Up to 50% Off British Airways Awards, All Cabins Eligible (Book Before Oct 13)

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We’ve seen some “unique” (for lack of a better word) promotions from airlines during the pandemic and we’ve also seen some airlines recognize that planes are empty, step up to the plate and offer promotions that are quite useful.

With their latest promotion, British Airways falls somewhere in between the two, but closer to the latter. Let’s take a look at the details.


This morning British Airways announced a promotion that offers 50% off long-haul redemptions and 25% off short-haul redemptions for travel through next summer (30 June 2021). Here are the finer details:

  • Book by 13 October 2020
  • 50% off long-haul flights (applies to peak and off peak)
  • 25% off short-haul flights (applies to peak and off peak)
  • Discount applies to direct flights only
  • Discount shown after you’ve selected flights
  • No registration needed


I’ll keep this part simple.

The good part is that 50% is a considerable discount and in the airline redemption world, that’s worth (at minimum) a look at the options.

The bad part is the discount only applies to the avios portion (and not the surcharges) and if you’re not familiar with the British Airways mandatory surcharges/fees on these award redemptions, you may be in for a surprise as they have the potential to be budget busters.

The ugly part – which is a continuation of the bad part above – is that these fees can range from ~$80USD for a one-way economy ticket to ~$1,000USD on a business or first class one-way ticket which can be hard to swallow particularly for those with a frugal spirit. 😉

For example, you can book:

  • New York – London: 25,000 miles one-way (business class aka Club World)
  • New York – London: 34,000 miles one-way (first class)
  • London – Los Angeles: 31,250 one-way (business class aka Club World)
  • London – Los Angeles: 42,500 one-way (first class)
Featured Rates Are Roundtrip; Divide by 2 for one-way

Note: If you focus more on quantity than quality, you can fly one-way from Boston (BOS) to London-Heathrow (LHR) for just 6,500 Avios (and ~$80USD) in economy.


If you curious about the surcharges/fees, here’s an example. A one-way flight from Chicago (ORD) to London (LHR) in first class can be booked for 34,000 Avios + ~$730USD.

Generally, the cash fare for this ticket will easily exceed $6000 one-way.

….$730 is expensive, but that seat sure does look nice 😍…

Photo courtesy of Tom Mascardo via Flickr


It’s extremely easy to boost your British Airways Avios balance because British Airways is a transfer partner of both Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards.

In other words, the following card is arguably the best card to boost your balance:

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – This is my favorite beginners travel rewards card which has a welcome bonus of 80,000 points (highest ever) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.


This a great sale IF you have a few extra dollars to spare and you don’t mind the uncertainty of the travel industry at the moment.

It’s worth considering that if you’re interested in making a speculative booking over the course of the next year the booking window is open, there is an inherent risk that things could change.

For example, if your flight is canceled (or has a significant schedule change), you can redeposit the award for free, but in the worst case scenario that your schedule change is NOT “significant enough,” British Airways Executive Club only charges $55 per ticket as a redeposit fee.

Caveat: I cancelled a BA award ticket during the early stages of the pandemic and it took approximately 90 days to refund the fuel surcharges. I got it back but 3 months is a LONG time!

Do you plan to take advantage of this promotion?

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