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Back in October last year, British Airways changed the way that Avios are earned as it moved from a model where the number of Avios awarded is based on a combination of the fare class and the distance flown, to a model where the number of Avios awarded is based entirely on the cost of a fare.
Any trips booked before the October switch were grandfathered into the old system and so even if these trips were for travel taking place after the change of Avios policy, the number of Avios earned would still be based on the fare code booked and the distance flown.
Often, however, when airlines change the way their currencies are earned, there’s another rule that sits quietly in the background, and that rule says that while bookings made before the change will continue to earn at the old rates, any changes made to one of these bookings after the new rules are put in place will result in that booking being treated as if it had been made under the new rules.
The type of change that will trigger such a treatment can vary from airline to airline, so as I recently made a change to a British Airways trip that had been booked before the devaluation, I thought that I should report back on what happened just in case the information can hep someone out.
The booking and the change
Before the British Airways devaluation, I booked a standard Economy fare for travel between London Heathrow and Larnaca in Cyprus.
I was ticketed in fare code ‘O’ in both directions, and as my booking and the Avios Calculator told me at the time, that booking was due to earn me 2,528 Avios each way for a total of 5,056 Avios.
Not long before I was due to fly (which was well after the October rule change), British Airways emailed me with an upgrade offer that I decided to take, and this upgrade changed my outbound fare code from ‘O’ to ‘U’.
A key thing here is that although I handed over more money and although my fare code changed on one segment of my booking, my ticket number didn’t change and so, technically, I don’t think this classified as a “repricing” (when a ticket gets repriced, it almost always falls under the rules that are in place at the time of repricing).
Had my decision to pay for the cash upgrade affected my booking in such a way that it now fell under the post devaluation rules, I would have expected the trip to earn me under 4,000 Avios.
Fortunately, it was treated under the old rules as this is what posted to my account:
A quick look at the old Avios Calculator shows that this is exactly in line with pre-devaluation earnings for a Gold member.
Some changes made after the October devaluation to bookings that were made before the devaluation will see a traveler earn Avios under the post devaluation rules. Apparently, however, accepting a British Airways cash upgrade offer isn’t one such change.