Effective 02/02/16 at 5am EST British Airways is raising the cost of short-haul zone 1 flights between 1-650 miles in flight distance from 4.5K Avios to 7.5K in coach, from 9K Avios to 15K in business, and from 18K Avios to 30K in first.
This change is only for flights that are to, from, or within the United States. Short haul zone 1 flights like London-Milan, Iguazu Falls-Sao Paulo, Johannesburg-Victoria Falls, and Sydney-Melbourne remain 4.5K Avios in coach.
All other awards remain the same.
Still, with travel starting at 7.5K Avios with no close-in fees and just $5.60 in cancellation fees, Avios travel remains a bargain for domestic flights.
You can book a 9K round-trip award now and change the dates later without paying the additional 6K Avios. But BA charges $55/award for date changes and just charges the tax paid ($5.60/way for domestic flight) for cancellations, so if you need to change the date, that will eat up a lot of the savings. But if you might need to fly it’s worth hedging that bet for the cancellation penalty of $5.60 each way.
Note that for awards from Canada the taxes are about equal to the cancellation fee. In that case if you need to change your travel dates, you can spend $55 for a change fee when you do have dates and that will save you 6K Avios. You don’t forfeit the taxes paid on award changes.
The same story applies to 4.5K awards from Mexico or the Caribbean as well.