CEO Blog

17 June 2019

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

BA

When British Airways made some vague announcement in late April that award levels in its Executive Club on partner airlines would change on May 30 without revealing any further details, the worst had to be feared. In the end, the changes are unilateral price increases, which remain overall rather reasonable, typically in the area of 3-5%, though a bit more on shorter flights. But maybe more significantly, British Airways leaves with that change its traditional path to treat partners in an equal manner to themselves as, so far, partner awards were aligned to the award levels on British Airways during peak periods. Now, it is always cheaper to use miles on British Airways than on partner airlines on routes where they may operate in parallel, such as from London to New York (American Airlines), Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific) or Helsinki (Finnair). The changes do not apply to these partner airlines also using the Avios currency, i.e. Iberia, Aer Lingus and Air Italy. Why British Airways didn’t opt for a more transparent communication from the beginning rather than creating that fear remains unclear.