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Avios redemptions still available on Russian carrier S7

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Yesterday, in our article on ‘Which 30 airlines can you redeem Avios on?‘, we said that Avios redemptions were currently suspended on Russian carrier S7.

We were wrong.

Avios redemptions on S7

Whilst S7’s membership of the oneworld airline alliance is currently suspended, ba.com will still happily let you redeem your Avios for S7 flights.

See below:

All very odd ….


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

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

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (72)

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

  • Nick says:

    Any tips hints on reasonable methods of getting to Moscow from London in August?

    Listings even via Istanbul or Antalya or dubai not coming up on uk travel search engines.

    (Normally also do BA direct flight awards from LHR)

    • Sandgrounder says:

      trip.com will show availability, but getting there for a reasonable price by air is not going to be easy. If cost is an issue, a coach (such as ecolines/lux express) from one of the Baltic capitals is probably the cheapest way.

      • Nick says:

        I had thought those Baltic border crossing were now closed to regular traffic?

    • John says:

      Separate tickets?

    • John says:

      Perhaps try the airlines’ websites directly? My other half used Turkish to get to Vnukovo last month, connecting in Istanbul. Worked as smoothly as could be expected given the journey involved. She recommended a multi-hour connection time in Istanbul, due to the size of the airport as well as to accommodate delays in London. Turkish were also offering connections via Antalya – if you check the Vnukovo departure board, there seems like a flight to Antalya almost every hour in the morning.
      The other options were Air Serbia or Emirates – the former seemed to have long connections in Belgrade and frequent delays to Sheremetyevo, whilst the latter obviously involves an out-of-the-way journey to Dubai.
      Have reliable feedback from an acquaintance that Pegasus will also work.

    • Ian M says:

      I was in Moscow all of last week. I flew from Minsk. But it’s not so easy to get from London to Minsk currently.

      Best options are via Belgrade (Air Serbia direct flights to Moscow), via Istanbul (Turkish Airlines) or Dubai (Emirates or FlyDubai).

      You’ll need to look at the website of the airlines, websites such as Sky Scanner won’t show any flights going to Moscow. Emirates are operating 2 x A380s per day from DXB to DME and FlyDubai are operating 4-5 x 737s per day from DXB to VKO.

      If you’re looking for the lowest cost option to get to Moscow, you’re best bet will be:

      – London (Luton or Stansted) to Vilnis with Ryanair.

      – Coach from Vilnis to Minsk (4hr journey – about 17 Euro – but you’ll need to apply for a Belarus visa to enter via the land border).

      – Flight from Minsk to Moscow (about £42 with Belavia or Aeroflot)

    • Alex M says:

      Looking for the same. I missed opportunity to book pegasus flight when it cost 230£ one way 2-3 weeks ago (mid Aug departure). Now it costs 700. Alternative I m thinking about is flight to Tallinn, then bus to Spb (but I am not sure if foreigners can cross land border).

    • Natalia S says:

      Aviasales.ru will show Russian destinations, then it’s going to airlines sites and booking directly. As others said above, in Europe your two options for connecting points would be Istanbul (Turkish Airlines or Pegasus) or Belgrade (Air Serbia). If you need regional Russian airports rather than Moscow, Istanbul would have options to fly there directly: Pegasus on one ticket or if you are feeling adventurous, splitting the ticket and flying on Russian airlines which mainly use Sukhoi like Azimuth; someone will need to pay for Russian leg of journey using Russia or Belarus issued credit card in this case.

      I don’t think there’s a way to use BA miles, other than for LHR-IST leg, but then you’d be splitting the tickets. This is what I’m doing for my September trip. If you find a creative way to use BA miles for this trip, please shout 🙂

  • John says:

    It may appear available but would you actually get a ticket issued? BA may not be able to pay S7

    • Richie says:

      Do they actually pay each other for each respective redemption or is there a reconcilliation process at the end of a period? Can S7 frequent flyers currently book BA flights with their points on the S7 website?

      • Nick says:

        Airline payments to each other (which are made through the IATA BSP process) are neither subject to sanctions nor suspended. Direct sales in Russia are, of course, just not the interline process.

  • Chris H says:

    Your article says you must book by 12th September. Is there any restrictions on when you can stay? I am looking for a booking on 30th Sep to 3rd Oct.

  • Mike says:

    What a ridiculous idea highlighting a potential opportunity to contribute profits to a Russian company at the current time.

    • Matarredondaaa says:

      Agree

      • Rob says:

        I think you’re missing the point here, by a quite stunning margin.

        • yorkieflyer says:

          Perhaps explain your point?

          • Rhys says:

            The point is, that despite international sanctions, Avios redemptions are bizarrely still bookable on S7 Airlines?

      • Peter says:

        Agree, not even mentioning that their planes are not safe/legal now.

