Get 50% Off British Airways Economy Class Awards To/From 90 Destinations

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British Airways has launched a promotion similar to one it has run at this time of year in the past offering 50% off all Economy Class Avios redemptions on flights to/from London Heathrow and London Gatwick.

The difference between this promotion and others I remember is that this one covers a much broader range of travel dates but does not include the December holidays.

50% Off Avios Economy Bookings – T&Cs

  • Book directly with British Airways between 30 November and 17 December 2017
  • Travel between 4 January and 30 June 2018.
  • This offer applies to both peak and off-peak Avios prices and can be booked by any British Airways Executive Club Member with a sufficient Avios balance.
  • The required amount of Avios for reward flights in the World Traveller Cabin, travelling to or from London Heathrow or London Gatwick will be reduced by 50%.
  • The full airline taxes, fees and Carrier charges will apply per person, per flight.
  • Discounts are available on direct one-way and return British Airways operated flights in the World Traveller cabin only.
  • All flights are subject to Executive Club Terms and Conditions and British Airways Conditions of Carriage.
  • Reward flights may not be available on some dates.
  • No registration is required.
  • Not to be combined with any other offer.

Click on the following link for full terms and conditions:

Not all routes are being included in this offer and examples of exclusions are:

  • Sydney
  • Santiago (Chile)
  • Sao Paulo
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Buenos Aires
  • San Jose (Costa Rica)
  • Grenada

The Offer

Here are examples of routes on which the 50% Avios offer applies together with the number of Avios you’ll need for a roundtrip Economy Class Avios booking (it appears as if BA is using off-peak pricing for its examples but the 50% discount will apply to peak pricing too):

a screenshot of a flight schedule


My new favorite way of search for British Airways Avios availability is to use the “Flight Finder” facility I’ve highlighted on the blog in the past.

Taking a few popular routes as examples there seems to be a good number of dates showing award availability during the period covered by the offer.

Los Angeles  – London

a screenshot of a graph

New York – London

a screenshot of a graph

Boston – London

a screenshot of a graph

London – Hong Kong

a screenshot of a graph

London – Dubai

a screenshot of a graph

Is This Deal Any Good

The fact that you only need half the normal number of Avios for these trips is clearly very good news but the issue that has always surrounded Avios redemptions still remains – the surcharges.

British Airways adds obnoxious surcharges to all of its Avios awards and attempts to fool customers by calling them “taxes” if you happen to call up – these fees have nothing to do with the government and everything to do with BA’s bottom line.

At the time of writing this offer isn’t showing correctly on (I’ve tweeted the BA team to ask why) but we can assume that, although the Avios numbers that are being shown are incorrect, the surcharges are about right.

Here’s what London – LA Looks like on a random set of dates I selected in January:

a screenshot of a payment

$527.17 is a lot of surcharges to pay especially when you can book a cash fare for £604.91 ($805) for exactly the same dates:

a screenshot of a calendar

Essentially, 16,250 is saving you around $200 so you’re getting ~ 1.2 cents of value per Avios.

That’s not a great deal and it can get even worse than that.

When I picked out a random 7 night trip to New York (from London) the Avios surcharges came out to $492.55:

a screenshot of a payment

When you check the best available BA cash fare for the same dates it prices up to £367.80 ($490)

a screenshot of a calendar


You are approximately $2.55 better off when you use cash to pay for your ticket rather than Avios.

Rather incredibly, if you spend 13,000 Avios on a redemption like this you will actually get a negative return on your Avios!

Bottom Line

The headline deal may sound very attractive (a 50% discount always does) but, as long as British Airways is ripping customers off with its surcharges, long-haul Avios redemptions will remain a poor proposition.

Yes, I’m sure there will be a few dates here and there where, for one reason or another, cash fares are sky-high and award availability is still there (so booking with Avios makes sense)….but these are outliers and not representative of the general situation.

If you’re at all tempted by this offer please make sure you work out the math…and make sure you check Economy Class fares on other airlines too as BA is definitely not a certainty to be the cheapest cash option.


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