British Airways have loaded a very short sale for transatlantic and Middle Eastern flights for World Travaller and World Traveller Plus classes. You need book by 23:59hrs GMT on 25th March 2014. Travel can be anytime between now and 12th December 2014.
The interesting thing is that as long as you satisfy the terms of this other promotion by Shell Drivers Club, then you can get a further 20% discount by using “ShellMARZH” in the promotional code box. The deadline is even more restrictive as this code expires on 24th March 2014.
Examining the dates for cheapest flights a little more, it seems the majority (if not all) headline prices appear to be in October-December 2014 period. With the exception of July, the April-September fares are all around 15-20% higher than Oct-Dec. It goes without saying that some destinations will not have ‘cheap tickets' on certain dates if there are major events nearby such as a FIFA World cup in Brazil, or Formula One Grand Prix which can affect several countries.
Don't forget that with World Traveller Plus fares departing the UK you should be able to request a Proactive Online Upgrade (POU) which will earn Club World Tier Points. For ex-Europe flights the POU option will not usually be available. You can even use BA's 24hr cancellation policy to check how much the upgrade cost is, and if you don't like it just cancel your ticket.
If you credit your BA flights to American Airlines then World Traveller Plus will earn 1.5EQP per mile flown.
Continental Club has, very usefully, compared the prices currently available (which includes non-sale items) against the previous sale in a table which I have included it at the end of this post. You will be able to see from his results that fares this time round are on the whole more expensive.
The real fun of BA sales, however, is if you start playing with the ex-Europe departures. You can do this in a couple of ways, with varying powers of success.
1) If you go to any of google.com/flights, google.co.uk/flights or google.nl/flights (depending on if you want your results displayed in USD, GBP or EUR respectively), and replace the departure city with where you want to try, up to a maximum of 5 airport codes, and leave the destination field blank, you can have an at-a-glace overview of prices. Under the “Airline” drop down menu select “Oneworld” and this will only flag up the Oneworld marketed flights (duh!).
2) Following Flyertalk's “Ex-Mainland Europe Travel Planning Guide” If you go to ITA Matrix (if you are totally unfamiliar, here is my beginners' guide), and put the following code in the “from” field:
AMS;ARN;ATH;BRU;BUD;CAI;CPH;FRA;HEL;IST;LCA;LIN;LIS;PAR;VIE;WAW :: BA+
for extra through searches, you should adapt the above airport codes to suit you. You might also want to try the following set too:
DUB;DUS;HAM;LUX;MAD;OSL;OTP;PRG;RTM;SOF;ZAG :: BA+
in the “to” field, put your destination airport codes (substitution YYY) with the airport code or codes you're after:
and don't forget to enter your desired currency in the “currency” field. You should have something which looks like this:
The advantage of using Matrix is in its power of detailed and highly-filtered searches. Its clear disadvantage is that you cannot book flights directly through them after you have found it. This is to some extent mitigated by Google Flights which links you straight to a pre-populated airline booking page, but it's not entirely bug-free. I often encounter some price mismatches.
Here's that Continental Club table I promised earlier. Note that these are prices from London:
|World Traveller||World Traveller||World Traveller Plus||World Traveller Plus|
|Economy||Economy||Premium Economy||Premium Economy|
|This Sale||Last Sale||This Sale||Last Sale|
|Latin America & Caribbean|
|Port of Spain||£623||£555||£1,023||£887|
|Rio de Janeiro||£831||£648||£1,295||£1,018|
|Far East & Australia|