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British Airways Executive Club receives its fair share of criticism with regard the value it offers. Premium cabin, long-haul redemptions require a huge number of Avios, and departing from the UK can also require a huge amount of fees, taxes and surcharges.

But, there is a fantastic use of Avios — even if you only have a small balance. These are where you can redeem Avios for short-haul flights of less than 2,000 miles. The flights must be operated by British Airways — for example, its substantial route network from the UK to Europe — for a small number of Avios and a fixed amount of fees and taxes. These awards are called Reward Flight Savers.

Here’s a video with everything you need to know about Reward Flight Savers:

Although premium economy and first class are available for Reward Flight Savers, most passengers will use these for European flights that only operate an economy and Club Europe (business class) cabin.

Here’s how the Reward Flight Saver chart breaks down:

Distance flown, per flight Off-peak economy class Peak economy class Off-peak business class Peak business class
0 – 650 miles 4,000 Avios 4,500 Avios 7,500 Avios 9,000 Avios
651 – 1,150 miles 6,500 Avios 7,500 Avios 12,750 Avios 15,000 Avios
1,151 – 2,000 miles 8,500 Avios 10,000 Avios 17,000 Avios 20,000 Avios

From London, flights of less than 650 miles include destinations like Glasgow, Aberdeen, Berlin, Copenhagen and Milan. Flights in the 651 to 1,150-mile band include Lisbon, Alicante, Dubrovnik and Stockholm. Flights in the third band of up to 2,000 miles are as far away as Marrakech, Athens, Moscow and Helsinki.

As well as the huge European route map, Reward Flight Savers are also available on fifth-freedom routes operated by British Airways in the Caribbean and Comair flights in Southern Africa, though Comair flights are subject to higher fees and taxes.

Even better, the fees and taxes payable are fixed — £17.50 or €21 for economy class (peak or off-peak) and £25 or €30 for business.

Reward Flight Savers are priced per flight, not per journey, so if you are flying from Edinburgh to Geneva via London on British Airways, you will have to pay 2 x 4,000 or 4,500 Avios (depending on the peak or off peak date) and 2 x the £17.50 in fees and taxes. In this case, it may be better value and more convenient to consider a paid ticket on another airline where there’s a direct flight for a decent price.

As well as having the Avios available in your Executive Club account, you must have also earned at least one Avios in the past twelve months prior to making your Reward Flight Saver booking in order to take advantage of the low Avios pricing and fixed fees and taxes.

For last-minute flights especially, Reward Flight Savers can be enormously valuable, as their fixed price keeps the flight cost low, assuming there is availability. I have regularly used Reward Flight Savers for <650 mile flights booked a few days in advance where paid/revenue fares were £150+, which, based on TPG’s valuations of Avios, is a fantastic use.

Featured photo by Nicolas Economou / NurPhoto via Getty Images.

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