Earlier today, I wrote a post on British Airways Executive Club introducing changes into the earning side of the program. The summary is that if you buy cheap tickets, you get less miles and less tier points, however if you buy a high fare or a premium cabin ticket, things get better for you. Here is the official statement from BA. All these changes come into effect April 28, 2015.
From a burning perspective, the changes have gotten positive, not!. One of the sweet spots for BA’s program is redeeming for Short Haul flights, where they charge as less as 4500 Avios for an economy flight. This is due to their distance-based award chart.
Business Class & First Class in peak season is getting more expensive for long haul travel from 28 April 2015 across carriers who you can redeem with Avios on. The best part is digging up the FAQs to find out that partner pricing will work on peak award prices year round.
BA is now dividing travel season into peak season and off-peak season. For the peak-season they retain the current chart, and for the off-peak season, which is roughly 60% of the year, they reduce the redemption rates even further. However, this is applicable only for redemptions on BA metal.
Here is the redemption chart for off-peak and peak redemption periods.
Iberia gets its own peak and off-peak redemption periods as well, which is different from BA’s own calendar.
For these redemptions, here is how the process will work from April 28 onwards:
From a peak date to an off-peak date – can be made in Manage My Booking as normal but the Avios will be refunded at a later date. Alternatively, you can call your local Service Centre to make these changes and receive a refund.
From an off-peak date to a peak date – you will not be able to change your dates online; please call your local Service Centre to make these changes instead.
From a peak date to another peak date – no change; you will be able to makes these changes in Manage My Booking as normal.
From an off-peak date to another off-peak date – no change; you will be able to makes these changes in Manage My Booking as normal.
One key change is the UK domestic reward pricing. BA used to throw in the domestic segment free of charge for all international connections. Now, when you connect from a European destination, you won’t be able to get the domestic leg for free. For all long-haul destinations, you still get a domestic segment free of charge.
BA will also make available 9 million seats this year for redemption, and allow for redemption from Economy to premium cabins, however no insights into pricing at the moment.
What are your feelings on these changes? I feel overall meh about the redemption changes. Of course, earning has gone down over cheap tickets, but I am personally okay with that change.