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.
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.