British Airways 50% Off Redemption Sale Now Live

As expected, British Airways has launched a 50% off long haul economy redemption sale.

For 2 weeks the mileage cost of economy redemptions originating in London to 20 cities has been cut in half. Travel is permitted October 1 through February 28, excluding December 10 through January 10.

Here are the destinations:

A US resident could presumably book their outbound at full price (in a premium cabin even, or using a different mileage program) and a one-way return using this sale. Folks originating in the UK have it much better in terms of taking advantage of this sale.

But is this even a good deal?

Here’s what October travel London – New York roundtrips price like:

If you were actually saving that much, it would be!

But here’s a sample fare, highlighting what you save vs. what you still pay for the tickets, and flagging in particular the UK passenger duty, service charge, and fuel surcharge.

On this route you’re getting less than 2 cents per mile in redemption value even with the 50% off sale.

Economy redemptions are rarely a good value using British Airways Avios for travel on British Airways, or on most routes where fuel surcharges apply (and any where they’re significant).

You remain constrained by award availability, cannot upgrade, and still wind up paying a significant portion of the paid fare even though you’re spending miles.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. How can I book US flight using BA award chart (to use less points)? I would appreciate if you could explain it or provide a link where I could find this info. Also, how can I transfer points/miles (and to which program) to be able to book US flight with United, SPG, Chase Ink, and Chase freedom points/miles? Thank you in advance!

  2. It’s like a sale at Kohl’s well sorta. You know they raise the price then put it on sale. Actually what I’m thinking is that BA could offer all their flights in or out of London for free and just charge the YQ and it would still be fairly expensive. Just look at your example. Only about $350 of the nearly $1,000 ticket is for airfare. The rest is taxes and fees. This doesn’t even include baggage or other add on fee’s later. I love Avios and BA but they really gotta do something about the YQ and London needs to cut the tax there as well.

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