Are These British Airways’ New Partner Award Costs?

Filed Under: Awards, British Airways

Yesterday British Airways rather cryptically announced that they’ll be adjusting most of their partner award pricing for bookings as of May 30, 2019. The airline emailed members to let them know of the imminent changes, but didn’t actually reveal how significant the pricing changes will be.

While I guess it’s better to give some notice than to just make a devaluation without notice, I find the concept of not being able to compare before and after pricing to be frustrating.

Questions to British Airways’ communications team have been answered in such a way that suggests we won’t find out the new pricing before it’s implemented. In other words, the way the announcement happened isn’t an oversight.

Has British Airways’ new award pricing been leaked?

Seat31B shares what he claims is British Airways’ new award pricing, at least in part. He says he called British Airways and the agents could already see the new pricing in the system, even though it doesn’t yet apply for any reservations (since it’s only for reservations ticketed as of May 30).

Let me say up front that I’m skeptical of this. I’m not suggesting Seat31B isn’t being honest, but rather it seems unusual to me that reservations agents would have access to this information weeks in advance, especially since there’s no practical reason for them to have this information yet.

So it could be that they actually have this info (if that’s the case, why is British Airways being so secretive about the new pricing, because it’s bound to leak?), or it could be that the agent was referring to something completely different.

Details of the supposed changes

Supposedly:

  • Executive Club will continue to charge on a per segment basis
  • Executive Club will have the same pricing across partners, so it’s not that they’ll have different pricing on every partner
  • Executive Club isn’t adjusting carrier imposed surcharges on partner award tickets
  • Executive Club will continue to charge 2x Avios for business class and 4x Avios for first class (compared to economy)

We don’t know long haul pricing, but short haul pricing is allegedly as follows:

  • 0-650 miles — 6,000 Avios (previously 4,500 Avios)
  • 651-1,150 miles — 9,000 Avios (previously 7,500 Avios)
  • 1,151 miles-2,000 miles — 11,000 Avios (previously 10,000 Avios)
  • 2,001 miles-3,000 miles — 13,000 Avios (previously 12,500 Avios)

As a reminder, this new pricing wouldn’t apply on Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Vueling.

Bottom line

While these would of course be negative changes, personally these are much better than I was expecting. If these are in fact the extent of the changes, it seems stupid to me that British Airways is being so secretive about the changes, because not sharing the changes makes us assume the worst.

Sure, I’d prefer they didn’t adjust their award pricing at all, but this new pricing would be significantly less bad than it could have been.

Do you think this is British Airways’ new partner award pricing?

Comments

  1. I think the rumours have stated that Business was only 2x Economy Avios rates for the first three bands. For all mileage bands thereafter, it’s 3x Economy Avios rates for Business.

    This is consistent with the current program.

  2. I still think that BAEC is a good program as long as they don’t go revenue based (which hopefully they won’t based on the above)

  3. @ Jorge, how so? The one piece of numerical clarity in the press release was that the cash element will remain unchanged

  4. The big piece you missed here is that the OP blog was reporting NA sub 650 flights were pricing at the 6k price. This is a big reversal from the latest policy of it holds and IMO makes up for the increases in the other buckets. Can get some really good value out of those redemptions.

  5. Note that a commenter here on your original post (yesterday) called BA and got a quote for ORD-DFW at 9k post-devaluation, and that’s what gave me the idea to call in as well. I asked for quotes on multiple routes operated by different airlines within the same mileage bands, and was given the current and future pricing (which remained consistent across all partners). Taxes and fees remained consistent as well. The agent was very clear and anyone can call in and do the same thing. I then called again and cross-checked with a different agent. So, BA agents at least have been trained in this, and the figures they’re giving are ones they believe to be correct. They’re also figures that make a lot of sense relative to the competition. Now, is any of what multiple BA agents told multiple people correct? Who knows, which is why I am very careful to say that I *think* this is the chart, but we won’t know for sure until BA releases it.

    I didn’t focus on long haul routes, but if you want to call them up and fill in the rest of the chart, it wouldn’t take much work to do that.

  6. I’m unclear why everyone in the world thinks they understand the logic of corporations. They haven’t spent one nanosecond considering whether you think they are going to “assume the worst”. That’s just not something anyone did.

  7. @Lucky – reminder today is the last day to book AA award flights with 10% back for credit card holders.

  8. Ben is right: it could have been much worse (assuming that his information is correct). BA could have easily imposed their atrocious award fees on the flight withing the US. By the way, could anyone clarify whether or not there is any rule in the US that would prohibit them from doing that?

  9. Short haul up from 4500 to 6000 points? The best-value product goes up 33% and you call that “not too bad”? What would you say to a shopkeeper hiking his prices by 33% ?

  10. Alas, the greatest sweet spot is gone: 9000 Avios for lie-flat business class from HKG to TPE!

    Granted, you barely had much time to lie-flat and don’t get an amenity kit for a 2 hour flight, but it was the best poor man’s point-and-mile hack to taste the good life (just 4 years prior, you could continue from HKG to JFK for 70,000 more Avios).

    At 12,500, maybe 6000 for economy is good enough, especially if you already have HKG lounge options (Centurion is right above The Bridge).

  11. This is really a WHO CARES post, isn’t it?

    BA fuel surcharges are so horrendous that only a fool would take BA long haul. The short stuff isn’t bad especially in Y.

  12. @Azamaraal
    Plenty of people use BA for short haul Asia flights, and the YQ isn’t horrible on those. So once again, it’s not a “who cares” post just because you don’t happen to care.

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