British Airways Executive Club: Spending-Based Avios Credit for American Flights (Starting in October)

American Airlines - Boeing 777-300

Last year, British Airways (like Iberia) announced that the accrual of award miles (Avios) would be based on the flight price in the future. Details were provided a month ago: The spending-based system will come into effect for all flights with IB and BA flight numbers booked from October 18, 2023. This will result in 5 to 9 Avios per £ ticket price excluding taxes & fees.

As we calculated earlier, the new system leads to up to 90% fewer Avios, especially for cheap economy tickets. Now there’s more bad news, as BA is closing a potential loophole in the credit policy: The spending-based mileage allocation will also apply to flights with American Airlines.

Business Traveller quotes a British Airways spokesperson as follows:

Today we are pleased to share the news that from the same date [18 October], this new way of collecting Avios on flights will also apply to British Airways’ Atlantic joint business partner, American Airlines.

This means that Executive Club Members will collect the same Avios, whether their flight is marketed by British Airways or American Airlines, to offer consistency across the choices of booking channels.”

The option to avoid the spending-based mileage allocation with an American flight (or AA flight number) will be closed before the new system comes into effect. This is possible because both airlines already cooperate very closely within a joint venture.

The spending-based mileage allocation will be implemented equally for flights with BA, Iberia, and AA.

Flights with Finnair are not affected by this deterioration as of the current state. However, this is unlikely to last long. Finnair itself announced an introduction of spending-based mileage and status credit in 2024 and will also introduce Avios as a new currency. They will also have an interest in preventing customers from migrating to the BA Executive Club for better mileage credit.

Spending-Based Mileage Credit for American AAdvantage Program

Conversely, similar changes are being implemented: Those collecting miles in American Airlines‘ frequent flyer program will receive spending-based mileage on British Airways flights. According to the AA website:

The number of miles you earn depends on the flight distance and the fare class of your ticket. For travel starting October 18, 2023, you will earn miles based on the ticket price.

American Airlines: Our partnership with British Airways

The same applies to flights with Iberia. In the AAdvantage program, you’ll receive 5 to 11 miles per US dollar ticket price – the same as for flights with American Airlines.


Even though airlines market this as a huge improvement, the transition to spending-based mileage allocation is always disadvantageous for bargain hunters. It mainly benefits business travellers with expensive, last-minute bookings.

As airlines become more interconnected, the classic mileage run will likely soon be obsolete. At least with British Airways (unlike Finnair Plus), it remains relatively easy to earn a frequent flyer status through flying.

Cover Picture: © Bidgee auf Wikipedia

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