American Airlines recently changed their fare coding for award tickets. To most people this will make no difference in how they redeem their miles. Expect those who have or earn British Airways Avios!
British Airways’ Avios program is distance based. They charge points for flights based on how for each individual flight segment is. This is usually a terrible deal for long haul flights in a premium cabin. The value comes from short haul flights! For redeeming Avios on American this can be done for as little as 7,500 points one way. Far better than using American’s own miles for 12,500 and up!
For flights after January 11, 2017 (the day in which American is using the new fare coding) domestic First Class awards now only cost double what economy costs. This is a much better deal since British Airways, until January 11, 2017, is charging 4 times the cost of economy which is ludicrous. The reason this change is happening is because American is finally using the business class fare codes for awards on domestic USA flights! This change is great not only because you only need half the points to get it but also because American tends to release a lot more First Class award seats in advance for domestic USA flights. A win-win for us!
Some example differences in cost to illustrate how good this change
can be is:
1. Today a First Class direct award ticket between Atlanta, GA and New York City, NY costs 30,000 Avios. Ouch! January 11, 2017 and beyond it is only 15,000! Economy in both cases is 7,500. The taxes and fees are a very low $5.60 per direction.
2. Today a first Class direct award ticket between Charlotte, NC and Las Vegas, NV is 40,000 Avios. On January 11, 2017 and beyond it is now only 20,000! Economy is 10,000 in both cases. 20,000 points for 4+ hours of domestic First Class with free drinks and food is well worth 10,000 more points. The taxes and fees are a very low $5.60 per direction.
These new award prices are bookable today at ba.com. Be sure to price out your itinerary and check carefully before booking. We see this being very useful for spring break trips and to get missing segments on long haul award tickets if the times and availability line up for you.