British Airways has now switched the way members of its Executive Club earn Avios points to a revenue-based system, which essentially means that Avios earning is now solely based on how much you spend rather than how many miles you fly.
The switchover, which was announced several months ago, came into effect on Wednesday, although anyone who booked tickets before October 18 will still earn Avios based on the old system.
The new revenue-based system is widely seen as a devaluation, which will make it harder for people to earn Avios, although British Airways has attempted to put a positive spin on the news, saying that it estimates that it will end up dishing out 20% more Avios.
Why has British Airways made this change?
BA’s chief commercial officer, Colm Lacy, has openly admitted that the airline is simply copying what many of its competitors have already done, saying that the new revenue-based system is “in line with other airlines and loyalty schemes”.
In fact, BA’s sister airline, Iberia, made the change to revenue-based Avios last year, so it was only a matter of time for British Airways to fall in line. No doubt, it was BA’s woeful IT systems that prevented an earlier switch to revenue-based earning.
Like many airlines, BA is trying to drive as much everyday spending through its channels to encourage Avios earning. This includes British Airways cobranded American Express credit cards, the Avios eStore and converting Nectar points into Avios.
How does the new revenue-based system work?
From October 18, the number of Avios you earn will be based on how much you spend on the base fare, and carrier-imposed charges on any flights with British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia.
In addition, Avios will also be awarded for cabin upgrades, prepaid seating and additional baggage on British Airways and Iberia flights (but not American Airlines flights).
The number of Avios you earn to £ or € spent will depend on your status within the Executive and on whether you are on a British Airways or American Airlines flight, or an Iberia flight.
For British Airways and American Airlines flights:
- Blue members earn 6 Avios per qualifying £
- Bronze members earn 7 Avios per qualifying £
- Silver members earn 8 Avios per qualifying £
- Gold members earn 9 Avios per qualifying £
For flights marketed by Iberia:
- Blue members earn 5 Avios per qualifying €
- Bronze members earn 6 Avios per qualifying €
- Silver members earn 7 Avios per qualifying €
- Gold members earn 8 Avios per qualifying €
What about flights with other airlines?
The new revenue-based earning system only applies to flights marketed by American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia.
Flights marketed by other Oneworld airlines will still earn Avios based on cabin and the number of miles you’ve flown. British Airways has, however suggested that this could change at some point in the future.
Will this affect the way passengers earn tier points?
The short answer is no. Tier points, which count towards elite status qualification, will still be based on how far you fly rather than how much you spend.
Unlike some airlines, everyday spending through cobranded credit cards does not count towards elite status qualification.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.