British Airways just announced changes to their Avios Frequent Flyer program that are largely negative that take effect April 28, 2015. At the same time, the changes really won’t effect me with my Avios usage pattern. Let me explain:
- Changes to the amount of Avios you earn when you credit flights to BA (specifically 25% or 50% instead of 100% for cheap coach fares but more for business and first class)
- Changes to the amount of Avios you spend when you fly Oneworld Partners in business or first class (specifically first class goes from 200% of coach cost to 300% and business goes from 150% to 250%)
- Introducing peak and off peak award pricing when redeeming miles on BA operated flights (but all partner award flights will be booked at the peak rates)
Why I Don’t Care
I mainly use BA Avios to book American short haul flights. For example, Miami to Cancun for $72 and 9000 Avios, Costa Rica for $45 and 15,000 Avios, Panama for $62.50 and 20,000 Avios, and Chicago for $5 and 15,000 Avios. Since all of these flights are less than 3 hours, I usually just book coach and save my miles for the long haul flights to Europe and beyond. Well, none of these redemptions will change one bit with the announced changes! I just returned from the BPM Festival in Mexico and I will be able to buy the same cheap seat after these changes take place that I purchased before for just 9000 miles! So for me, the 50,000 sign up bonus for the BA Visa card is just as valuable as it was before this announcement.
I know some people liked the 50K round trip business class fares from Boston to Dublin and the 50K round trip business class from NYC to LA, those weren’t something that I used so it isn’t something that I will miss. If those bookings interest you then make sure to make them before April 28, 2015 to take advantage of the old prices.
While I hate seeing any negative changes at all, this is how the game is played and you are forever shooting at a moving target. That is why my advice to everyone is to earn miles as fast as you can, then burn them just as fast. See the world for free while you can because we never know what is around the next bend. But if you like to fly last minute like I do, don’t mind coach for short flights and are looking to travel around the Americas for a song, then in my opinion little has changed with this announcement.
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