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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 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.


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.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.

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 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 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

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.

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.

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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.

  • Andrew says:

    BA might be planning more populist marketing tactics with Exec club now that they are trying to acquire Sainsbury’s customers – hike the prices a bit and then do regular “flash sales” so we could see more Avios promotions, particularly on short-haul rather than the once in a blue moon as is currently the case. Modelling themselves on the cheap sofa shops like DFS, where there’s always a sale?

    • JDB says:

      I’m not sure Avios/BA is trying to acquire Sainsbury’s customers; it looks increasingly as though the whole tie up with Nectar is designed to get people to cash out of Avios.

      • Andrew says:

        Totally disagree – the marketing is ALL about converting Nectar to Avios with a sort of “by the way if you really want to you can convert your Avios to nectar” at the bottom of the page. And in-store marketing at Sainsbury’s is like you’ve stepped into T5 with BA and Avios branding everywhere you look.

        • Rob says:

          Correct, because logically this is how it works:

          *Sainsbury’s wants extra shoppers and doesn’t try to make a profit from Nectar
          *Avios is a profit-driven company which thinks it can get a large pile of £ from Sainsbury’s

          Unfortunately it probably won’t work that way, and Avios may end up paying money TO Sainsbury’s, net. Lifting the Argos purchase limit to £500 with points also seems to be a quiet move by Sainsbury’s to encourage redemption the other way.

          • JDB says:

            Interesting, but do you think Sainsbury’s will really attract a lot of shoppers from this? I was an avid Clubcard collector but I’m not moving to Sainsbury’s, but maybe that is a blinkered view. There have been a lot of comments about all the Nectar bonus points etc. but compared to Tesco and the Tesco Premium card, they don’t add up to a row of beans. I have now got the HSBC WE card in lieu of Tesco card, still shop at Tesco & Ocado. I calculated that even if I move to S and if I got the Sainsbury’s Nectar card with 10k bonus, I reckon I would only be 4,000 Avios better off in Y1 based on £1,500 grocery shopping/month.

          • Rhys says:

            £1,500 grocery shopping/month – what on earth are you cooking?!

          • Andrew says:

            Are you running a restaurant?! £50 a day for food is a hefty budget even for a large family!

          • Rob says:

            School lunch is £9 per child per day for us – adds up quickly.

          • Rhys says:

            Time to start making your lunches like me 😉

          • mike says:

            JDB – £1,500 grocery shopping/month ! Is your family very large or very well fed ?

          • JDB says:

            Small family, well fed!

          • Rhys says:

            Caviar for breakfast, lunch and dinner?!

          • Layerden says:

            Not so quiet now!

          • Lord Doncaster says:

            I can’t even imagine the Queen spending £1500 a month on food! That could feed a whole street in Yorkshire

  • NigelthePensioner says:

    BA need the hard cash in the bigger picture…….so bump up the Avios price to make that option less attractive!

  • Charlie says:

    The conversion website is saying “We are sorry, Avios to Nectar conversion isn’t currently available online.” Is this just me?

    • Rob says:

      It has been this way for a while and will remain offline until the system is secure.

  • Braiden says:

    I got stung by this. Called Wednesday to use a FTV and completed the process. Yesterday evening I couldn’t see the new booking anywhere so I called up. Turns out he previous agent hadn’t completed the booking and they were now telling me I had to pay additional avios! The only way I could hold the seats was to pay the higher amount of avios which I have done. Supposedly they are going to review the call recording and will the refund me the difference. I suspect a lot of chasing will be required.

    • Lady London says:

      don’t accept this. give it max 7 days to see anything extra you paid back, then raise a formal complaint to make sure.

      I suspect you’ve encoutered 2 low-skilled agents who’ve each fobbed you off in their own way.

      I would have escalated it and certainly not paid any more avios. Possession is 9/10ths of the law with BA.

  • BS says:

    Both the cash element and the avios required has also increased on Comair.
    A JNB – HRE is now 11,100 avios plus £71.10 RFS fee. Ludicrous.

  • Richie says:

    Avios will always behave like this, quietly making annoying adjustments, thankfully it keeps Rob out of retirement with more to write about, being Avios comfortably off is still very much a nice place to reside.

  • George K says:

    I always seemed to believe that places like CFU and ATH fell under zone 4, mostly because of references to ‘Band 4’ when the new Do&Co CE menus were rolled out a few years ago. So I was convinced ATH was zone 4, and therefore unaffected by this change.

    Turns out Zone and Band are quite different, from what it appears..

    • Rob says:

      I got confused too – my first draft of the article had Berlin in Zone 2 and Milan in Zone 3, when of course it is nothing like that.

  • Mikeact says:

    And in your opinion, the best Global FFP scheme is ??

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