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One of the things I like most about the British Airways Executive Club is that it guarantees that it will release a set number of Business Class and Economy Class awards on every British Airways flight and it even tells us when those seats will be released.
Every day at midnight UK time (01:00 during British Summer Time) British Airways releases two Business Class awards and four Economy Class awards for all its flights departing 355 days in the future.
This means that travelers who are prepared, quick with a mouse and online at exactly the right time can snag Business Class award seats to anywhere BA flies every single day. That’s how a lot of us get to book the awards we’re looking for even when the routes have very high demand (e.g. Los Angeles – London or London – Cape Town).
Travelers who don’t like to plan 355 days in advance (or whose circumstances don’t allow them to book that far in advance) have to either hope that no one books the awards they need before they’re ready to book (an unlikely scenario for most routes) or that British Airways decides to release more award seats.
Good News If You’re Still Searching For Awards
If you weren’t able to go online when the Business Class awards you need were first released British Airways may have some good news for you.
As of today British Airways has released an extra 50,000 Club World (Business Class) seats across a variety of routes to/from London.
The extra award seats are available to book in the usual way for travel between 16 December 2018 and 31 March 2019 and will remain available until 2 December (unless they’re all booked before then).
Routes With Added Business Class Awards
Routes to/from London Gatwick:
- Fort Lauderdale
- Las Vegas
- San Jose (Costa Rica)
- New York (JFK)
The routes to/from London Heathrow with extra award space are to plentiful to list out but here are a few key ones:
- Buenos Aires
- Cape Town
- Kuala Lumpur
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- New York (JFK)
- New York (EWR)
- Rio de Janeiro
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Tokyo (NRT),
- Washington (DC)
Four Things To Bear In Mind
- As far as I know British Airways doesn’t keep back awards purely for members of the British Airways Executive Club so any new awards that have been released should also be bookable using other oneworld currencies (like American Airlines miles) as well as Avios.
- American Express is currently running a promotion offering a massive 40% bonus on points transfers from Membership Rewards to the British Airways Executive Club. Transfers to BAEC are instantaneous but the bonus ends tomorrow (15 November) so, if you’re short of Avios and have found awards you’d like to book, this would be a good bonus to use….but be quick!
- British Airways adds high surcharges to all of its long-haul awards so you’re going to need more than just miles/Avios to book flights. Make sure you take into consideration the cash you’ll have to pay out (alongside whatever the Avios/miles cost is) when working out the economics of any booking.
- Extra Business Class award space also means extra space into which you can upgrade from Premium Economy (World Traveller Plus)
50,000 extra Business Class awards is a big release of award inventory so, despite the relatively short travel period for which the awards are available, this is a pretty generous move on the part of BA.
If you’ve been waiting for award space to open up for travel before 31 March 2019 you’d be well advised to recheck availability at BA.com as soon as you can….you may just find that your chosen route suddenly has Business Class awards available.