        • yorkieflyer says:

          Quite the point it’s clearly adding risk flying on a Russian carrier due to likely maintenance issues as a result of sanctions

    • Brian78 says:

      Are these “sanctions” having any impact though?

      The main impact seems to be higher costs for hard working taxpayers.

      No sign of the war ending either.

      • Sergei Meerkat says:

        Are these the same taxpayers who thought that splitting up Europe and giving Putin the confidence to invade Ukraine were two totally unconnected actions?

        • Charles Martel says:

          Is there anything that can’t be linked by some to Brexit? Merkels integration of Europes biggest economy with Russias probably did more to empower Putin to invade than Brexit – the UK didn’t leave the deterrent, but possibly provocative NATO, it left a trading bloc.

          • Paul says:

            You may be correct about Merkel, but the answer to your question is No, the UK is a total mess, economically, ethically, and legally. The root cause is Brexit.

            We have left; I see no easy route back, but I will never forget nor forgive the calamity that was wrought on this country by ignorant people too lazy to educate themselves on the benefits of membership and whose narrow minded prejudices robbed my family of our our right to live work retire in the EU

          • Rob says:

            You should have married a German 🙂

      • Nick says:

        Only “normal” people need this war to end asap

        Russia will end up with more strategic land and survive sanctions

        Ukraine is flooded with cash and political support. They’ll end up in eu/nato

        USA and west are seeing a major rival getting bogged down and want as much pain exerted before it ends.
        Will also see a see positive shift on energy too

        Unlike any other conflict- there is no clamour to end this. Not even from the Ukrainian side
        Their society is now functioning in many parts, their leaders are not being targeted and Russia in probably inflicting at most 20pc of what was feared.

        • Callum says:

          What an utterly absurd analysis. To claim that Ukraine isn’t interested in ending the war is a stunning level of ignorance. Short of surrendering and handing over vast swathes of the country to Russia, what exactly do you think they could be doing to end it quicker?

          And while they are indeed receiving a lot of cash, it pales in comparison to the cost they’ve suffered and I think it’s fairly obvious they’re going to emerge from this with much less than they had.

          And Rob, I’m well aware of your intention for making the post so I have no issue with it whatsoever. However, given your site has many people who will indeed happily visit and contribute to Russia ignoring the fact they’ve invaded a close European country, drop bombs on civilians and hospitals and are now getting ready to execute British citizens, I don’t think you need to be so flippant about it…

          • Brian78 says:

            I don’t disagree with your general point about what Russia is doing but if “drop bombs on civilians and hospitals” is a taken into account then Rob wouldn’t be doing articles about trips to America or indeed the U.K.

          • Callum says:

            Brian78 – If you genuinely believe the US (or UK) invaded a peacefully democratic country and deliberately started bombing civilians, hospitals, shopping centres and executed and tortured countless innocent civilians on the street, I have to agree with you – you’d have to be incredibly scummy to continue associating with those countries.

            As much as I’ve been against the majority of wars the West have involved themselves in/started, you simply cannot claim they are equivalent to what is happening in Ukraine. This false equivalence people keep making is beyond pathetic.

        • Mikeact says:

          @Paul. I would call your response totally arrogant and ignorant.

      • Charles Martel says:

        They’re a boost for the Indian and Chinese economies as they hoover up commodities sanctioned by the West. It has also exposed the decreasing relevance of the Western economy as Asian counterweights rise. I wonder if the loss of these soft tools over the long term makes the use of hot warfare more likely.

    • MyNameIsJeff says:

      Anyone for whom this article is relevant is going to end up contributing to the Russian economy one way or another.

      Russian ex-pats, for instance (and whatever their political views), may have little option.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        I read the article as highlighting a BA flaw with IT, and given the potential bad publicity this could bring BA, would expect it to trigger this redemption route being closed pretty soon. Quite surprised anyone would read the article differently.

        • Alex Sm says:

          same thoughts here… AFAIK, Skyteam was more efficient in closing a similar loophole with Aeroflot but all already issued redemption tickets were honoured in the end

    • Chas says:

      I’m not sure that Rob was advocating booking it – I took the article to be that he was pointing out the peculiarity of the situation whereby S7 are prima-facie suspended, but in reality they are not fully suspended.

    • Danyal says:

      This is a bit of a stretch…

    • Brian78 says:

      Might be someone who needs to go to Russia to see family etc

      Not everyone who is Russian is a Putin supportive warmonger

      • Brian78 says:

        *might be useful to someone

      • Alex Sm says:

        yes, absolutely – I have been looking at all the options above but still there is not much room for manouevre, especially cost wise – if you need to travel urgently for family reasons…

    • Paul says:

      Agreed. Its actually quite sick that anyone would consider paying a single penny that benefits Russia.

      If you have family there, visit by all means – but dont leave when you get there.

