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LAST CHANCE: Book short US domestic redemptions for 4,500 Avios before they go up

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Don’t forget that Monday is your last chance to use your Avios points to book sub-650 miles redemptions on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines flights in the US before the cost goes up.

You can read the full announcement on ba.com here.

For US residents – and UK residents on holiday in the States – US domestic flight redemptions represent good value because of the minimal taxes ($6).

When Avios was launched, with its distance-based redemptions, it was a dream come true for those in the US.  The cost of a one-way flight from New York to Boston, costing 12,500 American Airlines miles, could now be had for just 4,500 Avios.

Given that the British Airways credit card in the US has an occasional sign-up bonus of 100,000 Avios, albeit with a substantial spend requirement, you can see why people were excited about this.

British Airways 350 2

The changes which begin on Tuesday are relatively simple.  For flights under 650 miles:

Economy redemptions increase from 4,500 Avios one-way to 7,500 Avios

Business class redemptions increase from 9,000 Avios one-way to 15,000 Avios

First Class redemptions increase from 18,000 Avios one-way to 30,000 Avios

Pricing on routes over 650 miles remains the same.

The new First Class pricing is crazy.  Many US flights on two-class aircraft are sold as First and Economy.  (You also find this on Qatar flights around the Middle East.)  This means that a ‘First Class’ seat from New York to Boston – which is effectively a slightly bigger seat and not much more – will cost 60,000 Avios return!  These ‘First Class’ seats are nothing of the sort.

The Avios redemption chart is now beyond the understanding of the vast majority of members, to be honest.

We now have:

Off-peak and peak redemption pricing options

Different calendars for peak and off-peak between Iberia and British Airways

South African Avios members forced into using the BA peak and off-peak calculator for Comair flights.  As this is based around UK school holidays it makes no sense to them at all!

Non-linear multiples – on long-haul, business class is 3 x economy whilst on short-haul it is 2 x economy

Different redemption charts for Iberia and British Airways – there are some weird differences for long-haul redemptions which mean, for example, New York on Iberia requires far fewer Avios than New York on BA

Different airlines available for redemption depending on where you book, eg Aurigny / Air Malta via avios.com, Vueling / Royal Air Maroc etc via Iberia, Aer Lingus and Alaska via BA

And now, different redemption levels for US domestic flights under 650 miles

Full details on the US pricing changes are on ba.com here.  Remember that you can book until Monday night, for flights 355 days beyond that, at the current prices.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Comments (12)

  • RIccati says:

    The complexity is not a bad quality here.

    It is best if BA fixes potholes rather than doing another overhaul.

  • Paul says:

    Glad the QR flights aren’t affected. 18k is already crazy. No way I’d pay 30k.

  • Rob says:

    Is there any reason why the American’s have access to such huge sign up bonuses across their credit card range? This is something that shocked me before. It doesn’t seem fair at all.

    • John says:

      The US is the world’s largest economy and has 5-6 times the population of the UK. The US was not economically devestated by WW2 and has a culture involving the “American dream”. If you can afford to have a credit card then you probably earn a lot more for the same job in the US than you would in the UK, and your taxes are probably lower.

      • Rob says:

        Anyone with a pulse can get a credit card in the US. Shop fees are so high – nearly 2 per cent – they don’t care about bad debt risk.

        Average wages are lower and taxes, when you adjust for buying health insurance, huge property taxes, high college fees etc, not much different.

    • Rob says:

      Shops pay SIX time more in fees – average 1.75% on Visa compared to 0.3% here.

  • Karl says:

    These fares were probably my best use of Avios miles. The cost of US air travel seems to have spiralled recently. 3-4 years ago there were lots of Southwest cash fares for around £50. Nowadays youll do well to find much under £100. A few weeks ago I managed to get a 4500 Avios AA flight where the best cash fare (on all airlines using Skyscanner) was £195.

  • n says:

    What’s refundable if I was to book then cancel a NYC – Washington return? I imagine I’d get my miles back and lose the fees?

    Where can I look to get an answer on this? Thanks!

    • Rob says:

      Correct. Technically fee is £35 but they won’t ask for more than the tax you paid. Avios returned.

  • Liz says:

    OT when you apply for a BAPP do the supplementary card holders have to be living at the same address as you?

  • Waribai says:

    Slightly OTT, a couple of weeks ago I booked AMS-BKK on BA for December 2016 in J for £1000 rtn. The lowest rate on the outbound was to do AMS-LHR-HKG-BKK. Now though AMS-LHR-BKK is pricing out the same. If I ring up BA, will they let me change to the latter (more direct flight) flight?