British Airways Business Class Awards Available Over Summer

Filed Under: Awards, British Airways

Back in the day British Airways had excellent transatlantic first and business class award availability, but still wasn’t that desirable given the fuel surcharges they impose. The past few years they’ve gotten progressively stingier with releasing transatlantic first & business class award space, which sucks, given that oneworld is otherwise quite weak for travel between the US and Europe.

British Airways Club World (business class)

Anyway, in the past few days it looks like British Airways is releasing a substantial amount of transatlantic business class award availability, even for travel over peak summer dates. This includes their flights from the west coast, which are otherwise virtually impossible to find premium cabin award space on.

For example, looking at availability over summer, a majority of dates have nonstop availability between San Francisco and London:


Meanwhile about half of dates have availability between Los Angeles and London:


The same is true between San Diego and London:


For the dates that are available, it seems like there are typically two business class award seats per flight, and in many cases multiple flights are available per day as well:


Unfortunately British Airways does impose fuel surcharges on all transatlantic flights, so expect to pay about $400 each way in fuel surcharges for business class travel.

While it’s not for everyone, if you have oneworld miles and value a nonstop flight from the west coast to Europe, this is a tough option to beat.

For what it’s worth, most other routes seem to have equally good availability, but I thought the above routes were most noteworthy.

For my own purposes I preferred US Airways opening the business class award floodgates last week, whereby virtually every flight had unlimited business class award availability over summer between the US and Europe.

But that also won’t get you from the west coast to Europe nonstop, so hopefully someone can take advantage of this.

  1. It’d be nice if they brought back first class awards; I have a companion pass I need to use this year.

  2. thanks! I love your alerts as it sometimes inspires dreams of travel I had not thought of due to perceived unavailability. Wow this is great thx

  3. I took advantage of this this morning! Flying non-stop premium class from the West Coast to LHR, using AA miles, priceless!

  4. Thanks for the heads up. This came in quite handy for me in booking a one way LHR-LAX flight this fall. There was no availability last week, but like you said, the floodgates opened up today! Yay!

  5. $400 each way in business class taxes? Last year I paid $1,250 in taxes to/from DFW-LHR and I booked my July seats about 6 months in advance!

  6. Thanks for sharing, B. Am seriously considering this.

    Stupid question: For a one-way in Club World, would it be better to transfer Amex MR points to BA (43k needed for 59k Avios—promo rate), or transfer 40k SPG to AA (for 50k, incl bonus of 20%)?

    Bummer about the fuels surcharges though, but whatever!

    Thanks in advance.

  7. Great! Thanksgiving seems to just become wide open as well. Was finally able to use my companion pass!

  8. Shame I won’t be taking the advantage of this, as I booked my TP run to HNL which includes LHR to LAX and return, all in J. Altogether I paid £1090.

    Was hoping to upgrade LAX to LHR leg to First using Avios though, but that route is notoriously impoosible to get reward availability in First. I see that this new development doesnt seem to make any difference in that respect. Sigh.

  9. @ Turgutbey — If 767 route is better I’d probably book it. Much older product, but also 2-2-2 configuration in business class rather 2-4-2. Go for the convenient routing, in my opinion.

  10. Give with one hand, take with the other – the devaluation of Avios for premium cabins looks pretty bad!

  11. Just booked a biz ticket from LHR-SFO on a return trip for New Years this year. The A380 to SFO looks to be seasonal only for the summer til about September? Any chance they will make it permanent?

    Thanks Lucky!

  12. @ Jeremy — It’s definitely possible, though I wouldn’t count on it. I don’t think they’ve finalized their winter schedule yet.

  13. @ lucky – first, thanks for your work on this blog. I’m a long time lurker, first time commenter. But have come to really enjoy following your travels and your writing. As for my question, with these new awards opening up, I have the choice on BA between LAX-LHR business class in the 380, SFO-LHR business class in the 747, or SEA-SFO business class in the 777. Any thoughts on which is better – or is it all roughly the same? All three points of departure are about the same travel time for me, so I don’t mind getting to any of them. Would welcome thoughts from others as well. Thanks.

  14. @ Brian — Thanks for reading! The A380 is an all around better plane. It’s newer, quieter, and smoother. All else being equal I’d go with it. It’s also the longest flight.

  15. Thanks for the tip Lucky. I held my nose regarding the taxes/fees and booked ideal flights on ideal dates with my Chase BA companion pass for East Coast to Europe for this summer. My previous Air Berlin routing with AA miles was wacky and less than ideal. With the Avios long haul devaluation this morning, I feel less bad about the taxes.

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