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Frequent flyers are abuzz over changes to the British Airways Executive Club program’s mileage redemption levels taking effect November 16th, 2011. The good news — many point requirements will come down for flights booked on British Airways flights with this new ‘Avios’ program, while a few (all vacation destinations out of Europe) will have point requirements go up. They haven’t released a complete set of point requirements, but their busiest New York to London routes will see reductions in the miles required to book. Unfortunately British Airways’ notorious fuel charges (about $600 for a coach round trip from the U.S. through the U.K.) remain.
But, the bad news is that the miles needed for trips booked for travel on British Airways partners (like American Airlines and Cathay Pacific) will go up — and they won’t tell us how much until November. So, if you have British Airways miles you were planning on using, or are a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholder and had hoped to transfer points to British Airways for say a 100,000 mile roundtrip business class ticket from the U.S. to Asia on Cathay Pacific, then do it before November 16th when the new rules go into effect. British Airways doesn’t charge fees for date changes to reward tickets as long as the route remains the same, so you can book as a placeholder.
The redemption levels today are quite generous for savvy fliers willing to book with partners for international trips. But if all you use British Airways miles for is basic trips back and forth from the UK to the U.S. then no rush to redeem now, the program is in good shape for you. They’re just trying to lower the amount they spend paying partner airlines for redemptions from British Airways mile program members.
*Some* of the British Airways routes where point prices will fall
The British Airways routes where point prices will increase
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