In the words of David Bowie, Ch-ch-changes, turn and face the strange. Now that the dust has settled, there is some clarity and there are some opportunities with British Airways. If you want to take advantage of decent rates, earn major tier points and fly in style here are a few suggestions.

a group of people in uniform on a plane

Pre Existing Reservations Can Upgrade At Old Rate

Don’t say I didn’t warn you! If you were smart enough to make a cash booking before April 28th, you can upgrade your flights at the old Avios rate. Using 10,000-12,500 Avios to upgrade a nice long flight can be an excellent use of this declining mileage currency. New Upgrade rates, especially those from WTP to Club World on long haul are now doubly expensive or more in most cases and you have only yourself to blame.

a person sitting in a chair on an airplane

Short Haul Economy is STILL Unbeatable

As someone who pays a minimum of 25,000 miles for coach return within the US on any US airline, regardless of distance, let me be the first to tell you that British Airways offer unbelievable value in this regard. The fact that you can short hop around Europe or the US for only 9,000 Avios return or 15,000 for further destinations is incredible. For flights of this distance, I really don’t think Business class matters that much (especially if you have elite status for airport perks) and this is a great way to travel on the cheap!

a row of seats in an airplane

Status And Tier Points From Cheap Business Fares

Jump in on business fare sales that are lower than coach in some cases to lock in your benefits. When I say cheap, I mean cheap. I will collect enough tier points for bronze from ONE round trip flight across the pond with a connection. Total cost $1,167USD! I also recently made light of a round trip Business Class deal to Hong Kong from the UK/Germany, where you could fly in Club World direct to Hong Kong or with a stopover in Singapore for only $1300USD return! If you took advantage of these deals you would be well beyond Silver and nearing gold. I find many of those deals HERE, and they can be translated HERE. With increased competition on BA routes, there will be more of these.

Victoria Peakscape with water in the background

Peak/Off Peak Maximization

If you’re using miles, try to do it off peak. I think anyone who uses their Avios for long haul economy on British Airways is out of their minds. You will end up paying just as much in taxes as you would have for a paid ticket, without blowing the miles. Off peak First and Business awards are worse than they were before yet can still be a great value when Off Peak. If you are short on miles, booking one way to Europe as opposed to from Europe will save you in surcharges. Doing a quick search New York to London, Off Peak, you can snag a seat in First for 68,000 Avios, only 18,000 more than Club. I personally like the idea of booking a heavily discounted one way with someone like Norwegian and flying the other leg in style. 

a seat in a train

You can’t cry over spilled milk. These ch-ch-changes are here to stay and you simply need to adapt and use them to your advantage. Try to incorporate these ideas to maximize your experience and elevate your travel and minimal expense. You see what I did there? 

As Always, Get in Touch:

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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