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.