British Airways slashes points awarded for economy passengers
British Airways has announced huge reductions in the points awarded to most of its passengers, those buying restricted economy class tickets.
Bookings made through the British Airways Executive Club and Avios.com will be affected by the changes, which come into place on April 28.
The main changes are:
- economy passengers will see points cut by up to 75%
- free connection from UK regions to London for European flights is scrapped
- more miles needed for reward flights in First, Club and World Traveller Plus
- points awarded to those in First and Business will be increased by up to 300 per cent
BA is introducing different pricing for reward flights ‘depending on the time of the year, the cabin and zone.’
It says that for two-thirds of the year passengers will require fewer points to travel. But for the busiest third of the year they will need more.
The airline said the ‘structural changes’ meant the new system was fairer because ‘those who pay more get more points.’
The changes were outlined in a letter to BA’s executive club members and sets out how points will be awarded more in line with the amount of money a passenger pays for their ticket, rather than just the ‘class’ of ticket they buy.
The announcement on ba.com says:
From 28 April 2015, you’ll notice a difference to the way you earn and spend Avios with us. We’re making these changes to be able to offer more reward seats to you, and to ensure that the Executive Club continues to evolve and deliver a competitive and rewarding loyalty programme in the future.
‘We’re now guaranteeing there will be nine million redemption seats a year available – more than 500,000 more than before. For the first time, we guarantee that there will be a minimum of four seats in economy and two in business available for booking with Avios on every BA flight.’
The guaranteed minimum number of reward seats will be loaded 355 days in advance of travel. If the reward seats have not been booked 45 days before the flight is due to depart we may remove them in order to ensure that the seats do not remain empty on the flight. With this exception, the number of reward seats on any given flight may increase or decrease at any time. On average, we tend to make more reward seats available as we get closer to the actual travel date but this doesn’t happen on every flight.
What this all means in practice is up for grabs but it looks like it will be more difficult to get a reward seat with 45 days of travel. But it could be easier just a few days before.