The Complete Guide to British Airways Fare Classes (a.k.a. Fare Buckets)

If you have ever bought a flight on any airline you will surely know how prices can change quite quickly over just a few days. This post attempts to explain what fare classes are, how they are different to travel classes, and how to work out how many Avios, Tier Points or Avios you will earn.

What are Fare Classes?

Fare classes are the different letters that represent a price of a ticket. You will see these represented in a variety of ways through different means, such as in Manage My Booking:

or in Expert Flyer.

or in Matrix.

Chances are if you are using Expert Flyer or Matrix though, you will probably already know about Fare Classes and just want to know how many Avios or Tier Points you will be earning. Feel free to skip ahead!

What is the difference between Fare Class and Travel Class?

“Travel class” is which cabin you are flying in. First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy or Economy Class.

“Fare class” is what specific price your ticket is purchased at, and the restrictions imposed on it, represented by the letters mentioned throughout this post.

What Fare Classes does British Airways have?

There are a myriad of fare classes, which can be confusing for those who do not (yet) know how British Airways prices their tickets.

As with most other airlines, usually the more expensive the ticket the more flexibility it buys in terms of advance purchase requirements, ability to change flights, refunds on cancellations, shorter minimum stays and longer maximum stays. And in the lower travel classes, you need to be buying more expensive fare classes in order to be able to upgrade

At the more extreme levels of pricing, you may sometimes find that fares in a higher travel class are actually cheaper than buying in a lower travel class. E.g. non-refundable business class cheaper than fully-flexible premium economy.

First Class:

From most to least expensive: F, A

Club World / Europe (business class):

From most to least expensive: J, C, D, R, I

World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy),

From most to least expensive: W, E, T

World/Euro Traveller (Economy):

From most to least expensive: Y, B, H, K, M, L, V, S, N, Q, O, G – Note that G is specifically reserved for Travel Agents (including BA Flights and Holidays) or BA staff bookings.

Which Fare Classes do redemptions book into?

Avios or other partner airline redemptions book into the following fare classes

  • First Class: Z
  • Club World/Europe (business class): U 
  • World Traveller Plus (premium economy): P
  • World/Euro Traveller (economy): X

How Many Avios and Tier Points will I earn?

For slightly easier formatting, and to ensure up-to-date information, I advise going directly to one of the following:

The latter being good if you have a specific route in mind, and will also calculate the bonus Avios you get if you have Bronze, Silver or Gold British Airways Executive Club status.

But to make this a one-stop shop…

First Class:

  • F – 300% Flown Distance. Minimum 1250 Avios, 100% Tier points
  • A – 250% Flown Distance. Minimum 1250 Avios, 100% Tier points

Club World / Europe (Business Class):

  • J – 250% Flown Distance. Minimum 1250 Avios, 100% Tier points
  • C – 250% Flown Distance. Minimum 1250 Avios, 100% Tier points
  • D – 250% Flown Distance. Minimum 1250 Avios, 100% Tier points
  • R – 150% Flown Distance. Minimum 750 Avios, 100% Tier points
  • I – 150% Flown Distance. Minimum 750 Avios, 100% Tier points

World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy):

  • W – 150% Flown Distance. Minimum 750 Avios, 100% Tier points
  • E – 100% Flown Distance. Minimum 500 Avios, 100% Tier points
  • T – 100% Flown Distance. Minimum 500 Avios, 100% Tier points

World / Euro Traveller (Economy Class):

  • Y – 100% Flown Distance. Minimum 500 Avios, 100% Tier points
  • B – 100% Flown Distance. Minimum 500 Avios, 100% Tier points
  • H – 100% Flown Distance. Minimum 500 Avios, 100% Tier points
  • K – 50% Flown Distance. Minimum 250 Avios, 50% Tier points
  • M – 50% Flown Distance. Minimum 250 Avios, 50% Tier points
  • L – 50% Flown Distance. Minimum 250 Avios, 50% Tier points
  • V – 50% Flown Distance. Minimum 250 Avios, 50% Tier points
  • S – 50% Flown Distance. Minimum 250 Avios, 50% Tier points
  • N – 50% Flown Distance. Minimum 250 Avios, 50% Tier points
  • Q – 25% Flown Distance. Minimum 125 Avios, 25% Tier points
  • O – 25% Flown Distance. Minimum 125 Avios, 25% Tier points
  • G – 25% Flown Distance. Minimum 125 Avios, 25% Tier points

As with most airlines, redemptions do not earn any Avios. This includes fares which Gold members can sometimes book into as a reward fare.

Bronze members get 25% extra Avios, Silver gets 50% extra Avios and Gold gets 100% extra Avios. This is calculated in addition to the Avios earned in the fare class calculations above.

Bottom Line

Understanding British Airways' fare classes is important for knowing how many Avios and Tier Points you will earn. If you are coming from Star Alliance or Skyteam you will also notice that the order of the letters is different, so take note!

About Tim

Tim is a Chartered Engineer and a typical nerd who analyses every travel deal, travel hack. He has travelled to around 90 countries and also speaks Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin.

More articles by Tim »

Comments

  1. Hey Tim – booked and paid for Club World, and upgraded to First, but the class is now showing as Z. Seems that it doesn’t earn anything… thoughts?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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