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British Airways Announces Devaluation – Won’t Say What

Earlier today we learned that British Airways plans to devalue Avios award for partner bookings on May 30th. They gave advance notice via an email, but then wouldn’t answer direct questions about what the new rates would actually be.

I have no idea how their PR team thought that would be a good idea, but in less than 12 hours, a site called Seat 31B has many/most of the details based on phone calls to BA. Apparently phone agents can see the new pricing now, though the BA website will show you the current pricing from now until end-of-schedule.

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The Leak

According to Seat 31B, the changes in economy are as follows: 0-650 miles: 6,000 Avios (up from 4,500 outside of North America now, but potentially down from the 7,500 charged for flights in North America), 651-1,150 miles: 9,000 Avios (up from 7,500), 1,151 miles-2,000 miles: 11,000 Avios, and 2,001 miles-3,000 miles: 13,000 Avios. I don’t believe they checked higher award bands, but that is fine since the short-hauls were the best values and, if this is true, remain so.

Apparently flights in North America under 650 miles are pricing at 6,000 Avios which is actually down from the current 7,500 “minimum” imposed by BA Avios only on partner bookings in North America. It remains to be seen if that is a glitch or not. If not, that would soothe over a lot of the other changes.  Business and First bookings retain their current multiplier so those change only at the same scale.

It’s also pointed out that unless Iberia (and Aer Lingus) also change their award charts, transferring BA Avios to one of those programs could still allow bookings at lower Avios rates. Transfers between your Avios accounts are free and unlimited. Just remember that there are different specific rules for using miles in each program, for instance, Iberia bookings on partners are not changeable or cancelable at all.

And thank goodness, they aren’t getting rid of their award chart. These days, a devaluation that doesn’t destroy award charts seems just fine by me.

Hat Tip to Seat 31B (and to View from the Wing where I saw the news first)

Will this change how you use Avios?  Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available now.

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I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.

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