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British Airways Executive Club: upcoming changes to partner airlines

This post is also available in: FR

British Airways Executive Club has sent an email to its members informing them of upcoming changes to partner airlines. What is it about?

Change in airline mileage prices with partner airlines

In the introduction of its email, British Airways Executive Club announces:

As of May 30, 2019, our Avios prices on award tickets will change with some of our airline partners.

 

And to add:

Don’t worry if you have an existing Avios reservation with a partner airline: it remains valid and you have the option to change or cancel it, if necessary*. Our new Avios prices will apply to changes or new reservations made after May 30, 2019.

 

bmo enterprise requirements

 

What does this mean?

This is a disguised message for a devaluation of the British Airways Executive Club program.

Until now, British Airways Executive Club has used a distance-based fare structure for all Oneworld carriers.

avios charte

 

In the future, this charter will be terminated for the partner airlines. Which airlines are affected?

 

cathay dragon hkg han 13

 

Airlines affected by these changes

All Oneworld airlines not part of the IAG airline conglomerate are affected:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Air Italy
  • American Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Japan Airlines
  • LATAM
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • S7
  • Sri Lankan
  • Royal Jordanian Airliens

Yes, it’s a lot!

For example, it was particularly interesting to
to use Avios miles to travel on American Airlines
in the United States (on direct flights such as Montreal-Miami / Montreal-New York / Montreal-Chicago…), especially since for a few months now it has been possible to do so online.

 

yul mia american
Montreal – Miami for 10,000 Avios miles

 

It was also interesting to use Avios miles:

 

the westin jekyll island 50

 

In short, lots of sweetspots that will disappear in a month.

To look at the best options available to you, we invite you to read our article on the best uses of Avios miles… which will soon be out of date.

 

cathay pacific yvr jfkdsc00349 new1
First Class on Cathay Pacific

 

Airlines not affected by these changes

The companies belonging to IAG are not affected:

  • Aer Lingus
  • British Airways
  • Iberia
  • Vueling

Indeed… it’s not much!

There will always be the possibility to travel with the fare grid, especially in Europe.

 

air miles redtag 9
London to Nice with air miles

 

lhr ams british 51
London Heathrow – British Airways – Business Class

 

Or possibly between Montreal and Dublin when Aer Lingus launches its flight (promised for summer 2020).

The effective date of the change

All current reservations remain unchanged.

This change affects all reservations that are made on or after May 30, 2019.

British Airways Executive Club has therefore given its members one month’s notice to book between April 29 and May 29, 2019, taking advantage of the current fare structure.

 

What to expect?

British Airways Executive Club is surely moving towards a flexible fare structure based on demand:

  • flights that will cost money… will cost air miles
  • flights that will cost less in money… will eventually cost less in airline miles

Kind of like the Aeroplan market rate format:

market rate vs. fixed rate aeroplan reservation
Fixed rate vs. market rate on Aeroplan

 

All North American airlines have adopted this “flexible” pricing (United has announced to do so this year)… only Air Canada, with Aeroplan, has kept a fixed fare structure. Until 2020 and the introduction of its new program? We can fear it.

Bottom Line

A very bad news today and we will know the details in a month. If you have flights in your head, now is the time to book them before May 30, 2019!

However, if you have no travel plans and have American Express Membership Rewards points, RBC Rewards points or HSBC Rewards points (all 3 are transfer partners of the British Airways Executive Club): keep them in your account and do not transfer them to Avios miles!

 

This post is also available in: FR

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Jean-Maximilien
Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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