Is BA about to devalue Avios?

Old Aug 24, 14, 4:16 pm
  #1  
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Is BA about to devalue Avios?

From the View from the Wing blog:

"It looks like Iberia may have just gone and gutted their frequent flyer program for redemptions on most partner airlines, at least for the rewards that have been the best value.

And since Iberia and British Airways are jointly owned, and share very similar programs (and the same named currency, Avios), one worries if something similar could be next for British Airways.

The award chart has gotten astronomically expensive for short distance flying ó so expensive I almost questioned whether it was a mistake. But there are some positives, too."

Short haul redemptions in the US are great value and the last reason as to why I credit miles to BA. I really hope BA don't follow Iberia but hard to see how they don't!
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Old Aug 24, 14, 4:27 pm
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I hope they do, with a corresponding reduction in price of RFS, or an extension of rfs to economy flights globally.

A frequent flyer club should be for people who frequently fly on that carrier. Not a very popular opinion on ft.
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Old Aug 24, 14, 4:31 pm
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Originally Posted by paulwuk View Post
I hope they do, with a corresponding reduction in price of RFS, or an extension of rfs to economy flights globally.

A frequent flyer club should be for people who frequently fly on that carrier. Not a very popular opinion on ft.
On the contrary, unfortunately I think that may be a popular opinion on FT.

It is worth mentioning that most BA flights have more infrequent travellers than frequent travellers onboard.
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Old Aug 24, 14, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by paulwuk View Post
A frequent flyer club should be for people who frequently fly on that carrier. Not a very popular opinion on ft.
In an ideal world, maybe so. But I don't think that's very realistic these days given how many Avios they sell to Chase each year. It seems frequent flyer schemes are big businesses in their own right now.
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Old Aug 24, 14, 4:34 pm
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Earlier today, The Freequent Flyer asked on Twitter if anyone else had run into this as a short roudtrip was pricing out at 38K IB Avios instead of the expected 9K.

I had written about using IB Avios and seen the same chart on 8/15 but that was looking at AT (Royal Air Maroc). I'm not sure if that was the chart for AA yet at that point. Now the 'new' chart seems to be in use for all IB partners except IB, BA, VY and IG. Definitely an ugly development - if you have AA or US shorthauls to book I wouldn't wait!
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Old Aug 24, 14, 4:38 pm
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Originally Posted by paulwuk View Post
A frequent flyer club should be for people who frequently fly on that carrier. Not a very popular opinion on ft.
If they did devalue them, I don't see how it could possibly benefit higher status people who actually are frequent fliers. I guess in the sense that they would be flying anyway so they will still fly and get less benefits for their money. I don't really see the advantage for either side. I wouldn't say it is an unpopular opinion as much as it is illogical for your sake.
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Old Aug 24, 14, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by MOC991 View Post
If they did devalue them, I don't see how it could possibly benefit higher status people who actually are frequent fliers. I guess in the sense that they would be flying anyway so they will still fly and get less benefits for their money. I don't really see the advantage for either side. I wouldn't say it is an unpopular opinion as much as it is illogical for your sake.
It also disadvantages their frequent flyers based in the US, of which there are many. UK based members will have access to RFS and a distance based chart that's great for short haul getaways. US members will no longer benefit from an equivalent if they implement a different award chart for OW partners. Not everyone in the US generates their Avios from credit cards, the JFK-LHR route alone must have a ton of US based flyers who are loyal to BA.
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Old Aug 24, 14, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by paulwuk View Post
I hope they do, with a corresponding reduction in price of RFS, or an extension of rfs to economy flights globally.

A frequent flyer club should be for people who frequently fly on that carrier. Not a very popular opinion on ft.
I've always felt this way. The minimum flights on BA metal should be raised for the elite levels and then increase availability to elites . While yes BA sells hundreds of millions of Avios to credit card companies they are still able to be used by any BAEC member even if they are Blue. I know this is another unpopular opinion I agree but why should a person who flies for example 50 BA metal flights be fighting for the same award availability on BA as a US DM elite? I prefer the LH practice of not releasing their F awards to non M+M members until a couple of weeks in advance. Not that I agree with a lot that LH does.
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Old Aug 24, 14, 4:53 pm
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Originally Posted by robsterny View Post
It also disadvantages their frequent flyers based in the US, of which there are many. UK based members will have access to RFS and a distance based chart that's great for short haul getaways. US members will no longer benefit from an equivalent if they implement a different award chart for OW partners. Not everyone in the US generates their Avios from credit cards, the JFK-LHR route alone must have a ton of US based flyers who are loyal to BA.
Then wouldn't that sort of flyer be better served by being in AA Advantage? They can still get their AA miles and corresponding alliance benefits flying JFK-LHR on BA.
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Old Aug 24, 14, 4:56 pm
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Whilst there was parity between the Executive Clubís and Iberia Plusí redemption tariffs at the time of the big revamp (November 2011), there has been increasing divergence between the two during the past couple of years. With both run as independent profit centres within IAG; both with vastly different membership profiles, I donít believe there are reasons for EC members to panic.
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Old Aug 24, 14, 4:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Crampedin13A View Post
Then wouldn't that sort of flyer be better served by being in AA Advantage? They can still get their AA and corresponding alliance benefits miles flying JFK-LHR on BA.
Yes, if BA change the short haul chart for OW partners then it would seem to make more sense to credit flights to AA. They also have a better hard product on the JFK route, so may as well fly them as well!
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Old Aug 24, 14, 5:00 pm
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Originally Posted by robsterny View Post
Yes, if BA change the short haul chart for OW partners then it would seem to make more sense to credit flights to AA. They also have a better hard product on the JFK route, so may as well fly them as well!
Indeed that makes the most sense. Plus with the JSA it makes no difference to BA or AA which metal this flyer uses on the route.
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Old Aug 24, 14, 5:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Prospero View Post
Whilst there was parity between the Executive Clubís and Iberia Plusí redemption tariffs at the time of the big revamp (November 2011), there has been increasing divergence between the two during the past couple of years. With both run as independent profit centres within IAG; both with vastly different membership profiles, I donít believe there are reasons for EC members to panic.
Surely that depends, if as FT and sites like it are likely to propagate, all the Iberia members just move avios across to BA to book their short haul redemptions IAG will have to respond or their changes to Iberia are meaningless...
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Old Aug 24, 14, 5:35 pm
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Originally Posted by MOC991 View Post
If they did devalue them, I don't see how it could possibly benefit higher status people who actually are frequent fliers. I guess in the sense that they would be flying anyway so they will still fly and get less benefits for their money. I don't really see the advantage for either side. I wouldn't say it is an unpopular opinion as much as it is illogical for your sake.
They aren't talking about devaluing it for people based near a Ba hub. Just like the increase in value when 97% of Ba flights reduced cost (or stayed the same)

Presumably this allows Ba to be more competitive elsewhere by reducing the money that gets paid to aa for the "free" flights. As a Ba flyer I will presumably benefit from this.

If you're based in the uk, join baec. Based in the us, join aa. Based in japan, join jal.

Ba's revenues from selling miles is tiny compared with selling seats to last minute business flyers. In 2009 passenger Revenue was 7800 million, cargo about 600, and all other revenue 400, of which selling miles is a fraction.
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Old Aug 24, 14, 5:35 pm
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Wow! Maybe that is why there have been no MR transfer bonuses this year.
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