One of the benefits of having Gold status in British Airways Executive Club is that you see additional Avios reward space.
This isn’t the bonanza you may think it is. It only applies to Economy flights, and it only applies to flights on British Airways.
That said, there are likely to be times when it comes in handy.
Unfortunately, there is a bug on ba.com which means that Economy Avios seats do not always show as available for Gold members when they really are. This has been a long term problem, not a temporary issue.
To explain the bug, I need to explain where the extra Avios seats come from.
In BA’s ticketing system, Economy reward seats are put in a bucket called ‘X’ class. For Gold members, the cheapest cash Economy seats are also shown as available for Avios redemption.
So far, so good.
The problem emerges if you don’t search for the actual number of seats you want.
There is a logical reason to just search for one seat even if you want 2, 3 or 4
I don’t know about you, but I usually run my ba.com Avios reward searches looking for just one seat. I do this even if I need 2, 3 or 4 seats.
This is because – as ba.com shows you how many seats are available on each flight in each class – you get a better feel for what is available.
For example, if I need four seats and search for four seats, I wouldn’t see flights with 2 x Business Class and 2 x First Class, or perhaps 3 x Business Class and 1 x Premium Economy.
I want to see results like this, however, because they may be acceptable to me. I may also be prepared to pay for some seats if I can’t get all the seats I need on Avios. This is why I search for one seat and not four seats.
There is a ba.com bug with the ‘extra’ Avios Economy seats for Gold members
However, there is a bug in ba.com when it comes to showing the extra seats for Gold members in Economy.
If the number of seats you search for can be fulfilled from the standard Avios availability, this is the total of seats you are shown are bookable. ba.com does not tell you about the extra seats.
Yes, this is confusing. Let’s me explain it a different way.
Imagine there is 1 seat in standard Avios Economy availability but 8 additional Economy seats are available for Gold members.
- If you search for 1 seat, you are told that only 1 seat is available, not 9 seats
- If you search for 2 seats, you are told that 9 seats are available.
This is because ba.com only shows you the extra seats for Gold members if you request enough seats to trigger them.
Still confused? Here is an example.
Here is what a Gold card holder searching for 1 reward seat to Seattle on 13th September 2023 sees:
This is NOT correct. There is NOT just one seat available to a Gold member. If this person was actually looking for four seats but had just searched for one, he would get a false result.
If I change the number of seats wanted to 4 seats, suddenly at least 9 seats are shown as bookable (no cap shown = 9+ available):
Luckily, this is a bug which is easy to work around now that you know it exists.
If you are a BA Gold and searching for Economy class Avios redemptions, make sure you search for the exact number of seats you need. Don’t do a dummy search for just one seat as you will get a false result.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)
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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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.
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.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.