British Airways Avios (which is what they call their frequent flyer miles) are the best mileage/points currency for short flights because it uses a distance-based award chart. Flights up to 650 miles cost just 4,500 Avios each way, flights between 651-1,151 miles are 7,500 Avios each way, between 1,152-2,000 miles costs 10,000 Avios each way, and 2,001-3,000 mile flights are 12,500 each way. These can be a fantastic deal since the actual airfare for these flights are still in the hundreds of dollars. To learn more about Avios, see my beginner’s guide to Avios (my second most-read post ever).
There are some amazing routes available that fall within these lower rates, but they’re not always obvious. You generally want to find a hub of a Oneworld airline, then figure out what cities you can travel to nearby. I decided to make a list some great values, starting with the 4,500 level. And remember – you can transfer both Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards points into Avios.
These points and flights come in handy for me when I’m looking to visit multiple destinations or need to position for another award flight. It’s definitely not a comprehensive list, but hopefully you’ll find these useful. Let me know if there’s anything I should add.
4,500 Avios Redemptions Each Way
- Los Angeles/OC (LAX/SNA/LGB/ONT) to Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX), San Francisco (SFO), Salt Lake City (SLC)
- New York (JFK/LGA) to Boston (BOS), Cleveland (CLE), Montreal (YUL), Pittsburgh (PIT), Toronto (YYZ), Washington (DCA)
- Chicago (ORD) to Atlanta (ATL), Detroit (DTW), Minneapolis (MSP), Raleigh (RDU), St. Louis (STL), Toronto (YYZ)
- San Francisco (SFO) to Portland (PDX), Palm Springs (PSP), Salt Lake City (SLC)
- Tons of intra-Alaska routes.
- Hong Kong (HKG) to Taipei (TPE)
- Sydney (SYD) to Brisbane (BNE), Melbourne (MEL)
- London (LHR) to Amsterdam (AMS), Berlin (BER), Dublin (DUB), Frankfurt (FRA), Milan (MXP), Munich (MUC), Nice (NCE) Paris (CDG), Zurich (ZRH)
- Helsinki (HEL) to Moscow (SVO), Oslo (OSL), Stockholm (ARN)
- Madrid (MAD) to Algiers (ALG), Barcelona (BCN), Casablanca (CMN), Geneva (GVA), Lisbon (LIS)
- Lima (LIM) to Cuzco (CUZ)
- Amman (AMM) to Baghdad (BGW), Cairo (CAI), Medina (MED)
- Doha (DOH) to Dubai (DXB), Muscat (MCT), Riyadh (RUH)
Hopefully I’ll do one at the 7,500 level as well, but the larger the distance gets, the more difficult it is to put a list like this together. I did this mostly off the top of my head (plus double checking to make sure), so if anyone knows a more automated way, please let me know!