Related post: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios: Tips, Tricks, And Advice You Need To Know To Maximize Your Avios
A couple days ago I wrote about the upcoming BA devaluation and created award charts showing the exact changes. Many commenters were angry at BA for announcing a devaluation after making a 40% AMEX transfer bonus.
Ironically people were also angry at BA when they launched Avios in 2011 after making an AMEX transfer bonus and their 100K card signup offers from days of yore.
The thing is that people didn’t realize the value in the Avios program. Sure it was no longer good for long-haul redemptions, but there are plenty of other programs that excel at that. BA Avios created a niche where you can redeem miles for a short-haul at an excellent value, something that was previously very tough to do.
And so in an odd sort of way, I’m actually sort of happy with this devaluation.
The most valuable aspect of the BA program are the short haul awards that go for 4.5K, 7.5K, 10K, or 12.5K Avios for an award flight. Everyone thought that when BA Avios devalued their award chart (which was unchanged since 2011) that those would get slammed. 50% increases would not have been a shock.
However BA has left those awards completely unscathed. In fact they have lowered the cost of those awards when you fly on actual BA flights off-peak. While generally redeeming BA Avios for BA flights is not a good deal due to fuel surcharges, it can make sense within Europe and Africa with their Reward Saver plan that lowers fuel surcharges to nominal amounts.
The most painful part of the devaluation are on business class flights like JFK to Vancouver, JFK to Los Angeles, and Boston to Dublin, where a one-way jumps from 25K to 37.5K. First class awards on Cathay from JFK to Vancouver or Hong Kong were also a good value.
So yes, that stings.
But the fact they they have reaffirmed their commitment to the ultra-cheap short-haul awards is a great thing.
I flew for 4.5K Avios from Miami to Cancun this week, I mean how can you top that? The 7.5K and 10K awards also have tons of hidden gems and even the 12.5K awards have gems like flights to Europe or Hawaii without fuel surcharges.
Those are the most unique feature of the Avios program and where awesome values can be found.
Programs rarely devalue their award charts more often than once every few years, so these changes make me confident enough to hold onto a stash of Avios for my short-haul needs for quite a while.
Agree or disagree? Sound off in the comments!