If Only Every Airline Did What British Airways Does…

British Airways Avios Redemptions

British Airways Executive Club has announced a genuine improvement to its loyalty program. Although it already guarantees a small number of award seats will be available on EVERY flight, British Airways has increased the number of award seats it promises to make available.

For flights after July 28, 2021, BA is guaranteeing:

  • At least eight Euro Traveller (short haul Economy) award seats per flight (up from four)
  • At least four Club Europe (short haul Business) award seats per flight (up from two)
  • At least eight World Traveller (long haul Economy) award seats per flight (up from four)
  • At least two World Traveller Plus (long haul Premium Economy) award seats per flight (up from zero)
  • At least four Club World (long haul Business Class) award seats per flight (up from two)

Of course, these numbers are just minimums. British Airways often makes additional award space available for less-popular flights. It also makes award space available in First Class, although this is never guaranteed.

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When Do British Airways Award Seats Become Available?

The earliest you can book BA award flights is 355 days in advance. Even though many readers don’t plan their holidays a year in advance, this fixed date does offer a big advantage over other airline programs that drip feed award space on a completely random basis. And now families of 4 can take advantage of the opportunity to fly in Business Class, rather than just singles or couples.

For flights that have already been on sale for awhile (and might have already sold their 2 Club World award seats), British Airways has released 250,000 additional award seats. So now is the time to check again for any trips you had wanted to book…

British Airways is also very good at letting their Oneworld partners access their award inventory. Of course, this is made much more palatable for BA by the fact that you must pay substantial surcharges to book award flights on BA – regardless of whether you book with Avios, AA miles, Alaska miles, etc.

It is worth noting that we are talking about British Airways flights. The Executive Club – BA’s loyalty program – has not managed to scrounge up any extra award seats on its Oneworld partners such as American Airlines…

The Bottom Line

Some people absolutely refuse to book award flights on British Airways, due to the substantial surcharges to be paid. Other people – especially those travelling in Club World or First Class – look at these fees as a small price to pay in order to fly in the pointy end of the plane, having given up on other airlines releasing award space.  And perhaps they are right… when was the last time you saw significant award space in Business Class on American Airlines flights to Europe???

 

 

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