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When most travelers consider British Airways, it's for flights to the United Kingdom or somewhere in Europe. However, the British Airways Executive Club program offers unique booking opportunities to destinations across the globe on dozens of partner airlines. In this post, we'll show you how to find and book awards with Avios points, explain the British Airways award chart, and highlight the best British Airways partners.
The good news is that you've got more options than ever for booking award flights on British Airways' website. In 2021, Alaska Airlines formally joined the oneworld Alliance adding even more options when redeeming Avios for flights within the Americas. That adds Alaska to a long list of British Airways partners that you can book online—including American Airlines, Qatar Airways, and many more.
This post is pretty detailed. If you're looking for a quick introduction to the loyalty program, check out our basics of the British Airways Avios program.
Note: Avios is the currency used by three other airlines: Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Qatar Airways. However, to avoid overcomplicating things, this post only covers searching for and booking Avios awards through British Airways.
- How to Make a British Airways Award Booking
- British Airways Award Pricing
- Avios Partner Award Chart (Revised October 2022)
- Post-Devaluation Avios Award Chart (Cathay Pacific)
- Post-Devaluation Avios Award Chart (Japan Airlines)
- Use Avios for Maximum Value
- Other Perks of the British Airways Executive Club Loyalty Program
- Earning British Airways Avios
How to Make a British Airways Award Booking
Perhaps the easiest way to search for and book an award flight with Avios is through the British Airways website. If you haven't already, you'll need to enroll in the British Airways Executive Club program. You must be logged in to your Executive Club account to see Avios award availability and rates. Once you've enrolled in the Executive Club program, follow these step-by-step instructions to search for award flight availability:
Step 1: Open British Airways homepage
Navigate to the British Airways homepage and hover your cursor over “Book.”
Step 2: Select Book With Avios
Once the navigation bar loads, click on “Book a flight with Avios.”
Step 3: Log Into Your Account
If you haven't already, you will need to sign in to your Executive Club account. If you aren't logged in, a prompt will appear on-screen.
Step 4: Fill in Flight Information
Once you've logged in, you will be directed to a menu that requires you to fill out all the relevant information to complete your search. This includes the departure and arrival airports, the date of travel, class of service, the number of passengers, and whether or not you want to book a round-trip or one-way flight.
In this example, we're booking a one-way flight from St. Louis, Missouri (STL) to Austin, Texas (AUS) on November 5, 2022, for 1 passenger in business class (sold as “first class” by American Airlines).
Step 5: Select Your Flight
The next screen displays all available awards based on your search criteria from step 4. If you find availability and see an itinerary that you like, simply select it to view the price quote which will appear at the bottom of the screen.
Here is an overview of the flights with Avios award availability for the desired departure date:
Selecting one of the boxes on the right side of the flight result list will open a box at the bottom of the screen. This box will show the rate including any applicable taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed surcharges:
In this case, there's availability on British Airways' oneworld partner, American Airlines, for 9,000 Avios and $5.60 in taxes and fees. If everything looks good, scroll down and click “Continue“. On the next pages, follow the steps to enter your payment information and complete your booking.
Just like that, you have booked an Avios award ticket! Be sure to take note of your confirmation number. Occasionally, multiple confirmation numbers will be displayed when booking with a partner airline. Both confirmation numbers are important for future access to your award booking.
Hidden Award Availability
Unfortunately, you can't search or book all British Airways partners on British Airways' website.
For example, Aer Lingus award availability isn't shown when booking on British Airways' website. Instead, you can find Aer Lingus award space on Aer Lingus' website. You can transfer Avios to Aer Lingus and book via the Aer Lingus website. However, an easier solution is to call British Airways at 1-800-452-1201 to book.
If the representative tries to charge a fee for calling in, politely ask for the fee to be waived, since you can't book the award online. While calling is a hassle, this often pays off. In this Aer Lingus example, British Airways tends to charge fewer taxes and fees for Aer Lingus flights than Aer Lingus itself!
Also, remember that whenever searching for partner award availability, every partner should have access to the same awards. For example, Aer Lingus also partners with United Airlines in addition to British Airways.
So, if you find award availability for an Aer Lingus-operated flight through United, that same flight should also be available for Avios redemption with British Airways. Just call British Airways and provide the flight information. Hopefully, the agent will see the same availability and quote you a price.
British Airways Award Pricing
The British Airways Executive Club features three different Avios award charts to determine the number of Avios you'll need for an award booking.
