British Airways is the United Kingdom’s largest airline carrier by fleet size. In terms of passengers, it’s the second-largest behind easyJet, flying more than 40 million people where they need to go each year.
British Airways offers flights to more than 190 destinations in 80 countries and it boasts a fleet of over 280 aircraft. The airline has two separate hubs:
- Gatwick Airport (LGW) in London, England
- Heathrow Airport (LHR) in London, England (Main location)
Additionally, British Airways is one of the founders of the Oneworld airline alliance. It includes Air Berlin, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, and TAM Airlines.
Latest British Airways flight deals
Like other major airlines, British Airways routinely offers special promotions and deals on flights. These offers are typically only available for a limited time and they may be subject to blackout dates or other restrictions so you’ll need to read the fine print carefully before you book. Below are listed some of the most recent promotions from British Airways, which are subject to change without notice.
Below are listed some of the most recent promotions from British Airways, which are subject to change without notice.
British Airways Deals
|Origination||Destination||Roundtrip airfare||Travel period||Booking deadline|
|Dallas, TX (DFW)||Venice, Italy (VCE)||$721||8/16 - 3/17||N/A|
|Los Angeles, CA (LAX)||London, GB (LHR)||$756||9/16 - 3/17||N/A|
|New York, NY (JFK)||Paris, France (CDG)||$636||9/16 - 3/17||N/A|
|New York, NY (JFK)||London, GB (LHR)||$645||9/16 - 3/17||N/A|
|Philadephia, PA (PHL)||Prague, Czech Republic (PRG)||$644||10/16 - 2/17||N/A|
|Seattle, WA (SEA)||Berlin, Germany (TXL)||$812||11/16 - 3/17||N/A|
British Airways Executive Club frequent flyer program
The British Airways Executive Club frequent flyer program is free to join for travelers aged 18 and up. You don’t have to be a resident of the U.K. to join but British Airways reserves the right to deny membership to applicants who reside in certain countries or regions.
Earning points: Avios vs. Tier points
Executive Club members can earn two different types of points—Avios and Tier points. You can earn Avios when you book flights to fly with British Airways or another Oneworld airline partner. As a bonus, you can earn points retroactively for any British Airways flights you took three months prior to enrollment.
You also have a chance to collect Avios when you stay at one of more than 8,000 partner hotels, shop with selected retailers or book a rental car. The exact amount of Avios you can earn depends on the purchase. You can collect as many Avios as you like and they don’t expire if you keep your account active. Note: You’ll need to earn, spend, buy or transfer at least one Avios point every 36 months to keep your account up-to-date.
Earning Tier points
Tier points are points that you collect to move through the different tiers of the frequent flyer program. Tier points are only earned when you fly British Airways, a Oneworld airline or another partner airline. The number of points you earn is based on your fare class and ticket type. Unlike Avios, Tier points can’t be bought or shared with another Executive Club member.
Tier points are awarded on a yearly basis and they’re reset to zero on your membership anniversary. So if you earn enough points to qualify for a higher status level, you’d stay in that tier for the next year until your points are recalculated.
If you need more Avios to book award travel or you want to gift points to someone else, British Airways allows you to buy them online in multiples of 1,000. Any Avios you purchase are non-refundable and you can buy 35,000 points for yourself and 35,000 points for someone else in a single calendar year. There is a base fee for buying Avios and the cost of the Avios points varies based on how much you purchase.
If you’re buying points for yourself, it can take up to five working days for them to show up in your account so you’ll need to watch the timing if you’re planning to use them for a trip right away. You’re also responsible for any taxes, fees or carrier charges when you purchase Avios.
Executive Club members also have the option of transferring their points to someone else in lieu of buying them. You can transfer up to 27,000 Avios each to six members every calendar year. A non-refundable transfer fee applies to each transaction but you can get the fee waived if you’ve achieved Gold Executive Club status.
Redeeming points for flights
If you’re ready to spend your Avios on travel, you’ve got a lot of flexibility in how you can use them. It’s possible to fly to any destination, in any class, as long as there’s availability and points can be used towards flights with British Airways or Oneworld partner airlines.
If you don’t have enough Avios to cover a rewards flight, you can make up the difference with cash. The number of points you’ll need depends on where you’re flying to and when, as well as which airline you’re flying on. Your points value may be calculated differently if you’re flying with a Oneworld partner instead of British Airways. Tip: Try to book Rewards Flight Saver flights as often as possible. These are British Airways’ best value flights and they come with all taxes, fees and carrier charges included.
Other ways to use points
Besides using Avios for free flights, you’ve got some other ways to put those points to work. You can upgrade an existing flight, pay for your next hotel stay with points, rent a car or apply them towards a once-in-a-lifetime experience like travel tours or hot air balloon rides. Again, the number of points you’ll need will vary based on what you’re using them for.
British Airways Executive Club membership tiers
The British Airways Executive Club has four membership levels:
British Airways Executive Club tiers
|Tier||Tier points required||Noteworthy benefits|
|Blue||0||Collect both Avios and Tier points and you get access to exclusive members-only offers.|
|Bronze||300||You’ll get a 25% bonus on the Avios you collect, plus extras like priority boarding, priority check-in, and free seat selection 7 days prior to your flight.|
|Silver||600||You’ll still get priority boarding, priority check-in and free seat selection, plus a 50% bonus on Avios points, access to business lounges, and an additional baggage allowance.|
|Gold||1,500||Get a 100% Avios bonus, first-class check-in and boarding, access to First Class lounges, the added baggage allowance, and additional flight reward availability.|
Reward flights booked using Avios points don’t count towards your Tier point total.
