Yesterday I wrote that British Airways, Iberia, and Avios would be launching a 25% off award sale valid on long haul routes.

Details of the sale are now online.

As I expected, the terms and conditions specify “Flights depart London” and that led me to believe the 25% discount would be available only on London-originating itineraries.

One Mile at a Time beat me to the punch with the word that 25% will actually come off of all long haul award flights to and from London.

The sale is on for six days only and permits travel through the end of May in any class of service. This is a discount on the mileage cost of the award only and not on taxes and fuel surcharges (which, route-depending, can be substantial). Partner flights aren’t eligible, it’s valid on British Airways and Iberia only. But if you have a companion award ticket (from spending $30,000 on the Chase British Airways Visa) you can combine the mileage discount with the companion award.

Which means that a US-originating one-way or roundtrip gets the discount.

And, say, Los Angeles – London – Johannesburg gets the discount on the entire journey.

The only thing that isn’t discounted, it seems, would be short-haul segments. You can include those in your award, but since Avios prices each segment separately (except that UK domestic connections are a throw-in on international award itineraries) the discount applies only to the long haul segments.

You can, of course, top off an Avios account with Chase or American Express points, both of which tend to transfer instantly (some programs like Starwood Preferred Guest take longer to transfer and you may not have points in your account in time to take advantage of this offer).

Before you transfer keep in mind that the Avios award chart — especially for premium cabin and long-haul routes — may be more than 25% above the mileage cost of competing programs under normal circumstances. I wouldn’t, say, transfer points to do more than top off a modest number of points for a given award. But for folks with Avios points already this is quite a good deal. And for folks with Avios bookings it may make sense to check whether there’s still additional award space on those same flights, because cancelling and rebooking for the points savings could make sense (but again — only if there is already still award space, cancelling an existing award does not guarantee that the seats go back into award inventory).

  1. Nun said,

    A lot of people would rather get 25% off the YQ instead.

  2. Riposte said,

    What distinguishes a long haul flight from a short haul one?

  3. guest said,

    I just priced out a ticket with avios from USA/LHR/Asia and still showing the same amount of avios needed. Something I’m missing?

  4. KP said,

    You have to travel before a certain date

  5. Raffles said,

    Deadline of May 31?

    riposte – long haul is, well, long haul. Fundamentally anything not from Europe to/from UK.

    Iberia Plus members can book short haul on IB metal, they have different rules.

  6. Beachfan said,

    Whats the cancellation fees on an award?

  7. Matthew said,

    $40 if you cancel online. $65 if you cancel by phone (per ticket).

  8. Steven S said,

    Won’t accept my “postal code” nor my phone numbers. Seems I have to sign up for an acct with Avios.com even tho I have a big acct with BA. Any ideas????

  9. David said,

    Thanks Gary. Just snagged 2 First tickets ATL-LHR for 112,500 (total because of Chase voucher) plus a zillion in fees, but still a great deal. I am slightly annoyed that BA did not include notice of this sale in any of the junk emails they sent methis week.

  10. Roger Stacey said,

    I just tried repeatedly to do a US-LON-BUDAPEST itinerary with this promotion and also could not get the discounted Avios miles. Then I saw in the fine print at the bottom of the email that Budapest is not included in the eligible cities.

  11. Now I Know Why Everyone Blogs About Bluebird and Vanilla Reloads | Travel Summary said,

    [...] Mile at a Time is the first to post on the 25% off British Airways Avios sale, do The Points Guy, View from the Wing, Ghetto IFE, New Girl in the Air, Live from a Lounge, and Travelsort, among others, also need to [...]

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