Last day to redeem British Airways miles before Avios kicks in!

Hopefully this comes as no surprise to anyone, but today is the last day to redeem your British Airways Executive Club miles before they turn into Avis Avios Points.

Today is the day to book those Cathay Pacific first and business class tickets to Asia and LAN business class tickets to South America. I’ve been so busy helping clients burn their miles that I have 600,000 British Airways miles (between family members and me) I’m hoping to burn today. I’m hoping to book two first class tickets to Asia on Cathay Pacific and two business class tickets to South American on LAN, with more than enough miles left over for a British Airways first class ticket from New York to Europe when Avios kicks in, since the new program will actually lower the cost.

Funny enough my brother is actually looking forward to the Avios program. He lives in New York and is booking the tickets for his honeymoon next summer, and the price for his tickets should go down by (at least) 30,000 miles in first class.

Anyway, since I’ll likely spend half of my day on hold with British Airways, feel free to ask any last minute redemption options here and I’ll do what I can to help.

Speaking of Avios, check out this hilarious poem from a FlyerTalker: The Avios Are Coming! The Avios Are Coming!

It’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a very long time.


  1. @ Michael — *Probably* not. The cost of an award ticket from Los Angeles to London will remain the same (150,000 miles). The new chart will be distance based and we don’t know where they’ll draw the boundary as far as distances goes. Chances are that if you’re traveling to other parts of Europe the cost will go down, as they presently charge a pretty big premium for going to Spain, Portugal, etc., while I suspect it may only cost 150,000 miles post-devaluation. Either way there’s no compelling reason to make a booking today if you just wanted to travel from the US to Europe, in my opinion. I’ll have a more in-depth analysis when the new award chart is unveiled tonight/tomorrow.

  2. @ kaz — That’s the million dollar question. Unlike some of the old award charts which were based on regions, the new one will be based on distance. So if you’re looking at a transcon flight, the cost might just go up. If you’re looking at a shorter flight, the cost might just go down. But I don’t believe at this point there’s a reason to make a booking, since there’s no compelling evidence suggesting the price will go up.

  3. I’m looking forward to the Avios changes for EU to US awards, which is what I book twice a year for 2 people.

    A downside for me is the segment by segment upgrade pricing, which was a good deal WT+ to CW.

    I’ve booked my CX F award US-Asia before Avios was even announced, I think it was always a bargain on their award chart.

  4. what are the changes allowed now/later, if i fly ny to lax should i book today and than be able to change to dates that work for me

  5. Hi Lucky,

    I thought it didnt pay to use BA miles to travel to europe because of the high fuel surcharges and fees…etc ? is this not true with your brother and his trip to europe?

    thanks Peter

  6. @ pete — It really depends. My brother is using a companion certificate, so it’s actually a great deal in my opinion. First class from New York to London will cost only 120,000 miles (60,000 miles per person) plus maybe $800 in fees. I’d say 60,000 miles plus $800 per person is better than the 125,000-135,000 miles and $300 per person most other programs charge.

    But other than that it’s generally not a very good deal.

  7. Ben, I am looking forward to booking CX C award on YVR-HKG in late December. However the inventory is currently good through mid December. Should book it today and later make change to my preferred date when the seat is available (assuming exempt from the new Avios)? Thanks!

  8. @ sruly — BA has been awful with communicating the changes, though my understanding is that as long as the routing remains the same you should be able to freely make changes.

  9. @ John — Assuming the routing remains the same you should be able to make the changes, so I’d say go for it. Keep in mind that space may not open up, but it’s still better to lock in the award cost now and later pay a $50 change/cancellation fee, in my opinion.

  10. @ jeremy — Only as two separate award tickets, one from Los Angeles to Hong Kong and one from Hong Kong to Paris.

  11. Just spoke to someone at BA while making a reservation that any changes after 11/16 will be priced under the new chart.

  12. @ Dave — If you talk to 10 different agents you’ll get 10 different answers. My understanding, however, is that as long as the routing remains the same the number of miles won’t change.