Similar to Delta, United, and several other frequent-flyer programs, Executive Club no longer publishes an official British Airways award chart for its own flights or partner award flights. However, we've reconstructed the Avios award charts based on the last publically available data and recent itineraries booked by AwardWallet members.
Related: See how AwardWallet uses award bookings to estimate airline point values
The British Airways Award Chart
The British Airways award chart applies to itineraries operated exclusively by British Airways. If you are booking a connecting flight that features a flight operated by a partner airline, you will also need to consult the Avios partner award flight chart.
|Zone (Distance)||Economy (Off-Peak)||Economy (Peak)||Premium Economy (Off-Peak)||Premium Economy (Peak)||Business (Off-Peak)||Business (Peak)||First Class (Off-Peak)||First Class (Peak)|
|Zone 1 (up to 650 miles)||4,750||5,250||Not Offered||Not Offered||8,500||9,750||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|Zone 2 (651 to 1,151 miles)||7,250||8,250||Not Offered||Not Offered||13,000||15,750||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|Zone 3 (1,152 to 2,000 miles)||10,000||12,500||Not Offered||Not Offered||17,750||20,750||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|Zone 4 (2,001 to 3,000 miles)||10,000||12,500||20,000||25,000||31,250||37,500||42,500||50,000|
|Zone 5 (3,001 to 4,000 miles)||13,000||20,000||26,000||40,000||50,000||60,000||68,000||80,000|
|Zone 6 (4,001 to 5,500 miles)||16,250||25,000||32,500||50,000||62,500||75,000||85,000||100,000|
|Zone 7 (5,501 to 6,500 miles)||19,500||30,000||39,000||60,000||75,000||90,000||102,000||120,000|
|Zone 8 (6,501 to 7,000 miles)||22,750||35,000||45,500||70,000||87,500||105,000||119,000||140,000|
|Zone 9 (7,001+ miles)||32,500||50,000||65,000||100,000||125,000||150,000||170,000||200,000|
For long-term British Airways frequent flyers, these prices may look a bit different than what you remember. That's because, in March 2021, British Airways devalued award rates on short-haul flights. Now, awards in the first 3 distance tiers cost 750 Avios more than before:
|Flight distance (miles)||Economy (Off-Peak)||Economy (Peak)||Business (Off-Peak)||Business (Peak)|
|1-650||4,750 (+750)||5,250 (+750)||8,500 (+750)||9,750 (+750)|
|651-1,151||7,250 (+750)||8,250 (+750)||13,500 (+750)||15,750 (+750)|
|1,152-2,000||9,250 (+750)||10,750 (+750)||17,750 (+750)||20,750 (+750)|
Note that British Airways now offers a range of Avios pricing options for each award flight. Some options let you drop the out-of-pocket cost to $1 while others only require a few Avios.
You can decide for yourself which is the best option. However, the best value is generally found when you select the award pricing we've listed in the above chart. In the example above, the best value is found at 4,750 Avios and $31 in taxes and fees.
Peak vs. Off-Peak Pricing
Depending on your travel dates, you may see either the off-peak or peak award prices for your trip. A full calendar used to be available to see which dates qualified for the lower, off-peak pricing, but British Airways no longer publishes a calendar.
Avios partner airline, Aer Lingus, continues to publish an off-peak pricing calendar. However, this calendar does not necessarily reflect off-peak pricing for all Avios partners like British Airways. Nevertheless, it's a good tool to have as a reference.
Aer Lingus Aer Club Avios Award Calendar for Peak/Off-Peak Pricing in 2023:
To check off-peak dates for British Airways Avios award travel, you need to complete an award search. You'll see off-peak dates labeled as such:
You can see up to a month of peak vs. off-peak pricing by clicking “Show peak and off-peak periods” for British Airways or Ibera above the search results.
Generally, peak dates are from early July through early September, mid-December through early January, and late March through mid-April.
Avios Chart for British Airways Partners
If your itinerary includes one or more flights operated by British Airways partners, the number of Avios you'll need will be based on the British Airways partner award chart below. Unlike the pricing for Iberia and British Airways award flights, this chart doesn't have peak or off-peak rates.
