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British Airways has published a limited-time promotion in which it’s offering substantial discounts on the Avios cost of the Reward Flights that it offers. Short-haul bookings are reduced by 25% but it’s on long-haul flights where the biggest savings are to be found with the airline offering a huge 50% discount on peak and off-peak fares.
- Book by 13 October 2020
- Travel by 30 June 2021
- Save 25% on the Avios cost of short-haul flights
- Save 50% on the Avios cost of long-haul flights
- The discounts are valid on one-way and roundtrip bookings
- The discount only applies to British Airways flights and not partner airlines
- Discounts will appear automatically when customers search for Reward Flights
- Surcharges, taxes & fees are not discounted
While it’s a shame that British Airways hasn’t discounted the cost of the ridiculous surcharges it adds to its long-haul Reward Flights, this can still be a very good promotion for members of the British Airways Executive Club…especially if you happen to have a 2-4-1/Companion Voucher you can use alongside this deal.
To give you an idea of how much Reward flight will now cost, here’s the current British Airways Reward Flight chart (which you won’t find anywhere on BA.com)…
…and here are the distances the zones refer to:
- Zone 1: 1 – 650 miles (excluding North America)
- Zone 2: 651 – 1,150 miles
- Zone 3: 1,151 – 2,000 miles
- Zone 4: 2,001 – 3,000 miles
- Zone 5: 3,001 – 4,000 miles
- Zone 6: 4,001 – 5,500 miles
- Zone 7: 5,501 – 6,500 miles
- Zone 8: 6,501 – 7,000 miles
- Zone 9: 7,001+ miles
To give you an idea of what’s possible with the sale, here are a couple of examples of one-way long-haul trips that I priced up:
Los Angeles – London Off-Peak Business Class
New York – London Off-Peak First Class
In truth, the surcharges are still heinous but by British Airways standards these are incredibly cheap Rewards Flights that are being offered and there’s a fantastic amount of award availability right now (unsurprisingly!) so finding flights that work for you shouldn’t be an issue.
The best deals are reserved for Executive Club members who are fortunate enough to have a Companion Pass (as offered by the Chase BA Visa Signature Card) or a 2-for-1 voucher as offered by the British Airways American Express cards issued in the UK. As an example, 2 people can travel between London and Los Angeles in First Class for just 85,000 Avios and £1,334/~$1,710:
I value Avios at just 1 cent each so, effectively, this roundtrip First Class booking would cost me approximately $2,560. That’s $1,280 per person for First Class travel on one of the longest routes British Airways operates. By anyone’s standards, that’s a great deal.
The 25% discount on offer for the short-haul bookings isn’t as eye-catching as the 50% discount on offer for long-haul flights but it can still offer some savings that are worth having…but only as long as you’re traveling within Europe. A little disappointingly, these discounts aren’t available on partner bookings so there’s no scope to save on trips like NYC – Boston, Sydney – Melbourne, or Tokyo – Hong Kong.
On the shorter short-haul routes that BA operates, a 25% discount won’t really make much difference to most people’s plans, but a family of 4 traveling to one of the more distant short-haul destinations in Economy Class during peak season will notice the difference when they go from paying 80,000 Avios to 60,000 Avios for roundtrip travel. Effectively, they’ll be saving the equivalent of one peak season roundtrip booking to a distant short-haul destination.
With BA’s high surcharges still very much in place, this isn’t the spectacular offer that I’ve seen some people claiming it to be, but there’s definitely scope for some very nice savings. The better deals are the ones open to travelers with British Airways companion and 2-for-1 vouchers but some of the deals available for solo travelers can be pretty good too.
One note of caution: Make sure you check the cash price of any trips you’re planning to book before you part with your Avios. With the travel world in crisis, there are some very good cash fares on offer right now, and using Avios in place of these cash fares can be an uneconomical path to take.