British Airways raising fees on intra-Europe Reward Flight Saver on July 11, 2013

Early last year British Airways introduced “Reward Flight Saver,” valid for travel within Europe zones 1-3. The idea is that in addition to the Avios, they’re charging you a fixed amount of cash which is less than the taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges would otherwise total. This makes sense, given that for intra-Europe travel, typically only a tiny fraction of the ticket price is the base fare, while a vast majority of the cost is taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges.

When Reward Flight Saver was first introduced the co-pay in coach was £27 and in business class it was £34. Then last October they raised the cost to £30 for coach and £40 for business class.

Well, they’ve hiked prices yet again for Reward Flight Saver, for bookings made on or after July 11, 2013. Now British Airways will be charging £35 for coach and £50 for business class.

And of course as usual with British Airways, it’s entirely outside of their control:

Unfortunately the price rise is due to factors outside of our control, such as the continued increases in government and other airport taxes across Europe. We’ve kept the increase as small as possible, the table below shows you how we can continue to offer you big savings on flights.

And here’s the table:

Take London to Amsterdam, for example. They’re being honest when they say that the taxes, fees, and carrier charges total £104, so you’re “saving” 66% through their Reward Flight Saver scheme. But let’s take a look at the actual fare breakdown for a London to Amsterdam ticket:

Yes, the base fare is £2 roundtrip, so if it weren’t for Reward Flight Saver you’d be spending 9,000 Avios for £2. If anyone’s looking to redeem at that rate, email me first. 😉

Lastly, Reward Flight Savers are also available on Iberia as of now, though as of July 11 they won’t be anymore. Interestingly they don’t provide an explanation for that. Wonder why?

So now if you want to redeem your British Airways Avios for travel on Iberia, you can enjoy paying all the taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges, and your Avios will simply cover the <£10 base fare.

(Tip of the hat to GhettoIFE)


  1. @ABC I’d imagine that it has something to do with taxes, that they don’t have to collect taxes to remit to the government on the YQ but just on the fare. Unless they can advertise the 1 pound fare and not display the total until the end like airlines in the US used to do.

  2. @Jeremy – nope they’re not allowed to do that now, they have to advertise the all-in cost. Annoying to see it go up again so soon, although given the amazing Gold availbility it is still significantly cheaper than cash fare much of the time – I’d be much more peeved if they were getting rid of RFS altogether!

  3. Thanks for pointing this out Lucky. On related BA note, did you know they fixed the bug that allowed one-way redemptions on the Chase travel together certificate?

  4. Intra Europe, I have two rules 1) Deutsche Bahn 2) Easy Jet.

    England has horrible passenger taxes. I avoid flying via England as much as possible.

  5. @ JL — Sorry, wrote this post while jetlagged right before… well, I’ll let you guess which meal.

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