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British Airways award rates

Book Now: British Airways Award Rates for Partners Go Up Thursday

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We still don't know exactly how it will change, but British Airways seems poised to increase award rates when using Avios for flights on most partner airlines.

The U.K. airline announced the brewing change late last month. Unfortunately, BA didn't actually say how rates were changing. But the changes take effect Thursday, May 30. So you have just a few days to book award flights at current rates. If you've got a booking in mind using Avios, it could pay to act now – especially with the ongoing 30% transfer bonus with Chase.

So what's changing? For starters, award rates aren't changing on every partner airline. The changes will affect bookings on Alaska Airlines, Air Italy, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, S7, Sri Lankan, and Royal Jordanian Airlines.

That's most of them. But it means that award rates aren't changing on Aer Lingus, Iberia, Vueling, and of course British Airways itself.

And while the increases are unknown, it seems likely that they won't be massive. Still, it's better to book now at even marginally lower rates.

What's at Stake in British Airways' Changes?

Here's how British Airways' award chart currently looks:


Miles Traveled (One Way)Economy Off Peak & PeakPremium Economy Off Peak & PeakBusiness Off Peak & PeakFirst Class Off Peak & Peak
1 - 650 miles4,000 / 4,500 Avios5,750 / 6,750 Avios7,750 / 9,000 Avios15,500 / 18,000 Avios
651 - 1,150 miles6,500 / 7,500 Avios9,500 / 11,250 Avios12,750 / 15,000 Avios25,500 // 30,000 Avios
1,151 - 2,000 miles8,500 / 10,000 Avios12,750 / 15,000 Avios17,000 / 20,000 Avios34,000 / 40,000 Avios
2,001 - 3,000 miles10,000 / 12,500 Avios20,000 / 25,000 Avios31,250 / 37,500 Avios42,500 / 50,000 Avios
3,001 - 4,000 miles13,000 / 20,000 Avios26,000 / 40,000 Avios50,000 / 60,000 Avios68,000 / 80,000 Avios
4,001 - 5,500 miles16,250 / 25,000 Avios32,500 / 50,000 Avios62,500 / 75,000 Avios85,000 / 100,000 Avios
5,501 - 6,500 miles19,500 / 30,000 Avios39,000 / 60,000 Avios75,000 / 90,000 Avios102,000 / 120,000 Avios
6,501 - 7,000 miles22,750 / 35,00 Avios45,500 / 70,000 Avios87,500 / 105,000 Avios119,000 / 140,000 Avios
7,000+ miles32,500 / 50,000 Avios65,000 / 100,000 Avios125,000 / 150,000 Avios170,000 / 200,000 Avios


The distance-based approach means there aren't too many great ways to use your British Airways Avios. And in fact, one of the worst ways to use them is booking British Airways flights from the U.S. to London-Heathrow (LHR) – you'll pay a lot of miles and a bunch of cash fees.

But there are a handful of sweet spots that could worsen after these changes take effect.

  • Using British Airways is one of the cheapest ways to get to Hawaii from the mainland U.S. on American Airlines. You can use just 25,000 British Airways Avios to book a round-trip AA flight from Los Angeles (LAX) or Phoenix (PHX) to all four major Hawaiian islands.
  • Short flights within the U.S. (under 1,150 miles each way) will always price at 7,500 miles each way. That can be a good deal – unless you can book it cheaper directly with American Airlines now that the airline is offering flights as low as 5,000 AAdvantage miles, of course.


That's just a small taste of what you can do with British Airways Avios – at least for now. It may not drastically change, but any award rate increase is bad news.


Bottom Line

If you're planning to fly a partner airline using British Airways Avios, you've got just a few days left to book. Whether drastic or marginal, it's about to get more expensive.


Lead photo courtesy of BriYYZ via Flickr

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