BA has made another move to curry favour from members of its Executive Club programme.
Hot on the heels of news that some members have been granted free renewal of their Executive Club cards, BA has announced that it has released an additional 10,000 reward seats in its Club World long-haul business class for Christmas 2017.
The additional 10,000 seats are available for travel over a 19 day period from Monday 18 December 2017 to Friday 5 January 2018. They are available to members of the British Airways Executive Club and the Avios programme.
This is not an entirely altruistic move. Business travel is very quiet during this period. On many routes such as New York and Los Angeles BA operates aircraft with in excess of 80 business class seats, many of which would otherwise be empty. Historically, BA has addressed this with last minute flash sales before Christmas. BA does also gain revenue from its own surcharges on reward bookings!
10,000 seats may also sound a lot, but it is equivalent to 526 seats a day and BA and American Airlines jointly operate around 1,000 seats a day between London Heathrow and New York alone.
This period is also a “peak” period for Avios redemptions through the BA Executive Club. This means that you pay a higher rate of Avios than an “off peak” period, eg before Thursday 14 December 2017 or after Thursday 4 January 2018. A Club World reward return flight from London Heathrow to New York JFK costs 100,000 Avios and £528.65 in surcharges during the off peak period. However, the same fight in a peak period costs 120,000 Avios and £528.65 in surcharges.
Also, note that for redemptions via the Avios programme there appear to be restrictions not mentioned on the BA Executive Club guidance. Notably that for the Avios programme, connections to London Heathrow are specifically excluded, as are flights to Central and Latin America.