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British Airways devalues short-haul redemptions on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines with no notice

Aug. 03, 2021
3 min read
British Airways devalues short-haul redemptions on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines with no notice
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British Airways has quietly increased the cost of some Avios redemptions on partner airlines Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines without any warning.

Members of the Avios programme have traditionally enjoyed attractive rates for using Avios to book short-haul flights on both British Airways and its partner airlines. Flights between London and Europe on British Airways remain one of the best uses of Avios thanks to its Reward Flight Saver option, which also has low fixed fees and taxes.

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While short hops around Asia are probably not in the immediate plans of many Avios collectors right now, they will now have to part with more points if they wish to fly Oneworld members Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines within Asia in the future.

As first spotted by FlyForMiles, the Avios increases for flights on Cathay Pacific using Avios are as follows:

Flight lengthEconomy — previous priceEconomy — new priceBusiness class — previous priceBusiness class — new price
Zone 1 (1 – 650 miles)6,0007,50012,50016,000
Zone 2 (651 – 1150 miles)9,00010,00016,50025,000
Zone 3 (1,151 – 2000 miles)11,00011,000 (unchanged)22,00025,000

While the new prices for Avios redemptions on Japan Airlines are as follows:

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Flight lengthEconomy — previous priceEconomy — new priceBusiness class — previous priceBusiness class — new price
Zone 1 (1 – 650 miles)6,0007,50012,50012,500 (unchanged)
Zone 2 (651 – 1150 miles)9,00010,00016,50024,000
Zone 3 (1,151 – 2000 miles)11,00011,000 (unchanged)22,00024,000

Devaluations such as these are an unfortunate part of the world of miles and points, though it’s very disappointing that British Airways chose to increase these prices without any notice. Well-respected loyalty programmes will usually provide a notice period of impending price increases in order to allow their members who have earned these points to redeem them at the existing rates.

Related: Emirates devaluing first class awards in July by removing Flex awards

No-notice devaluations create distrust amongst members as the value proposition of the programme today could completely change tomorrow. It’s also puzzling that only certain airline partners have seen these increases adding complexity to the programme with so many different redemption amounts.

Are the new prices worth your Avios? Do remember that both airlines regularly operate long-haul-configured aircraft on these shorter routes, which means especially in business class, you can expect a much more comfortable ride than you would find on British Airways short-haul flights.

Related: A great short-haul business class: a review of Cathay Dragon on the Airbus A321

Asian Oneworld member Malaysia Airlines has not been impacted by this devaluation.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023