Ouch: British Airways Devalues Short Haul Awards With No Notice

Filed Under: Awards, British Airways

Well that’s disappointing…

British Airways increases award costs by 750 Avios

As noted by Head for Points, this week British Airways Executive Club has increased the cost of short haul awards by 750 Avios one-way, without any sort of advance notice.

British Airways Executive Club has a distance based award chart, and specifically the cost for awards in the first three “zones” has increased. This includes awards in economy and business class, and awards during peak and off-peak periods.

Zone 1 awards cover a distance of 1-650 miles:

  • Economy off-peak has increased in cost from 4,000 to 4,750 Avios
  • Economy peak has increased in cost from 4,500 to 5,250 Avios
  • Business off-peak has increased in cost from 7,750 to 8,500 Avios
  • Business peak has increased in cost from 9,000 to 9,750 Avios

Zone 2 awards cover a distance of 651-1,150 miles:

  • Economy off-peak has increased in cost from 6,500 to 7,250 Avios
  • Economy peak has increased in cost from 7,500 to 8,250 Avios
  • Business off-peak has increased in cost from 12,750 to 13,500 Avios
  • Business peak has increased in cost from 15,000 to 15,750 Avios

Zone 3 awards cover a distance of 1,151-2,000 miles:

  • Economy off-peak has increased in cost from 8,500 to 9,250 Avios
  • Economy peak has increased in cost from 10,000 to 10,750 Avios
  • Business off-peak has increased in cost from 17,000 to 17,750 Avios
  • Business peak has increased in cost from 20,000 to 20,750 Avios

A hike of 750 Avios one-way (or 1,500 Avios roundtrip) represents a price increase of anywhere from 4% to 19%, depending on the award type.

Expect to pay more for British Airways short haul redemptions

Not a huge deal, but terrible form

In my opinion any sort of award chart devaluation at a time like this is completely uncalled for and greedy. But what really bothers me about this devaluation is how British Airways went about it:

  • The devaluation was made without advance warning
  • Not only that, but there wasn’t even an announcement at all, as British Airways hasn’t in any way publicly acknowledged this

The motivation here seems pretty clear — the hope is that by this summer Brits will be able to travel, and it’s likely that most people will be vacationing within Europe. So British Airways is trying to cash in on that for those redeeming Avios.

This is bad for those who were planning European summer travel

Bottom line

British Airways Executive Club has increased short haul award costs by 750 Avios one-way, or 1,500 Avios roundtrip. This includes all economy and business class awards in the first three zones, which cover up to 2,000 mile flights (one-way).

The devaluation as such is disappointing, but what’s worst is that this wasn’t communicated at all.

What do you make of British Airways Executive Club’s devaluation?

Comments
  1. Another good reminder that holding onto points and using them is always a bad idea, but even though i know i am losing out to devaluation i still hoard my points for no good reason.

  2. Indeed very poor form to institute such a change without forewarning. Korean Air gives over a year’s notice of some changes.

  3. I wonder if this will match up with an upcoming AMEX or Chase transfer bonus…. Chase had one a couple months back but AMEX has not had a BA transfer bonus in well over a year.

  4. On the other hand, they’ve just extended status for another year. And kept the earning rates required for status at the lower Covid-related levels.

  5. @ Steve_CC… Disagree with you to a point. Not good to purchase and hold points with no purpose. I have a lot of BA Avios. Didn’t pay for any of them. Credit card spend on a Diners Club MasterCard for years and then a 30% transfer bonus was offered. Picked up credit card for spend bonus. Hoping to use on Iberia 2-3 years down the road for business class tickets from Miami. One of the sweet spots. Maybe something will change in 3 years, but not going to manufacture travel to “use it or loss it”. Hope no more devaluations that would impact my travel plans with the Avios, but it is what it is. Delta Skymiles aren’t the greatest, but have sat with them and just got 3 domestic tickets that were definitely good deals.

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