British Airways (BA) has launched a sale offering a 50% discount on Avios redemptions for long-haul Economy flights.
Now before you turn your nose up at flying Economy (we do try for aspirational travel after all 🙂 ), take a look at just how cheap some of these flights can be.
How cheap is cheap?
Here are some sample destinations with pricing.
In fact, BA has included 90+ long-haul destinations in this 50% off deal.
Don’t forget the above figures are for a return journey.
That means one-way tickets to Dubai or even New York are just 6,500 Avios – that’s ludicrously cheap!
Given how easy it should be to generate that amount of Avios – this really looks to be a bit of a steal.
For perspective, under this deal, the current sign-up bonuses on the British Airways Premium Plus Card (reviewed here) or the Amex Platinum Card are effectively worth return flights to New York/Dubai for yourself and a partner – plus taxes of course!
Cheap or not, is it a good deal?
It probably won’t surprise you to hear that the answer will depend on the equivalent price of a cash ticket.
And that’s because of the hefty taxes/fees/fuel surcharges or whatever BA calls them these days. Unfortunately, these haven’t been reduced by 50% too!
That means you’ll often see £250-300 of taxes on an economy long-haul Avios redemption. Which can make using Avios a bit silly.
Here’s the cash price for a 7-day trip in November 2018 :
And here’s the cost using Avios:
As you can see, the difference between outright cash tickets and the taxes on an Avios redemption is just £133.
Using 26,000 Avios to save just £133 would give you a value of 0.51p per Avios – pretty awful.
Clearly here you shouldn’t be using Avios.
Cash price for an economy return journey to Bermuda in March 2019:
And here’s the cost to use Avios:
This is a much better use of Avios.
You’d be using just 26,000 Avios to save £700 – giving you a value of more than 2.7p per Avios – which is really good.
Best destinations to fly (to) from using this deal
Generally speaking, I don’t recommend redeeming Avios for economy flights to/from the UK – simply because of the high taxes I’ve just highlighted.
There are several destinations, however, that are an exception to that rule:
Hong Kong is a great example. As you can see, on a one-way ticket from Hong Kong to London you’d pay just 9,750 Avios + £31.20! That’s outstanding value!
Likewise Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro which can both be booked one-way to the UK for around the £30 mark.
How to book
You can access the sale via this link.
- Book by 17th June 2018
- Travel between 1st September 2018 and 31st May 2019.
- Full airline taxes, fees and carrier charges will still apply per person.
- This offer cannot be combined with any other offer (so no BA 2-4-1 vouchers, Lloyds upgrade vouchers or GUF unfortunately.
- For full terms and conditions visit this page.
These type of sales have grown on me.
As I’ve shown, redeeming miles for long-haul economy flights isn’t always a terrible use of miles. Especially if you value the added flexibility that Avios redemptions offer in terms of changing/cancelling your tickets if plans change.
Kudos to BA for not restricting this sale valid to return journeys. You can also use it for one-way flights to the UK which is useful for super-cheap redemptions from Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro.