British Airways and Iberia launched the Avios a year ago. British Airways Executive Club program went from being relatively good in long haul redemptions to being one for ok’ish awards in short-haul. The price of the long haul awards with multiple segments went through the roof.
Now, British Airways is giving a 25% discount on the number of Avios needed for award trips in all cabins for trips originating in London until May 31, 2013. You need to make the award booking by 20th of November. Note that zones 1 to 3 are not included in this offer.
This discount also applies for points + money options & 2 for 1 vouchers that certain credit card holders get.
Searching for awards
I tried to do few searches for places like Cape Town, but couldn’t find any availability for first class seats. Then, I decided to check Mauritius, where BA flies from London Gatwick (leisure route obviously). I was able to find some availability in BA’s Club World business class cabin.
The system was able to price out the Avios discount, that obviously doesn’t apply to the cash component of the ward that is fuel surcharge that goes directly to BA’s bottom line. You can read more about fuel surcharges and why airlines love them here. (One of the reasons is that they get to collect and keep them on “award” trips.)
You can see the message that the award has been discounted. You just click the link and you will see a pop up with the price breakdown in Avios and the discount.
You can click other link to get the cash price breakdown. As these awards are all originating from London, you are required to pay the APD (Air Passenger Duty) that is high on premium cabins. More than 60% of the taxes/fees is the BA’s fuel surcharge.
Personally, I have given up of trying to use Avios for long haul trips in premium cabins due to very high price in Avios combined with the (often) ridiculous fuel surcharge component. Avios can be quite valuable for short haul non-stop flights between expensive city pairs.
If you have access to those 2-4-1 vouchers, these Avios redemptions in premium cabins make more sense and even more now during the extra 25% discount.