Currently, British Airways is offering two deals worth taking a look at to its Executive Club frequent flyer program members.
One is an up to 50% discount on British Airways award tickets and the other is a 50% bonus on purchased miles (also available through Iberia).
Both of these offers are valid until November 21, 2019, UK time.
Book British Airways Award Tickets for Up to 50% Miles Off
Throughout the duration of the promotion, it’s possible to book British Airways award tickets for travel between now and April 30, 2020, through Executive Club with the following discounts:
- 10% less miles than usual for business and first class tickets
- 50% less miles than usual for economy and premium economy class tickets
Both one-way and return tickets for flights departing or arriving at either London Heathrow or Gatwick are eligible.
While the terms & conditions don’t specify so, the offer only seems to apply for medium- and long-haul flights. More specifically, it seems to exclude flights from London to the program’s first three zones (i.e. flights up to 2,000 miles long).
That excludes flights within Europe, to Tel Aviv, and so on. On the other hand, flights between London and the Middle East, the United States, Asia, and so on, are eligible.
Just to give you a couple of examples, on off-peak dates, it’s possible to get flights between London and:
- Johannessburg for 67,500 miles in business class instead of 75,000 miles
- Los Angeles for 91,800 miles in first class instead of 102,000 miles
- Muscat for 6,500 miles in economy class instead of 13,000 miles
- New York for 26,000 miles in premium economy class instead of 52,000 miles
- Tokyo for 9,750 miles in economy class instead of 19,500 miles
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that you still have to cover the full price of the sometimes exorbitant taxes, fees, and surcharges.
Considering that those are especially high for premium class flights departing London, this deal presents the best value when used for economy or premium economy class flights to – rather than from – London.
To show you how big of a difference the fees can make in some situations, take the London – Tokyo route as an example.
The amount you’ll have to pay in addition to the miles is about 130 dollars in both economy and premium economy when departing Tokyo. In the other direction, though, it’s about 300 dollars in economy and 470 dollars in premium economy.
While 9,750 miles plus 130 dollars is a fairly good deal for a one-way flight from Tokyo to London, the same amount of miles plus 300 dollars not so much.
Buy Avios with a 50% Bonus Through Both British Airways and Iberia
In case you don’t have enough Avios miles to book the award that you want, you can top up your account with a 50% bonus until November 21, 2019, as well. Both British Airways and Iberia are offering the same promotion. This is worth keeping in mind if you live outside the eurozone.
That’s because the miles cost 1.844 cents per mile when bought in US dollars but only about 1.33 cents per mile (1.2 eurocents per mile) – or almost 28% less – when booked in euros.
As such, if your British Airways Executive Club allows you to only buy the miles in dollars, you will want to buy them through Iberia and then (potentially) transfer them to British Airways.
The discount applies to any quantity of miles (i.e. there is no minimum amount required to trigger the discount) and you can purchase up to 200,000 miles a year (excluding the bonus).
To learn more about buying miles, read this guide.
If you have some Avios in your account and need to travel to Europe sometime in the next few months, you should consider using the 50% off award tickets offer. Especially so if you happen to originate in a city from which the taxes and fees you have to pay are manageable.
In fact, you might want to consider it even if you don’t have the miles – in combination with the current Avios sale.
As an example, combining the two, a one-way ticket from Tokyo to London would cost as little as 260 or so dollars in economy class and about 400 dollars in premium economy.
While there might be some “sweet spots” in business and first class as well, they are not as apparent as those in economy and premium economy due to the much smaller, 10% discount.