The Best Ways to Redeem British Airways Avios for Business Class Flights


British Airways Avios are an excellent tool for Canadians who are interested in long-haul business class flights on some of the most desirable airlines in the world, including Qatar Airways and Japan Airlines. However, they are often underutilized compared to Air Canada Aeroplan as the redemptions often require positioning flights and additional tricks to get the most out of Avios.

As with most frequent flyer programs, understanding the British Airways Avios program and how to best redeem your points can be daunting but goes a long way in making your next vacation happen. Not to mention, earning points in a different program, or diversity in miles and points, is always a positive thing to increase flight redemption options and to try out different business class products.

Let’s take a look at British Airways Avios and our favorite long-haul business-class flight redemptions.

The Best Ways to Earn British Airways Avios

Canadians have several options when it comes to earning British Airways Avios.

The best source of British Airways Avios in Canada is the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite credit card. This card has a consistently high welcome bonus, a couple of perks on British Airways, and a $100 cash back rebate through Frugal Flyer.

Apply Now Learn More Earn $100 in FlyerFunds upon approval.
RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card

The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card earns Avios and gives cardholders the opportunity to earn 2x Avios on all British Airways-related purchases.

Check out our RBC British Airways Visa Infinite review for more details.

60,000 Avios

Another travel credit card that can be utilized is the RBC Avion Visa Infinite card. This card offers consistently high welcome bonuses and Avion points can be transferred to British Airways Avios at a rate of 1:1. Even better, from time to time there are promotional transfer bonus events in which cardholders have been able to receive up to 30% extra Avios on their transfer.

American Express Membership Rewards also transfer 1:1 to British Airways Avios and can be earned through a number of American Express credit cards. Since so many different programs can transfer to Avios, it might be worth holding a few different credit cards with different bonus spending categories to maximize your Avios earning potential.

If you are earning miles and points with a significant other or family member, consider taking advantage of the British Airways Household Account feature. This feature makes it easy for households to accrue and redeem Avios as a group. However, as we will touch on below, certain redemptions cannot take advantage of the household account feature when transferring Avios to adjacent frequent flyer programs, so double-check before you start accruing.

What Makes a Good British Airways Avios Business Class Flight Redemption?

Below, we have captured a number of the best long-haul business class flight redemptions for British Airways Avios. These are some of our favorite and most aspirational redemptions, so the list does not capture all possible business class redemptions within the program, nor does it capture all possible routes. If you want to dig deeper into routing, check out FlightConnections to get started.

When looking at what makes a good award flight redemption, we consider things such as points cost, taxes and fees, and availability and will touch on all of these aspects in the sections below. A good redemption can also be subjective depending on where you live in Canada and what your travel habits or desires look like.

As mentioned in the best practices for booking for award flights, planning ahead, flexibility surrounding routing (including considering a positioning flight), and flexibility with dates of travel will go a long way in securing tickets for your dream business class redemption. We recommend using or any other third-party award flight searching tool to search through a wide range of dates and airlines in quick order; you can even set up alerts if you pay for their premium service.

As an aside, British Airways Avios aren’t solely good for long-haul flight redemptions. Several sweet spots exist for short-haul redemptions, such as intra-Japan flights. While this article should be a good starting point for redemption ideas, never stop learning about the British Airways Avios loyalty program and continue digging to become an expert in redemptions using Avios.

Travel to Japan on Japan Airlines Business Class

Japan continues to be at the top of many destination lists and there is no better way to get there than on Japan Airlines business class. Their business class product offers aisle access for all seats and stellar Japanese catering; Reed even said the ramen onboard was some of the best he has ever tasted.

There are a number of airports you can fly Japan Airlines to Tokyo from, including Vancouver (YVR), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), and San Diego (SAN) on the West Coast. The East Coast has fewer options, including Boston (BOS), New York (JFK), and Chicago (ORD).

Japan Airlines business class redemptions using British Airways Avios have higher taxes and fees, which can be a tough pill to swallow for the frugal-minded traveler. Other award programs, such as American Airlines AAdvantage and the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan have much lower fees for award bookings on Japan Airlines. 

However, British Airways has access to award flight availability much sooner than the other two programs, meaning if you can stomach the fees then you can book your Japan Airlines business class award flight before the broader miles and points community has access to the same award availability. Considering how hot of a travel destination Japan is currently, it might be worth considering this as an option (and is an option I took advantage of for an upcoming Japan trip in 2024).