  13. Hopefully that’s the case. The only concern I have is that it was read when the agent was reading the T&C of booking rather than me asking proactively. As a result I changed another flight and paid the $70 change fee. Wonder if they purposesly took down all the flights so they could collect $70 change fees instead of them being free online. I asked if they could waive it since the site was not letting me and turned down.

  14. does BA charge a fee to change class of service for 1 leg from Y to J when other legs have been booked in J? This is for a LAN booking where i can’t find J space for the dates i want on 1 leg but the rest are all available.

    Any idea how much/when LAN might open up more space for fall of 2012?

  15. my sample itin is on LAN, LAX-LIM-IPC. Just got through to an agent and she said that since LAX-LIM only has Y availability, the whole award would need to be booked in Y. I can’t mix segments of Y and J. True? or hang up and call again?

  16. @nieder2 – correct. You can definitely mix cabins but they will charge you the higher mileage amount for the roundtrip. If a oneway requiring a connection, they will do the same if one leg is Y and the other is J.

  17. @Dave, she wouldn’t let me book 1 leg (LAX-LIM) in Y and book the other in J at the J price. She said its all legs Y for the Y price or all legs J for the J price.

  18. I booked two flights ORD-HKG-SIN-HKG-ORD on Cathay, but have 50k left over (and a companion pass). I’m wondering whether i should burn them today, or wait to see what I can get with the companion + 50k under the new chart. the fees were always too high to book anything on BA before with the companion pass.

  19. @ Ken — Since the new award chart will be distance based, I do suspect the award cost will go up for Chicago to Honolulu, given how far the flight is.

  20. @Nieder2 Agent was half right.. Mixed cabin has to have the higher class available on the longest leg. That’s why it wouldn’t work. I struggled w similar issue til I found an agent who explained it and was able to.set up something that worked

  21. Both husband and I got the 100,000 BA miles on credit card signup. I know value is subjective, but where is the value from the east coast after the change? Asheville NC closest airport, but could drive to Charlotte or Atlanta if need be. No BA hub nearby?

  22. With regards to changing date/time after the Avios switch tomorrow, the agent I spoke to confirmed that as long as I locked in my booking today, the mileage requirement won’t change. However, I can only change the date/time within the 1-year range from the date of booking (today). Meaning I can only push the departure date forward to November 14, 2012 if I were to book today. Just burned 40K miles on Easter Island! 🙂

  23. I booked a SFO-JFK ticket in J class. It seemed like a fairly good use of miles, especially since the only tax they charge is the $5 9/11 security fee. Am I crazy or does this sound reasonably correct?

    I still have 4k points leftover which will sadly go to waste.

  24. @ unavaca — No, not a bad deal at all! If I didn’t have another use I would have done something similar.

  25. Booked 4 tickets today: LAX LIMA GYE (going to Galapagos to do some diving) and back! Only called about 8 times and twice got hung up on by them right in the middle of the boooking. 40,000 pts and $107 each in economy! Anyway for me to upgrade 2 of the tickets to business class??

  26. @ worldtraveller2 — If they had business class award space you could get that for 80,000 miles instead of the 40,000 miles it takes for business class, though there’s no formal way to “upgrade.”

  27. Lucky, I was wondering if you cancel a BA awards reservation, do you get the fuel surcharge refunded as well or just the taxes? Thanking you in advance.

  28. Managed to snag MIA-SCL-IPC-SCL-EZE-LIM-MIA, with a stop at every point except for SCL in the middle when returning from IPC. Two J seats, $380 or so in taxes, and two and a half hours on the phone with two agents.

    I feel content.

  29. @ MoeSafer — Absolutely, you can get the taxes and fuel surcharges refunded. The only thing you can’t get back is the phone booking fee, if applicable.

  30. Booked MIA-SCL-IPC-LIM-MIA yesterday in business with stops in each. BA rep said I could make changes, including routing, for 70.00 change fee as long as award type (N. America to S.America didn’t change. We will see…

  31. Just booked 3 OW tickets just in time. The phone lines were jammed today.

    2. JFK-SCLx-IPC J on LAN

  32. Looks like you can still book under the old rules for another month:

    “Flights are available to book under Airmiles terms and conditions until 8pm on the 15 December 2011 – by calling us on 0844 49 333 99”

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