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Middle Age Miles

Ominous British Airways Avios Devaluation Warning

british airways ba avios redemption change devaluation warning
Entry to British Airways Lounge, FCO airport, Rome

This morning, we received a very ominous warning that British Airways will soon be changing its Avios prices for redemptions on some partner airlines.

Unfortunately, BA isn’t telling us what the new redemption rates will be. In fact, BA is giving us very little to go on at this time. Suffice to say, we’re pretty sure that it BA won’t be lowering redemption rates across the board. We’re preparing for and warning of a large-scale BA devaluation.

What We Know Now

  • Avios redemption rates will be changing as of May 30, 2019
    • This will not impact Avios award reservations already made, unless you change them after May 30
    • Current Avios redemption rates remain in effect for all bookings made from now through May 29 (unless changed on or after May 30)
  • The changes to redemption rates will impact the following BA partners:
    • Alaska Airlines
    • Air Italy
    • American Airlines
    • Cathay Pacific
    • Finnair
    • Japan Airlines
    • LATAM
    • Malaysia Airlines
    • Qantas
    • Qatar Airways
    • Royal Jordanian
    • S7
    • Sri Lankan
  • In addition, the price of Avios upgrades on American Airlines will also be changing on May 30
  • There will be no changes to Avios prices for award bookings and upgrades with BA, Aer Lingus, Iberia or Vueling (the IAG group airlines)

Here is the email we received from BA:

And when we click through to “Find out more,” we’re taken to a page with the following additional information:

There’s a little more information on the BA webpage (but not much). You can access the BA webpage for this announcement here:

Our Quick Take

There’s not much to go on here, but this smells like a potentially major devaluation. Hopefully we’ll know more about the new rates soon, ahead of the May 30 changeover date. I suppose a no-detail, 30-day heads-up is better than a total no-notice change. But not a lot. Stay tuned, and if you need to make a BA Avios redemption on one of the impacted partner airlines, get your ducks in a row and make your booking now.

In addition, it’s wee cheeky for BA to have a devaluation right on the heels of it’s recent 40% transfer bonus from Amex Membership Rewards (MR) points and while the recent 30% transfer bonus from Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points is pending. We’re not fans.

We hope the impending changes don’t impact our favorite BA sweet spot – one-way direct AA saver flights of 1,150 miles or less in economy for 7,500 Avios, and first class for 15,000 Avios (+$5.60 fees). But we’re quite concerned that these redemptions will be changing.

We’ll also be watching the changes to see if they impact our baseline value of 1.2 cents per Avios point. We feel like we’re already valuing these pretty conservatively, but we’ll see if a change needs to be made.

Hat Tip to JBTx for alerting us to this change before we received the email from BA.

What are your thoughts on the changes that BA announced today? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!


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2 thoughts on “Ominous British Airways Avios Devaluation Warning

    1. Craig at Middle Age Miles Post author

      Hey Harlan – Unfortunately, I think your spidey sense is on-target on this. I’m hoping it’s just “bad” and not “horrible.”

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