Even though I’ve never had British Airways status, I always love the earnestly polite British Airways Executive Club monthly statements.
I just got word today about the upcoming changes in British Airways’ Avios program. In general, airline programs are inflationary, and so one expects deflationary adjustments every few years, especially as people shift their credit card spending habits vs. paid flight habits.
Personally, I use Avios for short-haul redemptions that would otherwise be expensive. Last year, I flew from the bay area to Phoenix on short notice to see my favorite DJ. Because I so rarely fly BA (or OneWorld), I mostly get Avios via Amex points.
- Points earned were dependent upon fare class before, but you always got at least 100% of miles flown, up to a maximum of 200% of miles flown for BA flights. That will now spread from 25% of miles flown for the lowest coach classes up to 300% for full first class.
- Tier bonuses for silver members halve to 50%.
- Changes to the minimum miles earned for short flights. Currently the minimums are 500-1,000 Avios, changing to 125-1,500 Avios.
- This little gotcha statement: “In line with other adjustments, the lowest priced economy seats (in fare classes Q, O and G) will collect 25% of Tier Points rather than 50%.” I guess that’s even if you’re Silver or Gold?
- Reward flight prices now will have an off-peak option. This means the minimum redemption is 4,000 Avios, down from 4,000. That trip to Phoenix in July on a stupidly-expensive weekend wouldn’t have been quite so traumatic. (kidding) Most expensive is 200,000 with an off-peak price of 170,000 Avios.
- The multipliers for Premium Economy/Business/First used to be 1.5x/2x/3x the coach award ticket price. For medium- and long-haul, those are now 2x/3x/4x.
- Note that Avios is still priced per segment, unlike many other loyalty programs, so connecting flights add up very quickly.
There Is Some Good News
British Airways is going to guarantee more award space available, which is a really welcome change for families traveling together.
Department of Linkage
- British Airways Page featuring the changes.
- Wandering Aramean has, as usual, the best detail of the changes.
Of course, part of the reason I like this post is:
It is hard to say that there are any real “winners” with these changes. The closest I can get to that is people who didn’t get completely screwed with the new charts. And that mostly includes Avios fans who earn via partner accrual (generally CCs) and redeem for short-haul economy class awards. If that’s you then you’re doing just fine.
Yep, that’s me. ::waves::
Economy Class & Beyond breaks down the changes by how it’ll affect various types of flyers.
Miles to Memories has a roundup post.
Through January 31, 2015, Membership Rewards has a 40% bonus on British Airways Avios Transfers. I have transferred all of mine.
Photo © 2013 Deirdre Saoirse Moen. Wales countryside by train, September 2013.