Hold Off Buying British Airways Fares (Especially For UK Departures)

a plane flying in the sky

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There are plenty of reasons I can think of for warning people against buying British Airways fares (your credit card details could appear on the dark web, international Business Class is outdated, short-haul Business Class is a joke etc….) but none of those are the reason I’m suggesting you hold off buying British Airways fares today.

Today’s reason is actually good news – there’s a sale coming!

British Airways has issued a press release in which it highlights the various destinations to which it flys and which people may want to visit for the purposes of emptying out their bank accounts in time for the holidays.

I’m sure that’s all very interesting but for most readers this will be the important line in the release:

British Airways’ Black Friday sale starts at midday on Thursday November 22 with huge discounts on flights and holidays available to book on ba.com

Admittedly I have no idea what BA classifies as a “huge discount” but any kind of discount should be better that what’s on offer right now.

Details of the sale are next to non-existent right now but, as British Airways is highlighting short-haul and long-haul destinations in the text of the press release, it would seem reasonable to assume that the sale will be for worldwide destinations.

Importantly, there’s no way to know if this sale will be for UK departures only or if it will apply to departures from cities worldwide so don’t assume that non-UK departures will be included (they may or may not be).

a man and woman carrying shopping bags
Image – British Airways

There’s another paragraph in the press release which could be interesting but as I have no idea what it actually means I can’t be sure.

Here it is:

Win 2: Fly during the Cyber weekend from London to some of the world’s most desirable retail districts such as New York, Toronto and Paris – not forgetting to factor in a trip to those outlets with the deepest discounts.  Amidst the retail therapy, indulge yourself with a luxury treat like concert tickets or instagramable ‘live like a local’ tours, to maximise your precious time away.

Note: “Win 1” was the sale announcement

The phrase “Fly during the Cyber weekend” appears to suggest that there will be extra special deals on offer for those who book (or fly?) specifically during the Cyber Weekend (presumably 24/25 November) but nothing in the rest of the paragraph indicates what those deals will look like.

It’s possible that BA will run deeper discounts on its flights for two days of the sale or perhaps the airline is adding in coupons for discounted entertainment over Cyber Weekend – I genuinely have no idea so it will be interesting to see what transpires.

As much as I bash British Airways (it’s very well deserved) I have to admit that there are positive aspects to the airline. Here are a few:

  • It’s not hard to find very good deals on short-haul fares
  • The upper deck of the airline’s 747s may be as old as time itself but it’s still a great place to pass a flight.
  • BA flight attendants are generally pretty friendly and are often noticeably nicer than some of the attendants on US legacy carriers.
  • You can use BA bookings to earn substantially more AAdvantage miles, elite qualifying miles and elite qualifying dollars than you’d earn from a very similar booking made through American Airlines.

You see? I can be nice about BA 🙂

Bottom Line

While there’s no real way of knowing what the sale will look like, what routes will be discounted or if departures from non-UK cities will be included, most readers should probably hold off buying any BA fares before next week.

If you have already found a great deal that you’re happy to book then by all means go ahead and book it – there’s no guarantee the deal will get better and it may disappear altogether. If, however, you’re currently mulling over a pretty standard itinerary that isn’t a particularly good deal then now could be the time for patience.

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