BA is Changing Avios Rates for Partners to… Something Probably Worse?

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British Airways Announces Changes to Partner Award Chart

This is making news in the last hour. I first saw @MilesAbound tweet about it on Twitter and then saw articles from Gary Leff and GSTP in short order. Like this post, they have no details…

We know that on May 30th, Avios will be adjusting award rates on partners, though not on BA operated flights.

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The Avios award chart is distance-based and that means that the sweet spots involve short flights, such as in Europe on BA, Iberia, or Finnair or in Australia on Qantas or in the US on American Airlines.

It’s always been a BAD deal to use Avios for long haul premium travel as as result.

So right now, you want to use Avios for short flights, especially in economy.

The message from Avios apparently does not give any more info than that you have until May 30th to book at current rates. So I guess… kudos for giving notice but no kudos for not being forthcoming with the details?

So then, what to do until we have more info?

Well, if you were planning to book a short haul flight, it’s worth noting that you are allowed to  cancel an Avios award and lose only taxes and fees. If you were booking a US domestic route, for example, that’s just $5.60.  So that could be a way to hedge. A number of years ago, BA charged just 4,500 Avios for the shortest domestic (and even US-Canada) routes on AA.  That spiked to 7,500 Avios.  I could see these being where they adjust the most, since I’m far from the only one that advises that these routes are the best way to extract maximum value from Avios, but we’ll have to see how it plays out.

And of course, this is just as I’m sure many transferred their Chase Ultimate Rewards points over to BA to take advantage of the 30% bonus.

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