Maximizing the British Airways distance-based award chart

Editor’s word: We have up to date this text with new info.

There are many issues that aren’t splendid about British Airways and its Avios foreign money. From seats to meals and repair, its inflight product leaves quite a bit to be desired. Hefty, carrier-imposed surcharges additionally make it tough to seek out good worth with an award ticket that routes to (or via) London.

However one vital redeeming high quality is a distance-based award chart that permits you to fly for subsequent to nothing in among the world’s most costly markets. Realizing the best way to use it will probably go a good distance towards getting most worth to your Avios.

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In the present day we’ll look intently at how this works so you possibly can redeem British Airways Avios to your subsequent journey.

Incomes Avios

British Airways Avios are among the many best airline miles to earn. LUKAS WUNDERLICH/SHUTTERSTOCK

In fact, it is advisable to earn Avios to have the ability to use them.

Fortuitously, Avios are simple to earn because of British Airways’ partnership with a number of main transferable factors currencies. You’ll be able to switch factors from Chase Final Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One miles and Bilt Rewards to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio, or you possibly can switch from Marriott at a 3:1 ratio (plus a 5,000-Avios bonus for each 60,000 Marriott factors you switch).

These switch partnerships assist you to convert earnings from playing cards just like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, American Categorical® Gold Card and Capital One Enterprise X Rewards Credit score Card immediately into Avios.

You may also credit score income flights on American Airways and different Oneworld companions to this system. By doing so, you’ll earn miles primarily based on distance flown and never ticket price, which could allow you to come out forward on low-cost long-haul tickets. You may also switch Avios between British Airways, Iberia, Qatar and Aer Lingus accounts.

Lastly, British Airways provides a cobranded bank card within the U.S. The British Airways Visa Signature® Card at present provides as much as 100,000 Avios. You’ll be able to earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases throughout the first three months from account opening and earn a further 25,000 Avios after you spend $20,000 within the first 12 months of account opening.

Associated: These are the perfect methods to redeem 100,000 British Airways Avios

The fundamentals


As famous above, British Airways makes use of a distance-based formulation for calculating what number of Avios you’d must redeem on a given flight. To actually maximize worth on this chart sort, it is advisable to take a unique strategy than you’ll with the zone-based charts utilized by most airways.

British Airways Avios are sometimes most useful on quick, nonstop routes the place money fares are costly. You should use a useful resource like Nice Circle Mapper to calculate the space of every flight you want to take to find out the zone it will fall into.

British Airways’ candy spots are far completely different in comparison with different applications. As a substitute of discovering nations and even whole continents you will get to cheaply, distance-based candy spots are typically particular person metropolis pairs which are shut sufficient to keep away from bumping into the following pricing tier.

Associated: Candy Spot Sunday: US to Eire from 13,000 Avios every means

Award charts

With this in thoughts, let’s now dive into the particular award charts in this system. We’ll begin with the one used for flights on British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus, although large gas surcharges typically complicate these redemptions.

Zone (distance in miles) Economic system off-peak Economic system peak Premium financial system off-peak Premium financial system peak Premium financial system off-peak Premium financial system peak Premium financial system off-peak Premium financial system peak
Zone 1 (1 to 650) 4,750. 5,250. 8,500. 9,750.
Zone 2 (651 to 1,151) 7,250. 8,250. 13,000. 15,750.
Zone 3 (1,152 to 2,000) 10,000. 12,500. 17,750. 20,750.
Zone 4 (2,001 to three,000) 10,000. 12,500. 20,000. 25,000. 31,250. 37,500. 42,500. 50,000.
Zone 5 (3,001 to 4,000) 13,000. 20,000. 26,000. 40,000. 50,000. 60,000. 68,000. 80,000.
Zone 6 (4,001 to five,500) 16,250. 25,000. 32,500. 50,000. 62,500. 75,000. 85,000. 100,000.
Zone 7 (5,501 to six,500) 19,500. 30,000. 39,000. 60,000. 75,000. 90,000. 102,000. 120,000.
Zone 8 (6,501 to 7,000) 22,750. 35,000. 45,500. 70,000. 87,500. 105,000. 119,000. 140,000.
Zone 9 (7,001 and up) 32,500. 50,000. 65,000. 100,000. 125,000. 150,000. 170,000. 200,000.

