I’ll avoid British Airways award redemptions when there’s another choice available because they’re simply more expensive than they’re worth. In nearly all cases they entail not just spending points but also paying fuel surcharges.
If you do book awards on BA book two one ways, the fuel surcharges from Europe to the US will be lower that way. But you’re still paying around $650 roundtrip on top of taxes which out of Heathrow are high too.
British Airways first class isn’t in the same league as Lufthansa or Air France first class products. I’ll even choose American Airlines first class over BA until the latter carrier offers internet throughout their long haul fleet.
However their first class is better than their business class, so given the option if I’m going to fly BA I’d certain prefer to be up front. And with a very large pool of miles from which to draw I’ll burn the extra points to do it.
Perhaps because of how much BA awards cost they’re also usually pretty available. And they have released space pretty reliably when the flight schedule opens.
For instance, looking for just a single business class award from Washington Dulles to London Heathrow I see:
However switch to first class awards and they’ve disappeared.
They disappear from my home Austin, too.
In fact British Airways first class awards seem to have disappeared from North America to London and back in 2019, period. (HT: Head for Points)
First class awards still appear to be available between London and the Caribbean and also the Mideast but gone from other routes.
It’s not clear why this is the case, and what sort of changes this presages if any at all.