British Airways Avios Award Seat Guarantee

British Airways Avios Award Seat Guarantee


British Airways Executive Club Will Double the Number of Award Seats Bookable with Avios Starting July 28, for British Airways business class and economy class. What won't change is British Airways first class, where there's no guaranteed award availability.

Most frequent flyer programs don't guarantee any award ticket availability, which makes it all the more important to 1) Diversify earnings of frequent flyer miles and points (especially of transferable points, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards points and AMEX Membership Rewards points); and 2) Plan trips well in advance, in order to have the best chance of securing award tickets.

While now may not be the best time to try to visit the UK, given concerns over the spread of COVID-19 variants, it's good to keep in mind British Airways guaranteed award availability as potential backup, given some airlines' reduced award ticket availability.


Doubling of Avios Award Seats

On long haul flights, BA has promised that as of 7/28/21, Club World business class awards will increase from 2 to 4 seats per flight, while World Traveller economy awards will increase from 4 to 8 seats. World Traveller Plus (premium economy) will go to 2 seats per flight; prior to July 28, no award availability was guaranteed.

Similarly, for short haul flights, Club Europe business class awards will increase from 2 to 4 seats per flight, while Euro Traveller economy awards will increase from 4 to 8 seats.


The Verdict

Ultimately, we still don't tend to use British Airways Avios to book British Airways long haul flights, for several reasons: 1. The number of miles required is typically greater than with partner programs, such as Alaska Mileage Plan; 2. There are high fuel surcharges; and 3. The product just isn't that competitive. Why book British Airways Business Class, even for 60,000 Alaska miles, with taxes >$700, if it's possible to instead fly SWISS Business Class for 75,000 United miles + $6, especially if earning 3X-5X Ultimate Rewards (which transfer 1:1 to United) on most of your spend?

Occasionally we'll reserve British Airways First Class for our Award Booking clients, although much less recently lately, since there are so few award seats on most flights between the UK and U.S.

All the same, it's always good to have more available award seats rather than fewer, so we do appreciate British Airways guaranteeing more award availability, even if we're unlikely to make much use of it, and wish it included first class.

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