Most Valuable British Airways Award Dead – 4,500 Short-Haul Redemptions Gone Overnight

As we all know, British Airways Avios were best used for short-haul flights. Those that were 650 miles or less carried a redemption cost of only 4,500 points.  Flights up to 1,150 were just slightly more at 7,500 points. On top of that Avios had no last minute booking fee or cancelation fee, truly making these awards ideal for last minute travel on American or Alaska. Well, just like that, British Airways has increased the short-haul pricing for flights originating or terminating in the US. The pricing will remain in place for short-haul flights in other regions.

The new pricing will still be cheaper than redeeming with most other US based programs, but I’m totally bummed.  I loved using the 4.5K award, barely even feeling a reduction in my Avios balance after a redemption. Here’s the “update” message that was received this morning…

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.

More on the changes here.

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  1. I hear the reason for the Avios points increase was that regulators denied the $500 fuel surcharge BA wanted to tack on for all short haul redemptions.

  2. Agree and it sucks and this has been my bread and butter use for Avios. Though I certainly expected it and believed it was too good to continue. But why do you say they disappeared overnight? Unless I am misunderstanding the announcement, we have until 2 Feb 2016 to book, meaning you can essentially book at that rate for the rest of 2016 if you book in advance.

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