Executive Club is running a 25% off award sale through November 19, 2012, to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Avios program (though as a North America based flyer I’m not sure the Avios program is anything to celebrate).

Gary reports that the sale offers 25% off Avios redemptions for travel on British Airways/Iberia originating in London for travel through May 31, 2013.

However, I’m finding that this promotion is much better than that. It’s actually taking 25% off all longhaul segments on British Airways and Iberia. If your itinerary includes shorthaul segments the discount simply doesn’t apply to those segments, but there seems to be no restriction as to where you have to originate.

If you go to ba.com and do a normal award search you should see the discount reflected automatically when you get to the pricing page.

For example, New York to London roundtrip in first class would usually run you 120,000 Avios plus $1,147.07 in taxes/fees/fuel surcharges. However, through this promotion you only pay 90,000 Avios, and you can ever use a British Airways companion certificate for the second passenger. I have one expiring at the end of the year that I need to use, so this seems like a great opportunity to do so. While I detest British Airways’ massive fuel surcharges, 45,000 Avios plus $1,147.07 for a first class ticket between the US and Europe doesn’t seem too bad.

The discount also applies for travel on Iberia, so a one-way business class redemption from Madrid to Lima would get a 12,500 Avios discount.

Again, the discount does seem to apply only for the longhaul segments of journeys. In other words, if you redeem Avios for New York to London to Tokyo you get the 25% discount for the entire journey, while if you redeem for New York to London to Munich, you get the 25% discount only for the New York to London segment. The discount seems to apply to both one-ways and roundtrips.

Typically it doesn’t make sense to redeem Avios for travel in coach due to the high fuel surcharges, which makes the relative value of first and business class much better.

British Airways is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest, among other programs. We learned yesterday that American Express Membership Rewards will have a 30% transfer bonus to British Airways starting December 3, though that’s not especially useful for the purposes of this promotion.

Anyway, under certain circumstances this can be an extremely rewarding promotion. Still, this isn’t a “once in a lifetime” promotion you need to plan travel just to take advantage of, given that the timing doesn’t coincide with a Membership Rewards transfer bonus.

  1. November 14th, 2012 at 6:23 am

    NV said,

    I found FRA-LHR-SFO 1-way on Club Europe and First for 65250 avios + $372. Not sure if this already has discount. However, with the same flights on AA, it only cost 62500 miles. If only taking 1-way LHR-SFO, the amount would be 56250 avios + $586 with the same departure, same flight like the above 2 legs. At this point, I dont understand why the taxes go up. This does not make a single sense to me at all.

  2. November 14th, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Chris said,

    So presumably those fuel surcharges are about half if you’re only booking a one-way for 45k Avios. (APD, of course, is unchanged).

    @NV: You’re getting hit by the UK’s APD in your LHR-SFO case as you’re originating out of the UK. (Having a >24h stopover in the UK would also trigger it.)

  3. November 14th, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Romsdeals said,

    It’s definitely UK APD. If you hate fees like me, don’t ever depart or terminate in UK. I recently booked hnl-lax-Lhr-lin for 329 in taxes. I will then get off at Lhr my destination and skip Lin. This only works if you don’t check in baggage. If I terminated in Lhr, it would have cost another 150 or so in taxes.

  4. November 14th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Flash Sale: 25% Off Longhaul BA and Iberia Awards « Points Envy said,

    [...] Normally we don’t bother to wake up on Wednesdays, but today we were thrilled we did. The Avios program is running a six-day sale starting today, whereby you can save 25% off longhaul portions of award tickets on British Airways and Iberia. Lucky, a significantly more knowledgable and less lazy travel blogger, runs through more of the particulars here. [...]

  5. November 14th, 2012 at 11:23 am

    ffi said,

    AFAIK, there is no APD surcharge to terminate in the UK

  6. November 14th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    tly said,

    Does the Chase BA card 10% discount apply to surcharges on award tickets, or only paid tickets? Hoping to use that in conjunction with this 25% off.

  7. November 14th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Mr. N said,

    @tly, so far the full amount is posted on my CC. I do not see 10% discount for Chase BA

  8. November 14th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    lucky said,

    @ NV — As Chris points out, you get hit by the UK departure tax if you originate in the UK, but not if you just connect there.

    @ ffi — Right, it’s only a departure tax.

    @ tly — Only to revenue tickets.

  9. November 14th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Rick said,

    Can flights be held prior to xfering the AmEx pts?

  10. November 14th, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Rick — They can’t, though the transfer is instant.

  11. November 14th, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Rick said,

    Thanks Lucky.

  12. November 14th, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Mike S. said,

    Hi Lucky: Using the avios+cash option, can you use this on any other partner airlines besides Iberia? Thanks!

  13. November 14th, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Mike S. — Nope, BA and Iberia only, unfortunately. Sorry!

  14. November 14th, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    25% Avios Sale for US Originating Itineraries | Traveling To… said,

    [...] One Mile at a Time and View from the Wing both note that the 25% off sale that I discussed yesterday is applicable to itineraries originating the United States, not just London.  As a US-originating roundtrip is far simpler than the alternatives, it’s worth examining whether this sale has any value for flights to the UK. [...]

  15. November 14th, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    SC said,

    What is BA’s cancellation policy regarding award tickets?

  16. November 14th, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    lucky said,

    @ SC — It’s $40 per person to cancel online.

  17. November 17th, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Apurva said,

    Ben – when you look for miles required for any sector, say SFO-HKG on CX on the Avios website, it is showing the reduced mileage requirement there even for the partner airline – though this is not the booking engine so not sure if this would hold good when actually booking on CX with Avios… something to check out I think…

  18. November 17th, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Apurva said,

    Never mind – just checked on the actual booking engine – there is no discount for CX flights … bummer :)

  19. November 18th, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Smallfry said,

    Is the return segment changeable outside 5/31/13 period? I have a ticket I want to book with a mid May 2013 return but changing circumstances may require a return post May-2013? Would normal change fees apply or would I have to pay with more Avios to make up for discount?

  20. November 18th, 2012 at 2:34 am

    lucky said,

    @ Smallfry — You would have to pay the difference in miles if you change flights outside the window.

  21. November 18th, 2012 at 3:03 am

    Smallfry said,

    Thank you very much!

  22. November 21st, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Now I Know Why Everyone Blogs About Bluebird and Vanilla Reloads | Travel Summary said,

    [...] fact that every blogger writes about the same topics over and over. I’m not a fan of this. If One Mile at a Time is the first to post on the 25% off British Airways Avios sale, do The Points Guy, View from the [...]

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