Last Chance to Book British Airways Partner Awards With Avios at Current Rates

May 28, 2019

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Back in April, we learned that British Airways would be making changes to its distance-based award chart for most partner awards as of May 30, 2019. The initial announcement simply referenced “changing award rates” without any specifics, but we here at TPG put on our detective hats and pieced together the new chart with calls to customer service. If you’ve been holding off on taking advantage of current rates, time is running out, as you have just two days left before the updates kick in.

As a reminder, here are the carriers that will be impacted by these changes:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Air Italy
  • American Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • S7
  • Sri Lankan
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines

Based on the new chart we’ve built, the changes are relatively mild, though the shortest flights will feel the brunt of it. The lowest-tier awards (nonstop flights up to 650 miles in distance) are jumping 33-39%, depending on the class of service you book. Economy awards at this level are going from 4,500 Avios to 6,000 Avios, while business class awards are jumping from 9,000 Avios to 12,500 Avios.

Photo by Envoy Air
Short, regional flights on American and American Eagle may not be luxurious, but booking them with Avios can be a spectacular value. (Photo courtesy of Envoy Air)

However, it’s worth noting that this tier isn’t even available for flights within North America on partner American Airlines, as BA removed this award option back in 2016. Instead, all nonstop flights under 1,152 miles in distance in this region — including domestic and short-haul international flights on American — fall into Zone 2. These awards currently cost 7,500 Avios in economy each way but will climb to 9,000 Avios as of May 30.

The distance-based award chart from British Airways has long been a great option for shorter, nonstop flights, and that will still be the case when the May 30 changes are implemented. However, this sweet spot will get a little less sweet from that point forward, so if your plans call for Oneworld or non-alliance partner flights through the carrier’s Executive Club program, hurry up and finalise those awards before the prices jump.

You can read our complete guide to Avios here.

Featured photo by Brendan Dorsey/The Points Guy

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