Redeem Avios Before Their Award Chart Changes

AwardWallet receives compensation from advertising partners for links on the blog. 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 Avios are some of the most useful miles out there because they are easy to earn, you can transfer in Marriott, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Amex Membership Rewards points, and because of their lucrative distance-based award chart.

Tip: British Airways Avios aren't great for long-haul flights on their own metal because of hefty fuel surcharges, but there are some work-arounds. See this page if you would like a professional to book your award.

Award Chart Changes

The unfortunate news is that British Airways recently announced that they will be making changes to their award chart! These changes go into effect on Feb. 2, 2016. That's not too far away. The announced changes are:

  1. 4,500 Avios economy one-way flights will be going to 7,500 Avios
  2. 9,000 Avios business one-way flights will be going to 15,000 Avios
  3. 18,000 Avios first class one-way flights will be going to 30,000 Avios

british airways avios award chart change Any time an award chart increases prices, it stings a little. But devaluations are just part of the market, and there's actually some good news here.

For starters, these updates are limited to flights “originating or terminating within the United States of America.” That means that you can still burn your Avios at the 4,500 rate on short-haul international flights (under 650 miles), like Dublin to London. This route is also only 4,000 Avios during off-peak season. Routing through Dublin is a great way to avoid the fees of flying straight in/out of London.

Fly British Airways Dublin to London Heathrow and avoid the fees for 4,000 Avios
Fly British Airways Dublin to London Heathrow and avoid the fees for 4,000 Avios

It definitely hurts to lose the option of booking a short flight (under 650 miles) for 4,500 Avios, but since these flights are so short in distance, it may make sense to spend cash, or use another distance/revenue-based loyalty program, like Southwest Rapid Rewards.

Also, all other economy awards are staying at the same price, and the British Airways chart has some gems. Some examples would be:

  • LAX to HNL for 25,000 Avios round-trip
  • Austin to Chicago for 15,000 Avios round-trip
  • DFW to Costa Rica for 20,000 Avios round-trip
  • Boston to Dublin for 25,000 Avios round-trip

These are some nice sweet spots and are just a few examples of the international bookings you can make with Avios. See more examples here.

One thing to consider is that the current 4,500 Avios flights (originating or terminating in the States) are going up to 7,500 Avios, which is still lower than what you would pay with all the standard US airlines. But there may be some routes that you want to book before Feb. 2, 2016, to maximize your miles (you don't have to travel by that time – just book by that time). Some routes examples are:

  • Miami to Montego Bay
  • JFK to Toronto
  • Chicago to Washington DC
  • Austin to Dallas
  • LAX to SFO
  • Charlotte to New Orleans

The other changes to the award chart are for premium cabin awards, but generally, it's not worth it to use Avios for business & first class on these short distance flights.

Tip: If you would like professional award booking help, check out our dedicated service. 

Conclusion

The ability to book short hops for only 4,500 Avios was a really sweet deal, and it's hard to see that opportunity go. The good news is that flights not originating or terminating in the United States are not affected. Plus, there are still plenty of other resourceful ways to use your British Airways Avios.

Redeem Avios Before Their Award Chart Changes
4.7 (93.04%) 23 votes
AwardWallet Tip of The Day
Did you know that we keep all of our logos and banners neatly organized? If you ever need to grab AwardWallet creatives, simply right-click our logo on any page of AwardWallet.
Show me how

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.

Comments

  • Grazyna Anthony -Simon says:

    To maximize my Avios should I book now my trip LAX – London -Warsaw in October 2016 ?

  • william Barnard says:

    Please send me a list of your charges for booking flights. Thanks. Bill Barnard in DC

  • Eric Hochstein says:

    Can anyone tell me if it is possible to book a ticket (say, Chicago to Washington DC) at the current rate (4,500 Avios) now and change the dates later with the same city combination and not have to spend more Avios? Is there a change fee?

  • Change fee is $55 in the US.

  • However I donuts know if you’d pay the higher mileage rate. You may need to call BA.

  • will business and first class trips via cathay pacific from New York to hong kong be affected by the devaluation?

  • Just wondering if the statement “within the United States,” means all 50 states. Alaska and Hawaii most times, from what I can see, is excluded from a lot of deals. Is this the case here?

  • Aaron Carrey says:

    I am relatively new to British Airways , but have many Avios miles to use. BA Website appears to be “down” frequently. And seems like many BA flights unavailable for Avios reward flights. Is there a way to transfer out, all of my Avios miles to say, American Airlines? I’m so frustrated trying to book using Avios miles. Note: I never have such problems on American, United, or Delta.

    • Aaron, I can’t say I’ve experienced a problem with the site being down personally. As for finding flight availability, as BA is a partner with AA you can only book AA flights that are otherwise available at AA.com as a sAAver flight. If you find any AA flight at AA.com and it is a sAAver, you can book it either at BA.com or by contacting their call center.

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)