As most of you probably remember, in January British Airways announced some changes to their Executive Club, which kicked in for bookings made as of April 28, 2015. This impacted both their mileage earnings and redemption rates.
On the earnings side, we saw some changes which reflect the direction the industry is headed in general — British Airways greatly increased the number of miles you earn on premium cabin tickets, while they greatly reduced the number of miles you earn on discounted tickets.
When airlines have partners, this sometimes presents an “arbitrage” opportunity, whereby you can earn more miles by crediting to a partner airline instead. For example, here’s the American AAdvantage earnings chart for travel on British Airways:
As you can see, American AAdvantage is much more rewarding for travel on discounted fares, while it’s much less rewarding for travel on premium fares. Over time chances are that the earnings chart will be “aligned” more for travel on British Airways, though I’m not surprised they’re keeping it as is for now, given that American and British Airways have a transatlantic joint venture.
Another one of British Airways’ airline partners is Alaska Mileage Plan, which has been a great program to credit British Airways flights to. However, it looks like Alaska Mileage Plan has updated their earnings chart for travel on British Airways. Here’s the new earnings chart:
While here’s the old earnings chart:
Here are the changes in Alaska Mileage Plan earnings rates for travel on British Airways:
- The cheapest economy fares (Q, O, G) go from earning 100% to 25% miles
- Discounted economy fares (K, L, M, N, S, V) go from earning 100% to 50% miles
- Full fare economy fares (Y, B, H) continue to earn 100% miles
- Discounted premium economy fares (E, T) go from earning 110% to 100% miles
- Full fare premium economy fares (W) go from earning 110% to 150% miles
- Discounted business class fares (R, I) go from earning 125% to 150% miles
- Full fare business class fares (J, C, D) go from earning 125% to 250% miles
- Discounted first class fares (A) go from earning 150% to 250% miles
- Full fare first class fares (F) go from earning 150% to 300% miles
For the average consumer these are probably negative changes, given that more people are paying for economy than premium cabins. That being said, for those flying in premium cabins, the number of miles you earn has gone way up, and in some cases even doubled.
If you managed to get in on the British Airways ex-Dubai first class mistake fare from last month, Alaska Mileage Plan is now a great program for crediting your miles.
I am a bit peeved that Alaska Mileage Plan made these changes without notice, though my guess is that this is simply because British Airways only told them last minute and strong-armed them into the changes.
How do you feel about the change in Mileage Plan earnings rates for travel on British Airways?
(Tip of the hat to @JamesScott2)