Big changes coming at Avios?

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This topic contains 29 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  FDOS_UK 23 Apr 2018
at 11:17
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 30 total)

  • openfly
    Participant

    According to Money Savings Expert website lots of changes about to start with regard to Avios, nothing good.

    It’s also suggesting that Snr Cruz wants to ditch it eventually.

    I can’t believe he would be stupid enough to take that action…but that’s Cruz. Anything to help BAs rush to the bottom!


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    According to Money Savings Expert website lots of changes about to start with regard to Avios, nothing good.

    It’s also suggesting that Snr Cruz wants to ditch it eventually.

    I can’t believe he would be stupid enough to take that action…but that’s Cruz. Anything to help BAs rush to the bottom!

    Yes, it’s separate to this

    Avios to close Travel Rewards Programme in the UK


    According to MSE

    The main changes aren’t negative.

    1. A slider allowing you to decide how many avios to redeem against the price of a ticket.

    2. The ability to access more flights with your avios. This, I think, will mean if you pay more than the normal amount of avios, you will then find more seats become available – so, for instance, pay double for a Club World redemption and a flight which had no reward seats available than has some at the higher rate.

    3. The ability to use avios to buy other things – seat availability, baggage, upgrades (would be great if there was more upgrade availability).

    4. A further move to it being revenue based, like so many other programmes.

    It’s no surprise that many business travellers think the tier part of the programme is worthwhile, because they get lounge access, but are baffled by the point of avios, since they are never able to redeem them, and don’t have the time or the inclination to turn it into a hobby.

    If anything they see it as a bit of an insult that they have millions of miles yet can’t redeem them six months in advance to fly their family on holiday somewhere warm.

    Of course to those in the know, the answer would be either “Good, that means we can continue to enjoy availability because we know how it works” or, if more generous, “Here’s how you do it” and then they would be directed to one of the websites and forums that tells them how to go about it, but why make it so difficult for your top customers to enjoy the rewards they have “earned”?


    handbag
    Participant

    In Europe, I have had reasonable availability for Reward flights, which I find very good value.

    Just spoken to Avios re how it will work with the 2 for 1 and upgrade vouchers that I get with Credit cards and they have told me, that I would still contact them as normal, as they will be liaising with BA after the switch.


    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    Cathay have have three tiers for redemption for a few years namely Standard , Priory and Priority One. The redemption level for Priority 1 is pretty steep then again you have the choice.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    It’s also suggesting that Snr Cruz wants to ditch it eventually.
    I can’t believe he would be stupid enough to take that action…but that’s Cruz. Anything to help BAs rush to the bottom!

    I can …. he wants to take BA down to the level of Ryanair and Vueling. Ryanair at least do what they purport to do.

    I’ve given up trying to use my Avios for anything worthwhile partly as I find that the availability is derisory and the site so unwieldy that I don’t have the patience to persevere.

    If what Tom has posted is correct, and I am sure it is, then so much the better. I might even be able to get a one way from NCL to GLA on a wet November afternoon!


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    The inability for normal people to use avios (ie: ones who just earn them, but haven’t got time to work out how to burn them) was demonstrated to me by a story I was told recently.

    A flyer with several million miles has tried several times to use his miles for holidays with his family, including, latterly, a skiing trip with his family.

    Having failed on every occasion, and learning on board the short haul flight to go skiing that he could use his avios for inflight purchases, he invited his extended travelling party to order anything and everything they wanted so at least he could use some of them, so much so that the flight attendants ran out of many items as a result of this order.

    He notified the flight attendants of the flight they would be returning on a week later and asked them to try and ensure it was fully stocked, and it was (possibly by coincidence) and he spent even more on the way back.

    The loyalty programme isn’t really functioning properly if the best customers of an airline (as defined by how much they spend and how often they fly) are frustrated with the supposed rewards they receive.


    openfly
    Participant

    @tom Otley….well said!


    openfly
    Participant

    @capetonianm I suggest that your easiest Avios route from NCL to GLA could well be on QR, via DOH!! ?


    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    As a very frequent and top tier flyer the essence of any loyalty scheme is obviously the ability to get said loyalty rewarded.

    The availability has been shrinking primarily, I would suggest, with the expansion of the alliances with an increased number of FF´s of all member airlines vying for seats.

