And it’s not actually bad news…
The UK Avios Travel Rewards Program is closing down, sort of. The program exclusively for UK travelers has long offered opportunity to collect Avios points for everyday lifestyle activities, with the potential to turn points into frequent flyer miles with airlines like British Airways or Iberia. The program is now winding down and being converted, so here’s everything you need to know…
Converting To British Airways
Avios.com Avios Travel Rewards Club members will be converted into British Airways Executive Club members. Members will experience very little change to their current experience but will benefit from not having to transfer their points to cash in on flights, hotels or experiences with the increased range of partners from British Airways. Going forward you will have an account with an airline and not with Avios.com.
One Avios Program
This move is the first phase of for IAG, the parent company of British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia to centralize Avios. The company would eventually like for there to be one centralized currency, with more than 15 airlines from which to earn Avios. It’s possible that Avios.com could eventually be the sole place to spend your points down the line.
Six Month Opt Out
Avios Travel Rewards Members can opt out of joining the British Airways Executive Club by May 20th, and will be granted six months to spend their Avios on Avios.com. Since the British Airways Executive Club offers virtually all the same opportunity to spend Avios, with an expanded array of potential redemptions we can’t foresee any reason for someone to do this.
Aer Lingus And Vueling
Customers who collect points at Avios.com via Aer Lingus and Vueling will continue to use Avios after the transition. Avios.com will still be the points currency for these programs and will likely be home base for redeeming and checking account balances for these two airlines.
There are very few potential complications in this move. The one caveat involves transfers between British Airways and Iberia. Presently it’s difficult to move points between the two programs without using Avios.com as a holding place. With this option going away, it may prove more challenging than ever. On the other hand, its possible this will pave the way for a far more simplified process of transferring between the two platforms.
Balances Transferred By July 2018
Avios.com, British Airways and Iberia members can always move their points back and forth between the respective programs instantly. But if you don’t move your points out of Avios.com, the points will be transferred into your British Airways account by July 2018. If you don’t already have a British Airways Executive Club account, one will be created and instructions will be emailed with how to access the account – as well as your points.
Another chance to screw the customer Sorry I mean “enhance” the experience No doubt we’ll see a repetition of the lie that it was a result of customer feedback.
I realise very little immediate change but have no doubt that the scheme will be devaluing as part of the change.
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