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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Guy
    • By MSE Guy 25th Nov 11, 12:03 PM
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    MSE Guy
    0 WOW
    MSE News: Avios vs its detractors - read the opposing views
    • #1
    • 25th Nov 11, 12:03 PM
    0 WOW
    MSE News: Avios vs its detractors - read the opposing views 25th Nov 11 at 12:03 PM
    This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

    "
    There's been huge controversy after the Airmiles flight reward programme was scrapped last week, replaced by Avios. Read a campaigner's anger at the change and why Avios says it had to axe Airmiles ..."

Page 1
    • richardw
    • By richardw 25th Nov 11, 12:14 PM
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    richardw
    • #2
    • 25th Nov 11, 12:14 PM
    • #2
    • 25th Nov 11, 12:14 PM
    These schemes are always subject to availability and terms and conditions are changeable, the complainers seem to forget this.

    They can still book under the old scheme "[MSE insert: it's still possible to book under the Airmiles scheme until 16 December]" by calling airmiles. Flights up to mid Nov 2012 may be available.
    Last edited by richardw; 25-11-2011 at 12:48 PM.
  • theexplorer
    • #3
    • 25th Nov 11, 1:34 PM
    • #3
    • 25th Nov 11, 1:34 PM
    @richardw, Of course they are subject to availability, but when, as Andrew Swaffield claims, 2.2 million people are told they are going to have to pay anything up to 500 - 600 on something which they did not have to pay before, do you not think that out of the 2.2 million people, there may be a surge in people trying to book, therefore the availability was greatly reduced. IF Airmiles had an ounce of decency about them, they would have increased availability as well as giving people more than 3 months to use up their existing miles.

    Also, when he says all customers where made aware, that is not correct, many people have not been made aware, in fact my wife is still waiting to hear from them.

    I have never seen such bad marketing, apart from the Hoover and The Daily Express 10 cruise fiascos

    You are correct, T&C’s can be changed, however, they cannot just be changed willy nilly, especially if it is detrimental to the customer to large extent, there is certain acts and regulations which cover that.

    One other thing Andrew Swaffield has forgotten to mention and probably hopes is overlooked, is the fact that, although he is blaming it on taxes, we are actually paying a fuel surcharge as well, which in many cases, is more expensive than the actual fare.

    This is three schemes merged into one, Airmiles as well as BA & Iberia’s schemes. As Airmiles is a fundamentally different scheme, in so much as collecting methods and spending methods, the Airmiles members have been discriminated against as they are now going to be out of pocket whilst members of the other two schemes benefit.

    The whole thing is a complete shambles, they do not even have the scheme finalised, but launch it, therefore not allowing members to make informed decisions.

    I doubt that Avios will fail as a company just as The BA Exec Club wouldn’t, but having made so many Airmiles members disgruntled, they will not have the customer base they hoped for. Certainly Lloyds and Tesco’s will lose business over this as many people only chose to use them because of the Airmiles.

    I also see that people that used to be pro Avios are now seeing the true colours of Avios shine through.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when/if the airlines are forced to include the fuel surcharges as part of the fare. Will that be another fundamental change to the scheme.
    • richardw
    • By richardw 25th Nov 11, 1:52 PM
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    richardw
    • #4
    • 25th Nov 11, 1:52 PM
    • #4
    • 25th Nov 11, 1:52 PM
    BA has the world's largest fleet of B744 Jumbo jet aircraft in the world with over 50 of them in service,
    it also has over 50 B777 wide body aircraft.

    So that's over 100 wide body aircraft flying all over the world http://thebasource.com/aircraft.html.

    From 25 March 2012 it will be operating seven B774 aircraft every day to NYC JFK, the 8th flight will be a B777 http://airlineroute.net/2011/11/24/ba-lhrjfk-s12update2/.

    Little availability is just a red herring.

    At Dec 10th 2011, flights up to the end of Nov 2012 may be available, which is not indecent.
    Last edited by richardw; 25-11-2011 at 2:16 PM.
    • callum9999
    • By callum9999 25th Nov 11, 2:25 PM
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    callum9999
    • #5
    • 25th Nov 11, 2:25 PM
    • #5
    • 25th Nov 11, 2:25 PM
    While I would be annoyed (I find the taxes etc. on free flights incredibly annoying and so rarely actually spend my airmiles with various airlines on flights), it makes perfect sense to change the scheme. I think they should have given you a bit longer to book your next flight, but no other airline runs a scheme where they will pay your taxes for you, so I don't see why BA should be expected to.
  • wiwo
    • #6
    • 25th Nov 11, 2:30 PM
    • #6
    • 25th Nov 11, 2:30 PM
    BA has the world's largest fleet of B744 Jumbo jet aircraft in the world with over 50 of them in service,
    it also has over 50 B777 wide body aircraft.