    I seem to recall in the good old/earlier days booking a redemption seat was relatively easier when it was your “mother airline”. With CX when the website showed no availability a call to the Marco Polo Club would get a redemption seat so I saw first hand that my loyalty was rewarded hence I have been with CX since 1994!. I ask the question – do the airline systems recognise a top tier flyer when they go online and show seats are available or is it first come first served regardless.

    All that said air miles , avios or whatever is not the complete picture. It is the entire experience and the feeling that the provider is making effort to help with a request and not simply say “the computer days no”.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    In Europe, I have had reasonable availability for Reward flights, which I find very good value.

    Same for me, but long haul is virtually impossible, as Tom says.

    One might be able to get a flight from Jeddah, because BA make people pack their laptops and tablets in the hold (and Saudia do not), but any decent route such as DXB, no chance.

    Even if status opens up extra seats, it is normally in Y class and frequent travellers aspire to better, since they either travel in premium or would like to, on their hols.

    So unless short haul rewards are of interest, I can understand why many regard avios as useless.


    Knightflyer
    Participant

    I used a chunk of Avios to book 2 rooms in a nice hotel for a family stay in Australia recently, it was easy, transparent and pretty good value using cash plus Avios with several options for the proportion of cash. If members are struggling to spend them I’d recommend nice hotels.


    AlanOrton1
    Participant

    I remember a while ago being told the only real way of being able to book J to certain long haul destinations was to go call / go online at 12 midnight on the day flights are released. 355 days ahead of time, I think, though there is no guarantee F seats will be released at this time.

    I did this twice, to secure Avios seats to DXB (F) and BGI (J) during the winter months, but the good wife did give me a look along the lines of ‘have you taken leave of your senses’, when I told her what I was staying up late to do.

    Seeing as a great many travellers aren’t going to plan this far ahead, it punishes this set, while favoring others who ‘play the game’. Given I can’t really plan this far ahead and don’t wish to get divorced, I like many other posters wish there was another system in place. Perhaps one where upgrade inventory was separate, so at least those not planning so far in advance stand a chance of using Avios in some fashion.


    ASK1945
    Participant

    The inability for normal people to use avios (ie: ones who just earn them, but haven’t got time to work out how to burn them) was demonstrated to me by a story I was told recently.

    A flyer with several million miles has tried several times to use his miles for holidays with his family, including, latterly, a skiing trip with his family.

    …………………………………………………
    The loyalty programme isn’t really functioning properly if the best customers of an airline (as defined by how much they spend and how often they fly) are frustrated with the supposed rewards they receive.

    Tom

    I don’t understand this “inability”.

    As I believe I have written previously on the Forum, in the last 15 years (since the Companion Vouchers first surfaced) we have travelled to Australia twice, India, South Africa, Mexico, Barbados, St Lucia, Canada, and various parts of the USA (7 times). In fact, we have just returned from Miami and are off to St Lucia (again) at the end of the year. This is always Business or First Class.

    It does just take a bit of planning – but it doesn’t always need 350 days’ notice.


    travelworld2
    Participant

    ASK1945- yes, I have similar experience, having used a companion voucher in first or business on BA for the last 15 or so years to a similar list of destinations as you, adding in Japan and the Middle East. It hasn’t involved staying up until midnight 350 days out, either. That said, I am pretty flexible as to where I go and when, so usually book 3-6 months in advance and will often fly outbound to one airport (eg JNB) and return from another (eg CPT). Mixing cabins helps too. I haven’t had ever to use the Gold benefit of paying double to open up a redemption seat, either.

    I think there generally is availability to a large number of destinations in the premium cabins – these can be found using the tools on the BA website. But if you are set on a certain destination on particular dates, it’s much more of a lottery.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    The one avios benefit I find impossible to use – (my last 4 vouchers expired unused) – is the Gold Upgrade voucher.. IMPOSSIBLE..

    Because my ticket usually contains a second airline (o/w) – the system does not allow the BA sector (only) to be upgraded. Very frustrating to see such a valuable benefit wasted and seats in the next class of travel remain empty…

    I wish BA would offer an alternative when vouchers can not be used, despite retaining Gold status year in year out…

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