As you may have heard, the British Airways Avios program is changing by May 30, 2019. And what this usually means is the program is getting devalued. This means that your Avios won’t be worth as much after the changes happen. Personally, I think the best course of action is to liquidate your British Airways Avios before May 30, 2019. That way, you can maximize the value of your Avios before the big change happens.
British Airways Avios partners that will be affected by the upcoming change:
- Alaska Airlines
- Air Italy
- American Airlines
- Cathay Pacific / Cathay Dragon
- Japan Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Jordanian
How should you liquidate your British Airways Avios?
The obvious method of liquidating your British Airways Avios is by redeeming it on some of the Avios sweet spots.
Examples of the sweet spots are:
- Booking your Avios over the phone on Alaska Airlines from Seattle to Hawaii
- Redeeming your Avios over the phone on Aer Lingus from Montreal to Dublin
- Booking your Avios over the phone on Aer Lingus from Toronto to Dublin
- Redeeming your Avios on Japan Airlines from Vancouver to Tokyo
Some of my favourite redemption for the British Airways Avios is actually not in the North American or European continent. During my 380 days of travel, I redeemed the Avios to go to many far off destinations. In my opinion, here are some good redemptions that shouldn’t be overlooked:
- LATAM flights within Brazil, Colombia
- Hong Kong to Jeju Island, South Korea on Cathay Dragon
- Hong Kong to Yangon, Myanmar on Cathay Dragon
- Brisbane to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on Qantas
- LATAM flights to the Galapagos in Ecuador
My personal plan of action
For 2020, my plan is to complete visiting all the countries in South America. Therefore, before May 30th, I will liquidate my British Airways Avios on flights within the South American continent. Specifically, I would like to redeem it within Brazil, Chile, and Argentina.
Specific places I’m eyeing includes:
- Easter Island
- Sao Luiz in Brazil (near Lençóis Maranhenses national park)
- Flights between Chile, Argentina, and Brazil
Where you shouldn’t redeem your British Airways Avios
The one region you shouldn’t liquidate your British Airways Avios is in Europe. Mainly because the upcoming devaluation mainly focuses on partner airlines. That means British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus are going to be untouched (hopefully).
Final thoughts on the upcoming British Airways devaluation
I am definitely not happy that they are changing the program. Personally, I love redeeming Avios on short haul flights. When I travelled around the world for a year, I used Avios a ton! If I didn’t have any Avios, I couldn’t have flown on money saving segments like Yangon to Hong Kong or round trip between Brisbane and Port Moresby.
My personal favourites when it comes to redemption were Cathay Pacific / Dragon, LATAM, and Qantas. In their respective continents, I was able to find availability without too much problem. And of course, booking those Avios points really came in handy when I needed to fly to my next destination in those countries.
For those of you who enjoys long term travel, Avios definitely comes in handy and complements the Aeroplan program. This is because Avios is part of the One World Alliance while Aeroplan is part of Star Alliance. As a result, you can get access to airline partners from both programs. And this covers a lot of bases, especially if Star Alliance is lacking availability. Obviously, getting a chance to try other airline carriers is fun also and is part of the travel experience.
So while I do advice you to liquidate all your British Airways Avios, I do hope they don’t devalue the program too much.