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NOW BOOKABLE: the Dubai ‘Avios only’ flight for October half-term

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On Monday night Sean Doyle, Chairman and CEO of British Airways, invited us round to his lounge for Christmas drinks.

Not the lounge of his house – the Arrivals Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5.

Despite the grumbling of the assembled media pack on the Heathrow Express (which had cancelled half of its trains), it was a well planned and well run event. Media goodie bags also returned after a four year absence so clearly things are picking up!

Sean made a few surprise announcements, two of which I am covering today.

The first is very interesting for parents. British Airways will run an ‘Avios only’ flight to Dubai during October half-term in 2024.

This will be the first long haul flight to operate under the ‘Avios only’ scheme.

ALL seats in ALL cabins, including Club Suite and First Class, are available for redemption. It is likely to be the older First Class seat, not the new version with the door, with an 8-seat cabin.

When will the ‘Avios only’ flight run?

One issue is that October half-term tends to vary amongst schools. Private schools tend to get two weeks off whilst state schools usually have just one week.

Here are the flights, which are now bookable:

  • Saturday 26th October – 22.25 Heathrow, lands 08.25 Dubai
  • Saturday 2nd November – 13.35 Dubai, lands 17.25 Heathrow

Here’s a ba.com screenshot:

British Airways 'Avios only' flight for October half term

First Class had gone for the outbound at the time of writing.

The pricing options for Club Suite are:

  • 180,000 Avios + £350
  • 150,000 Avios + £537
  • 120,000 Avios + £726
  • 104,000 Avios + £1,000
  • 72,000 Avios + £1,260
  • 48,000 Avios + £1,265
British Airways 'Avios only' flight for October half term

If you DO have a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher AND you value an Avios at 1p, the cheapest option is 180,000 Avios + £350 (ie 180,000 Avios + £700 for two people). The 150,000 and 120,000 Avios options are not far off. The worst deal is, oddly, the 72,000 Avios option.

If you do NOT have a companion voucher AND you value an Avios at 1p, the cheapest option is 48,000 Avios + £1,265 per person. The other options are not a lot worse except for the 180,000 Avios deal.

These seats won’t last long. Remember that all Avios seats are cancellable for a £35 per person fee. All points and taxes will be returned.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 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 £12,000 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

Get a 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

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) 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 (53)

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

  • Martyn says:

    Is social media not a sheer delight?

  • Swifty says:

    So glad I disagree with Dubai on humanitarian grounds and I stick to it unlike social media Dan the flyer man. Revolting place

    • Rob says:

      With the Saudi Government buying 60% of Heathrow you can indeed feel smug as you line their coffers on the way to somewhere with a better human rights record than the UAE …..

      • Blindman67 says:

        Not everyone flies out of LHR

        • will says:

          Unless our government wakes up to what is already a huge problem you’ll be lucky if a lot of what you do day to day isn’t owned by some very questionable interests.

          Chinese electric cars are about to decimate the European car industry unless regulation is passed. Chinese cars who’s factories run off coal electricity and who’s workers have next to no rights, something that’s banned here, but it’s OK to import it.

          • Lady London says:

            The French have just made most electric cars not produced in Europe ineligible for any subsidy this week. It basically puts another £4,000-£6,000 or so onto the price of any small or medium electric car. Of course the majority sufferers are Chinese made cars even those such as the Dacia Spring which were being sold under European brand names.

            They did it by introducing ‘environmental’ scoring, penalising any vehicle having to be shipped a long distance or where the supply chain did not meet ‘anti pollution’ requirements.

            Miraculously Tesla had 1 of its 4 models sold in Europe still eligible for subsidy and a couple of other manufacturers are reported to now be considering siting battery plants or manufacturing in Europe.

            Short term it looks like protectionism that will keep, frankly, better cheaper electric vehicles out so many consumers can’t afford them snd those who can will pay more for an inferior car.

            Justified protectionism?

      • JDB says:

        The Saudis bought 10% (assuming no ROFO exercise) from Ferrovial, not 60%? Qatar is now the largest shareholder.

        • Rob says:

          Other shareholders have the right to sell at the same price and it appears all the non-Government investors are keen.

    • NorthernLass says:

      And by that reasoning you’re going to have to avoid India, Mexico, Brazil, China and numerous other destinations!

  • Mr. AC says:

    Wow, everything appears to be gone for the outbound, even Economy!

  • Blindman67 says:

    Stirkes me Dubai is the Benidorm of UAE for people with more money than brain cells.

    Still that leaves far better places in the world to explore with less of these FF’s

    Only my opinion of course, other opinions are available

  • Andy says:

    Obviously this should be described as half-term in some places. It’s after schools have gone back here.

  • Lady London says:

    An excellent analysis of the economics behind this here :

    https://revman.substack.com/p/costing-bas-avios-only-flights-to

    Rob has mentioned Oliver Ranson’s Airline Economics blog before : well worth signing up for and insightful. Extra content also worth a look for some at a moderate small sub.

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

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