I woke up this morning to a number of changes to the British Airways Avios program (after a night where our daughter was up sick most of the night, or I might have posted this sooner). View From the Wing has all the details, but here are the key points you need to be aware of :
- Mileage earning on most coach fares classes is going down significantly. K, L, M, N, S and V class fares all week earn 50% instead of 100% of miles flown. Q, O and G classes will only earn 25%.
- If you buy really expensive tickets (business class or first) you’ll earn more miles.
- Minimum mileage earning per segment drops from 500 to 125. While there are a lot of short flights in Europe, it seems to me that a minimum of 125 miles is really no minimum at all.
- If you currently redeem miles for short-haul flights (including partner flights such as American or US Airways) nothing changes.
- There’s a new system of categorizing awards into peak and off-peak, where peak awards in business and first will cost you a lot more.
The question left unanswered is whether one of the very best values will go away. My favorite redemption is 10,000 Avios to upgrade to the next class of service. I’ve purchased premium economy tickets in the past and used 10,000 Avios to upgrade to business class (Club World). It’s a fantastic value. Here’s what British Airways has to say about upgrades using Avios:
When these changes are introduced, you will be able to upgrade by one cabin using Avios from all World Traveller and Euro Traveller commercial bookings, except the very lowest economy fare classes (Q, O and G). This means there will be more opportunities to upgrade than ever before. To upgrade you simply pay the difference between the cabin you’ve booked and the cabin you want to upgrade to.
There’s a lot of gray there. Maybe this change will just impact the upgrades from lower coach fares. But, with the increases in the number of points required for business and first class awards, I’m not optimistic.
I know there are plenty of folks that love Avios for short-haul awards in the US. I do understand the value there, but for me, it’s that 10,000 point upgrade to go from World Traveller Plus to a sleeper seat on a redeye overseas. If they whack that, I’ll be truly upset.
The post British Airways Changes: Is One Of The Best Values Going Away? was published first on Pizza In Motion.
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