Reward Flight Saver pricing to be increased from 11th July

I reported last week how Iberia had pulled Reward Flight Saver flights with absolutely no notice, replacing them with a new structure which charges full airport taxes plus a reduced fuel surcharge.

At the time, I wondered if BA and avios.com would follow suit.  And now we know.

Avios and British Airways Executive Club have announced a new pricing structure for Reward Flight Saver, effective from 11th July.

Reward Flight Saver

Full details can be found here.

The price for Eurotraveller / Economy tickets increases from £30 to £35.

The price for Club Europe / Business tickets increases from £40 to £50.

(For Comair in South Africa, the increase takes effect from 1 July and moves up to £56 in Economy and £64 in Business.)

In addition, Reward Flight Saver will no longer be available on Iberia flights, when booked via avios.com or ba.com.

Now, compared to what members of Iberia Plus have faced, this does not seem too bad.  However, it still represents the second increase since the Avios programme was launched in November 2011, which is just over 18 months ago.  It is also worth remembering that the ‘fuel surcharge’ on BA flights is a purely arbitrary number which means nothing at all, and certainly bears no resemblance to the cost of fuel.

The increase in the differential between Eurotraveller and Club Europe is also a little odd, given that BA has massively devalued its lounge offering in recent weeks with huge cuts to the food available.

Ironically, over at the Avios Advisory Hub in recent weeks, Avios has been asking members for guidance on a potential renaming of Reward Flight Saver.  It appears that Avios members simply don’t ‘get it’.  To which the obvious response would be – since Air Miles members were used to paying no surcharges, then £27, then £30 and now £35 – you can hardly blame them if they have lost track of what is happening ….

We need to keep things in perspective, of course.  Reward Flight Saver is still a good deal.  In fact, as you can get over 1p per Avios quite easily, it is probably still the best use of Avios.  This continual ‘chip, chipping away’ of the programme does not inspire confidence, though.

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Comments

  1. vindaloo says:

    On the plus side, it suggests they’re not pulling RFS completely, which was a worry after the Iberia announcement.

  2. Colin MacKinnon says:

    Just as well there was a good promo on AA’s card the other day.

    If in the regions, like me, this really stuffs Avios for me – unless they throw them at me like the Lloyds TSB promo did.

    The big use, perhaps, was going to be EDI-LCY-Granada (launches next month) – and perhaps a few other LCY routes. And EDI-LON-MAD.

    But if IB is now out of it, and the price going up, then it is EDI-MAD with the Big Orange for me and lo-co to AGP.

    Then IB MAD to South America and AA to the caribbean and North America – 65k AA for 1st SJU-MIA-LHR-EDI is far cheaper than BA, even with 241s.

  3. Squillion says:

    Bit fed up with this as another £25 on the bill for us when we go out to our place in the sun. Makes me more determined to pick up cheap Avios whenever I can and I’m confident I can still make decent savings vs headline fares.

    Still time to get in half term holiday 2014 on the RFS £30 basis I guess.

  4. Never used RFS before. Do we have to book way in advance or can this be done at a short notice for flights within EU?

    • Usual availability patterns you get – there is nothing ‘special’ about RFS except that the taxes are capped

  5. Squire says:

    I booked a flight for the 11 July as it happens. It’s paid for now so I’m up £2.50!

    Seriously though…this is taking the piddle a little bit. £27 to £30 was acceptable. But a £5 now, £7 next year, £10 the year after, and this doesn’t seem either rewarding or saving.

    I don’t collect these things to pay charges when I fly (which I detect puts me at odds with most of this blog’s readership)

    I live in NI, so the free connection made avios worthwhile, but I think I’ll probably just keep avios for aer lingus redemptions to the states (to which I’ve never been)

    • tangey says:

      I’m in NI too.

      Don’t forget the DUB-MAD on Iberia. Although Iberia have dropped RFS, you can still book on BA.com using RFS. 15K Avios +£30 return in economy, or 30K+£40 in Business.

      Also remember that once you get to US on EI, you can fly on AA using avios and taxes are generally less than a £10.

      DUB-ORD give you great options, as ORD (Chicago) is an AA hub.

      • I’d feel ripped off if I paid £10 in tax on an AA redemption! A BOS-JFK for next month I have booked was £1.60!

        • tangey says:

          yeah, it was just indicative. A couple of return routes I’ve price both came out at £3.20. It may well be £1.60 flat per sector.

      • Squire says:

        It’s actually Madrid that I’m going to, but I decided to go via London so I could spend an evening with friends, and avoid travelling to Dublin on over the 12th Bank Holiday.

        Raffles wrote “In addition, Reward Flight Saver will no longer be available on Iberia flights, when booked via avios.com or ba.com.” so the Dub-> Mad route is now a bit of a non runner. I was never sure what sort of luggage allowance was allowed anyway.

        Another question, as a fellow NI man, is have you ever managed to find a direct AA flight to the USA from Dublin on the BAEC website, I’d be keen to know what sorts of taxes are levied for this, but I can never find availability, so I’m not sure it’s possible.

        • Tangey says:

          EI award flights simply don’t exist on BA.com. You have to ring them up, which certainly curtails being able to mess around with dates etc, indications are that taxes are around £100.

          Iberia out of dub on award is still bookable today, just tried it

          • Squire says:

            I know that Aer Lingus flights aren’t visible on BAEC, but what about American Airlines direct from Dublin (to ORD I imagine, but they’re starting one to JFK soon I believe)

          • tangey says:

            A look on the AA site shows zero mileSAAver availbility at ALL from DUB to ORD in any class right thru to next may. Plenty of economy going ORD-DUB, but again zero business or first. So BA should be able to book ORD-DUB in economy if you pohne them, but they don’t seem to show on BAEC.

    • tangey says:

      You might also want to checkout my blog, which is my personal avios collecting/spending experiences, I’ll be updating it in the next day or two with my agend for a holiday coming up in Nov, starting from BHD. (its goingonrewards.com, I’m sure raffles won’t mind this one-off url).

    • James67 says:

      I think we can book RFS at current rates up to 11th July for travel beyond this date.

  6. Worzel says:

    Firstly,

    Raffles-thank you!

    For all interested, look at Raffles’ link above showing – ‘Full details can be found here’.

    Avios state that ‘our prices are rising by a small amount’.

    However, the rise appears to be:
    Economy- rise of 16.6%.
    Business-rise of 25%.

    What next?

  7. “We feel we are not making enough profit despite our previous contractual arrangement so we are kindly asking for a greater contribution on your part – and there is no choice in this matter, well not from you.”

    “Compared to what we would like to charge you you are making a huge saving”.

    “Please note these words are not worth the web page they are written on. You can be assured our prices will continue to rise until your stupid points are worth more to us than to you”.

    “Have a rubbish day”.

    • James67 says:

      Part that makes me laugh is the usual “beyond our control” excuse … BA seem to hsve no trouble whatsoever in ‘controlling’ their YQ etc