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I was looking at some flights earlier and thought I’d share a little tip on how to book BA Business Class for less – I mean less money and fewer Avios.
This afternoon I posted about the excellent BA Premium Economy (World Traveller Plus) fares between Sweden (and many other parts of Europe) and the USA. The real bargains are to the West Coast – Los Angeles, for example, would set you back about £545 Return (exchange rate at time of writing: 11 Swedish Krona = £1)
That’s a very good price for long-haul Premium Economy, but obviously Business Class would be even better if it isn’t too much more!
Use Avios to upgrade Premium Economy (World Traveller Plus) to Business Class (Club World)
One of the few remaining sweetspots on BA’s Avios award chart is upgrading from Premium Economy to Business Class, or from Business to First Class.
Additional taxes and fees should only be a few quid. Obviously there needs to be Avios availability for you to upgrade into.
Any Premium Economy fare class is eligible to upgrade with Avios, so you don’t need to worry about that.
If you followed the above example for flights during peak dates, you would be out of pocket by ~£550 for the Premium Economy tickets and 50,000 Avios for the upgrades (25,000 each way).
But you said 15,000 Avios – not 50,000!
I did – if you fly before 31st March you can collect triple Avios (register here), which can lead to some pretty hefty earnings on these flights. You only collect the amount of Avios you should get for the cabin you paid for, not the cabin you upgraded too, but that’s still a significant amount.
Sticking with Stockholm-Los Angeles Return, you would normally earn 11,774 Avios, so with triple Avios (Premium Economy earns 100% base Miles) that would be 35,322 Avios!
50,000 Avios spent minus 35,000 earned = 15,000 Avios net + £550 for the Premium Economy tickets
Yes, you have to factor getting to Sweden and back, but flights from London start at £30 Return and the savings here are substantial – let’s look at the alternatives (cheapest for same date):
- Paying for Premium Economy direct from London and using Avios to upgrade: £1198 + ~15,000 Avios net (50,000 – 35,000)
- Business Class from Sweden using cash: £1,605
- Business Class from London using cash: £6,390.77
- Business Class from London using Avios: 125,000 – 150,000 Avios + £571.77
In other words, you will be saving at least ~ £550 by starting in Sweden and booking in this way. Compared to a cash ticket from London you would essentially be trading 50,000 Avios and a bit of inconvenience for ~£5,890, or 75,000 -100,000 Avios compared to a standard Avios award ticket from London.
With a bit of flexibility and imagination it’s possible to book BA Business Class for less – sometimes a lot less!
Personally, I would be perfectly happy in Premium Economy for the outbound daytime flight, but would appreciate being able to get some sleep on the night flight back, meaning I’d pay £550 and actually earn 10,000 Avios in net terms (spend 25,000 for the oneway upgrade, earn 35,000 for buying Premium Economy tickets and flying during the triple Avios promotion).
Finding Avios award space to upgrade into might well be a challenge though! – but you would have the same problem booking a standard Avios award ticket from London too.