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As far as I can tell, British Airways isn’t running an official sale but that doesn’t appear to have stopped the airline from publishing some truly excellent Premium Economy fares for roundtrip travel from London to a variety of cities in the United States.
Example Roundtrip Premium Economy Fares
- Austin – from £675
- Boston – from £593
- Chicago – from £674
- Denver – from £700
- Las Vegas – from £748
- Los Angeles – from £693
- Nashville – from £697
- New York – from £521
- Orlando – from £703
- Philadelphia – from £656
- Pittsburgh – from £594
- San Francisco – from £633
- San Jose – from £633
- Seattle – from £679
- Tampa – from £703
- Washington DC – from £672
The easiest way to see all the Premium Economy Fares on offer is to use the Low Fare Finder tool that BA offers on its website.
Headline Fare Rules
I’ve used the ITA Matrix search to attempt to figure out what rules come attached to these fares and, as best as I can tell, here are the key ones:
- Travel from the UK permitted between the following dates:
- 17 February to 25 March 2020
- 11 April to 24 April 2020
- 25 April to 21 May 2020
- 14 September to 10 December 2020
- 5 January to 10 February 2021*
- 17 February to 25 March 2021*
- Travel to the UK permitted between the following dates:
- 24 February to 5 April 2020
- 19 April to 24 April 2020
- 25 April to 21 May 2020
- 2 November to 25 December 2020
- 11 January to 19 February 2021*
- Reservations for all sectors must be made at least 28 days before departure
- A Saturday night stay is required
- Maximum stay is 12 months
- Stopovers are not permitted
- Child 2 – 11 years of age pays 75% of the adult fare
- Infant under 2 years of age with a seat pays 75% of the adult fare
- Infant under 2 years of age without a seat pays 10% of the adult fare
The availability of these excellent Premium Economy fares varies from route to route with some routes showing considerably more availability than others…but it shouldn’t be hard to find something that works for you.
London – Los Angeles is a route on which I don’t often spot great Premium Economy Class fares but on this occasion not only are there some pretty good fares on offer, but they’re widely available too (within the date parameters the fare rules permit). Here’s what this looks like:
The better fares are generally to be found from September through December, but there are a few instances where good availability is around earlier in the year.
The cheapest fares that the British Airways Low Fare Finder tool is showing aren’t always available on a wide variety of dates but the good news is that there are some slightly higher fares that are easy to find.
San Francisco for under £660, New York for under £575, Boston for under £620 and Seattle, Denver, Austin and Chicago for £700 are all easy prices to find without much effort, and when you consider that Business Class fares on a number of these routes are pricing up at 2.5x these Premium Economy fares, you should be able to see how these deals can be an economical way to cross the Atlantic with a bit of comfort without breaking the bank.
Earn Tier Points, Avios & AAdvantage Credits Too
All these fares will allow you to collect Avios and Tier Points and, while the number of Avios you’ll earn will depend on the route being booked and the status you hold, everyone will earn 180 Tier Points (assuming a non-stop routing in either direction).
As an example, someone with no status and flying London – LA roundtrip would earn 180 Tier Points and 10,884 Avios.
As British Airways is a member of the oneworld alliance these fares can be credited to all the oneworld loyalty programs but, outside of the British Airways Executive Club, I suspect that the American Airlines AAdvantage program will be the only one that readers are particularly interested in.
If booked through British Airways, these Premium Economy fares will earn Redeemable miles, Elite Qualifying Dollars and Elite Qualifying Miles based on the distance flown:
- Redeemable Miles – 100% of the distance flown + elite status bonus
- Elite Qualifying Dollars – 20% of the distance flown
- Elite Qualifying Miles – 1.5 x the distance flown
Someone with no status flying London – LA roundtrip would earn 10,911 Redeemable Miles, ~2,182 Elite Qualifying Dollars and ~16,367 Elite Qualifying Miles.
Premium Economy isn’t a replacement for Business Class but it’s a considerably more comfortable way to travel than Economy Class so, at these prices, this is a very good opportunity to cross the Atlantic in a lot more comfort than most people do.
Don’t forget that Premium Economy fares can be upgraded to Business Class using Avios (assuming Business Class awards are available) so you may want to consider flying West in Premium Economy (a daytime flight) and using some Avios to upgrade your return journey (overnight flight) to Club World – is suspect that’s exactly what I’m going to do for a trip I need to book for later this year.