People love collecting points until it comes time to use them, and they’re inevitably told they can travel on any day, so long as it’s not the day they actually want to travel. Not today. Like a unicorn floating through the skies blasting some Kendrick Lamar, today is an anomaly when it comes to points availability. If you want to fly British Airways first class for up to four people, there’s seats available between London and the USA on almost any day. Like 29 days a month…
Want to fly first class to New York? You can virtually pick a day. The same goes for Boston, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles and even San Francisco. After a tip off from Head For Points, we dug into award space on British Airways from London to the USA and were staggered with what we found.
In short: at least two people can fly to any of the cities above on virtually any date in 2020 in first class. In addition to virtually every date being open for next year, east coast cities are seeing wide open availability for August, November and December of this year as well.
This kind of availability is extremely rare. British Airways has always done an above average job releasing business class seats, but has historically been stingy with first class Avios redemption availability. This is a significant window to maximize an Amex 2-for-1 voucher in the UK, or Chase 2-for-1 in the USA. That, or just book yourself an awesome trip and cash in those Avios points.
To search, the best way to pull up dates is to use RewardFlightFinder.com.
Once you’ve found dates in grey or any shade of blue, you can login to your Executive Club account on BritishAirways.com, hit “book”, then “book a flight with Avios” and enter your city pairs. In some instances, it can make sense to book two one ways than a round trip. Be sure to compare the cash pricing for bookings as a round trip versus two one ways to ensure you lock in the lowest price.
All these seats would be available if you booked a “cheap” business class ticket with cash and then used Avios to upgrade. Because of how steep the BA surcharges are, this could actually make a lot of sense if you don’t have an Amex 2-4-1 voucher.
British Airways has flights from Inverness and Milan to New York or Miami via London in 2020 for roughly £1200-£1300 all in-in business class, which could then mean first class upgrades for only 20,000 points each way and minimal additional surcharges.
You earn Avios and tier points if you originally book a business class cash fare, versus simply redeeming your Avios for first class, so the rebate could help justify the expense. You’d effectively be paying £1300 and 40,000 Avios for first class return – and you’d earn around 10,000 Avios back.
Another savvy option would be booking one way from London to USA in first class and then booking another ticket to get home. You could burn other miles, find a cheap cash fare, or anything else really. Or yes, you could totally just keep it all first class and live the life. Why not if you can, right?