British Airways Eliminating 4,500 Avios Point Short-Haul North America Award Flights

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UPDATE: The offer for the British Airways card in this post has expired.  But check Hot Deals for the latest offers!

Thanks to Million Mile Secrets reader Lana for letting us know that 1 of the best deals in travel will soon be less sweet.

Effective February 2, 2016, British Airways will no longer offer 1-way, short-haul (under 650 miles) coach award tickets on partner airlines in North America for 4,500 British Airways Avios points.

From that date, those flights will cost 7,500 British Airways Avios points each way.  Longer routes are NOT affected.

This applies to short-haul flights on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines which begin or end in the US.  Flights in other parts of the world are NOT changing price.

British Airways Eliminating 4,500 Avios Point Short Haul North America Award Flights

Flying Off Into the Sunset – Short-Haul 4,500 British Airways Avios Point Award Flights Will Go Away February 2, 2016

I’ll explain what the changes mean for you!

What’s Going On?

Link:   British Airways North America Award Flight Changes

Link:   My Series on British Airways Avios Points

Link:   Wandering Aramean British Airways Avios Point Map Tool

Link:   Chase British Airways 100,000 Point Offer

British Airways sent an email to frequent flyer program members early this morning.  It states:

We’re going to be making a change to the Executive Club pricing structure for shorter reward flights originating or terminating within the United States of America.  From 2 February 2016, reward flights will start from 7,500 Avios, instead of 4,500 Avios, plus taxes, fees and carrier charges (“TFCs”) from $5.60 USD.

This was 1 of the best uses of British Airways Avios points!  Short-haul coach flights under 650 miles on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines currently cost only 4,500 British Airways Avios points each way.

British Airways Eliminating 4,500 Avios Point Short Haul North America Award Flights

Please Don’t Go! Short-Haul Award Flights Using British Airways Avios Points Were 1 of the Best Deals Around

On February 2, 2016, at 5:00 am Eastern Time, the price for these flights will increase to 7,500 British Airways Avios each way in coach.

Business and First Class short-haul flights are also increasing in price.  Here’s the new award chart:

British Airways Eliminating 4,500 Avios Point Short Haul North America Award Flights

Business and First Class Short-Haul Partner Flights Will Also Cost More British Airways Avios Points in North America

The new pricing will affect routes like:

  • Chicago to Atlanta, Detroit, Kansas City, Rochester, Toronto, Washington, DC
  • Dallas – Fort Worth to Austin, Denver, Des Moines, Memphis, Mobile, Wichita
  • Miami to Atlanta, Cancun, Cozumel, Montego Bay, Nassau, Turks & Caicos
  • Seattle to Calgary, Edmonton, Portland, Reno, Sacramento, Vancouver
  • New York to Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Montreal, Raleigh-Durham, Toronto, Washington, DC

Check out the Wandering Aramean Avios Tool to see which flights currently cost 4,500 British Airways Avios points from your home airport.

Note:   Current and new reservations made before February 2, 2016 (even if you travel after that date) are NOT affected.

Is This Still a Good Deal?

Yes.  It’s just not the amazing deal it used to be!

Paying 7,500 British Airways Avios points each way for a flight under 650 miles is still cheaper than what you’d pay using American Airlines miles or Alaska Airlines miles for similar flights.  They each charge 12,500 miles each way in coach within North America, and even more to the Caribbean and Mexico.

British Airways Eliminating 4,500 Avios Point Short Haul North America Award Flights

The New Pricing for Flights Like Miami to Grand Cayman Is Still a Very Good Deal

And United Airlines charges 10,000 United Airlines miles each way in coach for flights under 700 miles.

So British Airways Avios points are still the better deal.

That said, if you have plans to book short-haul American Airlines or Alaska Airlines flights using British Airways Avios points, it’s best to book them soon.  I’m sure many folks will be making reservations, and award seats might sell out quickly.

Even if your travel plans aren’t firm, you might consider booking anyway.  That’s because you can cancel most bookings online and have your miles redeposited for only the cost of the taxes and fees you paid.

Read my post on the cheap way to cancel award flights booked with British Airways Avios points!

Remember, if you need more British Airways Avios points, there are lots of ways to earn them!

Bottom Line

On February 2, 2016, at 5:00 am Eastern Time, British Airways will change the pricing on their cheapest short-haul coach award flights on partner airlines in North America

Currently, 1-way coach flights under 650 miles on partners Alaska Airlines and American Airlines cost only 4,500 British Airways Avios points.  Starting February 2, 2016, they’ll cost 7,500 British Airways Avios points.

Only short-haul (under 650 miles) flights in North America are changing price.  Longer flights, or flights elsewhere in the world, are NOT affected.

You can still book your award flights at the cheaper rate, even if your travel dates are after February 2, 2016.  I wouldn’t wait too long to book because award seats might sell out fast.

This isn’t good news, but short-haul partner flights using British Airways Avios points are still a good deal, even at 7,500 British Airways Avios points each way.

As always, our hobby is constantly changing.  That’s why it’s important to use your miles and not hoard them!  Good deals don’t always last.

Thanks for the heads-up, Lana!

Which routes will you most miss booking for only 4,500 British Airways Avios points?

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5 responses to “British Airways Eliminating 4,500 Avios Point Short-Haul North America Award Flights

  1. This is bad news for me. I’ve probably bought 30-40 of the 9k RT avios tickets. Some tickets cost up to $600.

    I knew this day would come, hopefully I’ll be able to use it a few more times before the deadline.

  2. If your airport (like mine) requires a connection everywhere you go except DFW or ORD, it’s a disaster. Except for flights to those specific places, Avios are now useless to me domestically. Major devaluation.

  3. Disappointing, but not so bad. I’ve taken many 9K trips from MIA to the Caribbean and I still have more Avios left than I can spend.

  4. Glad I sat on the sidelines WRT the Chase B.A. 100K offer currently running, and have this data point available to me to take into consideration. I’m fishing for which cards to apply for soon, since I know I’ll have a huge tax bill next April (now that my Self-Employed LLC has taken off) and that will make some big minimum spends all too possible LOL. That card is still a possibility for me given that my anticipated use of the Avios was more for LAN flights within S. America, west coast to Hawaii & Boston to Dublin on Aer Lingus. But regardless, feeling lucky that this happened before I had pulled the trigger on that card app. And since I’m thinking this means “the shoe has dropped” for now, this certainly could have been a lot worse.

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