likely we’ll end up using our vouchers for biz to Greece or similar. I definitely don’t think it would pay for us to have a second paid account at the mo.

        • Doug M says:

          Stu. Maybe consider getting cross referee gold cards with partner. At £15K spend additional 10K MR awarded putting earning rate at 1.6MR per £. Free for first year but does require paying about £20 of second year fee to get the bonus. The MR could transfer to non BA schemes if you don’t rate BA. If you and partner alternated years on who was holder and who was sup it may work quite nicely.

    • BJ says:

      It’s very personal and fluid. Depends what other cards you have or are willing to get, what incentives they have and how those change over time. That said I have always cancelled or downgraded BAPP after triggering the voucher because those alternate incentives are generally always too seductive.

    • Rob says:

      If I was spending £30k I would a) get my partner a card and put £10k on that so we get a 2nd 241 voucher and b) put the final £10k somewhere else where I could get a bonus that year.

    • Harry T says:

      You’d be better off spending 10k on the BAPP, cancelling or downgrading it, and then spending 15k on the Gold card to earn 25k MR. If you could spend another 10k after that, then consider hitting a BAPP spend on a partner’s card.

      • Joe says:

        Apart from that would scupper the sign up bonus for the Platinum!

      • PJJ says:

        So going back to an earlier comment suggesting Amex make an incentive to keep BAPP, how about them doing something like with Gold
        Spend 10k and get your 2-4-1, spend another 10k = 20k get a BONUS 10k Avios Points
        So spending 20k you would end up with a 2-4-1 and a total of 40k Avios
        Just a thought to make you keep the BAPP

    • Mouse says:

      Don’t forget about the amex offers, at the moment they make BAPP and Plat pay for themselves without even thinking about points

  • Jon says:

    It makes the 241 less valuable for a number of locations with decent sale fares – PUJ or NYC for instance. Assuming there are still going to be decent sale fares.

    2 seats at £1100 taxes plus £960 worth of avios plus £250 card fee = £2310, or 2 cash fares in a decent sale at £2598 (and I got PUJ for £1830 last year) with TP’s and Avios.

  • Michael C says:

    I could envisage a scenario whereby we, say, fly one way to Asia on an offer with another airline (heretic! throw him into the pond!) to then fly back under the new rules with a lovely HKG-LHR Avios one way for the three of us!

    • meta says:

      I hope they allow open-jaws like TYO-LHR / LHR-SFO. Then add other legs either on another airline or with another 241 voucher.

      • BJ says:

        Last night I was pondering the opportunities to combine the likes of that with Virgin and/or BA partner redemptions to create a RTW itinerary. Long time since I did one, and something about them feels special 🙂

        • Michael C says:

          BJ; I was thinking the one-way back from Asia could be built around the fact that direct BKK flights have stopped Apr-Oct!

          • BJ says:

            I hope that does not become permanent. I was disappointed to see nothing has been loaded next summer either. I wonder if Qatar is behind in. BA had no problem filling planes year round in normal times.

      • Michael C says:

        @Meta: looks valid to me! Complies with the “distance between points B and C” rule…

  • M says:

    I was hoping for an article highlighting some interesting redemptions from outside UK.

    • MariaJ says:

      I’d like that too

      • Rob says:

        There are none. The cost of flying to Dublin, plus the extra Avios needed for a Dublin-Heathrow-XXXX ticket, virtually wipes out the APD saving as well as introducing misconnect risks.

        There are 3 countries where one way taxes are low – HK, Brazil, Japan. If you go to those countries once every 6 months or so, you could nest. Go down on a one way and book your return as an outbound, eg HKG-LON (6 month gap) LON-HKG. You then book a series of these, year in and year out.

        That’s your lot.

        If you don’t have family or friends in those 3 countries there is nothing in it for you.

        • Michael C says:

          Rob, BA now add a “surcharge” ex Brazil..on the page AFTER the “all taxes included”price…I thinkkk it was around GBP300 in Dec.?

          • meta says:

            I am just wondering whether there would be any surcharges on TYO-LHR/LHR-SFO scenario as that adds US to the mix. Also with Hong Kong and Japan you have any other Asian countries in the mix.

          • pauldb says:

            Yes, ITA will price this up for you and reveals a £215 YQ. BA voluntarily charge £0 YQ ex HKG but only on the HKGLON and LONHKG legs, and similarly from TYO only lower YQ on the near-legs.

            But ITA will also reveal that TYO-LON(st)-SFO is a oneway not an open jaw (it prices in cash terms as a oneway fare, not two half-returns). The question is whether on a 241 in fact you can book something like HKG-LON-SFO // LAX-LON-PVG – which is a simple return (even though double-open-jaw) on ITA priced as two half-returns.

            Interested to know if Rob thinks the rules somehow exclude this?

        • David says:

          There will be some other circumstances it will be a benefit for work for. For instance someone who lives in Northern Ireland may find it’s worth driving to Dublin to catch their connecting flight to London, rather than driving to Belfast to do the same.

          There may be others that I’ve not thought of, but I expect they’ll all be edge cases that don’t apply to many people, just like the NI->Dublin one and the HK/Brazil/Japan one you mention.

        • xcalx says:

          Just priced up DUB-LHR-MIA return off peak for 1 pax 155000 plus £310 taxes and fees. Compare this to MAN-LHR-MIA return off peak for 1 pax 125000 plus £730 T&Fs.
          £840 for a couple is some saving.

          I know the uk internal flight is Avios free but how com the DUB-LHR sectors return is 30000 avios. I thought it would price up at 18000.

          New to BA 241, now that non uk start is required it has grabbed my attention

          • Rob says:

            They charge the £1 taxes Avios cost, not the RFS cost. This switch happened last year but we didn’t cover it as only a problem for those not in U.K.

          • xcalx says:

            Thanks Rob. I did wonder if it had something to do with the £1 tax option

          • pauldb says:

            On the phone you’d be able to book DUB-LHR-MIA-LHR-MAN so only paying the extra DUB avios once. And you can book the DUB leg in Y: no reason to book J.

        • Mark says:

          Am I right in thinking if you “nest”, it leaves you with a non-flexible outbound booking for your next trip as returns become non-flexible once the outbound is taken?

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