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.

BA half price Avios sale 1.png

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 why:


Here’s the cash price for a 7-day trip in November 2018 :

BA half price Avios sale 5.png

And here’s the cost using Avios:

BA half price Avios sale 4

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:

BA half price Avios sale 3

And here’s the cost to use Avios:

BA half price Avios sale 2

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 KongBA half price Avios sale 6.png

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.

The sale homepage is here

Are you tempted to book?


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