Be aware that there are completely different costs for peak and off-peak dates. Usually talking, you’ll discover peak dates in the course of the summer season, college holidays and different fashionable holidays. Off-peak pricing often applies in the course of the fall and winter months.

Subsequent, take a look at the award chart for flights operated by a single accomplice airline. This was once the identical because the above chart (with solely peak pricing utilized), however in 2019, British Airways applied a new chart with barely increased charges. Charges fluctuate a bit by airline now, however right here’s what the only accomplice award chart typically appears like now:

Zone No. (distance in miles) Economic system Premium financial system Enterprise First
Zone 1** (1 to 650) 6,000. 9,000. 12,500. 24,000.
Zone 2 (651 to 1,151) 9,000. 12,500. 16,500. 33,000.
Zone 3 (1,152 to 2,000) 11,000. 16,500. 22,000. 44,000.
Zone 4 (2,001 to three,000) 13,000. 25,250. 38,750. 51,500.
Zone 5 (3,001 to 4,000) 20,750. 41,250. 62,000. 82,500.
Zone 6 (4,001 to five,500) 25,750. 51,500. 77,250. 103,000.
Zone 7 (5,501 to six,500) 31,000. 62,000. 92,750. 123,750.
Zone 8 (6,501 to 7,000) 36,250. 72,250. 108,250. 144,250.
Zone 9 (7,001 and up) 51,500. 103,000. 154,500. 206,000.

** For Zone 1 flights to, from or inside North America, financial system awards are 7,500 Avios every means, whereas home/short-haul firstclass is 15,000 Avios.

The excellent news is that the 2019 award devaluation was comparatively minor, and British Airways stays a aggressive possibility for reserving many of those short-haul flights.

Nevertheless, the variety of Avios required for awards on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airways elevated in late 2021. There was additionally a rise throughout the board for Qatar Airways.

For journey on Cathay Pacific, essentially the most unlucky devaluation got here in Zone 2 flights in enterprise class. Right here’s the place pricing modified:

  • Zone 1 now prices 7,500 Avios in financial system (up from 6,000) and 16,000 Avios in enterprise (up from 12,500).
  • Zone 2 now prices 10,000 Avios in financial system (up from 9,000) and 25,000 Avios in enterprise (up from 16,500).
  • Zone 3 now prices 11,000 Avios in financial system (unchanged) and 25,000 Avios in enterprise (up from 22,000).

There was an analogous change in Zone 2 enterprise class for journey on Japan Airways. Listed below are the general adjustments:

  • Zone 1 now prices 7,500 Avios in financial system (up from 6,000) and 12,500 Avios in enterprise (unchanged).
  • Zone 2 now prices 10,000 Avios in financial system (up from 9,000) and 24,000 Avios in enterprise (up from 16,500).
  • Zone 3 now prices 11,000 Avios in financial system (unchanged) and 24,000 Avios in enterprise (up from 22,000).

For journey on Qatar Airways, there have been additionally some adjustments. These adjustments hit zone 2 Qatar firstclass flights the toughest.

  • Zone 1 now prices 7,000 Avios in financial system (up from 6,000), 12,500 Avios in enterprise (unchanged) and 21,000 Avios in first (down from 24,000).
  • Zone 2 now prices 10,000 Avios in financial system (up from 9,000), 24,000 Avios in enterprise (up from 16,500) and 39,000 Avios in first (up from 33,000).

Associated: E-book this, not that: Oneworld award flights

For each of the above award charts, pricing applies to every flight in an itinerary. The gap isn’t cumulative throughout all the journey. British Airways costs each phase individually, so that you’ll wish to stick with nonstop routings at any time when doable.

For instance, let’s say you wished to fly from Fort Lauderdale to Philadelphia, a flight that covers 992 miles and would require 9,000 Avios per the chart above. Nevertheless, for those who might solely discover award availability on a connecting flight via Charlotte, you’d fly simply 89 extra miles however would pay over 65% extra to your journey.

Right here’s how the pricing works:

  • Fort Lauderdale to Charlotte: Covers 632 miles (7,500 Avios).
  • Charlotte to Philadelphia: Covers 449 miles (7,500 Avios).
  • Complete price: 15,000 Avios.

