As frequent flyers, on a short hop to Europe or exploring the far East and West of the Globe, we’re always in search of a bargain to travel in style! The joy of travelling should start from getting to the airport, and we got hooked on the trappings of business class travel and everything that comes with it; lounges, lie-flat beds, food & wine, and free-flowing champagne! We’ve come to realise that traveling in style doesn’t have to break the bank.

Neither of us are millionaires and we’re continually looking to achieve our flying dreams by spending as little cash as we can. Be it a seat sale or miles redemption for reward flights, we tend to let our wallets tell us where we’re going next rather than having a fixed agenda...

So, if you’re looking for flight & accommodation reviews, flight deals, and budget luxury travel tips & tricks then you have come to the right place. Welcome to BoardingGroup.One

Another promotion from British Airways? What’s going on? It’s been promotion after promotion! The latest is focused on a 50% Avios reward sale for British Airways Executive Club members. The marketing team must be busy thinking of all these new offers. Perhaps there are thousands of unoccupied seats the airline can’t seem to shift? We find it hard to believe their motives are entirely benevolent. That said, with all this promo activity, we’re excited to see what the marketing team come up with for the Black Friday sale.

Launched on 7 November 2019, and only for two weeks, you can use 50% fewer Avios if you book reward flights in Economy or Premium Economy.

The other offer “Unlock Something New”

If you’re a British Airways Executive Club member, you will have also received a promotional email about “Unlocking something new” offer that was launched very recently. It allows you to convert any available seat into an Avios reward seat once you have booked and flown four long-haul premium class flights. You can read our blog on whether it’s worth paying to unlock Avios reward seat here.

The promotion – what do you get?

For selected routes and dates, you’ll need 50% less Avios in the Avios Reward Sale, but only in the Economy or Premium Economy cabin. For Club World (business class) or First class reward seats, you get 10% off the Avios you spend. The promotion can be found on the BA website here.

A flight from London to New York (one way) in Economy will cost you 13,000 Avios, instead of the 26,000 required during the off-peak season.

  • Premium Economy London to New York will cost 26,000 Avios instead of 52,000
  • Club World London to New York will cost 90,000 Avios instead of 100,000 (representing a 10% discount)
  • First Class London to New York will cost 122,400 instead of 136,000 (representing a 10% discount)

Those elusive reward seats from London to Sydney will remain hard to get, and our suspicion was confirmed when we read the all-important small print; “flights are not available to Sydney, Miami, Sao Paulo, Calgary, Cape Town, Male, Mauritius and Punta Cana.”

Sounds great? Well, we think you need to put things in context and ask if you’re willing to spend your Avios to travel in BA Economy or Premium. Also, whether you can find availability in the require timeframe? It is possible to find flights!

The catch – the small print

The offer is available from 00.01 (GMT) Thursday 7 November 2019

  • You must book before 21 November 2019, for travel between 7 November 2019 and 30 April 2020.
  • It’s only available on long-haul flights and won’t be available for short-haul journeys 
  • There is a promotional limit of 200,000 Avios. So if you intend to book a flight using all your 200,000 Avios in Business or First, you’ll get 20,000 Avios off
  • Everyone that you book for (up to 5 people) has to be a BA Executive Club member 
  • It cannot be used with any other Avios offers or upgrade vouchers
  • You can use an Amex 2-4-1 companion voucher, as we have done
  • You must be an Executive Club member 
  • For Business or First class rewards, you can book with Avios and money, but only the Avios element will be discounted 
  • The full airline taxes, fees and carrier charges will apply per person, per flight and payment must be made in full at the time of booking – no 50% discounts here!!

What are the limitations?

The promotion is aimed at you spending your points in Economy or Premium Economy on long-haul flights. If you’re saving your Avios for a decent First or Business redemption, spending your Avios to fly long-haul in BA Economy will not be an attractive option. Compared to other airlines, it’s not a great product with mediocre service and minimal features! The last time we flew BA Economy from London to Cancun, we vowed we would never do it again (terrible service, no water and disengaged cabin crew). On the flip side, the Premium Economy product is miles apart from Economy and is actually pretty decent. The cabin is also very popular, so it’s going to be really challenging to find any reward seats available. Your best bet will be trying for destinations in North America.

