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BIG NEWS: British Airways is ‘changing’ the cost of Avios redemption flights on partner airlines

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A worryingly vague email has just been sent out by British Airways to anyone who has recently booked an Avios redemption on a partner airline.

It says:

“As you’ve previously used your Avios to book reward flights with our global network of partner airlines, we wanted to let you know about some changes we’re making.

From 30 May 2019, we’ll be changing our Avios prices on reward flights with some of our partner airlines.

Don’t worry if you have an existing Avios booking with a partner airline. It’s still valid and you can make changes or cancel it if you need to*. Our new Avios prices will apply to any changes or new bookings you make after 30 May 2019.”

Here is the special page of it leads to:

“From 30 May 2019, we’ll be changing our Avios prices on reward flights with the following partner airlines:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Air Italy
  • American Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • S7
  • Sri Lankan and
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines

The price of Avios upgrades on American Airlines only will also be changing from 30 May 2019. You will pay the difference between the Avios prices of your booked cabin and your upgraded cabin.

Don’t worry if you have an existing Avios booking with one of these airlines. It’s still valid and you can make changes or cancel it if you need to*. Our new Avios prices will apply to any changes or new bookings you make after 30 May 2019.

There will be no change to our Avios prices for reward flights and upgrades with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia or Vueling. The Avios prices for our other services are also unaffected, so you can continue to benefit from spending your Avios on our wide range of hotels, car hire and experiences.”

This is, to put it mildly, not exactly informative.

The email is also untrue because as HfP readers know there ARE changes to Avios pricing on British Airways, which BA has already started to implement.

Avios partner pricing changes

As far as I can see, the new pricing is not available anywhere on ba.comThe reward calculator only has the current prices.

My best guess, as part of BA’s continual efforts to make the Avios programme too confusing for anyone without a PhD in Mathematics, is that we will now have three levels of pricing:

off-peak for flights on BA

peak for flights on BA

pricing for flights on partner airlines

What is NOT clear is whether the current sector-by-sector pricing will remain as it is, or if we will move back to origin-to-destination pricing where the cost is driven by the overall distance and not the cost of each individual leg.

I don’t see a huge amount of logic to this.  All I can think of is that – because taxes are generally lower on partner flights which don’t touch the UK – BA saw an opportunity to whack up the cost because they still look a bargain compared to ex-UK flights.

Anyway …. the little we know can be read here at

PS.  On the positive side, if this is genuinely the only change which is going to be made to Avios in the medium term then it won’t impact too many people based in the UK.  We have already seen, for example, BA charging higher taxes and charges to US residents flying to the UK compared to UK residents flying to the US.  I wouldn’t necessarily believe that though.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (110)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • RedEyeDonkey says:

    Not sure how reliable but BA Twitter just confirmed the AVIOS price update is going through on the 30th May so I guess this vague announcement is counting as reasonable notice and changes will go into immediate effect on the 30th when they’re actually announced properly. I suppose one could play devil’s advocate and argue it’s almost good enough – we know it means ‘prices going up’ so any bookings you can make/needed to make with partners you know to make now.

    However really I think it’s a bit frustrating not to get proper notice of what the changes are in advance.

    • meta says:

      Yes, you can make a booking now, but but only if you have firm plans. Any change to booking will result in a reprice at new rates! Also some partners don’t release awards to partners until 2-3 months before. But as has repeatedly been said, our Avios belong to the IAG bank and they can do whatever they want.

    • Jamie says:

      Expect that they have not notified everyone. I for one have not received any email other than the recent ‘The Club’ enewsletter and the change is not mentioned in that.
      I do redeem for partner airlines, perhaps not in the last 12 months (but I have been searching for availability) and intend to make further bookings in the near future. Not sure why they don’t notify everyone.

  • Andyh says:

    Just priced two redemption flights using avios, peak flights Lhr to Dubai July this year and it’s showing 240,000 avios and approx £1100 in tax etc. Last check was 80,000 has avios devalued? In the last couple of days?
    Anyone know?

    • Rob says:

      120k is the peak date price for Dubai per person in Business. Hasn’t been 80k in Business since 2015.

      Note that Singapore Airlines only charges 50k in Business to Dubai using Krisflyer miles (or is 59k following the recent change?) booking onto Lufty or Swiss.

      • Andyh says:

        Bugger, was using the miles chart on the website posted on 9th Jan 2019 where it says 60000 peak to Dubai 80000 in F

  • Jack says:

    Apparently the new award table will be…
    0-650 miles = 6000 Avios
    651-1150 miles = 9000 Avios
    1151-2000 miles = 11000 Avios
    2001-3000 miles = 13000 Avios

  • Maxine Chivers says:

    I went on Alaska Airlines and noticed they fly from Los Angeles to Costa Rica. I wonder how much Avios would cost. I have always wanted to visit Beijing. Both Finnair and Cathay Pacific fly there. LATAM flies from Santiago to Easter Island and on to Tahiti.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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