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Reminder: quick summary of the April 28th Avios changes

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There are only nine days to go to book your flights before the big Avios devaluation kicks in!

I wrote a series of ten articles starting here which explain, in worrying levels of detail, exactly what will happen.  For everyone else, here is a reminder of the key changes which are coming your way in terms of Avios redemptions (there are also changes to Avios and tier point earning rates which are in the articles above):

British Airways 350 2

Economy (Eurotraveller, World Traveller) redemptions are NOT increasing in price.  Because of the new ‘off peak’ and ‘peak’ redemption schedule, some economy rewards will actually get cheaper on off-peak dates.  If you only redeem for economy tickets, you have nothing to worry about ….

…. unless you live in the regions!  BA currently includes domestic connections to Heathrow for free on European redemptions.  Manchester – Heathrow – Nice is charged the same as Heathrow – Nice.  For new bookings from April 28th, you will be charged additional Avios for Manchester – Heathrow.  This will DOUBLE the cost of some European redemptions for regional flyers and the minimum increase will be 9,000 Avios + £35 return.

If you redeem in premium cabins, you have a LOT to worry about.  The biggest devaluation is in Club World (long-haul business class) where redemptions on peak dates will cost 50% more.  Dubai, for example, jumps from 80,000 Avios points return to 120,000 Avios points.

Club World redemptions on off-peak dates (which include every Tuesday and Wednesday) increase by ‘only’ 25%.  However, ALL redemptions on partner airlines will be at peak pricing, whatever day of the year you fly.

In terms of percentage rise, the cost of upgrading from World Traveller Plus (premium economy) to Club World (long-haul business class) is hit even harder.  Whilst the cost varies by route, the number of Avios required for upgrades will rise by 240% in some cases!  A World Traveller Plus to Club World upgrade from London to New York, one way, will jump from 10,000 Avios points to 24,000 Avios points when travelling on an off-peak date.

British Airways lets you book Avios redemptions 355 days ahead.  This means that – if you book on the last possible date on April 27th 2015 – you should see availability through to April 17th 2016. 

As Easter is earlier in 2016, you should be able to lock in all of your trips until and including next Easter at the old rates.

British Airways will let you change the dates of any Avios booking without repricing.  If you know you want to go to New York this year but don’t know exactly when, it may be worth booking approximate dates and paying the £35 change fee later.  This would let you lock in the current pricing.

You cannot change the passenger name, however, nor can you push the date further forward than 12 months from the date you booked.

I will obviously be devoting a lot of space to these changes after implementation day, including a full rewrite of our massive Avios Redemption University series.  This will probably be published in the last week of May when I am in Singapore.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

Comments (62)

  • Alex Bishop says:

    If you book some avios flights in advance with the intention of moving them to the dates you want at a later date can you also upgrade/downgrade the cabin on the old avios rate or would this count as a rebooking and so be subject to the new rate?

    • Don says:

      There’s nothing good left with Avios for regional flyers now than RFS are dead to us. It was hard enough to find redemptions from GLA that were not connecting via Gatwick to Heathrow. Except if you booked way in advance or 36 hours before.

      I, like a few others I know are burning and forgetting it all.

      It’s such a pity actually. But who can blame us when they want 18k and £70 for a Zone 1 and given the other zones cost more Avios anyway they are even more ridiculous. Long-haul was always a joke in terms of taxes.

      Good if you live in London of course….like everything! Two fingers to the North. Commercial decison? Hmm. Roll on 12-18 months when there’s a big “customer experience” refocus.

      Moreover with £1.8bn profits for next year, Mixed Fleet are stupid not to strike! But then there’s a lot of young crew who are rather naive about all of this.

      Raffles didn’t you say you were going to tell us some insider stuff from a lunch today?

    • Rob says:

      Not clear. I reckon any change except date would be at new rates but only a guess.

  • Mike says:

    “nor can you push the date further forward than 12 months from the date you booked.”
    So if I use an Amex 2-4-1 to book LHR-YVR return in club world before the 28th, but the return dates i want to travel haven’t opened yet…then I wont be able to change the return to a later date after the changes? (as it will certainly be more than a year after the date of booking).

    are you able to change to a later date and just pay the extra avios?

  • Ads says:

    Given that Rob values 1 Avios at 1p, as a general rule of thumb what will the general value of an avios be post changes?

    • Rob says:

      I generally go with 0.75p as the cut-off point for what I would pay as I average 1p on redemptions. Honest answer is I don’t know. On my most common run, 120k plus £500 tax for a Dubai CW seat you could get for £1499 in a sale would be around 0.8p. The Hamburg seats we also bulk buy would not change though.

      • amex? says:

        Given you need a few in the bank, I can’t see paying 0.85p or close is a big deal.

