British Airways Sneaks a Devaluation into its Reward Flight Saver Trial?

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As you may have read elsewhere, British Airways Executive Club is running a trial whereby members can choose to pay more Avios and just £0.50 each way in taxes / surcharges. As you might expect, this additional option isn’t actually in the interests of most readers – the value of the additional Avios is much higher than the amount saved in taxes / surcharges.

But rather than repeat the analysis done by others, I wanted to highlight something potentially much worse. Savvy Avios collectors have long known that the cash element of Reward Flight Saver is capped at £17.50 each way. However, when departing from a low-tax country, you only pay the actual taxes. As a result, it often makes sense to book your reward flights on a one-way basis.

This appears to have changed. Here’s an example. A reward flight from Palma de Majorca to London on an off-peak date is supposed to cost 6,500 Avios + £9.70.

British Airways Executive Club is now charging 6,500 + £17.50.

Apologies for the euros. My account is based in Europe so I see pricing in euros.

What to Do?

I deliberately grabbed a screenshot from Iberia Plus account for the above example. Perhaps BA’s new pricing is just a glitch, but since Iberia Plus definitely hasn’t changed their methodology, you will want to consider using Iberia Plus to book any low-tax reward flights on British Airways for the duration of BA’s “trial”.

Have you found any other “glitches” at British Airways Executive Club? Let us know in the comments section…


  1. hamiltus says

    As an EU based BAEC member I’ve also always seen the €21 RFS price tag 🙂
    Not really a glitch just that us ex-EU BA flyers get charged the BA currency converted equivalent to £17.50

    • Craig Sowerby says

      Yeah, but PMI-LHR is supposed to be 11 euros, not 21…

      I suppose I’ll have to move my BA account back to the UK just to avoid these sorts of confusions when I need a quick screenshot…

  2. Akkers says

    One thing that I don’t think I have seen mentioned, and I know it doesn’t impact all of us, is Gold Priority Reward (GPR). On the Nice example given, if there was no Avios availability but there was economy availability I could “force” BA to open up a seat for 16,000 Avios + £35. It is now going to cost me 30,000 Avios + £1.

    On GPR you don’t have the various alternatives so in effect I am paying an extra 14,000 avios but only saving £34 cash – that seems like particularly bad value.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      Interesting idea. I suspect that GPR is still based on the “standard pricing”, but if this trial becomes permanent the outcome you suggest could indeed occur.

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