Disappointing Redemption Changes


Recently, there have been a couple of disappointing redemption changes in the always-evolving world of points and miles. Let’s go over each of these redemption changes and how they will affect us.


Virgin Atlantic Devalues Delta Award Redemptions

One of our “go-to” great redemptions for Europe was to book a Delta business class flight via Virgin Atlantic. We could typically find award flights for about 50K Virgin Atlantic miles + $5.60 on Delta metal from anywhere in the United States. That was a heck of a deal when you could find it.

Now, without warning, Virgin Atlantic is charging more for those flights dependent on peak and standard travel and the length of your flight. Flights from the East Coast are fewer miles, and everywhere else, they cost more. Even harder to digest or understand is the $1,000+ surcharge that has been tacked on to these redemptions.

One piece of good news is that economy class redemptions are unchanged and still a good value (at least for now).


Delta flight booked on Virgin Atlantic

Yikes, that $1,000+ sure hurts!


British Airways Devalues Sweet Spots On American and Alaska

British Airways has increased the redemption costs on nearly all of their American and Alaska flights within North America. You used to be able to get great redemption value on these, but now it will be cheaper to book through AA or Alaska directly. The biggest problem with this change is that it is much easier to accrue Avios than AA or Alaska miles, so this was NOT good news in the points and miles world!

One of our favorite sweet spots was the ability to fly from the West Coast to Hawaii for 13K Avios. These same flights will now cost 20K Avios. Here was the previous redemption:

Screenshot of British Airways site

Here’s what it looks like now:

Screenshot of British Airways flight


Bottom Line

Changes are inevitable in the world of points and miles. However, these are disappointing redemption changes, especially given the fact that there was no warning about the devaluation. Just another reason to not hoard your points and miles!


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