Now live: British Airways switching to revenue-based Avios earning for paid fares

British Airways has recently made changes to its Avios earning program, following the lead of major U.S. airlines and sister airline Iberia. Previously, British Airways Executive Club members were awarded Avios based on the distance they flew, but now they will earn Avios based on the amount they spend on their flights.

Under the new revenue-based earning program, Avios for British Airways-marketed flights credited to Executive Club will be awarded according to the following rates per qualifying British pound spent:

– Blue status members will receive 6 Avios.
– Bronze status members will receive 7 Avios.
– Silver status members will receive 8 Avios.
– Gold status members will receive 9 Avios.

This change means that qualifying spending, including notorious carrier-imposed surcharges on revenue tickets, cash upgrades, prepaid seating charges, and excess baggage charges, will now earn Avios at these new rates. However, government fees and taxes will not accrue Avios on any tickets.

It’s worth noting that flights operated by partner airlines (without a BA flight number), such as American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, will continue to earn Avios at the existing distance-based rates.

Ian Romanis, British Airways’ director of retail and customer relationship management, stated that this change is a response to customer feedback and ideas to evolve the Executive Club. He also mentioned that it is a tried and tested model used by other global airlines, including sister airline Iberia.

So, is this change good or bad news for Executive Club members? It depends on individual circumstances. For members who only fly with partner airlines or book flights without BA flight numbers, nothing has changed. Elite status will still be earned based on tier points, with no revenue requirement.

However, there are winners and losers from this change. Those who purchase extras like seat selection or excess baggage will now earn Avios on these expenses. Corporate travelers who purchase expensive full-fare cash tickets will also benefit from this change, as the more expensive the ticket, the more Avios they will earn.

On the other hand, Executive Club elite status members and those who purchase inexpensive tickets are likely to lose out. Previously, Gold members earned 100% more Avios than Blue members, but under the new system, they now only earn 50% more. The shift from a distance-based model to a revenue-based one typically affects deeply discounted, long-haul flights the most.

For example, during off-peak travel dates, premium economy flights from the West Coast of the U.S. to London could be purchased for around $970 round-trip. Under the previous distance-based system, a Blue member would have earned around 10,700 Avios. However, under the new system, they would now only earn 4,800 Avios.

In conclusion, British Airways has implemented a revenue-based earning program for Avios. While this change benefits those who purchase extras and expensive tickets, it may disadvantage elite status members and those who frequently purchase inexpensive tickets. Ultimately, the impact will vary depending on an individual’s travel habits and spending patterns.

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