Now the dust is settling with the Avios introduction, like any changes there will be winners and losers. Lets look in some minor details at the losers first:
- The Chase Credit Card Users/ and those who want to redeem single partner awards: Well I had to pick on this vocal minority first. For these people, they are going to be hit hard. Unused to paying taxes like the rest of us do in Europe, with this hit their redemptions are getting more expensive (so for example using the ORG-HKG route on Cathy Pacific, or accessing LAN’s services become very expensive). In regards to those Chase users who never read the T&C;’s of the British Airways Executive Club programme before signing up… read them eh? Or have strop on Flyertalk or MilePoint..
- UK Airmiles users: Probably the second biggest hit (and certainly generated more headlines in the UK) as the Airmiles scheme included all taxes and fuel surcharges. IAG argues this model is unsustainable and therefore is going to hammer you for that.
- UK-USA West Coast Redeemers – Yes, you’ll be paying more since they’ve switched to a distance based model. Other loser redemption routes are: Tel Aviv, Pristina, Catania, Larnaca and Mauritius
- Anyone who wants to change thier redemptions: That’s £25 a time please.
For those two sets of parties above, you have till November to clear out your miles and redeem them at the old rates. I’d take the opportunity if you have no intention of flying British Airways or Iberia.
- Shorthaul Redemptions: Probably the biggest winners are IAG for EU redemptions in EuroTraveler and Club Europe. By locking the costs down to £27 or £32 + miles, its an easy win for small collectors who just want a quick break away to burn some miles and get “value”.
- LHR-JFK Redemptions: These are the biggest bargain with BA First down from 150k to 120k (or Club from 100k to 80k). Also check: Milan, Prague, Helsinki, Cairo, Amman, Jeddah, Boston, Bermuda, Toronto, Washington, Chicago, Shanghai, Rio, Bangkok, Narita, Hong-Kong and Singapore – your rates have all been reduced
- Those who want to redeem for car hire and hotels – It’ll be a waste of points, but if it makes you happy – go for it.
- The removal of the regional flight supplement for Airmiles customers – Not a lot, but still counts.
- Airmiles customers can now use Avios for one-way flights or to mix and match the airports they fly to and from, e.g. into New York JFK and back from Boston
Now for a personal disclaimer: I don’t collect British Airways points (either Tier Points, BA Miles or the AirMiles schemes – For some odd reason, I’m still a Qantas Cardboard member), so none of these affect me directly.
But as usual before you sign up to any scheme promising riches and glory, please remember
- Check the small print of any programme and any signup
- Check the taxes
- Do your research
- and remember – there’s never something for nothing.