Avios: Award flights devaluation for American Airlines and Alaska Airlines

To the point On July 4, British Airways Executive Club modified its award chart for flights with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. You'll have to pay even more Avios to book award seats with these carriers.

Without warning, British Airways Executive Club has revised its fare structure for award flights with Alaska Airlines and American Airlines. This update, which particularly affects short-haul flights, means a significant increase in the number of Avios needed to book these routes.

Avios - New fares for American Airlines and Alaska Airlines flights

Members of the British Airways Executive Club program will now have to spend more Avios on their bookings with Alaska Airlines and American Airlines. The increase ranges from 3,750 to 5,000 Avios per flight, an increase of 25% to 45%!

Depending on the distance of the flight, here are the detailed changes:

  • 650 miles or less: from 8,250 to 12,000 Avios (+ 45%)
  • 651 to 1,151 miles: from 11,000 to 16,000 Avios (+ 45%)
  • 1,152 to 2,000 miles: from 13,000 to 18,000 Avios (+ 38%)
  • 2,001 to 3,000 miles: from 16,000 to 20,000 Avios (+ 25%)

For example, an American Airlines flight between Montreal and Chicago now costs 16,000 Avios one way. Before July 2024, this same flight could be booked for just 11,000 Avios.


Alternatives for booking short-haul flights in North America

Unfortunately, this change on the Avios side means that you’ll have to do even more research to find the best prices for short- and medium-haul flights within North America.

Aeroplan with Air Canada and United

The majority of North American routes operated by American Airlines are also operated by United or Air Canada. Although Aeroplan points award flights are subject to dynamic pricing, it is possible to find good deals if you plan ahead.

In addition, flights operated by United follow a fixed fare of 6,000 points when the distance is less than 500 miles or 10,000 points for flights between 501 and 1,500 miles. Tools like are a great help in finding availability.

Etihad Guest

A program often overlooked by Canadians: Etihad Guest from Etihad Airways. This carrier partners with many other airlines in several different alliances. They also partner with Air Canada and American Airlines.

This is an interesting option for short-haul flights in North America: award flights with Etihad Airways are priced according to distance. In addition, American Express Membership Rewards points can be transferred to Etihad Guest at a rate of 1:0.75.

For example, the same flight from Montreal to Chicago costs 12,000 Etihad Guest miles, or 15,000 Membership Rewards points (or less, depending on transfer promotions!).


AAdvantage with RBC Avion

American Airlines‘ own loyalty program, AAdvantage, is a partner of the RBC Avion Rewards program. Avion points are transferred to AAdvantage at a rate of 1 for 0.7. Pricing is dynamic in this program, but it’s an additional option for short-haul flights within North America.

MBNA and Alaska Airlines

MBNA announced a long time ago that it would eventually be possible to transfer MBNA Rewards points to the Alaska Mileage Plan program. Unfortunately, we still have no news on the development or timeline for this feature.

With very attractive Alaska mileage rates (from 5,000 Alaska miles for a flight of less than 700 miles), this is a program to keep in mind for future flights to North America.

Bottom Line

This is bad news for the British Airways Executive Club program, but there’s no need to lose hope. There are many other ways to book low-cost short-haul flights in North America, including Aeroplan, AAdvantage, Etihad Guest and Alaska Mileage Plan.

All in all, Avios are easy to accumulate in Canada with many credit card options, including :

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
Alexandrine Bertrand
Always on the lookout for exotic destinations, Alexandrine shares her strategies for traveling while saving with points and miles. She's an avid cook, both at home and abroad.

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