British Airways devalues shortest awards (increase of 750 Avios on BA-operated flights)

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Head for Points reports a devaluation on the shortest British Airways Avios award flight bands for flights on British Airways, with an increase of 750 Avios necessary for each of the 3 shortest bands (flights up to 2,000 miles in distance covered). It looks like this only affects British Airways flights and then only of the shortest distances up to 2,000 miles one way. This is a mild devaluation, but it is disappointing to see it happen unannounced and at a time when few are paying close attention.

The British Airways Avios Award Chart before and after

This latest devaluation adds 750 Avios each way to the three bands for flights less than 2,001 miles in distance.

Before today’s devaluation, according to our Complete Guide to Avios: British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus, the British Airways award charts for British Airways and Iberia flights looked like this (today’s devaluation only affects British-Airways operated awards). Note that the rates shown below are the old rates shown as comparisons to the previous rates.

All prices shown above are in thousands. For example, a first class flight with a distance between 2001 and 3000 miles costs 42,500 Avios.  Each segment flown is priced separately. For example, a 1,000 mile segment would be in the 651-1151 range and would cost 6.5K Avios to fly BA or 7.5K Avios to fly Iberia. Cells colored green indicate where that carrier’s award pricing is cheaper than the other carrier’s.

Peak dates follow a similar pattern, but the award price differences are more modest:

Cells colored green indicate where that carrier’s award pricing is cheaper than the other carrier’s. Cell’s colored yellow indicate where the pricing is identical.

The new rates for the shortest three bands are as follows:

BA Off-peak

Econ Biz 1st
1-650 4.75 8.5 16.25
651-1151 7.25 13.5 26.25
1152-2000 9.25 17.75 34.75

 

BA Peak

Econ Biz 1st
1-650 5.25 9.75 18.75
651-1151 8.25 15.75 30.75
1152-2000 10.75 20.75 40.75

 

This can be seen with examples like the screen shot at the top from London (LHR) to Paris (CDG) that previously priced at 4,000 Avios each way but now price from 4,750 Avios each way.

I ran searches on both American Airlines and Iberia routes to confirm that Iberia flights still price according to their chart and that American Airlines flights still price as per the British Airways partner award chart (which can be found in our Complete Guide to Avios). Since this only affects the shortest flights on British Airways metal, and since in many cases those flights aren’t great uses of Avios given cheap intra-European fares, I imagine that this one won’t sting most readers badly. However, the propensity of loyalty programs to quietly hike prices while travelers are still only paying limited attention due to the pandemic seems to be on the rise – and that’s a trend that I don’t like to see.

H/T: Head for Points via View from the Wing

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