British Airways allows customers to use Avios points to slash the cost of their airline ticket. However, an expert has warned the airline appears to have decreased the value of Avios points.
This, in turn, will make the cost of flights for Avios customers more expensive due to the lower discounts on offer now.
According to Rob Burgess, editor of frequent flyer website Head for Points said his research revealed an increase of 750 Avios each way.
This would total 1,500 Avios for a return flight.
The price increase appears to have taken effect immediately.
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“These are also the Avios figures you will be quoted if you use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher,” added Mr Burgess.
“For non-241 bookings you will also be offered a range of other prices, some needing more Avios (and less cash) and some needing fewer Avios (and more cash).”
With travellers currently offered more flexibility under British Airways’ current rebook and refund scheme, Avios customers could be further impacted.
Mr Burgess explained: “If you voluntarily change a short-haul Avios flight, you will be required to pay extra Avios.
“If British Airways cancels your flight, you should not have to pay any additional points.”
However, an IAG Loyalty spokesperson, who heads up British Airways’ Avios scheme, pointed out the airline is currently offering its “largest range” of rewards.
The IAG Loyalty spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “We strive to offer choice and value with our reward flights and have introduced more ways to combine Avios and cash – the largest range we’ve ever offered.
“We keep our pricing under review and while we’ve made some changes to our short-haul Reward Flight Saver pricing we continue to offer an industry-leading proposition to British Airways’ Executive Club member.”
Avios most recently teamed up with Nectar, to allow customers to switch points between the two reward schemes.
This means shoppers who collect points at Sainsbury’s, for example, are able to switch their rewards into Avios points to be used on future flights.
“Making Avios worthless when used for flights is also an odd move now that the Avios / Nectar partnership is here,” commented Mr Burgess.
“It simply makes it more attractive to cash out your Avios for 0.8p in Sainsbury’s or Argos credit by transferring them to Nectar.”
As well as flights, Avios points can also be redeemed through the British Airways Executive Club on upgrades and hotel stays.