Finding Award Availability with British Airways

British AirwaysFinding Award Availability can be a bit of a black art with most airlines, and British Airways is no different. BA provide a number of tools on their site, each of which have their good points, bad points and nuances.

The most basic approach, and probably the best if you know exactly what you are after, is to use the “Create a trip” tool on the BA Executive Club home page (you’ll need to login to access this). Put in your desired destination, dates, class of travel and choose either “Book with Avios” or “Book with cash, upgrade with Avios”, depending on your preference.

You can then follow the process and see whether there is availability.

If not, then you’ll have to be more flexible with your dates, or even your destination and see what flights are available.

For this, you can use the Reward Flight Availability Checker. Although quite a powerful tool, it can be quite cumbersome to use so you’ll have to stick with it for a while to understand how it works (and how it doesn’t work).

If neither of those work for you, there are also some 3rd party tools to search for availability. The two we’ve used are

  • Award Nexus – this is a web-based tool that works on a “points” system but is free to use
  • KVS Tool – this is a subscription-based piece of software – it is very powerful but is complicated to use for anything but the most simple of checks. It only runs on Windows so if you use a Mac, you’ll have to get run some Windows virtualisation software.

Note that there can be fairly significant fees, taxes and surcharges on BA flights, even if your using your Avios to book or upgrade your flights, so flying in Business and First typically provide the best value for your Avios, unless you’re using them for a short-haul Reward Flight Saver. See the About Reward Flights and Upgrades page on for more details on this.


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