British Airways redemption schemes
BAEC has three distance-based award charts.
BAEC award charts
The first chart covers BA, Aer Lingus and Iberia and features peak and off-peak dates. This chart was last devalued in March 2021.
Zones Economy Business
Off-peak Peak Off-peak Peak
1 (1-650 miles) 4,750 5,250 8,500 9,750
2 (651-1,151) 7,250 8,250 13,000 15,750
3 (1,152-2,000) 10,000 12,500 17,750 20,750
Zones Economy PE Business First
Off-peak / Peak OP / P OP / P OP / P
4 (2,001-3,000) 10,000 / 12,500 20,000 / 25,000 31,250 / 37,500 42,500 / 50,000
5 (3,001-4,000) 13,000 / 20,000 26,000 / 40,000 50,000 / 60,000 68,000 / 80,000
6 (4,001-5,500) 16,250 / 25,000 32,500 / 50,000 62,500 / 75,000 85,000 / 100,000
7 (5,501-6,500) 19,500 / 30,000 39,000 / 60,000 75,000 / 90,000 102,000 / 120,000
8 (6,501-7,000) 22,750 / 35,000 45,500 / 70,000 87,500 / 105,000 119,000 / 140,000
9 (7,001 +) 32,500 / 50,000 65,000 / 100,000 125,000 / 150,000 170,000 / 200,000
The second chart covers the rest of BA partners and was last devalued in August 2021. Note that Zone 1 award flights starting or ending in North America would cost you 7,500 Avios in Economy or 15,000 Avios in First Class.
All other awards fall into the following scheme (the distance bands are the same).
Zones Economy PE Business First
1 6,000 9,000 12,500 24,000
2 9,000 12,500 16,500 33,000
3 11,000 16,500 22,000 44,000
4 13,000 25,250 38,750 51,500
5 20,750 41,250 62,000 82,500
6 25,750 51,500 77,250 103,000
7 31,000 62,000 92,750 23,750
8 36,250 72,250 108,250 144,250
9 51,500 103,000 154,500 206,000
The charts above are not official (you can’t find them on the British Airways website).
The third is the Multi-Carrier award chart, although it’s rarely utilized due to its complexity and egregious long-haul fuel surcharges. This is the only chart you can find on Britishairways.com, but I slightly “remodeled” it for your convenience, by adding the Business Class rates. If you’re interested in other classes of service, you can calculate it according to this simple formula:
- Premium Economy is 1.5x the Avios in Economy
- Business is 2x the Avios in Economy
- First is 3x the Avios in Economy
Distance Avios (Economy / Business) Additional charges
0–1,500 30,000 / 60,000 Up to $ 93.56 taxes, fees and carrier charges
1,501–4,000 35,000 / 70,000 Up to $ 256.09 taxes, fees and carrier charges
4,001–9,000 60,000 / 120,000 Up to $ 948.02 taxes, fees and carrier charges
9,001–10,000 70,000 / 140,000 Up to $ 576.74 taxes, fees and carrier charges
10,001–14,000 90,000 / 180,000 Up to $ 1,011.89 taxes, fees and carrier charges
14,001–20,000 100,000 / 200,000 Up to $ 750.77 taxes, fees and carrier charges
20,001–25,000 120,000 / 240,000 Up to $ 891.40 taxes, fees and carrier charges 25,001–35,000 140,000 / 280,000 Up to $ 217.32 taxes, fees and carrier charges
British Airways airline partners
Oneworld airline partners
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
- Japan Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Air Maroc
- Royal Jordanian Airlines
- S7 Airlines
- SriLankan Airlines
Other airline partners
- Aer Lingus
- Air Italy (formerly Meridiana)
- LATAM (phone only)
You can also use BA Avios on the following airlines:
- Comair Pty Ltd (in Southern Africa)
- SUN-AIR (in Scandinavia)
- BA CityFlyer
Simply put: use Avios on short-haul, most direct routes. Every segment carries a separate cost; for example, flying nonstop from New York to New Orleans is cheaper than flying to New Orleans via Miami. Now, there are some unexplained exceptions to this rule sometimes (when connecting flights would price cheaper than nonstop ones) but they’re rare. Also, while this guide has been created for U.S. based travelers, I can’t ignore one of the most important virtues of BAEC, which is short nonstop flights anywhere in the world.
