BA devaluation: not so bad after all

10

The British Airways award chart devaluation has gone live today, and the sky hasn’t yet fallen. I can verify that as I was up above the clouds all morning on my way to Europe — didn’t see a single piece of sky fall. Truthfully, if the changes were this minor, I don’t understand why they didn’t just announce a new chart rather than making people wait. But let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth and just be thankful: this was a minor deval.

The view from *my* wing this morning confirms that no sky panels have fallen.

Good news: No deval for short-haul US / North America

The best piece of news this morning is that short-haul flights that begin/end in the US remained untouched this time. You may remember that a couple of years ago, British Airways stopped honoring Tier 1 of its award chart (4500 Avios for flights 650 miles or fewer) for flights to/from/within the United States, lumping those short flights with Tier 2 pricing of 7500 economy / 15K business / 30K first. The good news is that even though Tier 1 and Tier 2 were both devalued today, that “special” Tier 1 exception for short flights to/from/within the US remains at the same 7.5K / 15K / 30K pricing band.

Most increases around 10% or less

While nobody likes to see their points become worthless, the truth is that in most cases here they are just worth a little less. When I see a 140K award go up to ~144K  or a 30K award go up to 31K, I just can’t get all up in arms about it. In the words of a wiser human, “Accept certain unalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old.

Given the fact that BA doesn’t impose fuel surcharges on most partner awards, doesn’t charge a close-in booking fee, and allows really easy changes/cancellations, they remain an attractive option despite the devaluation.

Those who would be booking round trip and/or who have to make connections may want to check out  Iberia instead — just be aware that most partner bookings with Iberia are completely nonrefundable (which stands in stark contrast to British Airways). See: From 11K RT: A new sweet spot for North American flight redemptions.

New award chart

Here is the new BA single partner award chart (thanks to Dan’s Deals for this information):

For a full look at the side-by-side old and new charts, see Dan’s Deals as they have created an easy visual.

Email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

10 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments