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British Airways Makes Earning Avios Based on Spend

Following a trend among Oneworld partners and the greater aviation industry, British Airways will soon earn Avios based on how much they spend, not how far they fly.
Starting in October 2023, regular British Airways flyers will earn Avios not by how far they fly with the carrier, but rather how much they spend on airfare, upgrades, and seat selection fees.


The flag carrier announced the change will come in three months, giving travelers plenty of time to adjust to the new system.


British Airways Avios Soon Based on Status, Spend, and Ancillaries

In a statement, the airline claims the change will give flyers a “transparent, consistent, and simplified way to collect Avios.” Calling it an improvement, Avios earnings will be based on how much traveler’s spend for base fares and carrier-imposed charges about British Airways and Iberia, as well as online or airport upgrades, pre-paid seating, and excess charges on flights marketed or operated on both airlines. The change will only affect Avios used for award points, and not tier-qualifying miles for British Airways Executive Club elite status.


“This is a simpler and more transparent system offering more opportunities to collect Avios than ever before and rewarding loyalty based on customers’ cash spend,” Ian Romanis, director of retail and customer relationship management for British Airways, said in a statement. “It’s a tried and tested model already used by a number of global airlines, including our sister airline Iberia.”


While most of the flight spending will count towards earning Avios, the number of points earned per £1 GBP spent will depend on a flyer’s Executive Club elite status. Everyone in the loyalty program at the Blue level without status will earn six Avios for every £1 spent. Bronze elites will earn seven Avios per £1 on qualifying spend, Silver elites will earn eight Avios per £1, and top-tier Gold elites earn the most with nine Avios per £1 in qualifying spend.


The new scheme compliments flyers other methods for earning Avios, including using the co-branded British Airways credit cards, spending with Uber, or shopping through the British Airways Avios e-store. Other airlines issuing Avios, Aer Lingus and Qatar Airways, are not affected by the change.


The move follows Oneworld partner American Airlines into the realm of pay-for-rewards points earning. In 2022, the Fort Worth-based carrier shifted the American Airlines AAdvantage program to awarding points based on spending, followed by a change for the 2023 elite year which requires travelers to earn more points to gain status.


Will the change in British Airways Avios have an effect on how you earn rewards? Share your thoughts on the FlyerTalk Forums!