British Airways has just announced an award sale, whereby select economy award tickets are available for 40% fewer Avios.
The sale is valid for bookings made between September 14 and 27, 2015, and for travel between October 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016. Further, it’s valid for travel on select British Airways, Iberia, and OpenSkies flights to/from London, Madrid, or Paris.
The sale is valid for travel to/from the following markets (ignore the egregious errors here, like “Iberian,” “JKF,” and “Orland”):
As a reminder, British Airways made some serious award chart changes earlier this year, whereby the cost of most premium cabin award tickets went up significantly, while the cost of many economy award tickets went down. Here’s British Airways’ current award chart (since the sale is for longhaul awards, it’s worth noting that “Zone 5” is for travel of 3,001-4,000 miles, while “Zone 6” is for travel 4,001-5,500 miles):
Generally speaking redeeming Avios for economy travel on British Airways isn’t a good value due to the high fees associated with it, though does the 40% discount on many awards change that?
For example, Paris to Newark on OpenSkies one-way through the sale will cost you just 7,800 Avios plus $240:
Meanwhile London to Washington on British Airways one-way will cost you 7,800 Avios plus $340 in taxes, fees, and carrier imposed surcharges (~$110 of which is the UK Air Passenger Duty):
As you can see, unfortunately there’s no discount for premium cabin award tickets using Avios:
In terms of the number of Avios required, there are some incredible deals to be had. Redeeming fewer than 10,000 Avios for a one-way transatlantic ticket is quite a value. However, do keep in mind there will be carrier imposed surcharges, which take away from the value a bit. Still, under 8,000 Avios plus under $250 for a transatlantic one-way ticket can be quite a value.
That’s especially true if you just need a one-way, since one-way transatlantic tickets are usually disproportionately expensive.
For what it’s worth, the full terms of the promotion are as follows:
The required amount of Avios will be reduced by 40% on the selected destinations as stated. The full airline taxes, fees and Carrier charges will apply per person, which as of 26 August 2015 are approximately as follows in economy for a return journey:
British Airways flights to London Heathrow from Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, Las Vegas, New York (Newark), New York (JFK), Philadelphia, Austin, Dallas, Houston and Seattle – $697. From Montreal and Toronto – $474. From Vancouver – $469. From Calgary – $477.
British Airways flights to London Gatwick from Las Vegas, Tampa and Orlando – $652.
Iberia flights to Madrid from New York (JFK) – $621, from Miami and Chicago – $586, from Boston and Los Angeles – $663.
OpenSkies flights to Paris (Orly) from New York (JFK) and New York (Newark) -$636.
All prices are correct as of 26 August 2015 but are subject to change. Discounts are available on direct flights only on the airlines stated for each route. Not available for flights operated by American Airlines or Finn Air. Changes are not permitted; cancellations will be subject to the standard Avios terms and conditions. All flights are subject to Avios Terms and Conditions and the carriers conditions of carriage. Flights are strictly subject to availability which may be very limited or not available on some routes and will not be available at all on some dates. This offer is available on both peak and off-peak Avios prices and cannot be combined with any other offer. All prices are quoted in USD.
While I wish this promotion were valid for premium cabin awards, there’s still some value to be had here if you’re looking to travel transatlantic as inexpensively as possible. While the Executive Club changes earlier this year were harsh for premium cabin awards, the cost of economy awards went down in many cases, especially for travel over off-peak dates. This 40% off sale makes those awards even more accessible.
Do you plan on taking advantage of British Airways’ 40% off sale?