I’d hate to have jumped the gun with angry comments and articles…
Last week, British Airways and IAG Loyalty unveiled some of the biggest changes to pricing using Avios on British Airways flights in years. The main gist is that surcharges in cash went down massively, and the price of Avios went up a bit.
People now pay less than half of what they used to in cash surcharges. For most people, it’s a lot easier to earn a few more points than change their income level. For anyone with a British Airways credit card, the card is also now more valuable than ever before.
Anyway, I found the changes really positive for my situation and for most people in the US & UK, but that still left the rest of the world. Initially, they weren’t nearly as happy.
There Was One Big Worry…
Readers with British Airways accounts in other geographies were raking me over the coals last week about the new “Reward Flight Saver — aka RFS” changes. The changes were good for the US and UK, but pricing changes appeared less attractive elsewhere.
Rather than journey into angry tirades and pitchforks, assuming all the changes were done and that these places had been excluded from the newly improved pricing, I said “let’s wait and see” — because frankly, it seemed like there might be more to come.
It wouldn’t make sense to take away value from other important markets. Waiting may be the hardest part, but sometimes waiting prevents entirely unnecessary panic and inaccuracy.
“RFS” Pricing Extends Beyond US & UK
The heads up team at point.me flagged that European accounts seemed like they might have suddenly gained access to “Reward Flight Saver” pricing today, which is the new and improved pricing structure which massively reduces surcharges.
I decided that rather than pontificate about what these changes might represent, I’d just ask someone at British Airways if indeed the theory was right. Would “RFS” really be available in Europe now, and potentially elsewhere?
They came back quickly and told me that “Reward Flight Saver” pricing had now indeed made it to Euro currency countries. They also shared that they are “are reviewing and working through other markets” too.
People with accounts across Europe can now immediately benefit from the significantly reduced surcharge levels and pricing changes. It’s live.
Just like people in the US & UK, if they want the old — I’d argue far worse pricing — they can also still select it at the time of booking.
This is great, since it adds choice and personalization to rewards. If you want to spend more Avios and less cash, you can do that now. Most tend to people prefer that. If you have more money than sense, you can spend more of your greenbacks, Euros or Great British Pounds instead.
From the sound of the comment, it sounds like more regions may be coming. Let’s wait and see. Bottom line: this fundamentally changes many of the perceptions around the only perceived negative pain points with the changes. People in the US & UK came out well, but people in Europe felt short changed. That’s confirmed not to be the case now.
With this knowledge that “RFS” is now in the wild for Euro countries and could be elsewhere, there’s a lot to like here. In many ways, European currency countries come out aces here, with new access to significantly lower surcharges and points earning opportunities across the continent.
Easy UK Avios Offer Too
While we’re talking Avios, there’s a pretty great new offer to earn Avios for a thing many people are likely already planning to buy this holiday season, which I found out about last night. Yes, its wine.
The Wine Flyer is British Airways rather creative “ground-up” new wine business, and they’ve layered in extra Avios on top of the already attractive Avios earning rates on wine, wine subscriptions, mixed cases and more. Here’s how the offer stacks…
Amex Cardholder? Want to boost your Avios balance? Need to stock up before Christmas?
If you have a BA Amex Classic Card, you can earn 6,475 Avios when buying the 12 case on subscription or 4,000 Avios if just buying it as a one off! Click here to buy!
If you have a BA Amex Premium Plus Card, you can earn 7,475 Avios when buying the 12 case on subscription or 5,000 Avios if just buying it as a one off! Click here to buy!
Buy both the 6 and 12 case at the same time and earn even more Avios. Offer expires 31st December whilst stocks last.The Wine Flyer
More Positivity Around The Changes?
These changes are looking increasingly positive as the dust settles. More regions, if not all, seem to be included.
During a time when people are feeling a squeeze but want to get away more than ever, people can now fly two people in aspirational business class seats on a long haul trip for just £700 round trip departing from London. Similar economics play in more areas now, with todays development.