WHAT IS IT
Prior to the introduction of Reward Flight Saver (RFS) in late 2011, people would only really consider redeeming their BA miles on short-haul flights if they needed last-minute bookings or preferred the added cancellation flexibility. This was because given the choice of paying cash or having to use at least 9,000 miles plus about £100 of taxes; mileage redemptions were not a very attractive proposition.
Reward Flight Saver introduced a cap on the taxes BA would charge. The equation now looked much better:
- Economy -Starting at 9,000 Avios return+ a fixed £35
- Club Europe- Starting at 18,000 Avios return + a fixed £50.
BEST DATES OR ROUTES TO USE IT ON
School holidays or half-term. Pricing on these dates even with Low Cost Carriers such as Ryanair can be sky-high given the popularity of some of these routes.
Take a family of 2 adults and 2 kids wanting to head to Salzburg for a skiing break over February half-term.
Cash cost: The cheapest Ryanair direct flights come in at roughly £1500.
Miles cost: 36,000 Avios plus £140.
Remember BA promises to release a minimum of 4 Economy seats for redemption on every flight at 355 days before departure.
IS RFS PRICING AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE
Provided you have earned at least 1 Avios point in the last 12 months, you will be able to view and book RFS prices.
HOW MANY POINTS ARE REQUIRED FOR RFS
RFS is available on flights under 2,000 miles.
These prices are for a one-way journey in economy.
Club Europe pricing is double the economy price during peak periods just under double on off peak dates.
|ECONOMY (EURO TRAVELLER)||OFF PEAK||PEAK|
|Up to 650 miles||4,000||4,500|
|Up to 1150 miles||6,500||7,500|
|Up to 2,000 miles||8,500||10,000|
WHAT ARE THE BEST SWEETSPOT OPPORTUNITIES
An interesting anomaly is Moscow. BA operates long-haul aircraft on this route and the best part is that since it is sub 2000 miles from London you can use RFS on these flights to experience First Class while paying less than £60 in taxes.
Fifth freedom routes. These are flights that the plane makes a stop en-route to its primary destination and drops off/picks up passengers at the stop. This is an excellent way to try BA’s First Class or Club World cabins at a more reasonable cost, as all of these routes are priced using RFS pricing. Examples of these routes are:
ANU (Antigua)-SKB (St Kitts)
POS (Port of Spain) -UVF (St Lucia)
AUH (Abu Dhabi)-MCT(Muscat)
For these flights Club World costs 18,000 Avios plus just £50 return.
One way upgrade. You can decide to treat yourself to an upgrade and get Club Europe service and lounge access. Doing this to Bordeaux or Lyon for example would cost just 3,750 Avios and £7.50.
Comair (BA franchise) in South Africa. Cape Town can be one of the trickiest routes to find award availability on. You could fly to Johannesburg instead and use Comair to Cape Town. RFS pricing is used on these routes although they are slightly higher than normal at £64 for business and £56 for economy.
Use to the Mauritius. As above Comair flies to the Mauritius from Johannesburg. Availability is often tough to find direct to the Mauritius from London. Stopping in Johannesburg and using RFS to Mauritius is a good alternative.
You can find more details on ba.com