British Airways should be ashamed of itself — truly ashamed.
Every carrier has sweet spots on its award chart and we all knew that one of the great bright spots of the Executive Club award chart was 4,5000 miles for shorthaul redemptions of flights under 650 miles. That somehow survived the substantial British Airways devlaution earlier this year but the bean counters at Executive Club have now seen fit to claw that back too.
Here’s the e-mail went out this morning:
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.
Only those reward flights that currently cost 4,500 Avios for a one way flight in Economy, 9,000 Avios for Business Class and 18,000 Avios for First Class plus TFCs will increase; to 7,500 Avios, 15,000 Avios and 30,000 Avios plus TFCs respectively. All other Avios reward flight pricing will remain the same as it is today.
So essentially, BA is saying that this deal is too good for consumers in North America so we are going to eliminate it. At least we have a few months of notice…
I’m not so sure why this news today annoys me more than the dozens of other devaluations we have seen this year, but that the change only affects flights starting or ending in the US seems like a petty change that further strains what little value was left in the BA program.
Let’s not lose hope, for 7,500 mile one-way awards with no close-in processing fee still may make sense in certain circumstances, but this is a clear devaluation.
I’ll repeat the same mantra I do often — points are a depreciating asset. Do not stockpile miles because like a used car, in 99 out of 100 instances, your investment will decrease in value over time. There is still time to book under the old rate, but one of the best values when using Alaska, LAN, and American Airlines miles will soon come to an end.
Check out Rocky’s take on the latest BA devaluation as well.