Late last year British Airways ran a 50% discount offer for Avios redemptions in its Economy and Premium Economy cabins, which meant some very cheap award tickets from Singapore on its Sydney and London flights. At the same time, a 10% haircut on the number of points needed to redeem in Business of First Class was a welcome discount on those premium cabins.
Good news is that the sale is not only running again, this time First and Business Class are also included in the generous 50% discount category, leading to some incredibly cheap redemption rates if you’re willing to book speculatively for travel until 30th June 2021.
If you’re sitting on a healthy stash of British Airways Avios points, or indeed Citi Miles / ThankYou Points, you should be very interested in this promotion for long-haul British Airways flights.
As part of the airline’s Avios redemption sale, simply book any long-haul flight (2,000 miles+) on the airline’s network and you’ll pay:
- 50% fewer Avios in Economy Class
- 50% fewer Avios in Premium Economy Class
- 50% fewer Avios in Business Class
- 50% fewer Avios in First Class
Discounts are valid on both one-way and roundtrip redemptions. Travel is between now and 30th June 2021 and must be on British Airways operated services (unfortunately oneworld redemption rates using Avios remain at usual rates). You must book by 13th October 2020, 23:59 UK Time.
That’s 6.59am on 14th October 2020 in Singapore.
Unlike some similar promotions, like Singapore Airlines Spontaneous Escapes, these award tickets are changeable and refundable, subject to payment of the airline’s usual service fees.
Cancelling your redemption and redepositing your Avios costs only S$69 in fees with BA.Pro Tip: Make sure you cancel any Avios redemption you will not be using at least 24 hours before departure time, otherwise you will forfeit the Avios used.
Obviously it’s the First Class and Business Class (which BA calls ‘Club World’) discounts which are the standout deals here, driving redemption rates in these premium cabins down to Economy levels on many routes.
Peak vs. off-peak
First thing to note when redeeming Avios points is that British Airways effectively has two award charts for redemptions on its own services. Peak is a pre-defined series of dates during the year where demand for seats is higher, while off-peak is all other dates.
The UK school holidays are the driving factor, which don’t always have such a corresponding impact in Asia.
Thankfully, two-thirds of the year is off peak. You’ll pay more Avios to redeem a flight on a peak date than you will on an off-peak date. There’s a breakdown of which dates are peak and which are off-peak here:
Rates to and from Singapore
Here’s an example of the old and new redemption rates on BA’s flights from Singapore, based on a one-way trip. In ‘normal times’ these are operated twice each day to London (A380 and 777-300ER) and once per day to Sydney (777-300ER).
Note that BA’s Singapore – Sydney flights are currently suspended until at least 16th December 2020.
Singapore – London flights are currently operating four times per week, with daily service restarting on 1st November 2020 and twice daily operation provisionally returning from 17th December 2020. These dates are subject to change.
|SIN ⇄ LHR||SIN ⇄ SYD|
|Peak||Off Peak||Peak||Off Peak|
Some fantastic deals here, including just 25,000 miles on an off-peak day in Business Class to Sydney (KrisFlyer charges 3,000 more miles for a saver Economy redemption on that route).
The 34,000 miles off-peak rate from Singapore to Sydney in First Class is also incredible (Singapore Airlines charges 47,000 miles for a saver award in Premium Economy)!
Though most oneworld lounges at Changi are currently closed, hopefully once travel picks up next year we will see these facilities start to open their doors again, giving you some excellent pre flight ground experiences including the latest Qatar Airways and Qantas options at Changi’s Terminal 1.
We’ve got comprehensive reviews of all the T1 oneworld lounges at Changi, outlining how they are mostly superior to the current dated Singapore Airlines options, the latter being in the process of a long-overdue complete revamp.
- Review: BA Singapore Lounge
- Review: Qantas Singapore Business Lounge
- Review: Qantas Singapore First Lounge
- Review: Qatar Singapore Premium Lounge
The latest of these, the superb Qatar Airways lounge, boasts a Martini Bar and à la carte dining, more closely resembling a First Class facility and even beating SIA’s ‘The Private Room’ in our opinion.
