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Travel blog Seat31B is reporting what it claims are the details of the mystery Avios partner award devaluation that BA announced yesterday.
In case you missed the news, British Airways Executive Club has let members know that partner award pricing will be changing on 30th May (meaning Avios redemptions on most airlines apart from BA will be going up), but didn’t include any real specifics.
Seat31B says that the new pricing seems to have already been loaded to the computer system used by BA’s booking agents though, and that “by asking the right questions”, they have managed to ascertain the following details:
Per-leg pricing isn’t changing. Every flight is priced individually so the price for connecting itineraries is sum of all of the flights. This is the same practice as currently
All partner flights will cost the same. It won’t be more expensive to redeem on Alaska or American versus Sri Lankan, S7 or Cathay Pacific.
Taxes and fees won’t change. They will remain exactly the same as they are now.
Pricing for business and first class is consistent. This will still be 2x and 4x the economy class price, respectively.
It seems possible that the 0-650 mile award chart is coming back for flights within North America, because short-haul flights are pricing out based on this mileage band.
(Partial) new partner award chart?
Gary over at VFTW put together this nice simple chart for Economy redemptions, based on the info Seat31B gleaned:
Remember that pricing for Business and First Class is reported to be consistent at 2x and 4x the Economy price, respectively.
As you can see, the apparent increases for the shortest distances are quite substantial, while the changes to mid range distances are more reasonable. There’s no info on long haul routes yet, but if they are more like 4%-10% than 20%-33%, I think most people could live with these changes – assuming the information is indeed accurate.
I have absolutely no reason not to trust that this was the information provided by BA agents to Seat31B. That said, I think most people familiar with loyalty programme call centre agents will agree that they are frequently wrong (particularly when there’s something new happening), so I wouldn’t bet 100% on this being the end of the story.
If this is what BA is planning for partner redemptions, I think it adds weight to my speculation yesterday that the main reason for the change could be to clear the decks for the introduction of dynamic award pricing for redemptions on BA itself and its IAG partners.