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British Airways Increases Award Rates on Both American Airlines and Alaska Airlines

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Stella Shon
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Stella Shon

News Managing Editor

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With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...
Edited by: Chris Dong
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Chris Dong

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Chris is a freelance writer and editor with a focus on timely travel trends, points and miles, hot new hotels, and all things that go (he’s a proud aviation geek and transit nerd). Formerly full time ...

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Some award devaluations hit harder than others, and this one will impact many domestic travelers.

7,500 Avios on shorter hops, 13,000 Avios to Hawaii, the list goes on.

If any of this sounds familiar, leveraging British Airways’ partner award rates has been one of our favorite ways to book domestic airline tickets on American and Alaska. However, many of these favored rates have increased — anywhere from 8% to 32% — as first reported by AwardWallet.

Here’s what you need to know about the latest mileage devaluation.

A Favorite Way to Book Domestic Flights Becomes More Expensive

Sometimes, you need to use your hard-earned miles for a domestic economy ticket — and that’s where having a stash of British Airways Avios has been a lifesaver.

Thanks to the program’s distance-based award pricing, award travelers can book flights across 4 distance zones. Take a look at the old vs. new rates here:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Flight DistanceEconomy OldEconomy NewBusiness OldBusiness New
Up to 650 miles7,5008,25012,50016,500
651 to 1,150 miles9,00011,00016,50020,500
1,151 to 2,000 miles11,00014,50022,00029,000
2,001 to 3,000 miles13,00016,00038,75042,000

Coincidentally, I had just booked a flight from Phoenix (PHX) to Raleigh-Durham (RDU) on American Airlines just a day before these changes were first noticed on December 12.

Avios Booking
Image Credit: British Airways

Now, this same flight costs 14,500 Avios — just booked a couple of days later.

PHX RDU Avios
Image Credit: British Airways

The award rates are noticeably higher for longer distances flown on partner airlines, American and Alaska. While short-haul flights still present a good value, this no-notice devaluation proves that you never really know when airlines will jack up the award prices.

Therefore, it’s always good to live by an earn-and-burn philosophy.

How to Earn British Airways Avios

Fortunately, it’s easy to earn British Airways Avios through a number of transferable point programs.

There are 5 major currencies (Amex Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Marriott Bonvoy) that partner with the loyalty program.

Hot Tip:

Many of these point currencies offer transfer bonuses, and taking advantage of any of these can help take the sting out of this latest devaluation. Bookmark our guide to the current transfer bonuses, so you never miss out on maximizing your points and miles again.

Final Thoughts

The devaluation could certainly be worse, but it is nonetheless a significant blow to travelers who were a fan of redeeming Avios for domestic itineraries. Large families who had taken advantage of booking these tickets for multiple passengers will especially feel the burn, as it will take significantly more miles to nab those partner award tickets.

Stella Shon's image

About Stella Shon

With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in The New York Times, USA Today, and more.

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