British Airways Executive Club is known for their outrageously high “carrier imposed surcharges” on award tickets. On transatlantic flights in first or business class you can expect to pay $1,000+ in cash in addition to the Avios required.
In my opinion one of the best uses of British Airways Avios is their “Reward Flight Saver” options. With this, British Airways offers awards within Europe for a certain number of Avios plus £35 in taxes, fees and carrier charges, which is quite reasonable.
Now they’re offering an even lower cost option on flights within Europe, at least if you’re looking to minimize the amount of cash you have to pay.
British Airways Executive Club members can now book a reward flight using Avios plus just £1 return. British Airways trialed this on select European routes several weeks ago, and they’re now expanding this to most flights in the UK and Europe.
This option is available to Executive Club members who have earned at least one point in the past 12 months, so it does require some level of account activity.
Paying just £1 sounds awesome, but is it a good deal? With this new pricing, here’s how pricing changes on a couple of routes, based on roundtrip travel in economy:
- Fly from London to Edinburgh for 16,000 Avios plus £1
- Fly from London to Venice for 22,000 Avios plus £1
How does that compare to the “regular” pricing?
- Fly from London to Edinburgh for 9,000 Avios plus £31
- Fly from London to Venice for 15,000 Avios plus £35
In other words:
- You’re redeeming an extra 7,000 Avios to save £30 (~37USD)
- You’re redeeming an extra 7,000 Avios to save £34 (~42USD)
In both cases those are horrible deals, as you’re getting 0.53-0.6 US cents of value per Avios, which most definitely isn’t how I would redeem them.
I suppose more options are always a good thing, especially for those who are hoping to minimize the amount of cash they’re paying for a trip. However, for someone looking to maximize the value of their Avios, I absolutely wouldn’t recommend redeeming Avios this way, as it’s a pretty lousy value.