        The days we could get plenty/ loads/ unlimited for 0.65p seem to have disappeared.

        Of course, I like the free ones, But they’re not enough.

  • Andy says:

    Forgive me if I’ve missed this being explained already, but I was wondering how the changes are going to effect redemptions for things other than BA flights (as a regional user).

    In the past I have used my points for hotel nights, will the valuations be changing for this?

    Also, how will the value be changing for using the niche 3rd party airlines like Aurigny to get from Manchester to Jersey/Guernsey?

    • Rob says:

      Hotel redemptions unchanged, still 0.58p per point.

      Short haul redemption rates are unchanged for direct flights. As a partner, Aurigny will price at peak rates on all days. However, that is still no more expensive than today.

      • Andy says:

        Excellent, thanks for letting me know, I know these redemptions don’t represent the best value but do seem to be a good option for us Northerners.

  • Baggageinhall says:

    It probably worth having a look generally at how BA might have changed the way in which they release award seats on the route you are looking to bag. My original plan was to bag a trip for 3 in J or F to New York during the Easter holidays in 2016. Whilst there are 2 seats available in J on every flight from around April 1st onwards, there is nothing in F. I have checked in the early hours of the morning and through the day and whilst yes, someone might have beaten me to them, I don’t think they have. Nor have I seen more than 2 in J. Pre April 1st 2016 however, there are multiple (more than 2) in J and F on various JFK services. I appreciate that school holidays may skew availability but this seems more a policy than just the norm.

    Instead, we are going to NYC in August this year. Despite the flight finder suggesting that I wouldn’t find 3 seats in J or F, I managed to find 3 in F at dates that suited. Ah, the wonders of the flight finder.

  • Winston says:

    I have a feeling there will be further news on BA’s reward flights, after the 28th April.

    I think the devaluation will be combined with further improvements, mainly reduced taxes and fees, to compensate for the new rules.
    They want everyone to burn their current miles now, before they announce. Just a gut feeling.

  • idrive says:

    Hey Rob, I think i missed a point. What about those cheap US/Japan domestic or intra Asia redemptions? Do we have a table for that? or it has not been covered? or I simply missed it? I am very confused, I find myself sitting on a 241, another in line coming in a few months, plenty of Avios, no one to fly with (if you can not change the name, what’s the point!!) and a rush to decide what to do, as I was working hard to experience a business or First redemption to South America or Asia this is hitting me hard with timing..also, would you say it is better not to book European flights now pre devaluation as that won’t change much?

    As many discussed Malaysia, how cheap or expensive is that in comparison with Thailand? An idea woud be flying to KUL then explore Malaysia/Indonesia (Bali?) over 2 weeks. any advice?

    • amex? says:

      Don’t try to do too much in your limited time.

      I’d go to Bangkok, grab a cheap flight to Koh Samui, take a boat to Koh Tao and play it simple but best/ works.

      Good food, nice people, bit of scuba diving.

    • Rob says:

      No changes if it is short-haul, whether on BA or on AA, JAL etc.

      Absolutely no need to book European flights now – economy off-peak actually gets cheaper.

    • sandgrounder says:

      Malaysia is a fantastic country to visit, I love the food, a night out in Bukit Bintang can be a fantastic fusion of old and new Asia. Across the country you will find much to see and do. If you are a big drinker you may find it pricey on the mainland, Langkawi on the other hand is duty free (if a bit dull for those who like more than the beach). I am hoping to squeeze a return trip in for next April, waiting on the seats as many others are no doubt. If not, I think it will be the TXL-AUH run before that bargain slides out of view.

      • idrive says:

        thank you for your feedbacks. it seems everyone have their own view. good in anycase!

        Rob, I meant intra Asia flights, don’t know if they mean short haul even if it’s country to country (ie Malaysia to Singapore/Thailand). Or let’s say BKK to Japan..

  • Chelseafi says:

    I am looking at booking any date now to change dates later for summer 2016 school holidays flights. I want 4 first class returns to New York using 2 241s. When I look at year, availability looks good for Aug 2015 so I am hoping it will be the same for 2016? I don’t know first what airport to select (never been to NY) I was thinking JFK and 2 if when I change the dates to what I want can I choose any of the two NY airports to help with getting what I want or would I have to stick with the one I originally booked to stay within the date only change that I understand is allowed. Any help advice thanks.

    • Kipto says:

      Don’t believe you can do that. I think that the latest outward journey you can do on a 241 or avios on the existing rates will be 27th April 2016.

      • Chelseafi says:

        Thank you I went through a few old articles on here and wondered that. Not much left now for school hols to US in next 12 months, Already booked orlando for July, so think I’ll just have to book later in year for Summer 16.