The basics on how to spend British Airways Avios (airmails)...
You can spend your Avios on British Airways flights or flights with any One World member airline.
One World members:
Sri Lankan Airlines
When it comes to companion vouchers (see below) these can only be used on British Airways flights.
There are three key factor which affect the amount of Avios you need to fly;
The distance you travel (which British Airways categories by zones);
The dates you travel (peak or off-peak); and
The class you travel (e.g. Economy, Business, First).
The Avios you need for a one way flight, taking into account these three factors, are summarised in the below table.
The distance you travel
The amount of Avios it costs you to fly depends on the distance you travel. British Airways group distances into zones:
Zone 1: 1 – 650 miles (e.g. Heathrow to Glasgow)
Zone 2: 651 – 1,150 miles (e.g. Heathrow to Barcelona)
Zone 3: 1,151 – 2,000 miles (e.g Heathrow to Malaga)
Zone 4: 2,001 – 3,000 miles (e.g. Heathrow to Moscow)
Zone 5: 3,001 – 4,000 miles (e.g. Heathrow to Dubai)
Zone 6: 4,001 – 5,500 miles (e.g. Heathrow to Las Vegas)
Zone 7: 5,501 – 6,500 miles (e.g. Heathrow to Tokyo)
Zone 8: 6,501 – 7,000 miles (e.e. Heathrow to Singapore)
Zone 9: 7,000+ miles (e.g Heathrow to Sydney)
There are the odd exceptions to these zones, with some routes (such as Cape Town) being put into a cheaper zone than their distance would suggest.
The dates you travel
The amount of Avios you need depends on whether you are travelling peak or off-peak. British Airways set their peak and off-peak dates annually, with peak dates being typical holiday periods scubas Easter, summer, Christmas, etc; their 2018 dates are below (note these dates change year-on-year to sync with school holidays etc).
The class you travel
The higher the class of travel, the greater the amount of Avios you will need. Broadly it costs double the Avios to move from Economy to the next class of travel, triple the Avios to move up two classes and quadruple the Avios to move up three classes.
For example, traveling peak from Heathrow to Las Vegas, peak, in Economy costs 25,000 Avios. Upgrading one class to Premium economy will cost 50,000 Avios, Upgrading two classes to Business will cost 75,000 Avios and upgrading three classes to First will cost 100,000 Avios.
Given that the price of a flight typically more than doubles when you move from Economy or Premium Economy to Business Class, premium cabins such as Business or First usually represent the best value for your Avios.