Head for Points reports that British Airways is testing a redemption option to spend more points on an award ticket in exchange for reducing or eliminating taxes and fees.
He says that this test is happening on the London Heathrow – Chania, Greece route only (a route where there is almost no award space on BA’s 2-3 times weekly service).
- Normally business class awards cost 20,000 miles + £25
- However default pricing is now 25,000 miles and £0.50
- There’s also an option for 22,500 miles and £12.50
To be clear this is not a good deal, you are getting about 2/3rds of a cent per mile value buying down the taxes and fees with this new option. However it’s a way for BA to address, potentially, the insane surcharges they add to long haul bookings that makes the program uncompetitive and nearly completely useless for economy redemptions.
The test appears only to be happening for UK members, or at least not happening for US-based members. Pricing out this route as a US member in US dollars I get off-season 17,000 miles and $40 (no benefit from the plummeting British pound) and peak season 20,000 miles and $40 — without option for more miles and lower cash charges.