As such, the perfect worth tends to come back from nonstop flights. Now that you simply perceive how the British Airways award charts work, let’s dive into some methods to maximise them.

Associated: Which airways can I ebook with Avios?

Redeeming contained in the US

You should use Avios to ebook low-cost U.S. home flights. MARKUS MAINKA/SHUTTERSTOCK

As talked about above, British Airways costs flights in North America barely in another way than in the remainder of the world. Zone 1 flights — people who cowl 650 miles or much less — sometimes require 4,000 to 4,500 Avios for financial system on British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus or 6,000 Avios on most different companions.

Nevertheless, British Airways costs nonstop financial system Zone 1 flights inside North America at 7,500 Avios. Then, Zone 2 flights and better use the identical pricing as different accomplice airways. Regardless of this restriction, you possibly can nonetheless get stable worth if you will discover saver-level award area with American Airways.

Quick flights

With Zone 1 financial system flights within the U.S. pricing at 7,500 Avios and Zone 2 pricing at 9,000 Avios, you need to be capable to fly out of just about any American Airways hub to dozens of locations. You should use to estimate the space between two airports, however the precise calculations may fluctuate a bit.

This opens up some cool choices, together with New York to Miami or Chicago to Dallas for less than 9,000 Avios in financial system.

Home lie-flat enterprise class

In 2016, AA made a minor change to their fare courses that had virtually no impact on the AAdvantage program however was nice information for British Airways followers.

Particularly, the airline modified how its home first-class seats are coded, from F (firstclass) to J (enterprise class). Add in the truth that American routinely flies internationally configured, wide-body jets on home routes and a few fascinating choices begin to seem.

Use Avios to seize a business-class seat on American Airways’ 777-200 home flights. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

As an example, some every day frequencies between New York and Miami are sometimes operated by a 777-200. This aircraft options one in all American’s finest worldwide business-class product. You’ll be able to ebook that flight in enterprise class for less than 16,500 Avios (sure, you learn that accurately), and the bigger business-class cabin on the 777 offers you a greater likelihood of discovering award area.

Associated: 4 cabins, one flight: Placing American Airways’ Boeing 777-300 from New York to Miami to the take a look at

West coast to Hawaii

Simply because we’re speaking about flights throughout the U.S. doesn’t imply you possibly can’t have a tropical trip. Hawaii is simply shut sufficient to a number of West coast cities (lower than 3,000 miles) that you could ebook financial system awards for less than 13,000 Avios every means.

American Airways serves a number of Hawaiian locations from its Los Angeles and Phoenix hubs. Along with Los Angeles, Alaska additionally flies nonstop to a number of Hawaiian airports from San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

Redeeming exterior the US

You should use your Avios to ebook flights elsewhere on the earth too. JIMMOYHT/SHUTTERSTOCK

In fact, flights throughout the U.S. are simply a part of British Airways’ international attain. The provider’s worldwide companions span the globe, so among the finest British Airways redemptions are sure to come back from worldwide journey.

4,500-Avios awards

These low-priced awards are particularly helpful in expensive markets, similar to journey inside Europe or Asia. Usually, you wish to search for a Oneworld hub airport like Iberia’s dwelling in Madrid or Japan Airways’ hubs in Tokyo. From Madrid, you will get to Lisbon, Portugal; Casablanca, Morocco; Algiers, Algeria; or Good, France, for less than 4,500 Avios.

It’s price noting that we did discover some anomalies for flight distances which are very near coming into a brand new zone. For instance, a flight from Madrid to Paris Orly Airport is 639 miles. This must be included in Zone 1, that means it must be bookable for 4,500 Avios. Nevertheless, British Airways costs the award at 7,000 Avios.

