This is one to file under “Not sure how long this has been running, but only just noticed it”.
British Airways’ “Reward Flight Savers” have long been a popular means for members of the Executive Club to redeem Avios on short-haul flights.
Prior to their introduction, redeeming Avios on short-haul flights was considered practically worthless. This was because the taxes and fees were so high, you might as well just purchase a cash ticket with the benefit of earning Avios instead of spending it.
Under a Reward Flight Saver a passenger redeeming Avios on a short-haul flights simply pays a flat cash fee from £1 upwards with any taxes, fees and surcharges borne by BA.
It instantly transformed a short-haul redemption flight from one of the worst to one of the best uses of Avios.
Long-haul economy redemptions have been considered similarly poor value because again, taxes fees and surcharges represent an increasingly high proportion of the overall ticket price.
As you can see from the screen shot below, an off-peak economy long-haul redemption from London Heathrow to Boston costs a minimum of £226.35 in taxes and surcharges and 26,000 in Avios. A cash ticket for the same flights with checked luggage would cost around £385 and earn Avios.
Reward Flight Savers To New York JFK
BA has now extended the Reward Flight Saver concept to long-haul economy flights.
At present, it only applies to BA operated flights to New York JFK. It is also only available to UK based members of the Executive Club.
As you can see from the screenshot below, BA redemption flights to New York JFK are now marked with the Reward Flight Saver option.
Passengers now have the option of paying a relatively low flat cash fee of £100, albeit for a much higher number of Avios. In the case of an off-peak redemption to New York JFK, the amount of Avios is 50,000.
To compare the two redemption options between Boston and New York, to save £126.35 in cash costs an additional 24,000 Avios.
Members of the Executive Club who are both “Avios rich” and adopt a scientific approach to redemptions will probably not consider this the best use of Avios.
For those who simply want to be able to use the Avios they have and minimise any cash expenditure, it is a welcome option.
If this trial to New York JFK is considered successful it will likely be extended to other routes in North America in due course.
Full details of how Reward Flight Savers work are on this page of ba.com