Following a short trial in April, British Airways has expanded its “£1 taxes” Avios redemptions to all UK and European routes.
How does it work?
Typically when booking a short haul Avios redemption, the traveller would pay a fixed price for taxes and fees of £35 for Euro Traveller or £50 for Club Europe. Now however, the traveller can opt to part pay this fee with Avios potentially reducing the taxes to just £1 in both classes.
How do the prices compare?
Normally an off-peak return flight between London Heathrow and Nice would be priced at 8,000 Avios with £35 in taxes and fees.
The new “headline” prices for this route is 15,000 Avios with £1 in taxes and fees. Continuing the booking through to the payment page gives you a list of options, with the original 8,000 Avios having reduced fees of £31.
At first glance it isn’t obvious which option provides you with the best value for your points but typically the less points you use, the more valuable your points become.
The same is true for Club Europe, a return to Nice would typically cost 15,500 Avios and £50 in taxes and fees but now offers a headline price of 25,500 Avios with £1 in taxes and fees.
As with Economy, selecting the £1 taxes and fees options represents the lowest value for your Avios points.
Which option should you choose?
Well this is entirely dependant on what you are trying to achieve. If you are trying to spend as little actual money as possible then the £1 in taxes and fees is obviously your best choice. This also has an added advantage if you were to cancel your reward flight. In the event of a redemption cancellation BA refunds the full amount of Avios paid with the cancellation fee being the lower of £35 per ticket or the taxes paid. If you only paid £1 in taxes, your cancellation fee is also only £1.
If however, you are unlikely to cancel your tickets, and have earnt your Avios points from credit card spending or Clubcard conversions etc. then you are best trying to maximise the value of your Avios as you would otherwise be better collecting cashback!