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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.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (November 2021)

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

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

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

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

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of 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

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard 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 card

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

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

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

Comments (112)

  • Paul says:

    Like many, the rise in price is not a major issue, but the manner of the increase, with no warning or fanfare is just bad form. Clearly there are a lot of FTV and now almost everyone will require additional Avios or higher cash fares.
    In the early 1990’s BA ran a advertising campaign on the tag line
    “Its the way we make YOU feel that makes US, the World’s favourite airline”
    It was a long time ago, a different era, and a very different airline.

  • Anna says:

    Sorry if I’ve missed this, but does this mean it’s a double increase if you now have book an avios flight with a domestic connection (not that I’ve really bothered with this option since they introduced the extra charge for the connecting flight)?

    • neuromancer says:

      Yes, each segment is increased on price, that’s how it works.

      • Stu N says:

        Agreed – domestic to short haul will go up a fair bit too, 3,000 Avios for a return. This rarely made sense as a redemption anyway – cash fares or direct flights with another airline were usually the better option.

        It shouldn’t matter for domestic to long haul as there’s no Avios charge for the domestic which is something.

  • Matthew Downey says:

    The main problem is I have bought Avios, albeit with a generous bonus. So they have devalued points that I paid for. It is not a problem because of the good bonus offer, however it does serve that I will not buy again.

  • Adam says:

    Honestly, BA are on the floor and Avios are, for most of us, a perk of the job or something for nothing from Amex. I’d prefer to use more of my Avios than not have the airline

  • nigel whitehouse says:

    In February I booked 4 Avios flights to Bologna; I have been charged 38,500 Avios per person for off peak business return from Heathrow. I have challenged BA but they say it is correct; but according to the chart above it should be 25,500 per person.

    “Zone 2 and both on off peak dates, 38500 Avios per passenger”

    Is this correct, and if so, how can I get BA to amend the Avios charge ?

    • Rob says:

      If you only paid £1 tax then the 38,500 number is probably correct. The 25,500 number only applies to the £35 taxes version, which is the best value one and the ‘base’ cost.

  • pauldb says:

    Vaguely interesting – the rates haven’t changed through IB+. There is the obvious downside of not benefiting from RFS, but for some routes it works out. Eg BCN-LON is still 12,750 in CE, and £15.40.

  • Deepak Gupta says:

    Hi
    what is the situation if you have used BA 2for 1 voucher, and on the way out or way back, one of the passengers is unwell and can’t travel, but the other person has to travel? can this person travel alone, and can the date of travel of the other passenger be changed? Thanks

    • Rob says:

      One person can still travel alone if the 2nd person no-shows.

      You cannot split the ticket so the 2nd person would be responsible for booking a fresh ticket to get home.

  • deepak gupta says:

    Thanks -if the person who can’t travel is unwell, will the travel insurance cover it – as it is a free ticket?

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