Avios Partner Award Chart (Revised October 2022)
|Up to 650 miles (Zone 1)||6,000||9,000||12,500||24,000|
|651 to 1,151 miles (Zone 2)||9,000||12,500||16,500||33,000|
|1,152 to 2,000 miles (Zone 3)||11,000||16,500||22,000||44,000|
|2,001 to 3,000 miles (Zone 4)||13,000||25,250||38,750||51,500|
|3,001 to 4,000 miles (Zone 5)||20,750||41,250||62,000||82,500|
|4,001 to 5,500 miles (Zone 6)||25,750||51,500||77,250||103,000|
|5,501 to 6,500 miles (Zone 7)||31,000||62,000||92,750||123,750|
|6,501 to 7,000 miles (Zone 8)||36,250||72,250||108,250||144,250|
|7,001+ miles (Zone 9)||51,500||103,000||154,500||206,000|
Note that in August 2021, British Airways raised award redemption rates on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines. So, these awards are going to price at different rates than the chart above:
Post-Devaluation Avios Award Chart (Cathay Pacific)
|Flight distance (miles)||Economy||Business|
|1-650||7,500 (increase of 1,500)||16,000 (increase of 4,500)|
|651-1,151||10,000 (increase of 1,000)||25,000 (increase of 9,500)|
|1,152-2,000||11,000 (no change)||25,000 (increase of 3,000)|
Post-Devaluation Avios Award Chart (Japan Airlines)
|Flight distance (miles)||Economy||Business|
|1-650||7,500 (increase of 1,500)||12,500 (no change)|
|651-1,151||10,000 (increase of 1,000)||24,000 (increase of 8,500)|
|1,152-2,000||11,000 (no change)||24,000 (increase of 2,000)|
Also, for whatever reason, Executive Club doesn't apply the first distance zone for flights within North America. Instead, partner flights under 650 miles within North America price at:
- 7,500 Avios in economy
- 15,000 Avios in business class / domestic first class
How to Use the British Airways Award Chart
British Airways calculates award pricing differently from other distance-based frequent-flyer programs. To use the British Airways award chart, you need to find the distance flown (in miles) for each individual flight segment on the itinerary.
Once you have determined the flight distance of your desired flight, find the corresponding zone in the charts above. When building a multi-stop itinerary, be sure to take note of how many Avios are required for each flight. Repeat the process for each flight on your itinerary and add up the costs in Avios to get the total price. You can find more details in our guide to frequent-flyer pricing.
Tip: Use a tool like Great Circle Mapper to determine the distance between two airports. You can access Great Circle Mapper by clicking this link.
The easiest way to determine the award price for any given itinerary is to do an award search. Alternatively, you could utilize a third-party award calculator (like this one) to at least get a ballpark figure of how many Avios you'll need.
Multi-Carrier Reward Flights
Interestingly, there is also another, lesser-known award chart for British Airways: the Multi-Carrier Reward Flights chart. It kicks in when flying two or more Oneworld airlines (besides British Airways) on the same itinerary. Unlike the previous two Avios award charts, these prices are still available on the Executive Club website—at least for now.
This award chart holds some interesting value for business class flights on partner airlines, as it was left untouched amid the 2015 Executive Club revamp. While business class is now typically 3x economy award rates, on this chart it is only 2x economy rates.
|Miles in Itinerary||Economy||Premium Economy||Business||First||Additional Fees|
|up to 1,500 miles||30,000||45,000||60,000||90,000||Up to $110.58|
|1,501 to 4,000 miles||35,000||52,500||70,000||105,000||Up to $293.28|
|4,001 to 9,000 miles||60,000||90,000||120,000||180,000||Up to $711.56|
|9,001 to 10,000 miles||70,000||105,000||140,000||210,000||Up to $853.53|
|10,001 to 14,000 miles||90,000||135,000||180,000||270,000||Up to $981.58|
|14,001 to 20,000 miles||100,000||150,000||200,000||300,000||Up to $985.18|
|20,001 to 25,000 miles||120,000||180,000||240,000||360,000||Up to $634.17|
|25,001 to 35,000 miles||140,000||210,000||280,000||420,000||Up to $150.58|
|35,001 to 50,000 miles||Pricing Not Available||Pricing Not Available||Pricing Not Available||Pricing Not Available||Pricing Not Available|
At the time of publication, no pricing information was available on the British Airways website for the last distance tier. For the last distance tier, we can estimate that an economy award would cost at least 160,000 Avios. If this is correct, then premium cabin pricing will look something like this:
- Premium Economy (1.5x economy): 240,000 Avios
- Business Class (2x economy): 320,000 Avios
- First Class (3x economy): 480,000 Avios
We've estimated the Avios requirements based on what Executive Club has published in the past. Taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed charges will vary by itinerary.
The method for calculating the total price with this Avios award chart is different (and fortunately more straightforward) than the other two charts. To find the cost of a multi-carrier award, you just need to find the total distance for the whole itinerary and look up the price. With this chart, you don't need to find a price for each flight segment.
