The British Airways Travel Together Ticket is one of the best ways to maximize your Avios. It can be used to book two passengers on the same British Airways flight for the Avios required for one person (though you will have to pay the fees, taxes and surcharges for both passengers), or you can use it to get a 50% discount on the Avios cost of a ticket if traveling solo.
This is valid for anywhere British Airways flies, so long as you’re on a round-trip ticket going to or from the U.S. Better yet, you can use it in any class of service and on any date when there are two Avios redemption seats available.
There are some important rules, as well as some tips you should know to maximize your travel.
Related: Maximizing British Airways Avios: Travel Together companion ticket
There’s only 1 way to earn a Travel Together Ticket
The only way to earn a Travel Together Ticket in the U.S. is to spend $30,000 in a single calendar year on the British Airways Visa Signature Card.
All Travel Together certificates are valid for 24 months from the date they are issued.
Related: Combat high fuel surcharges, earn flexible Avios: British Airways Visa Signature credit card review
You must book and travel before the expiration date
Be aware that you must book and travel at least the outbound leg before your voucher expires. For example, if you earn a voucher in January 2023, you must fly the outbound leg before January 2025. Thankfully, your return ticket can be after the expiration date.
You must book a round-trip ticket, but open jaws are OK
While you must book round-trip tickets that originate in and return to the U.S. with the Travel Together Ticket, you can also book an open-jaw return redemption, where you fly into one city and out of another. This means you could use your Travel Together Ticket to book a flight from O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Heathrow Airport (LHR) and return from LHR to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). Or, you can fly from ORD to Frankfurt Airport (FRA) via LHR and return to ORD from Prague Airport (PRG) via LHR.
Related: Maximizing the British Airways distance-based award chart
You can only use it for British Airways-operated flights
As much as you might love to use a Travel Together Ticket for BA’s partner airlines, such as flying Qatar Airways’ amazing Qsuite business class, you can only use it for flights operated by British Airways. Even if you can find a codeshare flight operated by a partner airline with a BA flight number, you can’t use your Travel Together Ticket unless British Airways operates the flight.
You can only earn 1 Travel Together Ticket per card per year
You can only earn one Travel Together Ticket per year with the British Airways Visa Signature Card. So even if you spend five times the required amount to trigger the voucher, you’ll only earn one.
You could, however, have two Travel Together tickets in your Executive Club account at once if you earned one toward the end of the year and the other at the start of the next year. In turn, you could use both for the same trip for a family of four, provided they were both still valid when you commenced travel.
Related: Here’s how to score a private cabana and spa treatments at British Airways’ most exclusive lounge
You can only start and end your journey in the US
As discussed, you can only start and end your Travel Together Ticket journey in the U.S. However, this can be anywhere in the U.S. that British Airways serves. The airline serves several smaller U.S. airports, including Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Nashville International Airport (BNA).
Related: How to avoid British taxes and fees on award trips
Some routes are easier than others
There’s no blanket rule for finding award space; however, it’s far easier to find availability for using a Travel Together Ticket on some routes than others, especially in Club World/Club Suite and First. This can be because there are more frequencies on some routes (like JFK to LHR) so there are plenty of seats each day, or because the route is less popular than those from nearby cities (for example, BWI to LHR).
You’ll still need to pay the fees, taxes and surcharges for both passengers
A Travel Together Ticket allows you to book two passengers on the same flight for the Avios needed for only one person. In that sense, it is a 2-for-1 voucher. However, you must pay both passengers’ full fees, taxes and surcharges. This can be expensive depending on the class of service you’re booking, but you may be able to lower the cost by paying more Avios to book a long-haul Reward Flight Saver ticket that lowers the price of fuel surcharges.
As well as earning enough Avios for your Travel Together Ticket, remember to factor in the cost of the fees, taxes and surcharges you will also be required to pay.
It rarely makes sense to use it for a long-haul economy redemption
Because of the fees, taxes and surcharges, it won’t usually be a great deal to use a Travel Together Ticket on a long-haul economy redemption.
Using the JFK-to-LHR example, on a standard date, you could book two round-trip tickets in World Traveller using a companion voucher for 60,000 Avios plus $200 plus $200 (the fees, taxes and surcharges for both people). Note that this is the Reward Flight Saver pricing.
The problem with this value proposition is that while you’re not paying any Avios for the second traveler, you’re still paying $200 in fees, taxes and surcharges for each person — $400 total. We regularly see economy sale fares to New York for $400 or less, meaning you’re paying as much as a cash ticket just in fees, taxes and surcharges for your “free” seat.
In this instance, it would be better to buy a cheap cash fare for both passengers and save the Avios for a more valuable use.
You can now redeem it for solo travel
While the name suggests it’s designed for two people traveling together, solo travelers can also redeem a Travel Together Ticket to save Avios.
Rather than a second person not paying any Avios, as with two people traveling together, a solo traveler would only need half the Avios required when redeeming the Travel Together Ticket.
So, with a redemption costing 100,000 Avios, using the voucher for solo travel would only require 50,000 Avios. The full fees, taxes and surcharges for the solo traveler are still payable.
Related: When does it make sense to use the British Airways Travel Together Ticket?
It can be extremely valuable when used properly
So, with plenty of rules and warnings, what’s the big deal about this thing? We love it because you can get so much value from it if you use it properly.
Yes, you may be shocked at having to pay $1,000-plus in fees, taxes and surcharges for the second passenger for a first-class, long-haul return flight, but a cash fare on that same flight could easily cost over $5,000, saving you over thousands of dollars by redeeming a Travel Together Ticket.
We are big fans of the British Airways Travel Together Ticket because we know how much value you can obtain from it. Do your homework, remember the rules and the benefits, work out when and how it is most advantageous to use it and maximize your travel. And if you’re interested in earning a Travel Together Ticket, consider applying for the British Airways Visa Signature Card.
Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh.