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British Airways Award Chart

British Airways’ New Partner Award Chart: Good News, Bad News

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Late last month British Airways warned that it was changing its pricing for booking most partners when using Avios. And while these award chart updates are rarely a good thing, the airline never actually announced how pricing would change.

Well, the new award chart is finally live after new pricing took effect today, Thursday, May 30. And while it's bad news for booking short-haul flights in the U.S. on American Airlines, it's mostly … not that bad! British Airways sets pricing based on the distance of your one-way flight, so use GCmap.com to calculate it.

Here's a look at the new award chart. This applies to travel on most British Airways 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). It does not apply to Aer Lingus, Iberia, Vueling, and of course British Airways itself.


Miles Traveled (one way)Old Economy RateNew Economy RateOld Premium Economy RateNew Premium Economy RateOld Business RateNew Business RateOld First Class RateNew First Class Rate
1 - 650 miles4,500 Avios6,000 Avios6,750 Avios 9,000 Avios9,000 Avios12,500 Avios18,000 Avios24,000 Avios
651 - 1,150 miles7,500 Avios9,000 Avios11,250 Avios12,500 Avios15,000 Avios16,500 Avios30,000 Avios33,000 Avios
1,151 - 2,000 miles10,000 Avios11,000 Avios15,000 Avios16,500 Avios20,000 Avios22,000 Avios40,000 Avios44,000 Avios
2,001 - 3,000 miles12,500 Avios13,000 Avios25,000 Avios25,750 Avios37,500 Avios38,750 Avios50,000 Avios51,500 Avios
3,001 - 4,000 miles20,000 Avios20,750 Avios40,000 Avios41,250 Avios60,000 Avios62,000 Avios80,000 Avios82,500 Avios
4,001 - 5,500 miles25,000 Avios25,750 Avios50,000 Avios51,500 Avios75,000 Avios77,250 Avios100,000 Avios103,000 Avios
5,501 - 6,500 miles30,000 Avios31,000 Avios60,000 Avios62,000 Avios90,000 Avios92,750 Avios120,000 Avios123,750 Avios
6,501 - 7,000 miles35,000 Avios36,250 Avios70,000 Avios72,250 Avios105,000 Avios108,250 Avios140,000 Avios144,250 Avios
7,001+ miles50,000 Avios51,500 Avios100,000 Avios103,000 Avios150,000 Avios154,500 Avios200,000 Avios206,000 Avios


One quirk to keep in mind when using Avios is that British Airways charges per segment. So if you need a connection, the airline charges you for two separate flights – not based on the length of the entire journey.

As you can see, the changes to shorter flights are pretty significant, while the increases for longer flights are fairly mild. And that's potentially problematic because British Airways' distance-based award chart means those longer flights aren't a great use of Avios. 

Still, there have been many ways to put British Airways Avios to good use. But we've focused on two that can go a long way for U.S.-based travelers: Booking short-haul flights in the U.S. and one of the cheapest ways to book round-trip flights to Hawaii. And on that front, it's a mixed bag.


The Good News: Hawaii is Still Cheap!

Let's start with the good news.

British Airways has been one of the best ways to get to Hawaii on miles. While American Airlines typically charges 45,000 AAdvantage miles for round-trip flights, you could book the exact same flights on American Airlines from Los Angeles (LAX) or Phoenix (PHX) to all four major Hawaiian islands for just 25,000 Avios. It was a great sweet spot, and we worried it would disappear.

Luckily, these aren't increasing much. Because the flights from both mainland cities to Hawaii are between 2,001 and 3,000 miles each way, the cost to get to Hawaii is now 26,000 Avios in economy. That's still an absolute steal.


British Airways Award Chart


The Bad News: Short-Haul Travel in the U.S.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the other great sweet spot for using British Airways Avios.

Using Avios to fly American in the U.S. has been lucrative for years. You could book flights under 1,150 miles for 7,500 Avios each way (British Airways did not allow even flights under 650 miles within the U.S. to price at the lowest tier), while many major U.S. carriers charged 12,500 miles for the same routes.

Now, it's getting more complicated – and more expensive.

For starters, those domestic flights in the U.S. under 1,150 miles each way will generally now cost 9,000 Avios.


British Airways Award Chart


But there's a new exception. Flights under 650 miles are still pricing at 7,500 Avios each way. 

And it's a hard cut-off. So, for example, you could fly on American Airlines from Charlotte (CLT) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) for 7,500 Avios each way because the flight clocks in at 632 miles.


British Airways Award Chart


But the flight from CLT to nearby Miami (MIA) measures exactly 650 miles. So it now costs 9,000 Avios each way.


British Airways Award Chart


It's worth noting that this short-haul sweet spot has lost its impact recently as the major U.S. airlines have started selling domestic flights as low as 5,000 miles each way. Still, this one stings a bit – particularly for those longer short flights that are now far more expensive.


Bottom Line

Airlines have a habit of making your miles less valuable, and it's never good news. But this latest series of increases with British Airways Avios could have been much worse.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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