Availability

We’ve had a look through the reward flight availability for the promotional period and found the following for Premium Economy redemptions.

We can’t recommend redeeming Avios to fly BA economy long-haul – the taxes and charges aren’t worth it and it hasn’t been a great experience for us in the past. Read a bit more about maximising value for your Avios.

Christmas and New Year 2019

If you look hard enough, you will find! We found a couple of reward seats flying to Kuala Lumpur in Business Class and back in Premium Economy over the Christmas period. We thought it was a great offer, as we could use our 2-4-1 Amex voucher. Flying on 23 December in Club Europe and back on the 30 December in Premium Economy for 129,000 Avios and £550 in taxes.

January

Availability improves in January, with plenty of outbound and return seats to North American cities, Bermuda (not sure January is the best time to visit!), Beijing and Tokyo.

Our picks are Dubai and Doha, which have good availability and come with sunshine. There’s also the added bonus of A350 on the Dubai route.

Forget: The Caribbean, Australia, South East Asia, Central and South America, South Africa.

February

There is currently very good availability to North America, Beijing, Shanghai, and Tokyo in February. Our pick is Toronto over half-term, flying BA’s new A350 aircraft in Premium Economy.

Forget: The Caribbean, Australia, South East Asia, Central and South America, South Africa.

March

There is currently very good availability to USA (except Florida), Montreal, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Nairobi (Kenya), Accra (Ghana), Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Doha, and Dubai.

There is limited availability to Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo in South America.

The elusive Sydney reward seat is only available in Premium Economy on the outbound. There is plenty out and back in Economy, but good luck flying 22 hours in that cabin, but only spending 32,500 Avios* + £500 for the privilege!

Forget: Japan (it’s cherry blossom season), South Africa, Florida, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and South East Asia

*although the offer notes that Sydney is not included. We manage to get the discount when looking on the website.

Purchasing Avios

As part of the offer, you can also purchase Avios and get an extra 50% more points. It’s useful if you’re looking to boost your Avios through purchase, but be sure to have a clear purpose of why you need them.

Avios hotel offer

If you’re planning a trip to New York, Boston, Washington, Dubai, Singapore or Johannesburg you can book a hotel there with 20% fewer Avios. You need to book before 21 November 2019 for stays between 7 November 2019 and 30 April 2020. The discount does not apply to cash-only bookings and BA say the discount will have already been applied once you’ve logged into your Executive Club account using the booking link here.

BG1 Verdict on the offer

If you’re willing to spend your Avios to travel in Premium Economy or Economy, then this will be a good deal for you.

50% off means that an Economy flight from London to New York will cost you 13,000 Avios instead of the 26,000 required when booked for the off-peak period. A great saving of Avios.

If you are going to take advantage of the offer, we recommend looking into booking in the Premium Economy cabin. There is a marked difference between the BA Economy and Premium Economy products. Even with 50% discount, it makes it hard to justify spending it in BA Economy. While BA Economy is unbearable, Premium Economy is a comfortable product, particularly on flights up to 8 hours. The challenge will be whether you can find long-haul reward seats in BA Premium Economy. We usually try Reward Flight Finder website to search for flight availability.

Finding reward seats can sometimes feel like looking for the Loch Ness Monster. Experience has taught us that the best way to find Avios redemption flights is by being flexible with travel dates and your destinations. It can also require some research. Read our blog about how you can find the best Avios redemption flight here.

We went with the offer, and booked ourselves two reward flights from London to Kuala Lumpur using an Amex 2-4-1 voucher. The combination of being able to use the 2-4-1 voucher and flying in Premium Economy/ Business Class made it an incredibly attractive offer for us.

We would love to hear from you, especially if you manage to make use of the offer. Let us know if you found a good deal by commenting below.

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