Finding Cheap British Airways Award Flights — OneWorld Flights Under 10k Points

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Cheap British Airways Award Flights

Finding Cheap British Airways Award Flights — OneWorld Flights Under 10k Points

Finding cheap British Airways award flights is possible if you understand the rules and the award charts. This article will look at the rules, the points required, finding the flights, and also how to earn British Airways Avios. This will also open their numerous partners in the OneWorld alliance.

Related: The 5 Best Redemptions For British Airways Avios 

How to Accrue British Airways Avios

Before we discuss how to redeem British Airways Avios for award flights under 10,000 miles, we should discuss how to earn these Avios. There are several options, because British Airways has its own credit card and is a transfer partner for Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards.

Here are several cards that will earn you either Avios directly or points that are transferable to Avios:

British Airways Award Rules

British Airways’ Executive Club uses a distance-based chart for its award bookings. Look at the distance, then check the class of service, and then check whether this is a peak or off-peak time. The general rule is that “peak” is for popular vacation times: holidays, Spring Break, summer holidays, etc.

Chart 1 – British, Iberia & Aer Lingus

Flights operated by British Airways, Iberia & Aer Lingus have their own chart. Here are all of the categories that are under 10,000 points.

Zone #

(distance in miles)

Economy

Premium Economy

Business

Off-Peak Peak Off-Peak Peak Off-Peak Peak
Zone 1

(1-650)

4,000 4,500 5,750 6,750 7,750 9,000
Zone 2

(651-1,151)

6,500 7,500 9,500
Zone 3

(1,152-2,000)

8,500 10,000
Zone 4

(2,001-3,000)

10,000

 

Chart 2 – All Other Parnters

Partner flights operated by a single carrier but not the 3 mentioned above will use chart 2. Here are the options needing less than 10,000 miles.

Zone #

(distance in miles)

Economy Premium Economy
Zone 1

(1-650)

6,000 9,000
Zone 1 but in the USA

(1-650)

7,500
Zone 2

(651-1,151)

9,000

 

Per Segment Pricing

It’s important to remember that British Airways’ Executive Club charges miles per flight. If you fly from City A to City B, the chart is easy. If you fly from A to B then to C, you have to count the miles for both parts separately, count the points for each, then add them together. This gets even more complicated if your flights aren’t on the same airline, losing value quickly, so stick to just 1 airline when possible. Let’s check some examples.

Example 1: Direct flight to Barcelona

You want to visit Spain using your Avios and want to find cheap British Airways award flights. You could fly to Barcelona, Spain (BCN) from London Heathrow airport (LHR) using your Avios. That’s 713 miles, so you need 6,500 miles for economy in the off-peak times.

Cheap British Airways award flights to Barcelona

Example 2: Connecting flights to Santander

What if you wanted to visit Santander on Spain’s north coast? In terms of straight line distance, it’s a little closer to London than Barcelona. However, there aren’t direct flights from London. You’ll have to add the miles separately from the flight to Madrid and then the flight from Madrid to Santander. The miles required jumped from 6,500 to 11,000 — a jump of 40%.

Connecting flights with British Airways need more miles

Examples of Cheap British Airways Award Flights

Now that we’ve got Avios and understand the award charts, where can we go? Two obvious answers that jump out are city hopping through numerous combinations in Europe or Southeast Asia. Here are some examples of flights we can take. They’ll start from least points to most.

4,000 Avios

In theory, these exist. Can I really find them? Yep.

Bahamas to Grand Cayman Cheap British Airways Award Flights

Several routes in the Caribbean offer one-way award flights for 4,000 Avios between islands, using British Airways Fifth Freedom flights.

  • Antigua to Saint Kitts
  • Antigua to Tobago
  • Nassau, Bahamas to Grand Cayman (pictured above)
  • Saint Lucia to Grenada
  • Saint Lucia to Port of Spain, Trinidad

6,000 Avios

  • Madrid, Spain to Casablanca, Morocco on Iberia
  • Amman, Jordan to Cairo, Egypt on Royal Jordanian
  • Hong Kong to Taipei, Taiwan on Cathay Pacific
  • Seoul, South Korea to Vladivostok, Russia on S7
Cheap British Airways Award flights South Korea to Siberia
For 6,000 Avios, fly from Seoul, South Korea to Vladivostok, Russia and then take the Trans-Siberian Railway to Moscow!

7,500 Avios

Domestic short-haul flights within or to/from the US have a base price of 7,500 Avios. It’s still possible to find cheap British Airways award flights on decent routes here. Along with flights within the U.S. that are short distances, there are these interesting options:

  • Miami to Cancun, Mexico
  • Miami to San Jose, Costa Rica
  • New York City to Toronto, Ottawa, or Montreal, Canada

Cheap British Airways award flights to Cancun with AA

9,000 Avios

  • Bangkok, Thailand to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Malaysia Airlines
  • Amman, Jordan to Doha, Qatar on Royal Jordanian or Qatar Airways
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Montevideo, Uruguay on LATAM
  • All of the Caribbean flights listed above but in business class lie-flat seats!

10,000 Avios

Here’s a hidden gem: Johannesburg, South Africa to Mauritius for 10,000 Avios + $65 in taxes. I took this flight and then soaked up the sun in Mauritius back in July 2018.

Johannesburg South Africa to Mauritius for 10k Avios
Fly Johannesburg, South Africa to Mauritius for just 10,000 Avios.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article got the wheels spinning and helps people understand how to maximize the British Airways Executive Club for best uses of Avios. It’s possible to find cheap British Airways award flights that are a good value. While I wouldn’t use them for long-distance flights, there are some hidden gems on shorter flights. With these examples, you should be able to find some others and possibly explore places you hadn’t thought of, like island hopping in the Caribbean or visiting Mauritius for some amazing beaches and fantastic wildlife. If you’ve made a great redemption for less than 10,000 Avios, let me know!

7 COMMENTS

  1. Osaka to Shanghai on JAL. 9000 miles and $65 (This same one way ticket is priced at more than $1000 the days I checked)

    • Wow, that’s crazy! I just checked and saw the same. Oddly enough, though, China Eastern and China Southern (sky team) also offer a non-stop on the same dates for $100-125 cash fare. Crazy difference.

        • The day I checked (Aug 20) China Eastern is $412 and China Southern $300. There are other options (Peach $109) but with a bad schedule. Air China $329, Shanghai Airlines $379,etc. I guess Ill fly JAL.

          • I picked a random date in May on Kayak and used the flexible dates search, but I saw that Peach flight also. Never heard of them before.
            If we’re flying economy, I’m not sure how different the airlines would be for a short/direct flight. If you’ve got points to burn, go for it. If you want to save them and buy on either of the Chinese flights for a decent cash fare, it’s not a bad option. Regardless, it’s good to know this is available while you sort out other options!

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