Japan Airlines flights can searched directly on the British Airways website. If you were interested in traveling to Tokyo via San Francisco, it only costs 77,250 Avios plus $452 in taxes and fees per person. This redemption is higher in taxes than I would regularly want to pay, but as an exception, the value is still quite strong.

japan airlines sfo to hnd business class british airways avios redemption

Of note, since we are dealing with a distance-based award chart, prices do increase if you are flying from the East Coast. For example, a flight from Chicago to Haneda costs 92,750 Avios and $452 in taxes and fees per person.

If you can find availability, you can also book the coveted Japan Airlines First Class for additional Avios. I cannot understate that availability is very hard to find, and if you do find availability, it will most likely only be one seat. As an example, Japan Airlines First Class from Chicago to Haneda costs 123,750 Avios, an increase of 31,000 Avios from the business class example above.

Travel to Doha (and onwards) on Qatar Airways QSuites

We’ve mentioned it many times before on Frugal Flyer and will always be of the mindset that Qatar Airways QSuites is one of the best business class redemptions you can experience. Suites with doors, a double bed in the sky (if you are traveling with a partner), and excellent catering and service make this a business class product worth redeeming Avios for.

qatar airways qsuite review featured image

Qatar Airways flies out of a number of hubs in North America. For those on the West Coast, you will need to position to Seattle (SEA), San Francisco (SFO), or Los Angeles (LAX) to fly on Qatar Airways. For those on the East Coast, flights are offered out of Montreal (YUL) and nine other hubs in the United States, including New York (JFK), Chicago (ORD), and Washington (IAD). This means that you will more than likely need to book a positioning flight to make this redemption unless you reside in Montreal.

It is important to also realize that there is always a chance of not flying on a QSuites equipped plane, even when flying a typical QSuites route. Equipment changes happen, and in that situation, you would be flying on normal Qatar Airways business class which is still nice but lacks the uniqueness of QSuites. 

This can be mitigated by booking routes that are QSuites planes the majority of the time, such as Montreal or Seattle, but the risk is always there. You can easily identify a QSuites equipped aircraft by looking at the seat map, which will look like the one below:

qatar airways boeing 777-300er qsuites business class seat map

The best way to book Qatar Airways QSuites is through the Qatar Airways Privilege Club program. British Airways Avios can be transferred instantly at a rate of 1:1 and can be moved back and forth freely, meaning your points are not stuck in Qatar Airways Privilege Club should you choose to transfer them. Note that you cannot utilize the British Airways household account feature when booking through Qatar Privilege Club.

Flights can then simply be searched on the Qatar Airways website while logged into your Qatar Airways Privilege Club account. If you were interested in visiting Doha via Montreal, it only costs 70,000 Avios plus $164 in taxes and fees per person. Not bad at all for a 12-hour flight in QSuites!

qatar airways yul to doh business class british airways avios redemption

For many of us, Doha is simply a hub that we connect through to enjoy a nice lounge on the way to our true destination, such as the Maldives. If you want to travel onwards from Doha to the Maldives on Qatar Airways, the total cost is 85,000 Avios plus $306 in taxes and fees. This works out to a nominal additional 15,000 Avios per person for an additional 5-hour flight in non-QSuites business class.

qatar airways yul to mle business class british airways avios redemption

Another popular route is Bangkok through Doha which prices out at 95,000 Avios per person. Even better, you can tack on a first-class leg from Doha to Bangkok on the A380 if there is availability at no additional cost. Again, having flexibility on your travel dates can allow you to secure some truly unique air travel experiences on miles and points.

Finding Qatar Airways QSuites availability can be tough unless you are looking at the end of the award calendar. Qatar Airways does seem to drop massive chunks of award space at random times, so either plan and book far ahead or hope that they open award availability up en masse before your trip.

Qatar Airways QSuites can be booked through a number of other loyalty programs as well, so be sure to check out our Definitive Guide to Booking Qatar Airways QSuites on Points.

Travel to Ireland on Aer Lingus Business Class

If you are interested in visiting Ireland, British Airway Avios can be redeemed for a flight on Aer Lingus business class.

Business class seat on the Aer Lingus A330-200 flight from Dublin to Toronto.

This is a more straightforward redemption for Canadians as Aer Lingus flies out of Toronto and there typically is pretty good business class award availability. Flights are also available from a few airports on the West Coast of the United States, and even more from airports on the East Coast.

