If you’ve gasped at the sky-high fees, taxes and fuel surcharges for Avios redemptions on long-haul British Airways flights, there is now a solution.
From Wednesday, BA is rolling out its Reward Flight Saver offer on all BA-operated flights — long-haul and short-haul— in all cabins (excluding First), following a trial on some long-haul routes in economy class.
The popular offer on short-haul flights has long been a great deal; it requires low Avios and fixed fees, taxes and surcharges for redemptions across the airline’s expansive European network.
As a solution to the ever-increasing surcharges passengers must pay on long-haul flights operated by British Airways, Executive Club members can now redeem more Avios, in exchange for paying less cash.
Using a round-trip ticket from New York to London in Club Suite business class as an example, this new Reward Flight Saver long-haul option gives members the option of redeeming 160,000 Avios and paying only $700 in fees, taxes and surcharges. With traditional rates, this same trip would require you to redeem 100,000 Avios plus $1,900 in fees, taxes and surcharges. You’d also have the option to redeem fewer Avios, and pay more cash — down to 50,000 Avios and $3,360 — to cover taxes and fees.
So, while you would be using an additional 60,000 Avios — which we value at $900 — you would save $1,200 cash on surcharges.
How to get the best value from new long-haul Reward Flight Savers
ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
The new Avios/Surcharges pricing options will be especially valuable for Travel Together voucher redemptions. This is because when redeeming a one of these vouchers — while you only need to pay the Avios for one passenger — both passengers are still required to pay the fees, taxes and surcharges.
With the traditional rates for a New York to London redemption, you would need to pay 100,000 Avios plus roughly $1,900 in fees, taxes and surcharges per person. This comes out to an eye-watering $3,800 for both passengers combined
Using the new Reward Flight Saver option in conjunction with a Travel Together voucher would reduce this cash amount significantly, letting you pay 60,000 additional Avios to save $2,400 in surcharges across both passengers, which is a fantastic use of Avios.
Here’s how the new Reward Flight Saver pricing breaks down on two popular routes from the U.S. to Europe, looking at return flights on off-peak dates.
Cost of fees, taxes and surcharges
New York to London
World Traveller Plus
Los Angeles to London
World Traveller Plus
If you are sitting on a large Avios balance — especially if you earned those Avios through your everyday spending with little effort — this is a fantastic option to save money on your next redemption. More choice is never a bad thing.
You can still redeem your Avios at normal rates, this is just an additional option for Executive Club members.
Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh.