Avios Devaluation Happens Monday April 27 at 7 PM ET

British Airways Avios has gutted its award chart for longhaul Business and First Class awards booked after 7 PM Eastern Time Monday April 27, 2015. (The changes go into effect at midnight on the 28th in Britain, which is 7 PM on the east coast of the US on the 27th.)

Only a few good deals are affected by the devaluation, and you can lock these in today for travel through March 2016.

Most of the best deals with Avios are untouched, and already bad deals were made worse.

A Ranking of Miles from Most Broadly Useful to Most Niche

I naturally categorize miles and points into two groups:

Broadly useful
Niche programs

The first type of miles are the miles you want to stockpile if you're hoping to follow a simple mile-accumulation strategy to meet all your future travel goals. Ideally these miles benefit from cheap award charts across all classes of service and to all regions without incurring fuel surcharges on awards.

By contrast, niche programs have some great values on their award charts, but lots of flaws.

Current State of Free Oneways

This blog became famous because I was the first to articulate how to book free one ways on United and US Airways awards.

A free one way is a one way trip to or from your home airport that is tacked onto another award for no extra miles.

British Airways Avios Hacked. Your Balance May Be Zero

British Airways Avios accounts have been hacked.

Apparently in some cases, points have been used. In others, British Airways drained an account to zero to prevent points from being used.

I tried to log in to my account and my correct password is being rejected.

Folks are contacting British Airways on twitter and being told to DM information.

Folks who are calling British Airways are reporting interminable holds.

I predict British Airways sorts all this out in a few days or weeks and all points are restored.

British Airways Avios Hacked. Your Balance May Be Zero

British Airways Avios accounts have been hacked.

Apparently in some cases, points have been used. In others, British Airways drained an account to zero to prevent points from being used.

I tried to log in to my account and my correct password is being rejected.

Folks are contacting British Airways on twitter and being told to DM information.

Folks who are calling British Airways are reporting interminable holds.

I predict British Airways sorts all this out in a few days or weeks and all points are restored.

Four Advantages of Domestic Avios Awards

British Airways Avios are, counter-intuitively, way better for domestic travel within the United States than for trips to Europe.

That's because the highest value uses of Avios are short, direct, economy flights on partners without fuel surcharges. Within the United States, there are no fuel surcharges on American Airlines, US Airways, or Alaska Airlines flights, all of which are bookable with Avios.

Read: British Airways Avios Basics

This year, for the second straight year, I'll be following my basketball team through March Madness.

The Map that Shows You All Your Options with Avios

Wandering Aramean writes a Boarding Area blog and also has created a suite of tools that can be used for free by anyone. One I just saw (thanks Million Mile Secrets) is his Avios Map.

The Avios Map works like this:

Type in any airport in the world.
The map shows all the airports you can fly to directly for 4.5k, 7.5k, 10k, and 12.5k Avios in economy.

You can use the map to see where you can go from your home airport for what price.

The Map that Shows You All Your Options with Avios

Wandering Aramean writes a Boarding Area blog and also has created a suite of tools that can be used for free by anyone. One I just saw (thanks Million Mile Secrets) is his Avios Map.

The Avios Map works like this:

Type in any airport in the world.
The map shows all the airports you can fly to directly for 4.5k, 7.5k, 10k, and 12.5k Avios in economy.

You can use the map to see where you can go from your home airport for what price.

Buy Avios for 1.43 Cents Each with This One Trick

Through 11:59 PM tomorrow February 25, 2015, British Airways is offering a 50% bonus on the purchase of Avios. This is the biggest bonus ever offered on the purchase of Avios.

The maximum Avios you can purchase in a year is 35,000. With a 50% bonus, that means you can add 52,500 Avios to your account.

Easy Round the World with Miles on Luxury Products

We've been getting bad news in the miles world lately, so let me state unequivocally: miles still offer unmatched value to travel the world more, better, and cheaper.

Here's a round-the-world (RTW) trip you can take with miles that took me me about 10 minutes to find the award space for.

There's nothing particularly important about the cities or even the regions where this trip stops. It just shows an easy RTW award using one way awards.