Air Lingus candy spots

The British Airways award chart has peak and off-peak pricing, which additionally applies to flights on Iberia and Aer Lingus. In consequence, sure flights between the East coast and Dublin or Shannon, Eire, turn into extremely enticing, with transatlantic financial system awards beginning at simply 13,000 Avios. Right here’s a full record of the cities that may reap the benefits of this deal:

Origin Vacation spot Flight miles Commonplace price (financial system round-trip)
Boston Dublin. 2,993**. 26,000.
Hartford, Connecticut Dublin. 3,078. 26,000.
New York Shannon. 3,095. 26,000.
New York Dublin. 3,179. 26,000.
Newark Dublin. 3,193. 26,000.
Toronto Dublin. 3,279. 26,000.
Washington, D.C. Dublin. 3,404. 26,000.
Chicago Dublin. 3,674. 26,000.
Orlando Dublin. 4,072. 41,500.
Miami Dublin. 4,165. 41,500.
San Francisco Dublin. 5,098. 41,500.
Los Angeles Dublin. 5,181. 41,500.

** Regardless that Boston-Dublin covers 2,993 miles of flying, British Airways shifted it to Zone 5 in 2016.

Reserving a round-trip, nonstop flight from a number of U.S. cities to Eire beginning at 26,000 Avios is an exceptional deal. Simply word that you will need to name to redeem British Airways Avios on Aer Lingus-operated flights.

Associated: Flight overview: Aer Lingus enterprise class on the A321neo, Dublin to Philadelphia

Multi-city journeys

As highlighted above, British Airways costs individually for each phase on multi-city redemptions. Extra stops require extra Avios, even when your origin and closing vacation spot are the identical. Nevertheless, this pricing strategy successfully means that you can ebook a limiteless variety of stopovers or open jaws in your award tickets.

Let’s take this Asian journey for example:


Ranging from Tokyo, you catch a flight on Japan Airways to Taipei. Spend time exploring town earlier than getting on a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong. Once more, you possibly can get pleasure from an prolonged stopover and see town earlier than your subsequent Cathay Pacific flight to Bangkok. Final however not least, you discover a Malaysia Airways flight to Kuala Lumpur.

Right here’s a breakdown of the flight distances and a worth comparability for financial system redemptions between British Airways and American Airways.

Flight Distance in miles British Airways price American Airways price
Tokyo to Taipei 1,356. 11,000 Avios. 20,000 miles.
Taipei to Hong Kong 501. 7,500 Avios. 17,500 miles.
Hong Kong to Bangkok 1,049. 10,000 Avios. 17,500 miles.
Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur 754. 9,000 Avios. 17,500 miles.
TOTAL 3,661 miles traveled. 37,500 British Airways Avios. 72,500 AAdvantage miles.

As you possibly can see, reserving these flights via British Airways can prevent practically 40,000 miles versus reserving the an identical itinerary with AAdvantage miles. Nevertheless, for those who had been to fly immediately from Tokyo Narita to your closing vacation spot of Kuala Lumpur, that single phase, a couple of 3,300-mile flight (falling into Zone 5 of the British Airways chart), would price you simply 20,750 Avios in whole. In consequence, you’d pay over 17,000 Avios extra to make the three stops, although because you’re reserving every flight individually, you might additionally get pleasure from as lengthy of a stopover in every metropolis as you wished.

It’s doable to construct an analogous journey via different areas as long as you discover sufficient Oneworld hubs via which to journey. Simply be cautious of flying via airports like London’s Heathrow Airport, which might add over $400 in taxes to your journey.

Associated: The entire information to maximizing stopovers and open jaws on award tickets

Multicarrier awards exception

Earlier than wrapping up, it’s vital to notice that British Airways has one more award chart that solely applies to award tickets with two or extra Oneworld airways. Not like the usual award costs above, these multicarrier reward flights use cumulative distance to find out what number of Avios you want.

Whereas this sometimes provides a poor worth proposition, there are occasions when you need to use it — like for those who’re reserving a round-the-world ticket. Take a look at TPG’s full information to the British Airways multicarrier award chart for extra info.

Associated: Right here’s why you need to care about British Airways Avios

Backside line

When individuals consider British Airways’ loyalty program, many assume you’d wish to use Avios for transatlantic journeys out and in of the U.Okay. However that’s concerning the worst doable means to make use of your Avios.

Lengthy-haul flights price more and more extra beneath the distance-based Avios chart. Plus, British Airways tacks on giant surcharges to these transatlantic flights.

In actuality, the Govt Membership program is usually finest for accomplice awards. By using the above ideas, you possibly can really maximize your Avios and the British Airways chart with out spending numerous money alongside the best way.

Further reporting by Ehsan Haque.

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