If your company is a member of the British Airways On Business programme, it will have received an email on Monday. This explained that Marriott will no longer be a partner, and that from the end of the year you can no longer redeem for Marriott Stay Certificates.
(If you don’t know about On Business, I wrote two introductory articles here and here. If you are self-employed – with a Companies House registration number – then you should definitely be a member. Here is a fantastic sign-up bonus as well.)
The Marriott certificates were not a terrible deal, so it is sad to see them go. The certificates have a 15 month validity, though, so any voucher redemptions made now will still be valid at hotels throughout 2014.
That said, I never redeemed my On Business points for one because they were historically far more valuable when redeemed for BA flights.
However …. that has changed for business class flights.
Historically, when you used your On Business points to book a British Airways flight, you would almost always see availability. I booked a return flight from Germany to London at fairly short notice over the Summer, and despite return cash tickets in Economy being over £400 I was still able to make an On Business redemption.
If you redeem your On Business points for Club World or Club Europe flights, though, it is now a lot harder.
Without telling anyone, BA has changed the way On Business redemptions work. Historically, you could book into ‘D’ class, which is not the cheapest level of Club World or Club Europe.
As of a few weeks ago, Club World and Club Europe redemptions only book into ‘R’ class. This is the cheapest available revenue ticket. If all of the super-cheap Club World or Club Europe tickets have been sold for the flight you want, On Business can no longer book onto it.
This fact wasn’t in the latest On Business email, interestingly.