The British Airways’ Story
An airline with a storied history – British Airways is a full service international airline that has been in the skies in one form or another for over 100 years. One cool fact about British Airways is that the airline wasn’t originally called British Airways but Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited, a forerunner of the airline that pioneered civil aviation as we know it today. Although British Airways wasn’t formally created until 1974, the official British airways foundation date is August 25th, 1919.
Currently, British Airways is the second largest airline based in the U.K. EasyJet is the largest airline in the U.K. as of today. Customers who fly with British Airways can choose from over 180 destinations around the globe. Flying with British Airways is a pleasure with the airline’s top notch customer service, comfortable seats, and in-flight perks that many airlines have begun to offer less of these days. Most British Airways experiences I have heard have been relatively positive and do standout from the pack. Personally, I have flown international with British Airways and found my experience to be perfectly acceptable for an international flight in coach. Even though I chose to save money with my seat I did feel that the luxury experience was still there for coach customers.
Needless to say, the British Airways experience is definitely worth paying for if you are willing to spend a little extra cash. Luckily there are also ways to save money when flying with BA which is what we are going to cover next.
British Airways Club Members & Avios Points
Outside of time sensitive deals or specific discounts, a great way to save money when flying with British Airways is by joining the British Airways Executive Club. Don’t worry, it costs nothing to sign up for the Club. Akin to most other airlines, Executive Club members accrue and can spend British Airways points, called Avios, for discounts on flights, hotels, car rentals, and more. Now we are going to break down the BA Executive Club tier system, benefits, and answer any other miscellaneous questions related to the membership.
What Are Avios?
British Airways Avios points are available to Executive Club members whenever they make a purchase with British Airways or an affiliated partner. Customers can spend Avios points on flights and upgrades. Even if you only plan on flying with British Airways once, it is still worth it to sign up for the Executive Club regardless because you earn points with any flight. Avios points can also be earned with purchases on hotels, car rentals, and etc.
Do Avios Expire?
Point-type rewards systems can be tricky when it comes to expirations or redemptions. Per British Airways, Avios points do expire but only after 36 months of inactivity where zero points were earned or transferred. The obvious way to avoid this is to use those points to book another flight with British Airlines. Because at the end of the day BA does work with customers to reward loyalty.
British Airways Executive Club Tiers
British Airways offers customers four different tiers within the Executive Club: blue, bronze, silver, and gold. All Club members earn blue status upon signup and immediately see the BA Executive Club benefits built into each tier. The only way to move up to the next tier is through tier points which are earned in addition to Avios whenever you fly with British Airways.
Blue members have access to member-only newsletters and deals with British Airways. Another cool feature available to members is the ability to save a preference in terms of seating and cabin class. Members need a minimum of 500 points before they can move up to the bronze tier where the benefits really begin to show.
Bronze members receive an additional 25% more Avios points per flight in comparison to blue members. We all know how frustrating getting on the plane can be. BA has aimed to make the boarding and baggage process simpler for bronze members with priority boarding and business class check-in. Additionally, bronze members get priority status at the luggage check in desk.
Moving up to silver requires requires 600 tier points and a minimum of 4 flights with British Airways. Silver members get an extra 50% more Avios with their purchases, can access the BA lounge, have two economy-sized bags on board the flight, and get direct access to BA’s reservation assistance.
The highest tier on offer at British Airways is gold, which requires a minimum of 1500 tier points and at least 4 flights. Avios earnings are kicked into overdrive for gold members where they can earn an additional 100% more Avios with every purchase. It is important to remember that Avios can be used to get flights at a big discount, so 100% more points with each booking opens the door to a lot of cheap flights.
British Airways Specials
Let’s suppose that you don’t want to sign up for the Executive Club and avoid the hassle that can be associated with airline memberships. Is there any other way to save money and get to experience British Airways at the same time? Indeed there is.
You can easily find British Airways special deals on their website on the ‘offers’ page. There is A TON of stuff to look at on here when it comes to flights. Flights from London-Heathrow to Bologna or Milan can be as low as $31. That’s a steal! On this page you’ll also find British Airways vacation packages deeply discounted and great British Airways flight and hotel deals. Off the website one can find British Airways coupons on sites like RetailMeNot where customers can get 10% off site wide. Surprisingly, hotel deals are also plentiful on the BA website and I highly recommend you check those out. There are pretty good prices on more pricey hotel options.
Finding the Cheapest British Airways Flights
There is another page on the BA website that travellers should take advantage of — the cheapest flights page. In addition to daily offers British Airways cheap tickets from London-Heathrow can be found on here. Everything is neatly organized and easy to search. It honestly makes connecting in London worth it to save a little money. So, if you plan on hopping around Europe or are traveling anywhere for that matter and have to stop in London I highly recommend you take advantage of this page. The prices really are great — this is coming from someone who has flown out of London a few times and saved money this way. Keep an eye out for those BA cheap flights!
Last-Minute Vacation Deals
The last way to find deals is through BA’s last minute deals page. Here you can find last minute vacation packages at great prices and last minute flight and hotel deals. The destination options with these deals is limited however – so it can be a hit or miss. Regardless, you might stumble upon your perfect vacation at a killer price. Those BA last minute flight deals are worth taking a look at if you haven’t planned your destination already.
In this article we explored the best British Airways deals and showed you how to use the BA website to find the best flight deals — especially out of London-Heathrow where there are tons of cheap flights all over the world. Compared to its competitors I think British Airways has one of the best sites to find flight deals. Everything is intuitive and easy to navigate. The price comparisons between destinations is incredibly useful. If you’re planning a trip I highly recommend you book through British Airways and possibly find a great deal to boot. If you haven’t booked your dream trip yet don’t forget about those ‘best last minute flight deals’ page.