As the points game grew from an obscure hobby to offers plastered on subway stations around the world, the game got a lot harder. Opportunities, like securing a seat using points became more and more difficult, as millions more travelers entered the game.
When it’s too hard, people quit.
A couple years ago, British Airways made a significant pledge to make points seats a fixture of every flight, but in truly awesome news, the airline is doubling down on that Avios seat commitment, doubling the number of seats using points available on every flight.
British Airways Doubles Avios Seats
British Airways guarantees a set number of seats on every flight will be made available for people using points, in every cabin except first. Knowing that at least a set number of seats will be available to redeem Avios makes it easier for travelers to plan, and to jump on space as it comes out.
Whereas BA’s generous previous policy was great, and typically offered four seats in most cabins, their new policy, which kicks in July 28th, is an even better upgrade.
The change is already in effect, and 250,000 new seats have been released. The seats are only loaded from July 28th, though. Two guaranteed Avios seats becomes four, and four becomes eight and so forth. Here’s the new table of how many seats will be made available in each cabin.
|Cabin||Change||Current guaranteed reward seat availability per flight (flights pre 28 July)||New guaranteed reward seat availability per flight (flights 28 July onwards)|
|Euro Traveller (short-haul economy)||Doubling||4||8|
|Club Europe (short-haul business class)||Doubling||2||4|
|World Traveller (long-haul economy)||Doubling||4||8|
|World Traveller Plus (long-haul premium economy)||New guaranteed availability||0||2|
|Club World (long-haul business class)||Doubling||2||4|
Many airlines don’t guarantee any seats will be made available using points on any flights at all, so this is an area where British Airways is actually far more generous than others, by making it policy, rather than “probably”. It’s not to say other airlines don’t from time to time, but it’s not a guarantee.
“Our Members appreciate the benefits their Executive Club membership brings, but the feedback we hear is that people would like us to make it easier to book flights using Avios.
We have listened and acted on this, and today’s announcement directly addresses this feedback, opening up six extra reward seats on a short-haul flight, and eight on a long-haul flight. We hope this means that a family holiday, or that big friendship group trip away, will be much easier to book using Avios.”Tom Stevens, Customer Experience Director, British Airways
This welcomed new change applies to flights operated by British Airways only. Other airlines are in control of how many seats they release, not British Airways, even when you use British Airways Avios.
Getting Your British Airways Seats
British Airways makes points fairly easy to use, once you understand the game. For example, upgrades draw from the same space as points seats, so if a seat is available to book using Avios, it would also be available to upgrade a cash booking.
Now, there should be more of both, as the minimum number of seats made available is doubled. There are also many instances where British Airways releases far-far more than the minimum number of seats, often unloading up to 8 business class seats, even on a long haul flight.
Hot tip: availability using Avios is often like a bell curve. It’s very good, thanks to the guaranteed seats at the start, then absolutely terrible for a while, then often very good in the days before flight. Use these tools and tricks to get notified about seats.
Here’s an ultimate guide to using British Airways Avios, and everything you might need to figure out how to upgrade. If you’ve got an Amex 2 for 1 voucher, all those questions can be answered here. This permanent change from BA kicks in July 28th, and it should help make points more fun to use!