LEAKED: Devalued British Airways Avios Award Chart

British Airways today announced that they will be devaluing the Avios award chart starting on May 30th for partner redemptions. What they didn’t provide is any details of what the devaluation looks like. “We’re devaluing your points,” they said. “But we won’t retroactively raise the prices on any bookings you have already made!”

Although the new chart isn’t available, it has been programmed into the British Airways computer system for booking agents. So, by asking the right questions, I was able to piece together what I believe to be the award chart for the short and mid-haul flights most commonly booked with Avios (the Avios chart generally isn’t a good deal for long haul flights, so I didn’t focus on these). What are the results? They’re not as bad as I expected, and are in line with the recent LifeMiles devaluation. It’s clear that British Airways is trying to remain competitive with LifeMiles, and it’s possible that their credit card partner Chase leaned on them to do so given the 30% bonus currently available for transfers to Avios.

Surf’s still up!

What We Know

  • Hawaii West Coast sweet spot (mostly) remains intact. The price is going up by 500 miles which is manageable.
  • Mid-haul sweet spot goes away. These flights are going from 7,500 to 9,000 points which is painful however you slice it. This is going to give Delta an excuse to devalue, so I’m actually much more concerned about burning my SkyMiles than worrying too much about BA’s devaluation here.
  • British Airways isn’t moving to variable pricing. There is still an award chart, it has just been devalued.
  • Per-leg pricing isn’t changing. Every flight is priced individually so the price for connecting itineraries is sum of all of the flights. This is the same practice as currently
  • All partner flights will cost the same. It won’t be more expensive to redeem on Alaska or American versus Sri Lankan, S7 or Cathay Pacific.
  • Taxes and fees won’t change. They will remain exactly the same as they are now.
  • Pricing for business and first class is consistent. This will still be 2x and 4x the economy class price, respectively. In general, this isn’t a great deal (although there can be sweet spots such as on Cathay Pacific mid-haul business class) so Avios are best used for economy class redemptions.

Not Yet Clear

  • It seems possible that the 0-650 mile award chart is coming back for flights within North America, because short-haul flights are pricing out based on this mileage band.
  • It isn’t clear whether Iberia and Aer Lingus will also devalue their Avios programs. If they don’t devalue, and you can live with the restrictions of Iberia, this may be a better program to use in many cases.

The Chart

  • 0-650 miles: 6,000 Avios
  • 651-1,150 miles: 9,000 Avios
  • 1,151 miles-2,000 miles: 11,000 Avios
  • 2,001 miles-3,000 miles: 13,000 Avios

Want help booking a flight with Avios or any other award program? At AwardCat, we’re expert at helping you get the most for your miles.

35 thoughts on “LEAKED: Devalued British Airways Avios Award Chart

  1. CDKing says:

    I tried BOS-JFK and its still pricing 7500 with late 2019 dates

    1. TProphet says:

      Yes, the new pricing won’t kick in until after the devaluation takes effect, so you can spend for the next month at the current levels. However, agents can see the new pricing in the system now.

  2. Sonny says:

    Well…if this is true,. It could be much worse.
    But anyway…a devaluation it’s always a sh*ting news =(

    1. Thanks! I’ll be following this closely.. hope it goes as speculated here, as it could have been much worse. I also really hope that 0-650 mile award chart comes back, but let’s see

  3. Richard James says:

    “although there can be sweet spots such as on Cathay Pacific mid-haul business class”

    Can you provide an example and how one may find such sweet spots?

    By using BA Avios website?

    TIA.

    1. TProphet says:

      They are the same sweet spots as currently exist, the prices are just higher (but still a good deal). For example, Hong Kong-Tokyo is 20k Avios currently, will become 22k Avios. That’s a great deal on JAL or Cathay Pacific.

  4. Dan says:

    Dang another devaluation! It’s getting harder to get more miles and more expensive. They still don’t refund taxes right? I was thinking of making some bookings in advance but don’t want to pay any fees if I have to cancel. Thanks for writing this very straightforward post!

    1. TProphet says:

      You can cancel for a $55 fee or the amount of the taxes, whichever is less. All cancellations must be done >24 hours before the flight.

  5. Roberto says:

    “How are Avios prices changing on reward flights with partner airlines?
    From 30 May 2019 Avios prices on reward flights with the following partner airlines will increase by as little as 4%: 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 increase will depend on the route, cabin and the partner airline you’re booking. You’ll be able to check our reward flight calculator on ba.com from 30 May for the changes. There aren’t any changes to reward flights booked on BA.”

  6. Joe C. says:

    Do you know if there’s a devaluation for business awards as well?

    1. TProphet says:

      Yes, business class awards were devalued more than expected. Here is the new chart: https://onemileatatime.com/british-airways-partner-award-chart/

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