    So that's over 100 wide body aircraft flying all over the world

    From 25 March 2012 it will be operating seven B774 aircraft every day to NYC JFK, the 8th flight will be a B777

    Little availability is just a red herring.

    At Dec 10th 2011, flights up to the end of Nov 2012 may be available, which is not indecent.
    Originally posted by richardw
    it is not a red herring. if you were actually a member of airmiles and were trying to book a flight in the mad panic between the announcement in september and the closing date of mid november, you would have noticed that whole months were blocked out of the most appealing routes. airmiles actually are only able to book it seems at most 2 "cheap" seats on each flight before they are blocked off from any more.

    it doesn't matter how big BA's fleet is, if they only release a tiny proportion of availability to airmiles customers. which they well knew was the case before they announced the closure of the scheme (so they well anticipated there would be a mad rush and most people would be forced to go without and carry forward their points into avios). it's all been planned very carefully on their side to benefit them and not the customers...
    • thelawnet
    • By thelawnet 25th Nov 11, 2:40 PM
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    thelawnet
    • #7
    • 25th Nov 11, 2:40 PM
    • #7
    • 25th Nov 11, 2:40 PM
    Whine whine whine.

    I couldn't be happier about it personally.

    The points made:

    * More to pay in cash for long haul

    Long-haul was never a good deal cf. short-haul anyway. Long-haul Club flights are a better deal now.

    To go through the points made:

    * more to pay in cash for European flights;

    This is a weak argument. On balance, European flights are cheaper now than before, some hugely so, e.g., Moscow. Ok there is a cash payment in addition to miles, but given that the miles had a financial value, reducing the miles cost and adding a small 27 charge is fair.

    * uncertainty about non-BA regional airports; [With Avios, there will only be six airports that customers can fly from (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester and London) in order to get the ridiculously named 'Reward Flight Saver'.]
    Another weak argument. The BA regional airports are now a much better deal, while the non-BA ones it seems will charge fees, BUT the 500 mile surcharge is removed, AND many destinations are now a better deal. For instance Flybe Southampton-Bergerac at 2000 miles now 900 miles plus 64 in fees. Much better deal under the new scheme.

    * unclear availability;

    Seems ok to me.

    * technical problems on the new site;

    Standard. They have made massive changes to the system. They will get over it. So will you.

    * having to share info to join a public forum.

    Boo-hoo, welcome to Facebook.



    Bottom line: the Avios scheme is DIFFERENT. Some things that were a good deal before are no longer a good deal. Some things are now a good deal but weren't before. Work with the scheme, there are plenty of great offers. Stop whining and try and focus on the positives because you are not going to get all the good things in the old scheme and the new one.
    • richardw
    • By richardw 25th Nov 11, 2:48 PM
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    richardw
    • #8
    • 25th Nov 11, 2:48 PM
    • #8
    • 25th Nov 11, 2:48 PM
    between the announcement in september and the closing date of mid november
    Originally posted by wiwo
    the closing date by telephone is 16th December 2011, by 10th December 2011, airmiles can search for flights for you up to the end of November 2012.

    There's never been good availability on the most appealing routes at popular times, airmiles has always been bad for this.
    • callum9999
    • By callum9999 25th Nov 11, 3:19 PM
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    callum9999
    • #9
    • 25th Nov 11, 3:19 PM
    • #9
    • 25th Nov 11, 3:19 PM
    You're assuming every recognises they have a cash value - I personally don't. All my airmiles are from flying or from Tesco and I don't see them as cash in the same way as I would for actual money. Mainly because those points don't actually cost me anything whereas having to pay for taxes does.

    And as the taxes on long haul flights are often the majority of the ticket price, how have they become better value? My gripe with them - particularly flights to America - is that I can generally find a flight for only a couple of pounds more than the cost of all the taxes and surcharges BA demand you pay on their reward flights - so I've never seen the point in actually using them.
    • victor2
    • By victor2 25th Nov 11, 3:32 PM
    • 5,007 Posts
    • 3,365 Thanks
    victor2
    I see Avios removed the community forum link from its front page as it wasn't getting much complimentary in it. It's still at community.avios.com - what's interesting is the changelog they provide, which includes gems like:
    Merged Surprise - get thousands of bonus Avios" ------ NOT. by <username> into Surprise Bonus Avios offer for 2012
    Quite a few entries in the "praise" section disappeared too, probably something to do with them lacking much praise!
    • thelawnet
    • By thelawnet 25th Nov 11, 3:40 PM
    • 2,466 Posts
    • 1,692 Thanks
    thelawnet
    You're assuming every recognises they have a cash value - I personally don't. All my airmiles are from flying or from Tesco and I don't see them as cash in the same way as I would for actual money. Mainly because those points don't actually cost me anything whereas having to pay for taxes does.
    Originally posted by callum9999
    Eh what?

