The British Airways Executive Club is one of my favourite loyalty programs when it comes to redeeming miles for short-haul travel. British Airways uses a distance-based award chart, meaning that the shorter the flight, the less miles you will pay (or the longer the flight, the more miles you will pay).
The best values of Avios points (British Airways miles) are for travel on nonstop short-medium haul flights. The reason why flights should be nonstop is because British Airways not only charges based on distance, but they also charge per flight.
British Airways Award Chart
The Executive Club features a distance-based award chart, meaning that the number of Avios points required will be determined based on:
- the distance of each flight in your itinerary
- the number of flights in your itinerary
If there is more than one flight in your booking, each flight is calculated separately and then the cost of each flight is added up. This is why you should almost always book short-medium haul nonstop flights to get the most value out of your Avios.
As you can see, the cheapest flight will cost just 4k Avios in Economy off-peak (for example: London – Paris) – these flights can be a great deal, especially last minute when the flight can cost over $250.
The zones on the award chart represent the total distance of each flight in miles.
For example, a flight from London to Barcelona is 713 miles, meaning it will cost:
- 6,500 Avios in Economy off-peak
- 7,500 Avios in Economy peak
- 12,750 Avios in Business off-peak
- 15,000 Avios in Business peak
Peak and off-peak dates are determined by British Airways each year. Off-peak dates do not apply to most partner airlines (for example: American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways).
All flights within North America on BA partners American Airlines and Alaska Airlines start at 7,500 Avios in Economy (even for the shortest flights), this is one notable exception to the award chart.
British Airways Award Routing Rules
There are none. Really. Because British Airways uses a distance-based award chart and adds up the cost of each flight separately, they have no real routing rules. You can book any routing you want, but the cost in Avios for your entire booking will be determined by the cost of each flight in your booking.
You will need to call the Executive Club over the phone to put together more advanced routings. The British Airways website usually won’t show you more than two flights together.
Search Award Travel: Searching oneworld Award Space using British Airways
Best Ways To Redeem British Airways Avios
My favourite use of British Airways Avios points is for short-medium haul nonstop flights in Economy Class.
Here is a list of my favourite ways to redeem Avios (all flights should be nonstop for the best price in Avios):
- Flights around Europe
- flights to/from London on British Airways
- flights to/from Madrid/Barcelona on Iberia
- flights to/from Helsinki on Finnair
- flights to/from Dublin on Aer Lingus
- Flights around North America and Caribbean
- flights on American Airlines
- flights on Alaska Airlines (especially around the West Coast)
- Flights from West Coast USA to Hawaii
- only 12,500 Avios one-way in Economy on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines
- Flights around Asia
- flights to/from Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific
- flights to/from Japan on Japan Airlines
- flights to/from Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines
- flights to/from Sri Lanka on SriLankan Airlines
- Flight around South America
- flights on LATAM
- Flights around Australia
- flights on Qantas Airways
- Flights around the Middle East
- flights to/from Doha on Qatar Airways
- flights to/from Amman on Royal Jordanian
- Flights around Russia
- on S7 Airlines
- Flights from East Coast USA to Europe
- on Aer Lingus to Dublin
- on American Airlines
This is definitely a long list, but it isn’t 100% of the ways you can redeem Avios. Like I mentioned, you should generally aim for short-medium haul nonstop flights in Economy to get the most value from your Avios.
Here is a list of specific ways I generally redeem Avios:
- Seattle/San Francisco/Los Angeles to Hawaii
- for just 12,500 Avios and $5.60
- cash prices can be $350+ one way!
- London to Paris/Amsterdam/Brussels/Frankfurt/Berlin/Copenhagen/etc.
- for just 4,000 Avios off peak and minimal taxes
- cash prices can be over $250 last minute
- Boston or New York to Dublin on Aer Lingus
- short Economy flight, can be usually overpriced
- Sydney to Melbourne/Brisbane on Qantas
- or any short-medium haul Australian flight
- Hong Kong to any Asian destination on Cathay Pacific
- Tokyo to North Asian destinations on Japan Airlines
There are an infinite number of ways to redeem Avios, but those are my favourites as I often fly those routes and cash prices can be insanely high… especially last minute.
Collecting British Airways Avios
Collecting Avios is incredibly easy, there are a number of ways including:
- Flying with British Airways
- Flying with oneworld or other airline partners
- Spending money on the British Airways credit card
- Transfer points from AMEX
- Transfer points from Chase
- Transfer points from SPG
- British Airways Shopping Portal
- Car Rental
The beauty of Avios points is that you just need as little as 4,000 to redeem for a flight – just 4,000 points can save you hundreds of dollars!
Avios are one of my favourite points as they can significantly save money on short-haul travel, especially during peak times and on short flights that can cost a fortune (especially if booking last minute). All of my Avios points redemptions have been under 12,500 points and therefore I believe I am truly maximising the value of Avios.
One really important thing to note is that you should never redeem Avios for long-haul flights as the cost is not worth it – not to mention travel on long flights should never be on British Airways as they impose massive fuel surcharges on award tickets.
British Airways Executive Club Avios points are an incredibly useful points currency for short-medium haul nonstop flights on oneworld and other airline partners. You can easily search and book all oneworld flights directly on the website, while you will have to call over the phone to book non-oneworld partner airlines.