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Best Options for Booking British Airways’ Excellent New Business Class Suites

March 18, 2019
6 min read
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British Airways just unveiled its brand new Club World product, which is expected to debut on its first Airbus A350-1000 in July 2019. For the first time in years, award travelers will actually want to seek out British Airways business class.

If you're looking to try out the new business class product, here are the points and miles that you'll want to have, and how to book.

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Routes

In the announcement Monday morning, British Airways said that it's going to initially fly the A350 on runs between London and Madrid (MAD) to allow crew to familiarize themselves with the new aircraft. However, the new aircraft hasn't been loaded into the schedule yet, so it's not bookable at this time.

Starting in October, the first long-haul routes for the new aircraft will be between London and Toronto (YYZ) and then to Dubai (DXB). However, not every London to Toronto and London to Dubai flight will get the new product. From what's been loaded into the schedule so far, the aircraft will operate on the following schedule:

  • BA 93 — London Heathrow (LHR) 1:05pm Departure ⇒ Toronto (YYZ) 3:55pm Arrival
  • BA 92 — Toronto (YYZ) 6:30pm Departure ⇒ London Heathrow (LHR) 6:40am Arrival +1 day
  • BA 107 — London Heathrow (LHR) 12:50pm Departure ⇒ Dubai (DXB) 11:05pm Arrival
  • BA 106 — Dubai (DXB) 1:30am Departure ⇒ London Heathrow (LHR) 6:15am Arrival

Rates

The award rates and best ways to book these flights depends on the route:

BA business class (one-way)LHR-MADLHR-DXBLHR-YYZTransfer Partner
British Airways Avios (peak)15,00060,00060,000MR, UR, Marriott
British Airways Avios (off-peak)12,75050,00050,000MR, UR, Marriott
JAL Mileage Bank24,00042,00042,000Marriott
Cathay Asia Miles30,00050,00050,000MR, TY, Marriott
American AAdvantage22,50042,50062,500Marriott

The math is different for round-trip awards:

BA business class (round-trip)LHR-MADLHR-DXBLHR-YYZTransfer Partner
British Airways Avios (peak)30,000120,000120,000MR, UR, Marriott
British Airways Avios (off-peak)25,500100,000100,000MR, UR, Marriott
JAL Mileage Bank30,00080,00080,000Marriott
Cathay Asia Miles60,000100,000100,000MR, TY, Marriott
American AAdvantage45,00085,000125,000Marriott

As you can see, Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to all of the top options, making these points the most flexible currency for scoring awards in the new British Airways Club World product.

You can stock up on Marriott points by applying for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, which are both offering a 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

As a transfer partner of British Airways and Asia Miles, American Express Membership Rewards are another top transferable currency to accumulate for BA Club World awards on these routes. There's plenty of ways of racking up these points -- including through the

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year; then 1x and prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel)
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (5x points on airfare and prepaid hotel rooms booked with American Express Travel and 1.5x points on all purchases over $5,000; up to an 1 million additional points per year)
  • American Express® Gold Card (4x points at restaurants; 4x points at US supermarkets up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com)
  • The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express (2x points on all purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year; then 1x)

Searching Award Availability

There's a few different ways of checking award availability on British Airways. Most obviously, you can just use British Airways' built-in search tool. Especially if you're going to book with Avios, there's simplicity to being able to complete your booking if you find award availability.

BA's site will only show you one day of availability at a time, although you can click through the date tabs to search +/- 3 days. I've found that BA doesn't like you clicking around too much and will pop up Captcha challenges after a short amount of clicking around.

So, if your dates are flexible, you're going to want to use a different search method than British Airways. One of our favorite sites for searching Oneworld award availability is Qantas' website -- which lets you search up to a month of availability at a time.

Just a warning that you're going to get a lot of false positives when looking for British Airways business class flights between London and Dubai since Qantas is also partners with Emirates. So, you might want to skip this method for Dubai flights:

Finally, ExpertFlyer is an invaluable tool for both award searching and award availability alerts. If you're new to ExpertFlyer, here's a comprehensive guide on how to get started.

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Featured image by Nick Morrish/British Airways
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

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  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees