Massive change coming to millions of British Airways frequent flyers

BA is changing how passengers earn Avios points, and also how many they’ll earn…

By David Flynn, November 1 2022
Massive change coming to millions of British Airways frequent flyers

British Airways is getting ready to unleash a massive change to how its 13 million frequent flyers earn Avios points – and how many Avios they’ll earn – on BA flights.

Instead of earning Avios primarily based on the length of their flight and the type of ticket they’ve booked, the number of those points will be directly related to how much a passenger’s ticket costs and their status in the British Airways Executive Club rewards program.

While BA has yet to reveal full details of the revamp, it will clearly favour high flyers in business and first class over those in the cheaper seats.

British Airways’ Spanish sibling Iberia is first to adopt the new system, which assigns a fixed number of Avios earned per Euro spent based on the passengers’ status in the airline’s Iberia Plus loyalty scheme.

An entry-level member of Iberia Plus will earn 5 Avios per €1 spent on their ticket, with 6 Avios per €1 for Silver members, 7 Avios per €1 for Golds and 8 Avios per €1 for Platinums.

However, that ‘€1 spent’ is calculated only on the base fare or ‘net spend’ of the ticket, “excluding taxes fees and charges” – although it will include spending on extra services such as additional checked baggage and seat selection.

Iberia’s Client Loyalty Director Silvia Morán describes the new system as “a more fair and transparent way to reward our more loyal members,” while British Airways has confirmed it will adopt the same model in 2023.

“More announcements will follow about what this change will mean for our Executive Club programme, which will unlock even more opportunities for our Members to earn Avios when they fly” said Ian Romanis, BA’s Head of Retail and Customer Relationship Management.

Approached for additional comment by Executive Traveller, a British Airways spokesperson said  “we’ll be announcing more details about this change, including the date, in due course.

Under the current and admittedly complicated system, British Airways travellers earn Avios according to

  • the distance of their flight
  • the type of ticket they purchase – not just the cabin class but if the ticket is for example a low-cost discount fare or a more expensive fully-flexible fare
  • and their BAEC status

By way of example: a BAEC Silver member flying with Britsh Airways between Sydney and London stands to earn 31,758 Avios on a flexible business class fare; for a BAEC Gold member on the exact same ticket, that’s bumped up to 37,051.

Under the new scheme, a BAEC Silver member might for example earn 6 Avios per £ 1 (or equivalent) on the net cost of their ticket, while a BAEC Gold could pocket 7 Avios per £1.

While it’s unlikely that the Avios earning rate on partner airlines such as Oneworld alliance members will change across the board, the ‘Avios per £1 spent’ model could be rolled out on trans-Atlantic flights with joint venture partners American Airlines, Finnair, Iberia and Aer Lingus.

However, no change is planned for how travellers earn the Tier Points which determine their frequent flyer status.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 870

The puzzle for the newest alliance is starting to show a picture, will be interesting.

03 Jun 2019

Total posts 27

Airlines don't and can't know the actual fare of a partner ticket due to anti-trust laws thus they can't impose a revenue-based system on partners. Avios has devaluated significantly on JL and CX awards and now they are moving to revenue-based accrual system. Sad.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2018

Total posts 47

Ok, I have no issue with this except that if you use Avios for reward seating, you are offered to vary how much you pay in cash, and how much you pay in Avios. The cash component should therefore earn you Avios if they want to be consistent. 

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 151

Nice in theory.  Just as it seems fair that QF should award points and status based on the upgraded class if you do a cash upgrade to a paid ticket.  Lufthansa does this, but of course it's too much to ask from QF...

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 71

interesting that they're calculating the value based on Euros for BA passengers mostly paying in Pounds Stirling.

BA have no idea what fares are paid if booked through a travel agent, especially if the agent sells a nett fare, or a group fares.


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