Has avios.com removed its ‘extra’ award availability?

One of more interesting quirks of the separate avios.com and British Airways Executive Club schemes is that avios.com had additional reward availability for European economy flights.

This goes back to the days of the old Air Miles scheme, when it was run totally separately from BA Miles.  Because Air Miles was designed to appeal to the ‘man in the street’, it was made more attractive by making European economy flights – the core redemption product of the Air Miles scheme – easier to get.

This was done by making Economy ticket bucket ‘G’ – one of the cheaper price bands for cash tickets – also available for Air Miles redemptions.

When Air Miles became avios.com, this practice continued.  You had the odd situation where ba.com would not show any reward availability but – by using Combine My Avios – you could still book by moving the required points over to avios.com and booking from there!

This now seems to be over.

Avios banner

Various discussions over at Flyertalk, one of which references a conversation with an Avios phone representative, confirm that ‘G’ class availability is no more.

(One extra benefit of these ‘G’ seats, if you got one, was that you would earn Avios points and British Airways tier points when you flew it!)

Whilst I can see the logic for standardising the two systems, this does devalue the avios.com product.  By making it harder for low volume Avios collectors to get the flights they want – which will usually be economy European flights – they are more likely to stop collecting.

I understand that a recent BA survey found that under a third of British Airways Executive Club members were happy with how easy it was to spend their Avios points.  I have no idea what the figure is for avios.com, but it will be heading downwards.

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  1. This explains some of my recent searches on avios.com! I just presumed loads where high…

  2. With regards to earning Avios on the ‘G’ seats – for about a year now (if not more), when booking one of those seats, and even though on BAEC you could initially see that the flight would earn Avios and Tier Points, sometime between booking and flying these would turn to zero and you would end up earning nothing. Not sure if the same would happen if you had your avios.com number instead of the BAEC number.

    Also, this disappearance of extra availability seems to have come at the same time as the Avios Flight Finder.

    • Jonathan says:

      I agree, it always showed as earning points on the system but on flying, it came up as ineligible for points.

    • A lot of people do get the Avios – if you credit them to Iberia Plus you have more chance of it crediting (although no BA tier points). avios.com also seems to work well.

      Not necessarily a fruitful discussion if the seats are no longer there though!

  3. I’ve also noticed in many instances (long haul, booking a long way out) that Avios availability is now worse than BAEC…

  4. Erico1875 says:

    Theres Monarch availability , from Manchester as well as London, for dates in October where there is no BA availability, when I was searching for Malaga flights.

  5. Darn it.

    This was always a great back up for last minute flights to see the relatives in EDI. Next they will reduce the stopover functionality at ba.com to the same 24hr max as Avios!

  6. Drat, for my regular route avios.com availability and RFS meant I would get have no problem getting redemption tickets which BA wanted £400+ for (no avios availability)

    • Remember though that the G bucket hasn’t disappeared. So long as you’re booking a return flight, a cheap hotel or hire car booked as a package can get round this problem.

      • tony – very interesting comment, could you explain why this is the case please (and any other related information) as this (ticket class) is an area many of us HfPers could do with a more informed opinion

        • “G” is a fare bucket normally reserved for group or inclusive tour sales. I also believe it’s what staff hotline tickets book into.

          So, what you can find on some prime business routes (where BA reckon if you need to fly you’ll pay whatever they ask) is that although the published fares are only the really expensive ones (like J& C) they will still sell the “G” bucket fares. I recall on one occasion being quoted £250+ for a one way flight GLA-LCY. However by booking a flight & hotel package on BA.com I was able to go LGW-GLA-LCY and get a night in an OK Glasgow hotel for about £160.

          Given the value of Avios, this can actually make sense, especially if you actually need the hotel.

      • I think this is missing the point.

        What has disappeared here is the ability to book via avios.com into the G cash bucket using Avios i.e. a redemption that doesn’t rely on (traditional) redemption seats being made available.

        Adding a car to a cash booking has nothing to do with this.

  7. A BA survey found that under a third were happy with the ability to use Avios? Well, I suppose zero is under a third!

  8. Lady London says:

    So first they introduce amendment charges for Golds, then they withdraw Avios access to G class, what will they think of next to degrade the offering? It’s amazing how quickly they roll the carpet up on loyalty benefits once their business starts to pick up again..

    • When in actual fact, a company that’s doing well should reward all key stakeholders including loyal customers

  9. PalCsaky says:

    How recently has this removal of extra availability taken place? I booked a one way flight to Madrid on 30 April on avios.com. The ticket was issued in G class and earned me avios and tier points when I flew on 22 August.

  10. I just had an Avios reward post with points and TPs. I was also travelling with the family but did not register their Exec Club # on the booking. Does anyone think it is worth trying a retrospective credit or should one keep quiet?

  11. I had one post with Avios and Teir Points from July.

  12. Cheers Rob and Rob automated and booked as G Class award miles accrued

  13. Wow, apparently they aren’t worried about the ongoing rise of Ryanair and easyJet. Whenever I book a flight where they compete (like next weekend to Budapest) I look for reasons to book BA since they now own all my diamond club miles but only where the prices are not too far apart is it actually worth it. With ongoing devaluation like this I’ll soon have no reason to even consider BA!