Air Italy Increases Surcharges for Avios Awards on US-Outbound Flights
Air Italy, the new airline refurbished from former carrier Meridiana, allows travelers to book award flights using Avios through its partner British Airways at a very reasonable rate. Flights can be booked directly via ba.com at the following redemption rates:
|Flight Distance // Zone||Economy Class||Business Class|
|Zone 1: 1-650 miles||4,500||9,000|
|Zone 2: 651-1150 miles||7,500||15,000|
|Zone 3: 1151-2000 miles||10,000||20,000|
|Zone 4: 2001-3000 miles||12,500||37,500|
|Zone 5: 3001-4000 miles||20,000||60,000|
|Zone 6: 4001-5000 miles||25,000||75,000|
In the past, Air Italy-imposed surcharges per ticket were capped at $127 each way for flights between the US and Italy, regardless of fare class. This means that a Zone 6 Milan (MXP) to New York (JFK) flight in business class could cost just 75,000 Avios — worth $1,125 in TPG's latest valuations — plus $127 in carrier-imposed surcharges. That's less than half the cost of the same ticket if booked in cash.
However, One Mile at a Time reports that Air Italy appears to have raised the surcharges on award tickets that originate from the US. For example, this one-way economy award ticket from New York (JFK) to Milan (MXP) now costs 25,000 Avios and $205.40:
While a one-way ticket in business class from JFK to Milan now costs 75,000 Avios and $548.40:
Meanwhile, surcharges have remained flat regardless of fare class on award flights originating from non-US cities, although it's no longer the $127 flat rate of days gone by. This one-way economy ticket from Milan to JFK still only costs 25,000 Avios, with $214.31 in surcharges:
A one-way business class ticket from Milan to JFK costs 75,000 Avios and the same $214.31 in cash surcharges:
In conclusion, Air Italy award tickets booked with British Airways Avios can still be an easy way to get back from Europe for cheap. However, this US-targeted increased surcharge significantly drops the outbound value of these award tickets.