British Airways Visa Signature Card
In the U.S., the only co-branded British Airways Visa Signature Card is issued by Chase.
The British Airways Visa Signature Card from Chase gives you more ways to earn Avios when you fly British Airways or use your card for everyday purchases. This card gives you three Avios points per dollar when on British Airways purchases and one point per dollar everywhere else. That’s on top of the Avios and Tier points you can earn through the Executive Club program.
Another nice feature is the ability to earn a Travel Together Ticket so you can bring a friend along on your next trip. You have to spend at least $30,000 per the calendar year with your card to get the extra ticket but it’s good for two years so you have plenty of time to arrange your trip.
This card has no foreign transaction fee, which is great if you fly outside the U.S. on a regular basis. There is an annual fee but if you’re a heavy spender, the points you earn towards free travel could cancel it out and then some. The British Airways Visa Signature Card often comes with a large sign-up bonus that could be worth hundreds of dollars in free flights.
British Airways baggage fees
All British Airways flights include a free hand baggage allowance, with a max weight per bag of 51 lbs. (23 kg). In terms of the dimensions, the size limit is based on the type of bag and your destination.
For flights to and from Brazil, the dimensions are as follows:
- Handbag/laptop bag: Up to 18 in. x 14 in. x 8 in. (45 cm x 36 cm x 20 cm)
- Additional cabin bag: Up to 22 in. x 18 in. x 10 in. (56 cm x 45 cm x 25 cm)
For all other flights:
- Handbag/laptop bag: Up to 16 in. x 12 in. x 6 in. (40 cm x 30 cm x 15 cm)
- Additional cabin bag: Up to 22 in. x 18 in. x 10 in. (56 cm x 45 cm x 25 cm)
Checked bags can be up to 35.5in x 29.5in x 16in (90cm x 75cm x 43cm) in size and they’re also subject to the 51 lb. weight limit. Passengers can take up to 10 checked bags per person, excluding children under 2.
You’ll pay a fee for extra bags and the is determined by you’re flying to and your ticket type. There’s also an extra charge that applies to oversize bags that exceed the weight limit. You can read more about British Airways’ baggage fees on their website.
Avoiding British Airways baggage fees
The easiest way to avoid baggage fees is to travel lightly and limit your luggage to one handbag or laptop bag and a carry-on. If you have to take checked bags, there are a few ways to get around the fees.
- Achieve Silver or Gold Executive Club status. At the Silver level, you’ll get a minimum of two checked bags free for everyone in your party, regardless of travel class. Gold members get an additional checked bag free.
- Book a premium fare. If you’re flying on a premium economy ticket, your checked bag allowance is set at two bags per ticket.
- Travel first or business class. Business class travelers are allowed a checked bag allowance of two pieces of luggage, with a maximum weight of 70 lbs. each. First-class ticket holders can extend that limit to three checked bags.
Baggage fees compared to other major airlines
Typically, you can expect to pay between $25 and $35 for checked bags at other major airlines. The baggage allowance that British Airways offers is generous by comparison.
American Airlines baggage fees
|Airline||First checked bag||Second checked bag|
British Airways airport lounge access
British Airways has over 60 dedicated departure lounges along with 90 partner lounges worldwide. Travelers can use the lounge if they’re:
- Flying British Airways in First Class, Club World Business Class or Club Europe Business Class
- A Silver of Gold Executive Club member flying on British Airways or a Oneworld partner
- An Emerald or Sapphire member of any Oneworld airline frequent flyer program traveling on a flight operated by British Airways or a Oneworld partner
Unlike many other major airlines, British Airways doesn't directly sell single-visit passes or memberships to its airport lounges. Tip: The Oneworld frequent flyer program offers access to more than 650 partner lounges worldwide, which is a great reason to enroll. In terms of the perks that go along with British Airways lounge access, they vary depending on which lounge you’re visiting. Some of the things travelers can expect include:
- Champagne and/or wine bar
- Light meals and/or snacks
- Work and entertainment zone
- Elemis spa treatments
- Private cabanas
- Shower facilities
Lounge access fees compared
British Airways doesn’t sell lounge access, which sets it apart from other airlines. The following chart illustrates the cost of airport lounge access charged by major U.S. airlines.
American Airlines lounge access fees
|Airline lounge||Single visit pass||Annual individual memberships|
|American Admirals Club||$50||$450 to $550 (renewals are $50 cheaper)|
|United Club||$59||$450 to $550|
|Delta Sky Club||$59||$450 to $695|
|Southwest (no lounges)||N/A||N/A|
|JetBlue (no lounges)||N/A||N/A|
Tips for flying British Airways and using the British Airways credit card
Here are some helpful pointers for getting the most value possible when flying British Airways or using your British Airways Visa Signature Card:
- Know your redemption minimums. If you’re flying British Airways, you can book rewards travel with as little as 12,500 Avios. If you’re booking on a Oneworld partner, you’ll need at least 30,000 Avios to book a flight that’s 1,500 miles or closer in distance.
- Aim to charge at least $2,500 a month to your card. In order to get the free Travel Together Ticket, you’ll need to hit the $30,000 mark in spending for the year. Plan to charge at least $2,500 a month if you want to earn the free companion ticket.
- Take advantage of Oneworld frequent flyer program benefits. Enrolling in both the Executive Club gives you access to the Oneworld frequent flyer program, which comes with a slew of benefits like priority boarding, expanding lounge access, priority check-in, priority standby and access to preferred seating.