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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.
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.
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