Go west young man, there’s opportunity to the west. By far and away the most read post in the history of the blog was detailing the gutting of Avios that occurred this year on April 28th. It was a day where virtually every flight one could aspire to cost more miles or avios. Gone were the great niche ways to use miles for upgrades to business class, seats in first or just a comfier flight in premium economy. There was one last great stand for British Airways miles and that was West of the United Kingdom in The United States where flights started at just 4,500 miles and $5.60. Gone!
British Airways sent correspondence this morning giving short notice that come February 2nd, 2016 the lowest amount of miles required for a one way economy flight will jump from 4,500 to 7,500 in the United States. For now, United Kingdom and European flights will still be offered as low as 4,500. Sure, that’s not a major crush, but fear not, there are others. The worst changes are to the currently very favorable business class rates. Short flights in Business began at just 9,000 miles one way and will now jump to 15,000 one way. Nope, not over yet, the next great value of 18,000 Avios for one way First will now jump to 30,000. These are nearly 100% increases across the board and are the final straw in the Avios program as far as I’m concerned. Here are some scenarios:
New York to Montreal, Washington DC, Boston or Virginia OR Los Angeles to Las Vegas, San Francisco or San Diego (and all vice versa) will jump from 9,000 round trip to 15,000 round trip in economy. Business will jump from 18,000 round trip to 30,000. And first, which is not a flat bed, will jump from 36,000 to a staggering 60,000 miles round trip.
Savings Grace? All flights under 1,152 will now price to 7,500 one way, 15,000 round trip. This means New York to Florida and other flights of similar length are in tact.
I absolutely hate the fact that we are given only three months to stomach this change. I only recently wrote that my favorite way to use avios never gets old. After such sharp and sweeping changes in just April, which clamped down on many of the best uses, I am stunned that British Airways would double down and kill the last semi decent value. So sorry to all the Brits who were hoping to see more of America on a nice miles budget. My advice? Wherever you are, if you plan on using your miles in America; book your flights before February 2nd to lock in the good rate. It will cost nearly double after that.
Oh and a joke before we go from my favorite blogger Gary Leff “British Airways is the perfect airline for anyone who wants to pay for fully flexible business and first class tickets and then redeem their miles, laden with surcharges for economy tickets”.
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