London: 8,000 Avios + โ‚ฌ42 round-trip from various European cities (BA Executive Club sweet spot)

London Tower Bridge

One of the sweet spots of the British Airways Executive Club program is booking short-distance award flights in British Airways’ economy class. This is particularly interesting for flights from Western Europe to London. Bookings can be done directly via britishairways.com.

Booking Award Flights (Zone 1)

Zone 1 in British Airways’ Executive Club is any distance between 1 and 650 miles. Making London your destination opens up opportunities to fly from places such as Amsterdam, Paris, Marseille, Milan, Belfast, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Prague, many German cities and vice versa. There are lots of options within the 650 miles range.

Info

Funny side note: Prague may be the furthest airport from London in zone 1 with 648 miles distance

Redeeming an award flight in zone 1 costs 4,000 Avios + โ‚ฌ21 per way in off-peak season and 4,500 Avios + โ‚ฌ21 per way in peak season. A great benefit of a European British Airways award redemption is that you only pay a fixed amount of taxes & fees which is โ‚ฌ21 per way.

Checked baggage is included too, even in economy class. You would usually have to pay an extra fee of at least โ‚ฌ20 per way to check in baggage in the cheapest fare.

You will get the following redemption options in off-peak season. You can choose either between higher Avios points and less taxes or less Avios points and higher taxes.

New: The redemption option with โ‚ฌ1 of taxes and higher Avios points is automatically selected. From an economic point of view this redemption doesn’t make sense in most cases.

Let’s compare 4,000 Avios und โ‚ฌ21 taxes (example 1) vs. 7,500 Avios and โ‚ฌ1 of taxes (example 2). You can do a comparision in at least two ways:

  1. Value an Avios point at 1 Euro cent. In this case example 1 would “cost” you โ‚ฌ61 and example 2 would cost you โ‚ฌ76.
  2. How much value will your additionally used Avios points have? With example 2 we would use 3,500 Avios more and would “save” โ‚ฌ20 in taxes. This means our additionally used Avios points would have a value of 0.6 Euro cents per Avios point. If your Avios end up being worth more than 1 Euro cent, I would say it’s worth considering using them.
BA Executive Club Redeeming Flight Zone 1 Off Peak
One of the sweet spots of the BA Executive Club (redemptions for flights in Zone 1)

On the other hand, if you wanted to book this particular flight with cash you would definitely need to pay more. Especially if you were planning on traveling with a checked bag.

BX Executive Club Paid Flight
Redeeming your Avios is a better decision here since a flight would cost you at least โ‚ฌ94

Looking at these prices, your Avios would actually be worth 2.1 Euro cents per Avios point (if you redeem them as in example 1).

Changing & Cancellation Advantages

If you buy your flight with cash, the following terms will most probably apply:

  • Time/date changes permitted at any time before each flight departure for a change fee of โ‚ฌ80 or an upgrade fee of โ‚ฌ80 plus any difference in fare
  • There are no refunds except for any government & airport taxes. All sectors may be repriced for changes and/or refunds

However if you book with Avios you will definitely have an advantage as the following terms will apply (zone 1 – departing flights in Europe):

  • Time/date changes permitted up to 24 hours before your first flight, subject to availability, for a service fee (the service fee in this case is โ‚ฌ42.50)
  • You can cancel this booking at any time up to 24 hours before outbound departure and receive a full refund, minus a service fee (the service fee in this case is โ‚ฌ42.50)

Off-Peak & Peak Seasons

As mentioned earlier, peak season redemptions in zone 1 are a bit more expensive than in off-peak season (4,000 Avios vs. 4,500 Avios). The following dates show you British Airways’ peak seasons:

  • January 1 to 6
  • February 15 to 18 & 21 to 24
  • March
  • April 5 to 23
  • May 24 to 31
  • June 1 to 2
  • July 7 to 31
  • August 1 to 31
  • September 1 to 6
  • October 12 to 14 & 18 to 21 & 25 to 28
  • November 1 to 4
  • December 14 to 31

Prices between off-peak and peak season differentiate between 10-15%. Please note that Executive Club only differentiates between off-peak and peak season for British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus operated flights. All other partner airlines have their own peak season award chart (which is a bit less attractive). To give you a better overview, we have put together a table showcasing not only the different cabin classes, zones and respective Avios point pricing but also off-peak and peak season redemption rates:

One-way pricing (off-peak & peak season) with British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus

EconomyPremiumBusinessFirst
Zone 1
1 – 650 mi
4.000
4.500
5.750
6.750
7.750
9.000
15.500
18.000
Zone 2
651 – 1.150 mi
6.500
7.500
9.500
11.250
12.750
15.000
25.500
30.000
Zone 3
1.151 – 2.000 mi
8.500
10.000
12.750
15.000
17.000
20.000
34.000
40.000
Zone 4
2.001 – 3.000 mi
10.000
12.500
20.000
25.000
31.250
37.500
42.500
50.000
Zone 5
3.001 – 4.000 mi
13.000
20.000
26.000
40.000
50.000
60.000
68.000
80.000
Zone 6
4.001 – 5.500 mi
16.250
25.000
32.500
50.000
62.500
75.000
85.000
100.000
Zone 7
5.501 – 6.500 mi
19.500
30.000
39.000
60.000
75.000
90.000
102.000
120.000
Zone 8
6.501 – 7.000 mi
22.750
35.000
45.500
70.000
87.500
105.000
119.000
140.000
Zone 9
7.001+ mi
32.500
50.000
65.000
100.000
125.000
150.000
170.000
200.000

Cover Picture: ยฉ fotofan1 - pixabay.com

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