      Ukranians dont have such a luxury and therefore Russians should not be permitted it.

      Russia needs to be removed from the World for at least 20 years.

  • Jan M says:

    Quite a few Russian tourists in Rome this spring. I’m told that they all fly via Istanbul.

    • Brian78 says:

      The Russian ruble is at a 5 year high versus eg the pound, euro and dollar so a good time for Russian tourists to be travelling

      • John says:

        Err, it’s high because you can’t sell rubles and can only buy them.

        Those tourists will not be doing any of their spending in rubles. Russian bank cards won’t work and bureaux de change, if they buy ruble banknotes at all, will be paying far less than the official rate.

        So they will be spending money which they’ve kept in euros in non-Russian accounts, or perhaps in cash and smuggled it out.

        • Natalia S says:

          Russian tourists buy dollars while in Russia at a reasonably good rate and bring cash (like 20 years ago). The cash exchange rate is higher than official rate for USD/rub, but not by too much. It’s inconvenience, but Russian tourists do indeed benefit from ruble at 7 year high.

        • Rio says:

          You can buy currency in russia and ruble is strong due to huge net exports

    • TimM says:

      Over on the TripAdvisor forum for Antalya, there are reports of a huge influx of Russian tourists and estate agents being inundated by Russians wanting to buy property. Perhaps they are trying to spend their money while they still can or perhaps they are fleeing Putin’s Russia? Either way the airlines still flying between Turkey and Russia must be doing good business.

  • Skywalker says:

    @ Rob – BA was advertising “Ukraine” as one of it’s holiday destinations when I was looking the other day – people don’t really think to update their websites. I haven’t checked if it’s bookable!

    Re: Moscow:

    Not a warmongerer here – I have a friend in some need over there and I’m looking at this route myself – my only concern (and I don’t know if it’s a legitimate one or an imagined one), but I am off to the US soon – and I don’t want any stress because of a stamp in my passport from Russia, or vice versa if I do the trip after the US trip.

    Do you think I should get a second passport or am I just worrying about nothing much at all?

    • TimM says:

      They will just suspect you are a spy and have you followed everywhere, monitor your calls, bug your room etc.. Nothing to worry about.

    • John says:

      Do you have a Russian visa?

      • Skywalker says:

        @TimM – 🙂 thank you
        @John – to be obtained – just thinking about it all at the moment.

  • Mike says:

    Paul – logical point, well made. I totally agree. It is morally reprehensible that HFP is highlighting the ability to conduct avios redemptions on a Russian airline at this current time.

    • Rhys says:

      We’re highlighting it because it’s odd that it’s still possible!

      • Brian78 says:

        It’s bizarre that people think that someone is going to go to Russia in holiday because of this article!

        • RussellH says:

          Perhaps Bernie Ecclestone is looking for a way to use up his stash of avios?

      • RussellH says:

        Fine. But that is not how I read it. The article does not say that.

        I think that that disclaimer very definitely needs to be in the article itself, in BOLD. For the good of HfP, if nothing else.

        • Rob says:

          It says ‘All very odd’ – it literally says the thing that you say the article doesn’t say!

          • Mike says:

            My motto is “if I don’t the get the point – the point has not been well made”.

          • Mike says:

            If the point of the article was for HFP to highlight that BA were being morally reprehensible in offering redemption opportunities on a Russian airline during the current Russian invasion of Ukraine – the point was not clearly made, just by highlighting the opportunity and then adding “all very odd” afterwards.

          • RussellH says:

            It does say ‘All very odd’, yes. I think you need to say more than that. Given that much of HfP’s raison-d’être is to point out good value redemptions that readers may not be aware of – such as the other opportunity described above – I would myself have added a very explicit disclaimer to to that bit of the article. Something along the lines of:- “Of course, in this specific instance we are absolutely not suggesting that any reader should try to take advantage of these offers.”

            I am concerned that some occasional readers of the site may well glance at this page and take the view that HfP is promoting reward travel to a sanctioned country. Very bad for HfP’s reputation.

          • Mikeact says:

            @Paul. I would call your response totally arrogant and ignorant.

          • T says:

            All very odd… all very daily mail!

      • Mikeact says:

        Some amazing comments on here today….totally ridiculous.

      • yorkieflyer says:

        Mmm but you don’t write articles on all the dodgy point generating activity

  • Callum says:

    Yes, yours included…

    You can have whatever views you want, but it’s pretty staggering that you still don’t realise you’re in a pretty small minority – your shock and suprise at that is somewhat concerning!

    • Brian78 says:

      “As much as I’ve been against the majority of wars the West have involved themselves in/started, you simply cannot claim they are equivalent to what is happening in Ukraine. This false equivalence people keep making is beyond pathetic.”

      I’m not saying they are the same. “Almost as bad” is probably the best way of putting it.

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