Over the past few months, there have been a number of rumours floating around about significant changes to the British Airways Executive Club, however substantive and confirmed details have been thin on the ground.
This is based on a number of internal projects that we do know are happening, due to public statements that have been made at IAG meetings. We know that there is a substantial technology project going on within the Avios Group to update their IT and centralise all of the different airlines that use Avios, on to a single IT stack.
We know that there was a significant proposal to change the Avios proposition that went to the IAG board, and was approved, in March.
Today sees the first results of these developments, even if it is fairly minor.
By means of some background, in the UK, there have always been two parallel Avios options; the British Airways Executive Club and the Avios programme itself.
This dates from the days when there was the old “AirMiles” currency initially run by NatWest which was intended to be the more general rewards programme, and the Executive Club and “BA Miles” run more directly by British Airways and targeted at frequent fliers.
With the introduction of Avios as a concept, AirMiles were converted into Avios, as were BA Miles (and Iberia’s programme).
The British Airways Executive Club allowed you to earn tier points and Avios, yet the old “consumer” legacy AirMiles programme, just Avios. However they’ve had different credit card partners, slightly different partners for earning and burning, yet the underlying currency remained fully transferrable between schemes.
What IAG have announced today, is that Avios.com as a standalone entity will be closing, and all balances transferred over to the Executive Club. The transition will start at the end of May, and be done in the Summer.
If you have an Avios credit card, that will instead start crediting your British Airways Executive Club account with the Avios generated from your spend.
The Avios.com site itself will morph into a single view on the currency across all the group airlines that use it. As to how that will look, and work across the various airlines, I’m curious to know!
And that’s it. For now. This is ultimately a very minor change in terms of the mechanics of earning and spending.
I think over the coming days we will start to see changes announced to the core Executive Club programme. What they will bring, I certainly have a few guesses, but I think there’s little value to be had in speculating. However when they do come, I’ll absolutely be providing my thoughts and independent analysis.
Finally, on an entirely unrelated note, my apologies for the absence in posting over the past few days, I’ve both been travelling and started a new job which has been keeping me busy! I’ll endeavour to update the site as much as possible, however you might see a slightly lower frequency of posts than you’ve been used to!