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.
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.