Aer Lingus flights can be booked on the British Airways website or through Aer Lingus AerClub. However, taxes and fees are far lower when booking with Aer Lingus AerClub, and since you can transfer Avios instantly at a rate of 1:1, and can move them back and forth, it makes complete sense to transfer to AerClub before making your flight redemption. Similar to Qatar Airways redemptions, British Airways household accounts cannot be utilized when booking through AerClub.

Jeff wrote about this trick in his article on Reducing Carrier Surcharges on British Airways & OneWorld Redemptions and this is a strategy you need to take advantage of if you are making a redemption for Aer Lingus flights to save money.

Once you transfer your British Airways Avios to Aer Lingus AerClub, flights can then simply be searched on the Aer Lingus website. If you were interested in visiting Dublin via Toronto, it only costs 60,000 Avios plus $223 in taxes and fees per person. This is a solid redemption to get across the Atlantic while enjoying a nice meal and a few drinks.

toronto to dublin aer lingus redemption pricing

On the flip side, if you booked this same flight on the British Airways website, the taxes and fees would cost $580 per person. Ultimately, you can save $357 in taxes and fees per person simply by booking through the correct portal with the same currency. This makes this redemption even better, as taxes and fees can add up quickly when booking for more than one person.

Travel to Spain on Iberia Business Class

While the Frugal Flyer team has yet to fly on Iberia Business Class, it looks to be a solid redemption to get to Spain from the United States for a reasonable amount of Avios.

iberia business class stock image

Iberia flies to Madrid (MAD) from a number of US airports. If you are located on the West Coast, you will want to look for flights out of Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO).  Those on the East Coast have many more options including Boston (BOS), New York (JFK), Washington (IAD), Miami (MIA), and Chicago (ORD).

Searching for Iberia Business Class is simple as it can be done on the British Airways website. If you were interested in visiting Madrid via Los Angeles, it only costs 62,500 Avios plus $174 in taxes and fees per person. Considering this is an 11-hour flight, that is a relatively cheap price to pay to enjoy business class for a long period of time.

iberia lax to mad business class british airways avios redemption

It was also pretty straightforward to find availability and I found many flights that had two seats left in business class, perfect for a couple who is looking to visit Spain. While I have a number of countries higher up on my aspirational travel list, I would absolutely consider this redemption should I find myself wanting to visit Spain.

Travel to Europe on JetBlue Mint Business Class

A relatively new addition to the program, JetBlue Mint Business Class is now bookable using Avios and presents a low-cost option to cross the Atlantic to visit Europe.

jet blue mint seat overview

You’ll absolutely have to book a positioning flight to a JetBlue hub in the United States for this redemption since JetBlue does not fly from Canada, but there are a number of airports that you could consider flying out of. Some of the destinations in Europe that you might consider include Paris (CDG), London (LHR) and Amsterdam (AMS).

JetBlue Mint can only be booked via Qatar Airways Privilege Club, meaning you will need to transfer your Avios before booking. As mentioned previously, transfers are instant and you are able to transfer back to British Airways Avios should you change your mind.

Similar to booking flights on Qatar Airways, you will need to search for the desired route while logged into your Qatar Airways Privilege Club account. If you were interested in visiting Paris via New York, it only costs 78,000 Avios plus $10 USD in taxes and fees per person.

jet blue jfk to cdg mint business class british airways avios redemption

While JetBlue Mint Business Class has pretty consistent award availability, the real selling point is the almost non-existent taxes and fees on award bookings. For the frugal-minded traveler, this might make this redemption even more attractive than others on this list. Plus, JetBlue Mint looks to be a pretty solid business class product worth checking out.


British Airways Avios are a currency worth collecting, and provide some much-needed frequent flyer program diversity as opposed to putting all of your eggs in one basket with Air Canada Aeroplan. Avios are a great tool for making business class redemptions on OneWorld alliance airlines, so if you haven’t yet started to accrue these points, it is definitely worth building your balance for your next business class flight redemption.

Josh Bandura

Josh Bandura

Co-Founder at Frugal Flyer
Josh has been involved in the miles and points game since 2015 but has scaled up his knowledge and points earning potential in recent years. With a consistent attitude of "min-maxing" in many aspects of his life, Josh has transferred this mindset over to the miles and points game. Always looking for the next big opportunity, he aims to share content on a variety of topics including his travels, miles and points, and most importantly, how to get the most out of your credit cards


Review: Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts

FlyerFunds Rebates: Neo Financial


Leave a Comment

All comments are moderated according to our comment policy. Your email address will NOT be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.