Avios, not to be confused with the Association of Visually Impaired Office Staff, is the new name for AirMiles. This new name has come about following the merger of BA and Iberia.
So the story here is that millions of air passengers face being charged hundreds of pounds in taxes and fees after a change to a major loyalty scheme offering so-called ‘free flights’. The overhaul of the popular AirMiles reward programme means customers claiming flights with their miles will have to pay all air and fuel taxes on their trips.
The change could add up to £300 to the cost of flights to New York, £420 for a trip to Tokyo and as much as £600 to Australia flights.
Andrew Saffield, managing director of the Mileage Company, which owns AirMiles, is quoted in the Daily Mail as having said: ‘Unfortunately it has been untenable for us to be able to completely subsidise the flights. We had been unique in offering that.”
Why am I mentioning this here? Well, for a lot of people AirMiles comes over as being very similar to a prepaid incentive or recognition programme, and it is really. To suddenly change the terms and conditions, therefore the value, of the offer is in danger of making people very suspicious of stored value and prepaid incentive programmes.
We must all work hard to continue to deliver the value people believe they are getting from our programmes.