British Airways Increases Avios Needed for Short-Haul Award Flights

AwardWallet receives compensation from advertising partners for links on the blog. Terms Apply to the offers listed on this page. The opinions expressed here are our own and have not been reviewed, provided, or approved by any bank advertiser. Here's our complete list of Advertisers.

British Airways just quietly devalued its Avios frequent flyer program. Redemptions on select short-haul flights will now require even more Avios.

As first reported by Head for Points, you will now need a few more Avios to get around Europe and northern Africa. Updated award flight pricing shows that British Airways flights up to 2,000 miles are impacted by this recent devaluation.

Here's what you need to know about this British Airways Avios devaluation.

Which British Airways Award Flights Are Increasing in Price

Luckily for US-based travelers, this devaluation is contained to shorter flights. For now, British Airways' short-haul flights across Europe and parts of Africa are the only routes impacted by this change. This move appears to have been done with the intention of drawing little attention as it was done at a time when few are traveling.

The recent increase only appears to affect flights up to 2,000 miles in distance. There doesn't seem to be an increase in the number of Avios required to book partner award flights. Instead, this devaluation applies exclusively to flights operated by British Airways. So, that's at least some good news.

The award redemption zones that are impacted by this change include:

  • 1 to 650 miles
  • 651 to 1,151 miles
  • 1,152 to 2,000 miles

A few popular routes that will require additional Avios when booking award redemptions include routes from London to Paris, Rome, Reykjavik, Casablanca, Cairo, Tel Aviv, and more.

An empty row of British Airways Club Europe Business Class seats on an Airbus narrowbody.
All classes of service are impacted by British Airways' recent Avios devaluation. (Image by Max Prosperi / AwardWallet)

How Many Avios Will You Need for These Flights?

Thankfully this devaluation isn't bad. Each zone will only increase by 750 Avios. According to AwardWallet analysis, award travelers typically get around 2.28 cents in value from Avios on short-haul economy award flights and 3.39 cents per Avios on short-haul first-class awards. At those rates, this devaluation increases awards by $17 to $25.

With awards increasing by the same amount regardless of zone, the shortest flights are disproportionally impacted by this change. Here's how this changes the structure of the Avios award redemption chart.

Before The Devaluation

Flight distance (miles)Economy (Off-Peak)Economy (Peak)Business (Off-Peak)Business (Peak)
1-6504,0004,5007,7509,000
651-1,1516,5007,50012,75015,000
1,152-2,0008,50010,00017,00020,000

After The Devaluation

Flight distance (miles)Economy (Off-Peak)Economy (Peak)Business (Off-Peak)Business (Peak)
1-6504,750 (+750)5,250 (+750)8,500 (+750)9,750 (+750)
651-1,1517,250 (+750)8,250 (+750)13,500 (+750)15,750 (+750)
1,152-2,0009,250 (+750)10,750 (+750)17,750 (+750)20,750 (+750)

The Bottom Line

It's never good news when an airline devalues its frequent flyer program — especially without notice. However, when you compare British Airways' most recent round of changes to the Avios program to other recent changes, these changes are relatively insignificant.

Still, I've personally used Avios to get around Europe and found them to be quite valuable on shorter flights. With these routes now requiring travelers to shell out 750 more Avios, using Avios on shorter flights is a little less desirable than in the past.

What do you make of this devaluation? Will you still use Avios when redeeming miles for shorter flights across Europe?

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

**You may receive 5 bonus AAdvantage miles for leaving a comment (Details/FAQ)

Comments

  • Avatar

    Milan to London used to be 4500 Avios + €21 (economy peack season) now the same flight is 9750 Avios + €24.57

    It doesn’t match with your table….. How come???

    • Avatar

      I’m seeing the same thing. Unfortunately since BA doesn’t publish an award chart, they can change redemption rates anytime they want. But, I’ve reached out to BA to inquire if this is a permanent change.

      • Avatar

        I am seeing the same thing. Scotland to London (tried every airport) is also saying 9,750 despite it falling in tier one. The price to buy a ticket is £40 including taxes so makes absolutely no sense to pay 9,750 plus $35 in taxes. Basically BA points are worth nothing now if that is the case

        • Avatar
          JT Genter says:

          Have you earned an Avios in the past year? Turns out that’s required to see the best award rates on British Airways. I was seeing the same pricing (even though I had account activity that I thought was qualifying). Once I transferred Chase points to Avios, the pricing dropped back down to what I was expecting. We have a post in the works on this complicated topic.

  • Avatar
    Jon Henrik Bern says:

    Well, could have been worse.. Long haul is still the best value for me using avios. Or to book a last-minute short haul flight when the cost of a ticket is $$$..

  • Avatar

    It’s sad when they raise the amount needed. I think that I would still use miles towards intra europe and flights in the US and possibly long haul flights too. I think I would search for other options first and then use them as a last resort.

  • Avatar
    Gilberto Souza de Morais says:

    The best bet for Avios redemption is still long haul flights operated by BA. That’s my choice .

  • Avatar

    hopefully last negative change for a while:)

    • Avatar

      Fingers crossed, but in this pandemic and post-pandemic transition period, I have to believe that the risk of negative changes is higher than usual, unfortunately.

  • Avatar

    As far a devaluations go, not that bad. As long as they still have off-peak and on-peak options.

  • Avatar

    Ugh, nothing worse than surprise devaluations in this game!

  • Avatar

    I have only use my British obvious points for short flights within the United States. I have just taken trains between cities in Europe, so much easier than going through security.

  • Avatar

    I always struggle to find a good use for my Avios, and it’s now getting worse