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It's been more than eight months since it was first teased, but British Airways will indeed adopt a revenue-based Avios earning model. British Airways confirmed in a press release and email to members that the new model will come into force starting October 18, 2023.
British Airways is following in the shoes of its IAG partner Iberia — which announced a switch to a revenue-based system back in November 2022. At that time, British Airways indicated that it would be looking to follow suit.
The New British Airways Avios Earning Model
From October 18, 2023, British Airways Executive Club members will no longer earn Avios based on the distance flown but instead be based on the cost of the ticket. Members will also earn Avios for spending on ancillary services like seat reservations and upgrades.
The new model strips significant value from long-haul destinations since the distance flown is now irrelevant. For example, travelers may be able to earn more Avios on an expensive 2.5-hour flight economy fare from London to Rome than a cheap economy fare from London to Singapore — a nearly 14-hour flight!
New British Airways Avios Earning Rates
From October 18, 2023, British Airways Executive Club members booking and flying with BA and Iberia will earn Avios according to their tier status as follows:
- Blue members will earn 6 Avios per qualifying £1 spent.
- Bronze members will earn 7 Avios per qualifying £1 spent.
- Silver members will earn 8 Avios per qualifying £1 spent.
- Gold members will earn 9 Avios per qualifying £1 spent.
In terms of what is considered a qualifying spend, these include:
- The base fare of the ticket.
- Carrier-imposed surcharges.
- Online or at airport upgrades, charges, seats, or excess baggage fees.
How This Change is a Stealth Status Bonus Devaluation
Unsurprisingly, British Airways has taken a page out of Iberia’s playbook — both are owned by the same company, after all — and implemented a tier status bonus devaluation along the way.
Taking 6 Avios per £1 spent as the baseline, elite members would earn the following bonuses under the current system.
- Bronze members currently receive a 25% bonus — which would equate to 7.5 Avios per £1 spent instead of 7X.
- Silver members currently receive a 50% bonus — which would equate to 9 Avios per £1 spent instead of 8X.
- Gold members currently receive a 100% bonus — which would equate to 12 Avios per £1 spent instead of 9X.
That means the new earning rates coming into effect in October represent a devaluation. The effective status bonus will be reduced to the following:
- Bronze members receive a 16% bonus (down from 25%).
- Silver members receive a 33% bonus (down from 50%).
- Gold members receive a 50% bonus (down from 100%).
British Airways is trying to spin this negative change as them listening to customer feedback! We very much doubt that most travelers have been pressing BA to strip value from their program and further reduce their earning potential. Unless you command a significant corporate travel budget, this is a significant devaluation and reduces the value of Executive Club for most leisure travelers.
What do you think of the new structure? Will you stick with BA, or will your loyalty be jumping ship to another carrier? Let us know in the comments below.
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