AirMiles rebrands as Avios to meet global strategic aims

Travel rewards programme AirMiles is to rebrand and relaunch as Avios in November backed by a multichannel awareness campaign.

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The brand overhaul is due to the merger of owner British Airways (BA) with Iberia to form International Airlines Group (IAG) and the need to create a common points currency across all territories.

The company says the changes will see new customer benefits, such as more opportunities for collecting points and greater flexibility, for instance the ability to book one way flights with points. Previously AirMiles could only be used for return bookings.

The scheme will continue to be run by BA subsidiary The Mileage Company in the UK and AirMiles current customers are being introduced to the brand today (1 September) via direct mail and email channels.

Head of brand at The Mileage Company Rahul Patel says that the Avios name has been tested and researched across several markets and while it is a created name, it does have resonance in connection with aviation.

He adds: “The ambition is to make the points a much more desirable and valuable currency than they currently are.”

The Avios brand development has been co-created with Interbrand and a full brand campaign will begin on 16 November developed by creative company 101.

The campaign will embrace television, outdoor and print advertising along with social media, digital and PR activity and will continue the AirMiles positioning of “Rewarding Travel”.

Avios will maintain its commercial partnerships for points collection with brands such as Tesco, Lloyds TSB and Shell.
Both BA’s Executive Club and Iberia’s Iberia Plus programmes will remain as separate brands.

AirMiles launched in 1988 and celebrated its 21st anniversary in 2009 with a raft of promotions.

Readers' comments (42)

  • From the email I recieved about it today, they appear to have removed the main beneficial part for me (and others i assume) and it looks like i will end up paying more for flights than previously.

    Considering i just signed up for a lloyds tsb card to collect points and its all changing, i am a tad miffed.

    on the surface it looks more like they are changing the scheme to benefit themselves more than customers and are just using fancy wording to suggest otherwise

    :-/

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  • read the terms carefully it also states that Airmiles not earned or redeemed in 36 months will be expired.

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  • I hate this sort of rebranding. Air Miles, did what it said on the English tin. Does Avios mean anything in any language? It's a leisure company that now sounds like an aviation company or a spanish bank.
    "it does have resonance in connection with aviation"
    yes - just a shame that no one refers to a weekend break or a trip abroad as an 'aviation experience'.

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  • It certainly looks much less attractive, eg UK to Australia - same (effective number) of points but now you pay £600 on top - makes the whole thing a pretty good waste of time.

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  • They have clearly ripped up the rule book to take more money from us collectors, they are now going to start charging £27 on zones 1 to 3 and the same amount of airmiles as before - so how is that better for me?

    I think it may be time to cash out my air miles before they become useless

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  • I agree with all of you! Starting to charge again for taxes, fuel etc is a disaster! I think we might be better off collecting with Virgin!
    Not very happy and totally taken aback to be honest!

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  • It's just given them an opportunity to introduce airport taxes into the equation and make customers pay for this. Another scam.

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  • Absolutely hopping mad about this. Makes it such a poor deal compared to current terms. Also have they considered that AVIOS is already in use as acronym for Association of Visually Impaired Office Staff?

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  • the major benefit for taxes included in points spent is gone now. this has become like bmi, where for a flight to madrid (easyjet 50 pounds), you pay XX miles plus 50 pounds cash in taxes!

    expect all airmiles customer to go away to amex cashback

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  • It has become the same as BA Miles.... this is a very sad change to the great Airmiles company...

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