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BA Avios - Will lower loads mean better seat availability?

BA Avios - Will lower loads mean better seat availability?

Old Sep 20, 20, 9:41 am
  #1  
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BA Avios - Will lower loads mean better seat availability?

Not to sound like capitalising on bad times but are lower loads this year and next year likely to improve Avois seat / class / exchange rate options?

We take a couple of F long tickets a year paired usually with Amex 241's and in the car today discussing how this will affect things running up to end of next year and wasn't sure. In theory I suppose empty seats mean more options for Avios? I'm sure the business model is not that simple but some thinking is in order.

Got some very good Euro offers from BA but unsure how or if the Avios mechanisms might change. What do folks think or know right now?

All of course assuming some form of partial return to normal running at some time.
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Old Sep 20, 20, 9:45 am
  #2  
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Hi,

For starters, I would imagine thant once demand picks up , First availability will be reduced considerably due to;

(1) The retirement of all the 747s ( 14 F in each)
(2) The reconfiguration of many 777s with the reduction in F from 14 to 8
(3) A350s coming online with no F currently.

BA may also decide to hold back from releasing F inventory for Avios until closer to departure to see how the F loads are.

Regards

TBS
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Old Sep 20, 20, 9:50 am
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For now, excellent availability in F for many destinations next year. I’ve got SYD and LAX booked when I wanted to go.

Whether it happens or not, we shall see
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Old Sep 20, 20, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by The _Banking_Scot View Post
Hi,

For starters, I would imagine thant once demand picks up , First availability will be reduced considerably due to;

(1) The retirement of all the 747s ( 14 F in each)
(2) The reconfiguration of many 777s with the reduction in F from 14 to 8
(3) A350s coming online with no F currently.

BA may also decide to hold back from releasing F inventory for Avios until closer to departure to see how the F loads are.

Regards

TBS
Interesting analysis. Understand your point.

At the same time, will there be any milage in BA keeping long standers engaged with releasing miles product? History tells us probably not.

My personal plans aside, I hope BA recover the business model and sell solid product but it feels questionable just now. Even folks who spent a lifetime in the wing seem be reviewing their commitment to it just now.
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Old Sep 20, 20, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by mikeyfly View Post
For now, excellent availability in F for many destinations next year. Iíve got SYD and LAX booked when I wanted to go.

Whether it happens or not, we shall see
And this is what I was selfishly hoping for ... almost exactly.

I could use a couple of SYD F tickets and then step on to FP with paid tickets. Have never been in the right place or time to get that miles ticket and we were hoping to crow bar it in if there was availability.

Have to confess to not actually looking yet but you have now shaped tonight's to-do list'

Thanks for the steer
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Old Sep 20, 20, 11:28 am
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Not sure about other routes, but Mexico City is wide open for next year in all classes. Assume some other routes must be similar.
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Old Sep 20, 20, 11:55 am
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I would not expect any service which does not generate significant PRASM to survive. If Mexico travel does not pick up through cash sales, expect the frequencies (capacity) to be cut rather than redemption availability to increase. This is not to suggest that there won't be occasional exceptions, but the mid to long term for all of the larger carriers is that a return to normal means generating cash.
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Old Sep 20, 20, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I would not expect any service which does not generate significant PRASM to survive. If Mexico travel does not pick up through cash sales, expect the frequencies (capacity) to be cut rather than redemption availability to increase. This is not to suggest that there won't be occasional exceptions, but the mid to long term for all of the larger carriers is that a return to normal means generating cash.
Agreed, but the observation about current wide open availability is still valid. Sure, those services may get cut later, but are open and bookable today.
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Old Sep 20, 20, 10:26 pm
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Originally Posted by mikeyfly View Post
For now, excellent availability in F for many destinations next year. Iíve got SYD and LAX booked when I wanted to go.

Whether it happens or not, we shall see
Finding the same thing - booked F to SFO next year with no issue where previously that availability was as rare as hens teeth.
Maybe somebody has realised nothing will keep Exec club members on board better than some good ways to spend their Avios. Letís hope it all happens.
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Old Sep 21, 20, 2:55 am
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I concur F availability right now is good. And I wouldn't hesitate putting my Avios to work considering the low cancellation fees.

What is more debatable in my mind is whether people should go out of their way to collect extra Avoid at this stage (through promos related to purchases, subscriptions, credit cards etc.) Personally, I think there is less incentive to so.