British Airways sweet spots
Sweet Spots on BA and Iberia: short intra-Europe flights in Economy
British Airways charges just a small flat fee for flights within Europe, and you’ll find BA Avios may save you some money when you redeem on Iberia – versus Iberia own award fees. Also, when you use BA Avios on British Airways metal, do yourself a favor and try to avoid departing from LHR, which I personally refer to as London Highway Robbery Airport. You can save a little by flying out of London City airport, although it only serves a handful of destinations.
Here is where you can fly for only 4,750 Avios (off-peak).
From London on BA:
- Anywhere in the UK
- Denmark, France, Germany
- Milan, Italy
From Madrid on Iberia:
- Anywhere in Continental Spain and Portugal
- Most of France including Paris
- Casablanca, Morocco
Notable sweet spots on other BA partners in Economy
- American or Alaska from the West Coast to Hawaii (LAX – HNL for 13,000 Avios).
- American in the U.S. / Canada from 6,000 miles (i.e. New York to Charleston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal).
- Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong in Asia (from 6,000 Avios to Sanya, Hanoi and Taipei).Japan Airlines ( 6,000 Avios will cover the whole country from Tokyo plus Busan in Korea).Qantas in Australia and between Australia and New Zealand (from 6,000 Avios between Sydney and Melbourne / Canberra / Brisbane).Short UK and intra-Europe flights on British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia (British Airways adds the flat $30 fee for flights from UK).Finnair from Helsinki (from 6,000 Avios to Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Warsaw and Moscow).S7 Airlines in Russia and between Russia and the rest of Europe ( 6,000 Avios from Moscow to Saint Petersburg or Kazan).
- Comstar (BA’s subsidiary) from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls for 6,000 Avios.
Sweet BA spots in Business on Iberia
- You can fly in lie-flat Business Class on A-330 / 340 / 350 on Iberia between London and Madrid for 12,750 Avios and no fuel surcharges. However, the same route is served by narrow-body A-319 / A-320, which just an economy cabin with blocked middle seats, so pay attention to the aircraft type before booking. While this is a short, 2.5 hour trip, the added benefits are priority check-in and access to lounges. It’s surely worth it for only 6,250 extra miles.
- A-330 in lie-flat Business Class on A-330 for 31,250 Avios and $28 in taxes from Madrid to Tel Aviv. Not too cheap, so classifying it as a semi-sweet spot would be more accurate, but it’s a 5-hour flight (think New York to Vegas for a comparison).
NB. Booking short flights on British Avios almost always costs less in cash outlay, but sometimes it costs more in Avios than Iberia. We’ll talk more about it in the Iberia section.
Do NOT use British Airways Avios for long-haul flights
British Airways adds hundreds of dollars to their “free” award flights in so-called
fuel pardon me, carrier-imposed surcharges to everything it touches: its own flights, Aer Lingus, Iberia, even trans-Atlantic American Airlines fights (which is kind of funny considering that AA doesn’t add any surcharges to its own flights, but I guess, it’s the company you keep, LOL). If you’ve ever wondered why British has all that fabulous availability, well, this is why.
There are some exceptions, though.
- A British award flight on Japan Airlines currently adds only about $95 in fuel surcharges between the U.S. and Tokyo one way. Better yet, the price is the same for Economy and Business.
- A British award flight on Cathay Pacific adds about $84 in fuel surcharges between the U.S. and Hong Kong. The price seems the same for all kinds of service.
Flying long-haul on other airlines, such as Qatar or Finnair appears to add hundreds of dollars in junk surcharges each way and should be avoided.
How to book
You can book oneworld and Aer Lingus awards online – for booking award tickets on all other airlines call 877-767-7970.