British Airways Devalued Award Chart Leaked (Mostly)

Earlier today British Airways declared that they are planning to devalue their partner award chart effective May 30 but declared that they wouldn’t tell us what the new prices would be.

BA charges based on distance of each flight. If you are connecting, then each segment is priced separately based on its distance.

Premium economy is 50% more than coach, business is double in the first 3 price bands and then triple for longer flights, and first class is four times the price of coach.

Changes to their chart are expected for most partners — oneworld airlines besides Iberia, as well as Alaska Airlines. Changes are not expected for awards on British Airways, Iberia, or Aer Lingus (which are all owned by IAG).

Seat 31b reports that even though British Airways refuses to disclose new pricing, prices are actually loaded into BA systems already and “by asking the right questions, I was able to piece together what I believe to be the award chart for the short and mid-haul flights most commonly booked with Avios.” (He didn’t bother asking after long haul pricing.)

Here’s what we may know about new award chart pricing:

Distance (mi) Current New % Change
1-650 4500 6000 33%
651-1150 7500 9000 20%
1151-2000 10000 11000 10%
2001-3000 12500 13000 4%
3001-4000 20000 TBD TBD
4001-5500 25000 TBD TBD
5501-6500 30000 TBD TBD
6501-7000 35000 TBD TBD
7001+ 50000 TBD TBD

This is the economy table. You can multiply out changes for premium cabins based on the existing formula.

Fortunately US West Coast – Hawaii remains a good deal at 13,000 miles (versus the current 12,500). The rest of what we know is rather unfortunate.

When querying future pricing Seat31B discovered US short haul destinations are currently pricing at the lowest mileage band. In late 2015 British Airways eliminated the 4500 mile award for flights in North America. Perhaps now that this award is more expensive they’ll no longer be excluding booking good deals on American and Alaska.

We shouldn’t expect variable pricing or different prices for different partners. There shouldn’t be changes to BA’s draconian extraction of fuel surcharges from members.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. My biggest concern is the one not yet mentioned on any blog I read. AA, and BA as well, has consistently offered partner awards at the same price as their own metal. This is not true with United, and lord knows how Delta prices awards on a given day. If BA is willing to start upcharging on partner awards, how soon until AA decides to match and charge more for partner awards than (non-existent) AA metal awards (on top of the likely inevitable elimination of their award chart)?

  2. If they bring back the sub 650 mile awards for US domestic I would say these changes are a wash all in. Add in the fact AA prices at the real J level now (not the three cabin F), there are still many sweet spots (although would be nice if AS did as well).

  3. Of course they could still do something about “fuel surcharges” but I am not holding my breath.

  4. @AdamH I agree with your take on the sub 650 mile awards. That devaluation was a big hit to my mile redeeming strategy when I first got into the game. If they bring those back for 6k I’d take it.

  5. Is there a reason that you no longer seem to be able to book transcon AA tickets (JFK-LAX, etc.) using Avios? I’ve tried recently and it hasn’t even shown a partner award option. Just that no BA flights (obviously) are available. Thanks!

  6. not terrible at all if intra-Asia CX flights go from 15K to 18K o/w in Biz…can live with that.

  7. I am based in Asia with homes in three countries.

    Loyalty is out the window.

    My plan is to burn all miles on any western carrier, and pay cash on the Chinese carriers going forward.

  8. don’t care about short haul economy which still are cheaper than many competitors. but how does this affect sweet spot redemptions like partner awards from NA to SA? Those bogus “Fuel surcharges” are the real concern.

  9. A key question to me are whether the 6k for shortest trips will be applied to NA (which would be an enhancement), and now I have two or three trips I’m not sure whether to wait to book. At 7.5k per leg Avios have seldom been a great deal since I almost always need a connection (30k for a round trip if I can even find a single-connection redemption on AA). If this changed to 24k, this would be a nice change, and advantageous compared to AA miles.

    Of course the thing that would make a real difference would be elimination of the hated and insane scam surcharges that completely eliminate all value on many international routes.

  10. the real issue for NA is the married segment problem on AA translating to less availability to book avios on one ticket

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