British Airways devalues American and Alaska award flights

In a serious little bit of unwelcome information for U.S. vacationers, British Airways has elevated award costs for a lot of award flights operated by American Airways and Alaska Airways, as flagged by AwardWallet. And sadly, this comes with no discover, as the brand new award charges at the moment are displaying up by British Airways’ search engine.

Here is what you should find out about these adjustments.

British Airways will increase award charges for American and Alaska flights

British Airways Government Membership makes use of a distance-based award chart while you redeem Avios throughout its community of companion airways (although these costs fluctuate barely relying on the service and dates of journey). Earlier than in the present day, you may ebook nonstop American and Alaska-operated flights beginning at simply 7,500 Avios every method. Sadly, that is now not the case.

Here is a chart with a abstract of the brand new economic system award charges, which have already taken impact:

Distance Outdated economic system value (earlier than Dec. 12, 2023) New economic system value (as of Dec. 13, 2023) % change
As much as 650 miles 7,500 Avios 8,250 Avios 10%
651 – 1,151 miles 9,000 Avios 11,000 Avios 22.2%
1,152 – 2,000 miles 11,000 Avios 14,500 Avios 31.8%
2,001 – 3,000 miles 13,000 Avios 16,000 Avios 23.1%

As you possibly can see, these are comparatively giant will increase on a proportion foundation.

Sadly, it is a fair worse story for first-class award flights on American and Alaska.

Zone (distance) Outdated first-class value (earlier than Dec. 12, 2023) New first-class value (as of Dec. 13, 2023) % change
Zone 1 (as much as 650 miles) 12,500 Avios 16,500 Avios 32%
Zone 2 (651 – 1,151 miles) 16,500 Avios 20,500 Avios 24.2%
Zone 3 (1,152 – 2,000 miles) 22,000 Avios 29,000 Avios 32%
Zone 4 (2,001 – 3,000 miles) 38,750 Avios 42,000 Avios 8.4%

As famous beforehand, these charges now seem by the British Airways search engine.

For instance, this is a short-haul flight from Miami Worldwide Airport (MIA) to Nassau’s Lynden Pindling Worldwide Airport (NAS) within the Bahamas in each economic system and firstclass.

Here is a one-way flight from Charlotte Douglas Worldwide Airport (CLT) to Denver Worldwide Airport (DEN) in each economic system and firstclass.

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Maybe the most important candy spot being affected right here is from the West Coast to Hawaii, which beforehand required simply 13,000 Avios every method (or 26,000 Avios round-trip). Now, you will have to pony up 16,000 Avios for a one-way ticket in economic system class.


It is value noting that we’re seeing the identical will increase mirrored by Iberia Plus.

Our tackle the adjustments

This can be a very irritating improvement, as utilizing Avios for American- and Alaska-operated flights was beforehand a implausible use of transferable bank card rewards. That is as a result of the British Airways Government Membership companions with most main currencies, together with:

As well as, this was applied with no discover in anyway, so anybody saving up Avios for a selected redemption has immediately seen the goalposts moved for his or her particular journey.

What’s fascinating is that this comes on the heels of the same change from one other U.Ok. airline, as Virgin Atlantic up to date award charges on many Delta-operated itineraries final week — and like BA, Virgin’s Flying Membership loyalty program additionally companions with the foremost bank card packages.

Lastly, it is value noting that British Airways Government Membership has turn into much more sophisticated than it was earlier than, because the award price you will pay is now all over — relying on the service, origin/vacation spot, dates of journey and sophistication of service. Whereas some packages are taking steps to simplify complicated award pricing, British Airways goes in a distinct course.

Backside line

British Airways has elevated the variety of Avios you should ebook many Alaska- and American-operated award flights, particularly these overlaying as much as 3,000 miles in distance. This implies nearly all home itineraries plus many short- to medium-haul worldwide flights. This comes lower than per week after Virgin Atlantic applied related pricing adjustments to many Delta award flights.

That stated, it could nonetheless make sense to ebook these awards with Avios, particularly if you happen to’re quick on American AAdvantage or Alaska Mileage Plan miles. We continuously see switch bonuses from issuers like Amex and Chase to Avios, so these redemptions can nonetheless be a fantastic possibility. They’re simply not as profitable as they had been earlier than.

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