Trying to find out how much British Airways Avios are worth is a bit like riding a points roller coaster. Or, as Charles Dickens so eloquently puts it: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. By this, I mean that BA offers some absolutely fantastic award opportunities, contrasted with some abysmal ones. Taking a look at the distribution curve below, we see that it’s quite a bit flatter than say, Southwest’s. In English, this means that you have a better chance to score a fantastic deal, and a better chance to score a terrible one. For this month, we’re assigning an ACRV of $0.0088 per British Airways Avios.
|Intro-Europe Non-zero Average||0.0147|
|International Non-zero Average||0.0196|
|Overall Non-zero Average||$0.0172|
Two things absolutely eviscerate BA’s value, availability and fees. Let’s start with the first. Since November 2017, I’ve been averaging in a zero every time I couldn’t find an award ticket for one of our hypothetical city pairs. Unfortunately, a few zero’s can bring down an average very quickly.
Moving on to killer number 2, British Airways’ outlandish booking fees. While it’s not a metric I usually track, just for fun I took a quick average. On the domestic side, they weren’t terribe, at $47.85. However, move to the international side, and get this, we’re averaging a gut-wrenching $339.76 per ticket! Ouch. As I deduct fees from the lowest available cash price, it really can wreck a value.
As mentioned above, we were on a roller coaster. Take a look at the spread between the best and worst below. You’ll notice an almost-worthless redemption of $0.0004 and a phenomenal one of $0.0791. In case anyone’s curious, the latter is based on 57,750 Avios + $410.95 in fees vs a $4,981 cash-price, business-class flight from Frankfurt to Washington.