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Uh oh: British Airways increases short-haul Avios redemption prices with no notice

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British Airways has quietly increased the cost of short-haul Avios redemptions.

The increase is 750 Avios each way, so 1,500 Avios for a return flight.

The price increase seem to have taken effect immediately. Earlier this afternoon it was only on flights for 2022 but now appears to include 2021 services.

Here is the old Avios redemption chart:

This is what has changed. This is one-way pricing so you need to double these numbers for a return flight.

Zone 1 (eg Amsterdam)

  • Off-peak Economy – was 4000 Avios, now 4750 Avios
  • Peak Economy – was 4500 Avios, now 5250 Avios
  • Off-peak Business – was 7750 Avios, now 8500 Avios
  • Peak Business – was 9000 Avios, now 9750 Avios

Here is an example for 1st January 2022 for a peak day Business Class return flight to Berlin. However, during this evening, the changes have extended to cover 2021 too. Look at the number next to the ‘£50 taxes’ option (click to enlarge):

Zone 2 (eg Barcelona)

  • Off-peak Economy – was 6500 Avios, now 7250 Avios
  • Peak Economy – was 7500 Avios, now 8250 Avios
  • Off-peak Business – was 12750 Avios, now 13500 Avios
  • Peak Business – was 15000 Avios, now 15750 Avios

Zone 3 (eg Corfu)

  • Off-peak Economy – was 8500 Avios, now 9250 Avios
  • Peak Economy – was 10000 Avios, now 10750 Avios
  • Off-peak Business – was 17000 Avios, now 17750 Avios
  • Peak Business – was 20000 Avios, now 20750 Avios

Nothing has changed for Zone 4 and above, which are primarily long-haul routes.

The pricing above is ‘base’ pricing, ie the level at which you pay £17.50 in Reward Flight Saver fees in Economy or £25 in Business.

These are also the Avios figures you will be quoted if you use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.

For non-241 bookings you will also be offered a range of other prices, some needing more Avios (and less cash) and some needing fewer Avios (and more cash).

British Airways does not actually publish an Avios redemption chart any longer. The chart above is one we compiled ourselves. The ‘Reward Flight Calculator’ tool on ba.com has also been broken for some time …..

Changing a flight?

If you voluntarily change a short-haul Avios flight, you will be required to pay extra Avios.

If British Airways cancels your flight, you should not have to pay any additional points.

Conclusion

At a time when cash prices are likely to be very weak, especially this Winter, it is hard to understand the rationale behind ramping up Avios prices.

Making Avios worth less when used for flights is also an odd move now that the Avios / Nectar partnership is here. It simply makes it more attractive to cash out your Avios for 0.8p in Sainsbury’s or Argos credit by transferring them to Nectar.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2022)

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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 UK’s most valuable card perk – the 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 unbeatable travel 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

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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.

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 sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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 (111)

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

  • Chris says:

    Given the small increase and it being uniform even on CE I can’t help but think this is related to the new Heathrow fee

    • Sam G says:

      Based on ITA Matrix that 8.90 is only charged on 2021 flights. Perhaps this is BAs way of recovering the cost recovery forked out on Avios flights in 2021 🙂

    • Rob says:

      This fee is a ‘catch up’ – it should fall away in 2022.

      • Matarredonda says:

        If you believe LHR and BA could of course, also drop Avios then. Could also be BA are seeing a surge in cash bookings.

  • Wally1976 says:

    Glad I booked 355 days out for Gibraltar next February 😀

  • jil says:

    the inflation risk of avios

    • J says:

      Zone 1 has gone from 4,500 avios + £17.50 to 4,750 (5,250) + £17.50 in about a decade. BoE UK inflation calculator has £62.50 in 2012 worth £75.48 now. Doesn’t seem unreasonable.

  • Ed says:

    Wow I have literally just (on Saturday) booked CE tickets for four to Palma PMI in Feb 2022. Assume they can’t ask for more Avios! Difference would be 6000.

  • Mikeact says:

    Pretty obvious that sooner or later, increases would be on the cards….maybe more to come when/if ADP charges are changed. Can’t really complain.

  • Nathan says:

    Just booked flights to GIB for this summer and was charged 33000 Avios rather than 30000. So it looks like the changes have been bought in with immediate effect. Can anyone shed some light on this?
    It’s only 3000 Avios, so not the end of the world, but it’s the principle. BA love to give with one hand (status extension) and take with the other!!

  • Benilyn says:

    Reflation trade is live and kicking!

  • Jeff says:

    Just paid 17000 + £1 for two one way flights from BHD -LHR..This is BA’s breakdown

    “Taxes/fees/charges
    Government, authority and airport charges Per adult
    Passenger Service Charge – United Kingdom GBP 23.21
    Air Passenger Duty – United Kingdom GBP 13.00
    Total government, authority and airport charges*
    > More information

    GBP 36.21
    Total British Airways fees and surcharges
    > More information

    GBP 0.00
    Total taxes, fees and surcharges per person GBP 36.21”

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

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