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Here we go again, this time with British Airways Avios program. A recent email sent to program members cites an impending devaluation effective May 30, 2019, but with surprisingly few details. This trend of zero transparency to the consumer has been on the rise ever since Delta deleted their award charts years ago.
United recently announced a similar decision, which leaves consumers with little knowledge of how many miles they need to book a flight.
What We Know About the British Airways Avios Program Changes
While we don’t know what British Airways Avios program changes are in store, we do know that they will focus only on partner airline carriers (Alaska Airlines, Air Italy, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, S7, Sri Lankan and Royal Jordanian Airlines). The program says the number of Avios points required for award ticket redemption will be changing soon, but members will have to wait for further details on what that means.
Reading between the lines here – that means it probably won’t be a favorable change. The one constant to be thankful for in the announcement is that award ticket pricing on British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, and Level will remain at their current levels for the time being.
British Airways Avios
Avios has become a quick favorite for program members because it operates a distance-based award chart. For example, a Cathay Pacific award flight on a route less than 650 miles only costs 4,500 miles in economy, which is a steal. That is what could be potentially changing (for the worse?) while a British Airways flight of the same distance would remain at that same price in economy.
Tip: Use your eligible Chase credit card to participate in Chase’s first ever transfer bonus. For a limited time, your 1:1 Ultimate Rewards point transfers to British Airways are worth 30% more. Every 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred through June 16, 2019, are worth 1,300 Avios. You can read more about it here.
The airline says that it plans to make a further announcement before the actual May 30, 2019 date. Any award booked before that date (even for travel after that date) will continue at the current pricing. Get those award bookings in now before any potential changes surprise you.
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