Ofc, BA likes issueing Avios right now. People have fewer chances to redeem their Avois, hence the issuance of Avios strengthens IAG's liquidity position. Of course, BA won't devalue Avios these days (why mess around with the one business segment that's doing well for them?) But once air travel recovers they will have pretty strong incentives to devalue. Ofc, another downside of hoarding Avios from the perspective of the consumer is that the asset you're accumulating is pretty illiquid at the moment.

tl;dr I think it's a good idea to burn Avios at this time if you can find a way to work around travel restrictions and such. But I don't think building up a stack of Avois today with future F redemptions in mind would be such a good idea.
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Old Sep 21, 20, 3:09 am
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But how about a temporary discount on Avios awards ? After all, it may help to increase load factors and encourage a little more flying.
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Old Sep 21, 20, 3:23 am
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Originally Posted by mike turnbull View Post
But how about a temporary discount on Avios awards ? After all, it may help to increase load factors and encourage a little more flying.
It may work. But it is a balancing act. You don't wanna have people that must fly and have a high willingness to pay to redeem Avios.

See the current BA flash sale. Sure, they want to encourage incremental bookings. But they don't want people willing to pay regular fares to jump on the sale. (Hence the Saturday night rule and the focus on leisure-intensive routes in the sale.)
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Old Sep 21, 20, 4:07 am
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Originally Posted by mike turnbull View Post
But how about a temporary discount on Avios awards ? After all, it may help to increase load factors and encourage a little more flying.
Perhaps, but it doesn't increase their cashflow position so I wouldn't count on it.

The slew of promotions hitting us ATM are all CF generative. I have never seen J prices to some places this low in a number of years, and this is as much about generating cash flow as it is filling seats on flights that may never be taken, as you have money tied up with them until you finally fly on that flight or a FTV, or the flight gets cancelled.

What is certain is there will be a lot more reward seats available in the coming year or so, because if they know they can't fill the seats with cash buyers then it's better to stick a bum on it and reduce their overall Avios liability. { Especially if the cash pricing on the flight works out cheaper to them than you burning the Avios, which is the case with a very large proportion of flights currently. }
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Old Sep 21, 20, 4:09 am
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Originally Posted by The _Banking_Scot View Post
(1) The retirement of all the 747s ( 14 F in each)
(2) The reconfiguration of many 777s with the reduction in F from 14 to 8
(3) A350s coming online with no F currently.
I would be happy to make plans based on current availability. We are planning holidays for next year on the assumption things will be returning to normal, or approaching a less restrictive 'new' normal, for the summer season. I think there will be a lot more information once the winter period is upon us, or passed. I would book with the expectation of 50/50 changes of going ahead and late change of plans having to be made, at this stage.

I think F availability might also be effected by rebookings. It is likely that BA will reduce frequencies, but where and when the axe might fall is a gamble. Any booking in F would be reaccomodated in F with cabin availability. In an 8F cabin, one or two redemption bookings and one or two more reaccomodated passengers half-fills the cabin.
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Old Sep 21, 20, 4:30 am
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Originally Posted by funkydrummer View Post
I concur F availability right now is good. And I wouldn't hesitate putting my Avios to work considering the low cancellation fees.

What is more debatable in my mind is whether people should go out of their way to collect extra Avoid at this stage (through promos related to purchases, subscriptions, credit cards etc.) Personally, I think there is less incentive to so.

Ofc, BA likes issueing Avios right now. People have fewer chances to redeem their Avois, hence the issuance of Avios strengthens IAG's liquidity position. Of course, BA won't devalue Avios these days (why mess around with the one business segment that's doing well for them?) But once air travel recovers they will have pretty strong incentives to devalue. Ofc, another downside of hoarding Avios from the perspective of the consumer is that the asset you're accumulating is pretty illiquid at the moment.

tl;dr I think it's a good idea to burn Avios at this time if you can find a way to work around travel restrictions and such. But I don't think building up a stack of Avois today with future F redemptions in mind would be such a good idea.
Yeah and is a bit where I was coming from.

I have a reasonable bag of miles on BA (approx 450k) 4 Amex 241's between the wife and me and also about 400k Amex points that could be converted to flights etc. And indeed well over 4 million IHG points. So we were wandered if on the turn of the covid situ (where hopefully vaccines etc show and the world becomes a better place) if we were smart, we could plan a long, first and long stay cash of some of those acquired points bags.

I also checked out SYD as Mike mentioned and he's spot on .... easy get out, a little less easy back but doable.

Have to confess I'd not considered the devaluation possibilities.
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