The Death Of The 4,500 Avios Flight In North America Is Here
Well, it has been talked about for a while but it is finally here – effective February 2, 2016, all flights originating or terminating in North America that currently cost 4,500 Avios for one way travel will go up to 7,500 – a 66% increase! That is a real blow to the best airline redemption method in the US as it raises the cost of short haul flights to the point where it may make more sense to redeem American Airline miles for those same flights (if they are part of the promotional city offerings that AA runs).
Any route that costs more than 4,500 Avios one way currently will not change.
Here is what British Airways has to say about this:
We’re going to be making a change to the Executive Club pricing structure for shorter reward flights originating or terminating within the United States of America. From 2 February 2016, reward flights will start from 7,500 Avios, instead of 4,500 Avios, plus taxes, fees and carrier charges (“TFCs”) from $5.60 USD.
Only those reward flights that currently cost 4,500 Avios for a one way flight in Economy, 9,000 Avios for Business Class and 18,000 Avios for First Class plus TFCs will increase; to 7,500 Avios, 15,000 Avios and 30,000 Avios plus TFCs respectively. All other Avios reward flight pricing will remain the same as it is today.
To read about this, visit BA’s site here
These flights are all still bookable at the current levels until February 2, 2016 so make sure you get your bookings in soon as the flights will start to disappear as people book at the lower levels! The February 2, 2016 date is when all reservations made at that point and beyond will be 7,500 Avios.
Changes To Business/First Class
As if that change to economy was not enough, they will also be increasing the cost for business and first class tickets on the 650 mile or less routes. That change goes from 9,000 for business to 15,000 for business. For first class, it is even worse – from 18,000 to 30,000 Avios. Fortunately, business/first class is never really worth it on this range of flights anyway.
Only In North America
This change only applies to flights originating or terminating in North America so all other destinations/regions are ok. This is targeted at the incredible redemptions we all have enjoyed on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. The same flight that we currently book for only 4,500 Avios costs 12,500 AA miles. Now, that difference will be shrunk to only 5,000 miles.
Only The Non-Stop Flights Under 650 Miles
This change only affects the non-stop flights under 650 miles. Those are the flights that currently cost 4,500 Avios. The increase will take it to 7,500 Avios for those same flights.