British Airways will double award-availability guarantees starting July 28

May 28, 2021

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Finding award space to use your hard-earned points and miles can sometimes be challenging, as airlines restrict the number of these seats — especially in premium cabins.

But today, one carrier is going in the other direction. British Airways has announced that it’s doubling the number of guaranteed awards on its own flights as of July 28, 2021. This means that, as of that date, you’ll find even more BA seats available using your Avios or any other Oneworld carrier’s loyalty program.

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Here are the new minimum number of award seats starting July 28:

Note that these are the minimum numbers, so it’s entirely possible that a flight could have even more — especially close to departure. In addition, it’s great to see BA’s premium economy product join the list, as this hasn’t been a part of the carrier’s previous award-availability guarantees — though note that first class is not a part of this announcement.

This also should be of particular interest to those cardholders of the British Airways Visa Signature® Card from Chase. This allows you to bring along a friend or family member when you redeem Avios on a round-trip, British Airways-operated flight that originates in the U.S. — all you need to pay are the taxes and fees associated with your companion.

Read more: British Airways Visa Signature credit card review

However, new cardholders can actually earn one even faster. If you apply today, you’ll earn 100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that long-haul, British Airways-operated award flights come with hefty fuel surcharges — especially in premium cabins. That said, I’ve often used Avios to book shorter flights within Europe — saving hundreds of Euros with a relatively small outlay of miles. And you also have some strategies for reducing these additional costs, including with the British Airways Visa or by booking through the Asia Miles program.

All that aside, it’s great to see that at least one carrier is expanding the number of guaranteed seats available on its flights this summer. Just note that this doesn’t mean those exact numbers will be available on every flight on every day — once they’re booked, they’re gone. As a result, this is yet one more reason to plan ahead, especially with much of Europe looking to reopen to Americans later this summer.

Here’s hoping that this is the start of a trend and that other airlines follow suit.

Featured photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy

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