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Economy-class customers lose out under new airmiles scheme

Changes to British Airways Avios scheme due in April

British Airways

British Airways is making changes to its Avios airmiles scheme, which will see economy-class customers worse off.

The changes, being introduced on 28 April 2015, are likely to prove unpopular with some customers. We cover the key changes below.

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Collecting Avios points

Changes to Avios rates you are awarded when you fly with BA

First-class and business-class customers benefit most from the new changes, with ‘flexible’ fare bookers earning 300% of the miles travelled in Avios points for first-class (up from 200%) and 250% for business-class (up from 200%). 

Non-flexible fares for first-class flyers also see an increase in points to 250% of the miles flown (up from 200%).

Conversely, economy-class customers will see a drop of up to 75% in the amount of Avios points they can earn on BA flights, while flexible fares remain unchanged at 100%. 

Changes to minimum Avios amounts

The minimum amount of Avios points you can earn on a flight follow a similar trend, with first-class and business-class customers seeing increases in the minimum amount of Avios points they will earn.

Yet, non-flexible fares for premium economy and economy-class customers also see a decrease in the minimum amount of Avios points they can earn. The lowest you will earn from a economy seat will drop from 500 Avios points to 125 Avios points. 

Spending Avios points

New peak and off-peak Avios rates

A new system of variable Avios pricing for reward flights will also be implemented, with off-peak flights charged at a lower rate than at peak times. 

From the end of April, peak times will be timed with Easter and Christmas holidays, half-terms and during summer. Additionally, Tuesdays and Wednesdays will be classed as off-peak. 

Business-class and first-class customers come off the worst, with both off-peak and peak times across many zones costing more in points needed to buy a return flight.

For example, a customer wanting a business-class return flight to New York currently needs 80,000 points, but under the new rules they will need 100,000 points for a flight during off-peak times and 120,000 during peak times.

Economy customers come out better under these changes, requiring less points for off-peak flights and the same amount of points for flights during peak times.

Connecting flights to Europe

Non-London flights in the UK to Europe will also see an increase in cost. At the moment, you are not charged for a connecting flight via London to Europe. However, following the new changes, you will be charged for both legs of the journey. Long-haul flights will not be effected by the new changes.

Airline credit cards

Airline credit cards allow customers to accrue reward points that can be exchanged for flights and other goods with particular airlines.

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