How to cope with British Airways frequent flyer scheme changes

Massive changes have been made to British Airways’ frequent flyer scheme and this may end up in a lot of its customers paying more for their ‘free’ flights.  The number of Avios was affected by the leading to a reduction in the total number of Avions made available to customers. These are flyer point currencies awarded for flying on discounted tickets.

Some of the changes considered controversial included the free ditching connections booked using Avions for European flights from the regional airports. To be able to access the premium economy, business or first class flights, passengers will need more of the Avios.

British Airways Frequent Flyer Programme

The changes are said to affect bookings made through the British Airways Executive Club and Avios.com. They will be effected by April 28.

These changes will not affect everyone due to the new season based system. Only a few Avios will be needed to book economy flights during period off-peak. Practically this is basically two thirds of the year which includes Tuesdays and Wednesdays within the summer.

When you come to the higher class however, the quantity required for the Avios has increased regardless of which peak period.

As a result, a lot of travelers will encounter difficulty with Avios and thus become very expensive to secure when flying with British Airways. However, those who earn Avios through credit card spending, online shopping and converting Tesco Clubcard points are likely to benefit. As long as they have flexibility on dates, they will require considerably fewer Avios to claim an economy class flight.

How to Effectively Use Your Avios

European flights: With a number of the European destinations, a flat rate of £35 return fee applies compared to the taxes and other charges.

Caribbean hops: Often BA flights make a stopover at two destinations of the Caribbean islands before returning home. You can create a two centre break by booking open-jaw into one island and out of another using Avios. Example: Antigua to Grenada for 4,500 Avios plus £17.50.

Partner airlines: British Airways’ One World alliance partners such as Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines do charge less fees and extra charges. Using your Avios you can book a flight with any of them. Example: Heathrow to Hong Kong (economy return in peak period) costs 60,000 Avios plus £331 with BA, but 60,000 Avios plus £220 with Cathay Pacific.

US or Australia domestic flights: Domestic flights within US or Australia and other partner airlines such as American Airlines, US Airways and Qantas all fall within the low redemption mileage boundaries. Example: An economy one-way ticket from Chicago to Dallas on American Airlines costs 7,500 Avios plus £3.

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