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I got an email this morning with some devastating news: it’s the end of probably the best deal in travel hacking – 4,500 Avios flights in North America
According to the British Airways press release, starting February 2, 2016, flights in North America will now cost a minimum of 7,500 Avios
On 2 February 2016, we’ll be making some changes to the Executive Club pricing structure for reward flights originating or terminating in the United States of America.
The change will only affect shorter routes on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, with reward flights now starting from 7,500 Avios, rather than 4,500 Avios, plus taxes, fees and carrier charges from $5.60 USD. The majority of North American reward flight prices will remain unchanged.
Note that 4500 Avios flights WILL still be allowed in other zones (Europe, Asia, etc.) – the release specifically says that this change ONLY affects American Airlines and Alaska flights in North America
End of an era
As I mentioned, this was one of, if not THE best deal in travel hacking. Very often, you could use 4500 Avios to fly a flight with a cash price of $300-$400
I don’t hold anything against British Airways – they gave us a full 3 months notice, and also this is a fairly limited change in scope. As Gary from View from the Wing often says, if a travel deal delivers OUTSTANDING value (above and beyond what similar deals provide), it’s likely going to change in some time. It was true with the Club Carlson bonus award night (gone) and it was true with 4500 Avios British Airways short-haul flights. It’s also true of the Southwest Companion pass, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see changes with that at some point.
Frankly, even at 7500 Avios, that’s going to often be a pretty good deal!
It’s interesting, back in April I wrote What’s the best rewards deal out there?, a post comparing some of the top travel deals out there – of the ones I posted there, several of them are no longer available.
In any case, make sure to book your 4500 Avios North America flights before February 2, 2016