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British Airways has announced a new promotion for Executive Club members, which begins today and runs through December 31, 2018.
The press release heralds the promo as “Members of the Executive Club can collect double Avios when they book and fly before the end of the year” while emphasizing that “Promotion applies across all routes and cabins”, though the devil is really in the details.
To start, you have to register, purchase, and complete your travel by the end of the year. But let’s dig in.
Join and register
These bonuses won’t apply automatically, you have to have both joined the British Airways Avios/Executive Club scheme, and register for the promo before anything else.
Previously purchased travel isn’t eligible, you if you are even thinking of possibly taking advantage of this promotion, you should register now while you’re thinking of it.
“Double” doesn’t necessarily mean double
On eligible flights, you can earn double the base Avios through this promotion.
That means twice as many Avios as a general member would earn for a given flight, as determined by the Avios calculator.
Class of service and elite bonuses are still determined by the base Avios, and will be awarded separately.
Determine flight eligibility
In addition to British Airways-operated flights, certain British Airways marketed flights are also eligible.
- Transatlantic flights on American, Iberia, and Finnair, when marketed as a British Airways codeshare
- Domestic flights within the UK or South Africa operated by British Airways subsidiaries (such as Commair)
Other routes operated by American, Iberia, and Finnair don’t qualify, even if they happen to be a British Airways codeshare, so you can’t credit an American flight between Los Angeles and Hong Kong and expect double Avios. Other oneworld or partner flights (even if codeshared) are not eligible either.
Book your flights
Once you’ve registered and determined flight eligibility, you can book your flights. I don’t see any restrictions regarding ticket stock, or purchasing through a third-party. Just be sure the flights are marketed by BA (and thus have British Airways flight numbers).
Note that the terms and conditions exclude double-dipping, and prohibit the use of promo codes if you want to receive double avios:
This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, promotion or deal, including but not limited to:[…]bookings made with vouchers (e.g. promotional codes).
I’m not sure how this works in practice, unfortunately. Many of us have the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, which offers a 10% discount on British Airways flights, and I’m not sure if the use of that benefit would void the promo. I will try and find out, or maybe someone knows?
Only the first 10 flights count
This is an interesting restriction, and one that is going to make this potentially more complicated for some people.
The first ten qualifying flights credited to your British Airways account will automatically receive the double Avios:
“A Qualifying flight is either a one-way (single sector) or a return flight (two sectors) between the point of departure and final destination with no scheduled change of aircraft that must be booked after the Member has registered”
Those with a significant amount of British Airways travel coming up may want to be strategic about this. If you have multiple long-haul sectors later in the year, for example, you may not want to credit your short-haul flights to British Airways in the interim.
It doesn’t really make sense to sacrifice getting double Avios on a London > Hong Kong sector because a London > Amsterdam segment was credited first.
That being said, I know some people plan out their Executive Club qualification very carefully, and if those short segments are going to be critical, it doesn’t make sense to forgo them.
But, if you need somewhere to credit your BA flights other than Executive Club, you have several options between oneworld partners and Alaska Mileage Plan.
This is a fine promotion, but I don’t see it necessarily driving additional business to British Airways. And in some cases, it may encourage people to book away from BA for short flights, which is an interesting component.
Still, double base points is better than no double base points, and if you can take advantage you might as well.
Don’t forget to register for the promo prior to booking any flights!