British Airways Releases 100K Business Class Award Seats

Filed Under: Awards, British Airways
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One of the things that I appreciate about British Airways Executive Club is that they guarantee a certain amount of award availability on each flight.

British Airways guarantees a minimum of two business class and four economy class award seats on all British Airways flights, which are made available 355 days before departure. It’s nice to have some guaranteed award space, even if it comes with high fees.

British Airways now has even more award seats

Clearly there’s a big drop in global travel demand given the coronavirus. While not everyone might be looking to travel long haul, British Airways has announced that they’ve just made 100,000 Club World award seats available throughout their network.

Club World is the name for British Airways’ long haul business class, so this extra availability is all on long haul flights.

British Airways is offering this extra award availability for bookings through March 2, 2020, and for travel through July 31, 2020. It’s pretty awesome to have extra award availability for spring and summer travel.

You’ll find these additional award seats across routes to most of British Airways’ long haul destinations, and they should be bookable regardless of whether you’re redeeming British Airways Avios or partner airline miles.

British Airways notes that the following destinations are excluded:

Chatam Islands, Cape Town, Durban, Hong Kong, Incheon, Kansai, Kuala Lumpur, Muscat, Nassau, Narita, Beijing, Beijing Daxing, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney

Hmmm, Chatam Islands?

British Airways business class

Award availability looks good, but…

Award availability looks good, though frankly not quite as wide open across the board as I was expecting. For example, there’s still limited award availability from the West Coast of the US to Europe, and I kind of feel like they loaded a lot of availability on the same routes that usually have space, like Boston to London.

Of course it still pays to check if any awards opened up for the routes you’re interested in.

British Airways A350

Upgrading can be an even better deal

British Airways uses the same availability for both award tickets and upgrades. A good value could be to book a British Airways premium economy ticket and then upgrade to business class for a reasonable number of Avios.

To figure out how many Avios are required for a ticket, consult the Avios award chart:

Zone // Flight DistanceEconomy
Off Peak // Peak
Premium Economy
Off Peak // Peak
Off Peak // Peak
Off Peak // Peak
Zone 1
1-650 miles*
*Not available in North America
4,000 // 4,5005,750 // 6,7507,750 // 9,00015,500 // 18,000
Zone 2
651-1150 miles
6,500 // 7,5009,500 // 11,25012,750 // 15,00025,500 // 30,000
Zone 3
1151-2000 miles
8,500 // 10,00012,750 // 15,00017,000 // 20,00034,000 // 40,000
Zone 4
2001-3000 miles
10,000 // 12,50020,000 // 25,00031,250 // 37,50042,500 // 50,000
Zone 5
3001-4000 miles
13,000 // 20,00026,000 // 40,00050,000 // 60,00068,000 // 80,000
Zone 6
4001-5500 miles
16,250 // 25,00032,500 // 50,00062,500 // 75,00085,000 // 100,000
Zone 7
5501-6500 miles
19,500 // 30,00039,000 // 60,00075,000 // 90,000102,000 // 120,000
Zone 8
6501-7000 miles
22,750 // 35,00045,500 // 70,00087,500 // 105,000119,000 // 140,000
Zone 9
7001+ miles
32,50 // 50,00065,000 // 100,000125,000 // 150,000170,000 // 200,000

The number of Avios required to upgrade is the difference in Avios required for an award ticket between the cabin you book and one cabin higher.

Note that you also have to pay any incremental carrier surcharges between the two cabins.

This is an excellent opportunity, so hopefully lots of you can take advantage of this additional award space, either to book an award ticket or to upgrade.

This can be a good opportunity for upgrading from premium economy

How to earn British Airways Avios

If you want to earn Avios to be able to book these tickets, British Airways Executive Club is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards, and there’s also the British Airways Visa Signature® Card (review).

There are many great reasons to get the British Airways Visa, not the least of which is the reward flight statement credit. If you have this card and redeem Avios for a reward flight, you can receive up to $600 in statement credits annually. You can earn up to three statement credits, as follows:

  • Earn a $100 statement credit for an economy or premium economy booking
  • Earn a $200 statement credit for a business class or first class booking
Earn Avios

Bottom line

If you’re looking to travel long haul in the coming months, British Airways’ expanded business class award availability is a good opportunity. This can be useful whether you want to outright redeem miles, or whether you prefer to upgrade from premium economy.

Of course the surcharges are high and that can be frustrating, but for many it’s still worthwhile for the convenience of a direct route.

Do you plan on taking advantage of this additional award space?

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  1. British Airways? Meh. I gave up on those clowns many years ago when they added their Criminal surcharge fees. No thanks.

  2. Lucky – I snagged 2 biz class seats LHR – LAX using Alaska miles. Can I upgrade this ticket to first using Avios??

  3. Why does the new premium economy seat look less comfortable and supportive than old cushioned economy seats?
    The premium eco seat on the 747 is much more comfortable than on the a350.

  4. Nice! Thanks for the heads up. Nabbed 4x seats for family biz Ord to London overnight on 747. Upstairs not a bad experience at all. 57.5k aa and $275 not end of world

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