British Airways (BA) is now offering customers the opportunity to use Avios to select their seats in advance. You are able to use Avios to cover all or part of the cost of your seat.

Currently, customers who don’t have access to free seat selection (via elite status for example) can choose to pay in advance to select their seats, but this can cost the best part of £90 per person – something I’ve bemoaned in the past.

BA already offers free seat selection for BA Gold and Silver members at the time of booking and for Bronze members seven days before their flight departs. This move, therefore, is most significant to Blue members who are no longer forced to pay additional cash in order to select a seat in advance.

It remains to be seen what sort of price points will be set when redeeming your Avios for seat selection. At the very least, it offers an alternative if you can’t bring yourself to part with any additional money on top of the cost of your ticket.


Which flights will have this new option available?

The opportunity to fully cover the cost of selecting seats, or cover part of the cost, using Avios, is available on all British Airways operated flights.

Advanced seat selection using cash will still be available.

All customers (with the exception of those travelling on Basic fares) will continue to be able to select their seats for free at online check-in, which opens 24 hours before departure, and at the airport.


Who gains most from the changes?

Undoubtedly, base-level Blue members will enjoy the biggest advantage following this change. They can now reserve a seat(s) months in advance without having to shell out any additional fees by using Avios.


BA launches new direct flights to Durban – bookable today!

Avios availability, especially premium cabin space on key routes, can be a pain to locate. None more so than places such as South Africa, where BA faces little or no direct competition.

Yesterday, British Airways announced the launch of new non-stop services to Durban with tickets available to book on ba.com from today – 9th May 2018.

The ‘new route effect’ ought to be in full swing today. Per BA’s availability guarantee, four World Traveller and two Club World seats should be made available on every service through the end of the schedule. If you’re quick you should be able to grab something – you might even strike gold and pick up flights over the Christmas period.


Flights will commence on 29th October 2018.

There will be three direct flights a week from Heathrow operated by a Boeing 787-8 (which means no First cabin, unfortunately). The timetable will have a morning arrival into Durban and an evening arrival into Heathrow.

Connecting in Durban shouldn’t be too much of a problem. British Airways has a long-standing partnership with Comair who fly direct from Durban to Johannesburg and Cape Town. Durban-Cape Town flights sit at just over two hours. Jo’burg is even closer at just over an hour.

A quick check on Google Flights reveals at least four direct daily flights to Cape Town with even more options to Johannesburg.

Going forward, this will be a good alternative to flying directly to Cape Town and the crazy prices that route sometimes commands.

For more info on this new route and to book, visit this page on the BA website.

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