    You never earned 'Airmiles' from flying. That's one of the reason why they have rebranded, because 'airmiles' is a generic term typically referring to earn-as-you-fly schemes.

    Secondly the Tesco points have a definite cash value, you can sell them on ebay, redeem them for other things, use them in store. If you don't recognise their value well that's rather misguided because maybe Airmiles was not the best destination for your points.

    And as the taxes on long haul flights are often the majority of the ticket price, how have they become better value?
    Long-haul is now worse in Economy, but better in Club as the cost is now down from 3x miles to 2x miles, plus many of the mileages have been reduced. Generally for most people it's a negative, BUT the short-haul for me balances out as the long-haul redemptions (which were ALWAYS thin on the ground, no matter what anyone says) were never that good a deal compared with Zon e 1 short-haul redemptions in the first place.

    My gripe with them - particularly flights to America - is that I can generally find a flight for only a couple of pounds more than the cost of all the taxes and surcharges BA demand you pay on their reward flights - so I've never seen the point in actually using them.
    27 + miles for European/North African flights. You will find this MUCH cheaper than buying the flights with cash.

    Not so for long-haul economy.
  • theexplorer
    BA has the world's largest fleet of B744 Jumbo jet aircraft in the world with over 50 of them in service,
    it also has over 50 B777 wide body aircraft.

    So that's over 100 wide body aircraft flying all over the world http://thebasource.com/aircraft.html.

    From 25 March 2012 it will be operating seven B774 aircraft every day to NYC JFK, the 8th flight will be a B777 http://airlineroute.net/2011/11/24/ba-lhrjfk-s12update2/.

    Little availability is just a red herring.

    At Dec 10th 2011, flights up to the end of Nov 2012 may be available, which is not indecent.
    Originally posted by richardw
    Perhaps you are not aware that not all seats are available for Airmiles customers, just a small proportion, of which many people are now scrambling to get
  • theexplorer
    While I would be annoyed (I find the taxes etc. on free flights incredibly annoying and so rarely actually spend my airmiles with various airlines on flights), it makes perfect sense to change the scheme. I think they should have given you a bit longer to book your next flight, but no other airline runs a scheme where they will pay your taxes for you, so I don't see why BA should be expected to.
    Originally posted by callum9999
    Actually, the airmiles scheme was a differant type of scheme to other airlines scheme. It cost money to get Airmiles as opposed to just loyalty points
    • callum9999
    • By callum9999 25th Nov 11, 4:00 PM
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    callum9999
    Eh what?

    You never earned 'Airmiles' from flying. That's one of the reason why they have rebranded, because 'airmiles' is a generic term typically referring to earn-as-you-fly schemes.

    Secondly the Tesco points have a definite cash value, you can sell them on ebay, redeem them for other things, use them in store. If you don't recognise their value well that's rather misguided because maybe Airmiles was not the best destination for your points.



    Long-haul is now worse in Economy, but better in Club as the cost is now down from 3x miles to 2x miles, plus many of the mileages have been reduced. Generally for most people it's a negative, BUT the short-haul for me balances out as the long-haul redemptions (which were ALWAYS thin on the ground, no matter what anyone says) were never that good a deal compared with Zon e 1 short-haul redemptions in the first place.



    27 + miles for European/North African flights. You will find this MUCH cheaper than buying the flights with cash.

    Not so for long-haul economy.
    Originally posted by thelawnet
    Well you do Avios - which is the scheme you are defending.

    Tesco points do yes, I shouldn't really have included those as I only transferred them once during a special offer.

    Much cheaper than buying BA flights with cash yes, not necessarily so with Ryanair etc. I won't fly BA short haul though as it seems a bit of a waste. This is just my view though, and not really a criticism of the general scheme - clearly many people fly full-service on short haul. Sorry, I missed your bit specifying club-class long-haul (not that I imagine many people actually use club).
    • richardw
    • By richardw 25th Nov 11, 4:06 PM
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    richardw
    not all seats are available for Airmiles customers, just a small proportion, of which many people are now scrambling to get
    Originally posted by theexplorer
    How big is this 'small' proportion then?
  • theexplorer
    Whine whine whine.
    Originally posted by thelawnet
    Very constructive !

    I couldn't be happier about it personally.
    Originally posted by thelawnet
    Guess you are not an Airmiles collector as opposed to BA Exec points collector


    Long-haul was never a good deal cf. short-haul anyway. Long-haul Club flights are a better deal now.
    Originally posted by thelawnet
    Really, i thought being able to fly to the US with 250 worth of tesco vocuhers converted into Airmiles was a good deal, doubt you could get a cheaper flight than that.

