British Airways Executive Club devalues US Redemptions (on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines)

British Airways made a no-notice change to its long-prevalent distance-based award charts on July 4, 2024. This has affected redemption pricing for American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, and this isn’t the first time. This might have been a quid-pro-quo reaction to the changes affected by Virgin Atlantic Flying Club on their prices for Delta Air Lines, but there is nothing to prove a direct link to this effect.

BA Executive Club devalues redemptions on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

British Airways Executive Club has a distance-based award pricing, although the airline has not published an award chart in forever for how the rules work. On the American side of the pond, British Airways has conventionally offered better pricing for travel on American carriers of the oneworld alliance.

a plane on the runway

For instance, going back to the beginning, there was a 4,500 Avios redemption available for sub-650-mile flights, such as JFK-IAD, but it was later moved to 7,500 Avios to bring them at par with AAdvantage redemptions at a point in time.

Here is the pricing that is applicable for redemptions around the US with BAEC now:

  • Flights of up to 650 miles distance
    • Cost 12,000 Avios in the economy cabin (an increase of 3,750 Avios), compared to 8,250 Avios a week ago (a hike of 750 Avios over 7,500 Avios pricing in 2023).
    • Cost 24,000 Avios in the Business/First cabin (an increase of 7,500 Avios), compared to 16,500 Avios a week ago (a hike of 4,000 Avios over 12,500 Avios pricing in 2023).

a screenshot of a screen

  • Flights of 651-1,150 miles distance
    • The economy cabin cost 16,000 Avios (an increase of 5,000 Avios), compared to 11,000 Avios a week ago (a hike of 2,000 Avios over the 9,000 Avios pricing in 2023).
    • The Business/First cabin costs 32,000 Avios (an increase of 11,500 Avios), compared to 20,500 Avios a week ago (a hike of 4,000 Avios over the 16,500 Avios pricing in 2023).
  • Flights of 1,151-2,000 miles distance
    • The economy cabin cost 18,000 Avios (an increase of 3,500 Avios), compared to 14,500 Avios a week ago (a hike of 3,500 Avios over the 11,000 Avios pricing in 2023).
    • The Business/First cabin costs 40,000 Avios (an increase of 11,000 Avios), compared to 29,000 Avios a week ago (a hike of 7,000 Avios over the 22,000 Avios pricing in 2023).

a screenshot of a screen

  • Flights of 2,001-3,000 miles distance
    • The economy cabin costs 20,000 Avios (an increase of 4,000 Avios), compared to 16,000 Avios a week ago (a hike of 3,000 Avios over the 13,000 Avios pricing in 2023).
    • The Business/First cabin costs 50,000 Avios (an increase of 8,000 Avios), compared to 42,000 Avios a week ago (a hike of 3,250 Avios over 38,750 Avios pricing in 2023).
  • Awards that cover distances beyond the 3,000-mile distance band are unimpacted by this change.

In almost all these cases, American AAdvantage or Alaska Mileage Plan now offers cheaper redemption prices than British Airways Executive Club. The only difference is that British Airways Avios are much easier to come by (even from an Indian perspective).

I’ve found the American redemptions available on British Airways Executive Club very useful, but the chapter has now closed. Fortunately, other Avios programmes have not moved in this direction, and Avios can be freely moved around.


British Airways Executive Club has implemented a massive hike in redemption pricing across its US partners, which affects Alaska Airlines and American Airlines. British Airways used to offer excellent pricing for short-haul redemptions within and to/from the United States. This also makes the programme more complicated.

What do you think of these British Airways Executive Club changes?

(H/T: One Mile At A Time)

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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