British Airways to devalue their Partner Award Chart – effective 30th May 2019

It's been approximately 4 years since British Airways last significantly altered their Avios Award Charts, introducing the dual pricing structure of the off-peak and peak calendars.

Out of the blue most BAEC members will have received this email from British Airways yesterday (bolding my own):

As you’ve previously used your Avios to book reward flights with our global network of partner airlines, we wanted to let you know about some changes we’re making.

From 30 May 2019, we’ll be changing our Avios prices on reward flights with some of our partner airlines.

Don’t worry if you have an existing Avios booking with a partner airline. It’s still valid and you can make changes or cancel it if you need to*. Our new Avios prices will apply to any changes or new bookings you make after 30 May 2019.

These ‘partner airlines', as confirmed by BA's official announcement, are the usual Oneworld ones plus a few other stragglers:

  • Alaska Airlines,
  • Air Italy,
  • American Airlines,
  • Cathay Pacific,
  • Finnair,
  • Japan Airlines,
  • LATAM,
  • Malaysia Airlines,
  • Qantas,
  • Qatar Airways,
  • S7,
  • Sri Lankan
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines.

In addition the price of Avios upgrades on American Airlines transatlantic flights will also change on the aforementioned date.

Thankfully Iberia's award chart along with Aer Lingus and Vueling are all spared. Which is great because you can still get some amazing off-peak business class flights on the Spanish side of International Airlines Group.

While not confirmed by British Airways, over on Flyertalk there are rumours that the new pricing structure could be

(Economy | Premium Economy | Business | First)

Zone 1 (up to 650 miles): 6000 | 9000 | 12000 | 24000

Zone 2 (651 – 1150 miles): 9000 | 13500 | 18000 | 36000

Zone 3 (1151 – 2000 miles): 11000 | 16500 | 22000 | 44000

Zone 4 (2001 – 3000 miles) : 13000 | 26000 | 39000 | 52000

which represents ratios of 1 : 1.5 : 2 : 4 for Zones 1-3 and 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 for Zone 4 sectors. There is no further information available for Zone 5-9 though, and of course we will only know if this is true on 30th May.

Comments

  1. I live in England and I like to collect Avios Points. I wish to book a flight for 4th April 2020. I have been looking on the British Airways Executive Club and for any destination that I look at the tax price is way too much. I will phone Iberia soon because they charge lower tax. I would like to book before the chart changes on 30th May.

  2. @Maxine Where are you looking to fly to ? These changes only affect partners not BA or Iberia. To beat the BA/UK charges, you need to start ex EU. I’ve just returned from S America on Iberia ex Madrid. The savings, both Avios and charges were substantial compared to same flight ex London on Iberia or BA. We got RFS to Madrid from London sepèrately to position.

    • Hi Mikeact. Which destinations did you visit in South America? I know Iberia flies from Madrid. The BA and UK charges seem way too much. In South America Peru and Ecuador interest me. I am now not sure about total safety in Central America. I felt safer in Asia so am keen to visit Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. I will have a look at the Iberia flight map. Thanks.

  3. The problem is that Iberia are weak to the Far East. You could book one of their partners,but, beware if you cancel you lose all your Avios and will only get back the statutory taxes. I would start ex EU if BA. Look at the Avios costs from Jersey or Prague, Istanbul or Amsterdam to your destination. You need a separate ticket to get there and your Avios ticket will then bring you back to London for your Far East flight. We normally hop over to AMS and start there as it’s convenient.

  4. I travel with my two children. My son has just turned 12 years old and my daughter is 9 years old. She soon becomes 10. We like to sit near the front of economy class. We had a lovely trip which included Brazil in 2012. I didn’t know about Avios Points in those days. We flew on Air Europa to Argentina via Spain. Yes Amsterdam might be my best choice. Prague is quite cheap to reach. It is surprisingly challenging to reach Jersey cheaply. For our trip we used Istanbul and it made the flight to India much cheaper than departing from the UK. Mikeact what you you think of a frequent flyer tax? Leaving on Euro Star would beat that wouldn’t it.

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