    * more to pay in cash for European flights;

    This is a weak argument. On balance, European flights are cheaper now than before, some hugely so, e.g., Moscow. Ok there is a cash payment in addition to miles, but given that the miles had a financial value, reducing the miles cost and adding a small 27 charge is fair.
    Originally posted by thelawnet
    There are some, but realtivley few flights that have benefited and ONLY if you can get to a regional airport, otherwise it can cost in excess of 100 more. One example Liverpool to Barcelona.

    Another weak argument. The BA regional airports are now a much better deal, while the non-BA ones it seems will charge fees, BUT the 500 mile surcharge is removed, AND many destinations are now a better deal. For instance Flybe Southampton-Bergerac at 2000 miles now 900 miles plus 64 in fees. Much better deal under the new scheme.
    Originally posted by thelawnet
    Interesting, so under the new scheme it will cost 45 in tesco vouchers coverted to Avios, plus 64 taxes and fees, making it 109, yet under tthe old scheme, it cost 100 in tesco vouchers, how does it being 9 more expensive make it a good deal? In actual fact, you can buy the flight from Fly be for only 85, much better deal and not trapped into the Avios scheme.

    * unclear availability;

    Seems ok to me.
    Originally posted by thelawnet
    Maybe for the particular route YOU want

    * technical problems on the new site;

    Standard. They have made massive changes to the system. They will get over it. So will you.
    Originally posted by thelawnet
    A professional organisiation would have tested it before rushing to get it launched in line with their still not finalised new scheme.

    * having to share info to join a public forum.

    Boo-hoo, welcome to Facebook.
    Originally posted by thelawnet
    yet again, very constructive. Once again, professional companies, if offering channels to commuicate should do so with requiring you to share information



    Bottom line: the Avios scheme is DIFFERENT. Some things that were a good deal before are no longer a good deal. Some things are now a good deal but weren't before. Work with the scheme, there are plenty of great offers. Stop whining and try and focus on the positives because you are not going to get all the good things in the old scheme and the new one.
    Originally posted by thelawnet
    Sadley, too many negatives which outweigh by far the positives
    Last edited by theexplorer; 25-11-2011 at 4:27 PM.
  • theexplorer
    You're assuming every recognises they have a cash value - I personally don't. All my airmiles are from flying or from Tesco and I don't see them as cash in the same way as I would for actual money. Mainly because those points don't actually cost me anything whereas having to pay for taxes does.

    And as the taxes on long haul flights are often the majority of the ticket price, how have they become better value? My gripe with them - particularly flights to America - is that I can generally find a flight for only a couple of pounds more than the cost of all the taxes and surcharges BA demand you pay on their reward flights - so I've never seen the point in actually using them.
    Originally posted by callum9999
    If you have a 2.50 tesco voucher, then that does have a cash value as you can spend it as 2.50 in Tesco's.
    • Occy
    • By Occy 25th Nov 11, 4:46 PM
    • 145 Posts
    • 293 Thanks
    Occy
    Maybe I miss the point but this does seem a first world issue.

    People who can afford to fly so many times that they can get "free" flights now have to pay a few quid extra, not exactly poverty is it.

    Occy
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    C25K Graduate
  • theexplorer
    Maybe I miss the point but this does seem a first world issue.

    People who can afford to fly so many times that they can get "free" flights now have to pay a few quid extra, not exactly poverty is it.

    Occy
    Originally posted by Occy
    I think this is happening a lot with people getting the schemes mixed up. Airmiles is differant from frequent flyer schemes, Airmiles in the main were collected by people shopping in Tescos and converting thier 2.50 vouchers into Airmiles. It is generally people that can't normally afford to fly that have saved up airmiles for many years that have been saving on this scheme. Now they are hit not just by a few extra quid, but up to an extra 500 plus per person, So if you had a family of 4 saving up for that special trip, they could now be hit with a bill for as much as 2000 !
    • socks_uk
    • By socks_uk 25th Nov 11, 7:52 PM
    • 2,714 Posts
    • 2,103 Thanks
    socks_uk
    In the Andrew Swaffield article... http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/travel/2011/11/avios-why-we-had-to-ditch-airmiles

    ...he says that
    And, from 26 January 2012 to 31 March 2012, you can exchange 2.50 of Tesco Clubcard vouchers for 1,000 Avios, compared to the usual rate of 600 Avios.
    BUT on the Avios home page it says...
    Bonus Avios in February

    We're topping up your Avios all February 2012 – giving you hundreds of extra Avios free when you exchange*

    Exchange your Clubcard vouchers for Avios during February 2012
    For every 2.50 in Clubcard vouchers, get 400 bonus Avios
    That's on top of the standard 600 Avios you usually collect
    And you can do it as many times as you like.
    I guess one or the other is wrong!

    We were saving for our trip to Australia but with the change we'll be using our Avios miles for European flights as it is almost as expensive to pay the taxes as it is to book the flights with a normal travel agents!
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