EXTRA: BREAKING NEWS – BA makes it much easier to redeem Avios to North America!

New British Airways Boeing 787-8 Arriving from the Boeing Factory in Seattle to London Heathrow. Taken: 29th September 2017 Picture by: Stuart Bailey

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So it’s here….no, not dynamic pricing! Phew!

A keen-eyed post on FT mentioned a BA agent giving information regarding a new type of Avios redemption.

Avios bonus

So what is it?

This is what we know so far (from a long chat I had with BA earlier)

  • Applies to UK and US Executive Club members only.
  • Applies to all tiers of the Executive Club.
  • Books into “I” Class.
  • Because of the above point, it only applies to Club World (business) redemptions.
  • Started on the 17 June silently.
  • Pricing is static on all dates – no more off-peak and peak pricing.
  • Can also be used to upgrade using Avios from World Traveller Plus
  • Can currently only be booked over the phone.
  • Covers North America, Canada and Mexico currently.
  • You can’t use an AMEX 2-4-1 but you can use a Gold Upgrade Voucher.

How many Avios does it cost?

Well, I did a small sample of quotes and got the following back:

  • London – New York – 194,000Avios
  • London – Los Angeles – 224,000 Avios

Now let’s look at the current normal pricing:

  • New York is currently 100,000 off-peak or 120,000 peak.
  • Los Angeles is 125,000 off-peak, or 150,000 peak.
BA Gatwick new B777 club world seat with bedding

The White Company furnishing in Club World on a British Airways Boeing 777 at London Gatwick on 04 March 2018
(Picture by Nick Morrish/British Airways)

Is this a good change?

Well, yes and no.

Let’s be under no illusion – it’s not particularly cheap.  But it does give much greater flexibility.  Previously a Gold or Gold Guest List member could redeem double Avios under a “priority reward” to force open a seat.  Now, assuming there are seats in I class any level of Executive Club Member can redeem marginally more Avios than normal to get a seat.

BA currently has no plans to remove normal redemptions, GGL redemptions or Gold Priority rewards.  This is in addition.

Also, the ability to upgrade from World Traveller Plus to Club World, without using a GGL “joker” is a potentially positive move, although we are not sure of the pricing levels yet. Currently, it is the cost of a Club World redemption minus the cost of a World Traveller Plus redemption.

You also retain the flexibility of Avios tickets, so –

  • £35 fee to change/cancel
  • Free changes and cancellations for Guest List members.

We will update this article today as we learn more…..

Update 1:

A friend has got an initial quote of 60,000 Avios to upgrade a Premium Economy flight one way to Boston…. that’s about double the normal rate!

Update 2:

No, you can’t use an American Express 2-4-1, but interestingly a Gold Member with a Gold Upgrade Voucher can use it without a GGL “joker” into I class.

Update 3:

Appears Gold Upgrades can now be used into all discount revenue buckets!  A great move!  More on this tomorrow…

So Business to First into the “A” class bucket via BA with no reward space needed!


15 Comments on "EXTRA: BREAKING NEWS – BA makes it much easier to redeem Avios to North America!"

  1. So actually this is an unannounced devaluation of Avios. Im getting a bit sick of BA and Cruz and his hair brained determination to devalue the airline as a whole. Loyalty should be REWARDED not scorned!

    • How is it a devaluation? You get more options to spend avios. You can still spend at the existing rates?

  2. This is a good deal ?

  3. Simon Jenkins | 28 June 2019 at 9:57 am |

    Wonder if we can use the upgrade for one / two vouchers into I class. That would be amazing…

  4. Jeremy Chandler | 28 June 2019 at 9:59 am |

    So, am I right I’m thinking that there is more availability on this new scheme? In other words book your preferred date (instead of what’s available) but it costs more?

    • In a nutshell yes. You just need space in I class which is the cheapest Business class “revenue” bucket.

  5. This is a terrible deal. Usch, BAEC is losing it. Time to find another alliance.

  6. I like when blogs try to be fast with news, but this post leaves more questions as answers…
    Do you want to tell with this post that the normal redemptions with on and off peaks stay as they are?
    And this is just an addition when there are no seats to book with Avios for (100,000 off-peak or 120,000 peak.) with the New York example?
    And if you book now for 194,000Avios to get a seat, are the taxes the same?

    So a flight to New York in biz calss would cost around 194,000 Avios + around 680£ ?
    And you call that a good deal ??

    • Please read all the post.
      Current redemptions don’t change.
      Yes, it is in addition.
      Did I call that a good deal? No its a terrible one. But its a new option.

  7. Well I wasn’t sure if you called that good news, you wrote:
    “How is it a devaluation? You get more options to spend avios. ”

    And it wasn’t clear for me if this is only an addition as you wrote “You can still spend at the existing rates?”
    with a question mark…

Comments are closed.