Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Lots of First Class and Business Class Avios availability to Johannesburg has appeared

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Reader stankpa flagged up that a lot of First Class and Business Class availability to Johannesburg on Avios had appeared.

She wasn’t wrong.

Take a look at the screenshot below from SeatSpy, our preferred seat searching tool.

This is based on availability for TWO people. Green circles represent dates with Business Class seats and red circles are dates with First Class seats.

Outbound flights from Heathrow are on the left, return flights are on the right.

Click to enlarge:

Avios Johannesburg seats

The one downside is that British Airways uses an A380 to Johannesburg, which means no Club Suite (you get the old yin-yang Club World seat) and the older First Class seat.

However, it is very unlikely you’d see so much First Class availability if it wasn’t for the fact that an A380 with its big F cabin was being used.

Before anyone asks …. there is not a single day – not one – out of the next 355 days where you can get two Business or First Class Avios seats to Cape Town. If you want these you MUST book at 355 days before departure when the guaranteed four Business Class seats appear.

Our full guide on how to use Avios points for British Airways First Class flights is here.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 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 – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes 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

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

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

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 (42)

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

  • BJ says:

    Some people probably think this article was paid for by the South African Tourist Board.

    • Dominic Barrington says:

      I think that is highly unlikely, BJ. I think that most people think that Rob is sharing the fairly unusual good news of very decent reward space on a long-haul flight to a fairly popular destination. I may have misunderstood the tone of your posting, but it looks as if you are being rather ungracious about Rob providing something that this website sets out to do. If it pains you to read it, I don’t really that it is compulsory.

    • sloth says:

      Only if they are Spurs fans!

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    This might be a sign to book the safari I’ve been thinking about 🤔

    • Stankpa says:

      That’s what we’re doing. Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Finished with a beach break in Mozambique

      • radiata says:

        Mozambique beaches under appreciated. In the top bit of KZN in SA, one can visit Cosi Bay in southern Maputaland. A slice of Mozambique in SA. Sodwana just below equally good for diving.

  • Aur says:

    If using a new style 241 voucher, can you book
    Iberia: Madrid-Guatemala
    British Airways: Cancun-London?

  • radiata says:

    “Before anyone asks …. there is not a single day – not one – out of the next 355 days where you can get two Business or First Class Avios seats to Cape Town. ”

    I do not believe there are any First seats non-stop to CPT from LON at the moment. Nil I thought since the 747 fleet retired.

    • Novice says:

      Found out 747 had one of the worst crashes ever in aviation history on a Japanese flight. Made me check my flights.

      • lumma says:

        JAL123? I don’t think that relevant to flying today, even if 747s were plentiful

        • Novice says:

          I watched on air crash investigation 😂 I’m a stress head so still checked because I remember reports hitting about boeing max 737? when I was touring somewhere and after that I just check if I find out anything

  • James says:

    Done SA a couple of times in last 6 years.
    I do fancy it again.
    Gunna take out a couple of BA AMEX cards to get an Avios bump.
    £3k on one card in 3 months is just normal spend but might have to find some creative ways to spend the second £3k.
    Any shop vouchers which work towards minimum spend at the moment ?

    Thanks everyone.

  • Novice says:

    Another thing, I might as well ask here; I’ll be in CPT in a couple of months. Any recommendations for restaurants near the waterfront will be appreciated as my hotels is on the waterfront.

    • Novice says:

      Not hotels it’s too late 😂 I mean hotel

    • Mark says:

      The Nobu in the One and Only is good and much cheaper than most Nobus out there, even the one in Budapest I’ve also been to. Lots of options at the V&A – Willoughby’s sushi is always popular and cheaper than the Nobu. Col’Cacchio is pretty decent pizza. There used to be an Indian, Bukhara, but I see that has now closed – it was disappointing anyway, their sister restaurant in the CBD, Awara, is much better.

      Fine dining wise, the Test Kitchen has closed, but FYN looks really good. Kept meaning to try but it had just opened and getting a reservation was tricky. It’s more in the centre than on the waterfront but only a shirt Uber trip away.

    • SP says:

      If you want fine dining then Pier and the Waterside are offshoots of La Colombe. The rooftop bar at the Silo is nice for cocktails. Baia is good for fish.

  • Aston100 says:

    Is a Kruger safari do’able in July?

    • Rizz says:

      Yes, good time – European summer/early fall is the best time to do a safari in Southern Africa.

      • Aston100 says:

        But won’t it be quite cold?
        I thought I read that on the early morning drives, you’d need a coat or at least a thick jumper.

        • SP says:

          Safari can be cold in the early mornings, even in the middle of summer, but you should be well looked after with blankets and even hot water bottles. Apparently winter is the best time to do safari in terms of seeing animals

    • Fazzy Bear says:

      Did it during World Cup 2010.

      Will miss the migration period but it was still fun nonetheless.

      IIRC managed to see the Big 5.

      • Novice says:

        I saw the big 5 in kenya/Tanzania. It’ll be my first time SA this yr. Will never forget the leopard that crossed the road when I was not camera ready as was so early in morning going for hot air ballooning over serengeti.

        But managed to get pics later thanks to the awesome guide.

        Will go again hopefully one day but for now will hope to see animals in kruger

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

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