Even if the Qantas Singapore First Lounge is not open again by the time you travel, assuming the BA lounge itself is open there’s also a separate section called ‘The Bar Singapore’ exclusively for the airline’s First Class passengers.
Check out our review of BA’s First Class seat, as fitted on the Boeing 747-400 but also common to the airline’s Boeing 777s running to Sydney and London.
Remember this offer is valid for any long-haul British Airways route, including flights being operated using the airline’s new Club Suite Business Class seat, such as selected flights from London to Toronto, New York and Dubai.
In case there are no seats to or from Singapore, you can also potentially find additional availability on BA’s other Asia-Pacific routes including Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Hong Kong to London.
Since the airline’s London – Bangkok and London – Hong Kong routes are in a shorter redemption zone than Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, you’ll be paying even less to and from those cities.
For example, Hong Kong to London in Economy Class is an incredible 9,750 Avios on an off-peak date and 51,000 Avios in First Class.
Another point to bear in mind is that this discount applies to one-way trips as well as round-trip redemptions, so if availability is an issue you can mix cabin classes (e.g. SIN-LHR in Business Class then LHR-SIN in First Class).
You can part-pay with Avios
If you have a small Avios balance, there’s still the option to part-pay for your journey with a mixture of cash and points under this offer.
Here’s an example from Singapore to Sydney in Business Class on an off-peak date.
It’s actually not a terrible deal in normal times, depending on the price of your alternative options, however with such a big discount already built in under this offer it seems to represent a very high cost per mile in this example, even if you’re a little short of points.
Searching BA award availability
By far the easiest way to search award availability on British Airways flights is using Reward Flight Finder, a free service showing you a year of availability on your chosen route.
Edit: Reward Flight Finder does not seem to be showing the Singapore ⇄ Sydney award space for some reason (it’s working for the London route though). There is plenty of space to and from Sydney but you’ll have to search through ba.com when logged on to your Executive Club account as usual.
BA’s own site allows calendar month searching for wider periods.
Here’s how it shows First Class availability for one seat from Singapore to London (and back) as an example, for the first three months of 2021:
Taxes and fees are high
You’ll still have to pay taxes and fees associated with these award tickets as normal (no discount here), and British Airways applies quite a hefty fuel surcharge on long-haul flights.
An award from Singapore to Sydney alone will set you back S$216.71 in taxes and fees (S$147.10 of that is BA’s fuel surcharge).
Departures from London will also be hit with Air Passenger Duty (APD), the highest aviation tax in the world, so this deal works best flying into the UK, or between Singapore and Sydney.
BA’s cabin service is currently limited
Due to the COVID-19 situation, it’s worth noting that on-board service on British Airways flights has been scaled back somewhat in all cabins.
Even in First Class, meals are currently served in a cardboard box, which is hardly the luxury experience you might have expected!
Nonetheless for a booking as far as possible into 2021 under this offer, hopefully the situation will have returned to a more normal arrangement by the time you come to fly.
The deal is now live and is valid for bookings made until 13th October 2020, however if you see an award you want we would suggest locking it in as soon as possible since the promotion is likely to be popular.
Remember the discount applies to any British Airways flight of 2,000 miles or more, and the offer is valid for travel from now until 30th June 2021.
International travel is all but impossible for Singapore residents at the moment, however this is an excellent deal and you should seriously consider locking in a speculative award in our opinion.
We have already done so for a First Class redemption to Sydney in June 2021, for an unbeatable 68,000 Avios for both of us.
BA also has very reasonable change and cancellation / redeposit fees, so even if travel ends up being impossible it’s still worth the risk in our opinion. We’re just hoping that borders are open and the Qantas First lounge in Singapore is welcoming guests again by then!
London is arguably an even better deal, with off-peak Business and First Class redemptions at 43,750 Avios and 57,500 Avios respectively – less than taking Singapore Airlines to London in Premium Economy!
Finally, flying oneworld out of Changi provides a far superior on-ground experience in our opinion, not currently matched by Singapore Airlines, but of course subject to many lounge facilities reopening next year.
Remember you can transfer Citi Miles, Citi ThankYou Points and American Express Membership Rewards into British Airways Avios, all of which usually take just 24 hours to credit.
(Cover Photo: British Airways)