The end of an era: it’s time to say adios to air miles

By | Category: Travel news, Travel rumblings

Hands up if have been saving your airmiles up for free flights?  You’re not alone – the CD Traveller has been known to use airmiles to enjoy paying for flight fares to destinations both near and far.

Unfortunately the era of air miles is almost over. Airmiles – one of Britain’s most popular reward schemes – has announced that it is scrapping its free flights offer.

According to Andrew Swaffield, chief executive of the Mileage Company, which administers airmiles, it’s becoming ‘untenable’ to keep offering free flights because “taxes and fees have increased a great deal.”

In November, aimiles, is rebranding to Avios and the new look scheme will see flyers charged fees on top of the miles they cash in. This means that customers who claim flights with miles could be paying up to £300 for services to New York, £420 for Tokyo and £600 for Australia. One word: ouch.

But it’s not all bad news: existing customers can use their airmiles to book free flights online until November 15 and by phone until December 16. That said, I spent last night searching for flights and found that most of the popular routes had already sold out, grrr.

What do you think of the rebranding? I can understand where Airmiles (sorry Avios) is coming from: the airmiles scheme was by far the most generous around. Nonetheless, the short notice is sure to have caught consumers off guard and they will no doubt see the new scheme as a slap in the face.

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