Use Avios for Maximum Value
Now that you know how to search and book Avios award flights, let's go over a few examples of how to maximize your redemption value.
Fly to Hawaii using Avios on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines
One of our favorite sweet spots in the Executive Club award chart is flying from the West Coast of the U.S. to Hawaii. You can get one-way economy awards to Hawaii on British Airways partners Alaska or Amerian for as little as 13,000 Avios and just $5,60 in taxes and fees. It's still one of the best points and miles redemptions for flights to Hawaii.
Remember, now that Alaska is a member of Oneworld, you'll need to use the multi-carrier award chart if your itinerary includes segments operated by both Alaska Airlines and American Airlines.
Boston to Dublin in Aer Lingus Economy for 13,000 Avios
This route causes a lot of confusion in the award redemption world. Although Boston and Dublin are just under 3,000 miles in distance, British Airways has decided to treat this route as a 3,000+ mile route — making it a Zone 5 redemption. Still, it's an excellent award sweet spot costing just:
- 13,000 + taxes off-peak one-way in economy
- 50,000 + taxes off-peak one-way in business
- 20,000 + taxes peak one-way in economy
- 60,000 + taxes peak one-way in business
Mexico or the Caribbean for 7,500 in Economy or 15,000 in Business
Depending on your departure location, you can fly economy to Mexico or the Caribbean from as little as 7,500 Avios plus taxes and fees. Or, you can get there in business class for as little as 15,000 Avios plus taxes and fees.
Short-Haul Flights Outside the of the U.S.
British Airways Avios awards are distance-based. That means you can really stretch your Avios with short-haul flights. The shortest flights (under 650 miles outside the U.S.) cost as few as 4,500 Avios. Short hops in Africa, South America, Africa, Europe, South Pacific, and Asia on British Airways partners are all possibilities.
Just watch out for high taxes and fees on some routes. Make sure to compare the total cost with cash prices to make sure you're getting a good deal.
Other Perks of the British Airways Executive Club Loyalty Program
Aside from the award pricing, British Airways also offers several unique and customer-friendly features for Avios awards:
- No Close-In Booking Fee — British Airways awards are great for last-minute flights, as they don't impose any close-in booking fee. While cash close-in booking fees have been eliminated by most airlines, both United and Delta now charge higher award rates for awards booked close to departure.
- Pool Your Avios — British Airways allows members to combine and redeem Avios with friends or family easily via household accounts.
- Flexible Cancellation Policy — If you need to cancel your Avios award, you can do so up until 24 hours before departure for up to a $55 fee. However, there's a catch. If the taxes that you paid on the award are less than this fee, British Airways just keeps that amount. So, if the taxes and fees are just $5.60 on an award, you only have to “pay” that $5.60 to get your Avios refunded. That's a small price to pay for flexibility!
If you need to cancel within 24 hours, you aren't necessarily out of luck. You may be able to change your flight to avoid losing your Avios.
Earning British Airways Avios
British Airways Executive Club members can earn Avios in many ways—the most obvious of which involves booking cash flights on British Airways, other airlines that utilize Avios in their frequent flyer program, or Oneworld Alliance partners.
However, there are even better options for boosting your Avios balance. For instance, you can accrue miles by making purchases with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card.
- Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
- Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL.
- Earn 2 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel. Plus earn 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- 10% off British Airways flights starting in the US when you book through the website provided in your welcome materials.
- Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you'll earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.
- Pay no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.
- Simply tap to pay with your contactless British Airways Visa Signature Card. Just look for the contactless symbol at checkout. It's fast, easy and secure!
- Member FDIC
- 3X Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and LEVEL
- 2X Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations
- 1X Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases
Currently, new cardholders can earn 75,000 bonus Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Or even better, you can transfer miles or points from other programs. You can transfer points from several major award currencies to the British Airways Executive Club—including Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards! See all of your transfer options and transfer times here.
You can also transfer Avios between other programs that utilize the Avios currency at a 1:1 ratio. For example, if you have some Avios in your Qatar Airways account, you can transfer these instantly, at no cost, and at a 1:1 ratio to your British Airways Executive Club account.
Despite high fuel surcharges on British Airways flights, British Airways Avios still offer plenty of value. This is especially true given that they can be used for flights on dozens of partner airlines across the globe.
If you're looking to pick up more Avios, check out the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. Or, even better, consider applying for a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. Both cards feature great welcome bonuses, stellar earning rates, and points that transfer 1:1 to British Airways Avios.
What is your favorite Avios redemption?
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