British Airways Executive Club just sent out an email to customers who have previously redeemed miles for partner awards announcing upcoming price increases for those mileage tickets from 30 May 2019.
One can expect these changes to be negative as I’ve yet to see a positive development after such an announcement.
You can access British Airways proposed changes on their website (see here).
From 30 May 2019, we’ll be changing our Avios prices on reward flights with the following partner airlines: Alaska Airlines, Air Italy, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, S7, Sri Lankan and Royal Jordanian Airlines.
The price of Avios upgrades on American Airlines only will also be changing from 30 May 2019. You will pay the difference between the Avios prices of your booked cabin and your upgraded cabin.
Don’t worry if you have an existing Avios booking with one of these airlines. It’s still valid and you can make changes or cancel it if you need to*. Our new Avios prices will apply to any changes or new bookings you make after 30 May 2019.
There will be no change to our Avios prices for reward flights and upgrades with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia or Vueling. The Avios prices for our other services are also unaffected, so you can continue to benefit from spending your Avios on our wide range of hotels, car hire and experiences.
All Avios reward flight prices are subject to taxes, fees and carrier charges.
The actual changes are unknown at this point and one can just speculate where BA will cull the award chart.
Currently there are some very attractive “sweet spots” in the BA Partner Award chart especially in the short haul area redeeming for Economy Class where redemptions are available for 4500/7500/10,000/12,500 … miles depending on distance. This is a great deal especially from destinations that are expensive when booking a revenue ticket.
Members who were planning to move for example American Express membership rewards to their BAEC Avios account should under all circumstances hold off from doing so. Likewise I’d stop using the British Airways credit card until details of the changes are announced.
British Airways Executive Club is already quite weak when it comes to the earning ratio for oneWorld alliance flights. Most carriers don’t earn any additional status level bonus and the cabin class bonus for Business and First Class is extremely low.
Should BAEC now drastically cut into the redemption levels it would render the program almost useless for award earning/redeeming. Only the easy tier point earning levels that allow members to achieve Silver/Gold status quickly is a positive factor. Members might have to look out for a new program soon!