Rewards4All to be axed. Avios can be moved from Flybe flights to BA Executive Club.
Flybe, the UK regional airline, has switched its Frequent Flyer scheme to Avios. It is the same scheme as British Airways use, potentially allowing passengers to 'earn and burn' on the rival British airlines.
Flybe has said that the new partnership with Avios will replace its existing Rewards4All frequent flyer programme, which will be phased out. It is believed to be part of Flybe's efforts to attract business travellers.
However Flybe's existing frequent flyers will have only have six months to spend existing Rewards4All frequent flyer points before the switch.
On Flybe, passengers on the cheaper tickets will earn considerably less miles than on British Airways.
Earning rates are:
- Just Fly and Get More ticket types earn 2 Avios per £1 / 1 euro spent.
- All In flexible tickets earn 4 avois per £1 / 1 euro spent.
However the price of your ticket for earning purposes excludes government charges, which can be a large part of your ticket price, and you do not earn Avios points on additional charges such as baggage fees.
Avios already operates the virtual Frequent Flyer currency for parent group IAG, which owns British Airways and Iberia, who operate the British Airways Executive Club, and the Iberia Plus schemes respectively.
Passengers may be caught out, as you cannot earn Avios on the British Airways Executive Club (or Iberia Plus come to that). All Flybe flights must be credited to avios. However, Avios earned in avios.com can then be credited to the British Airways Executive Club via 'Combine My Avios' for free.
However on British Airways you earn a minimum of 500 Avios per flight. On a cheap FlyBE flight you may earn only 50 to 100.
Flybe was previously known as British European, and flies to mainly regional destinations around the UK. Its main hub is at Southampton. Many Flybe routes were previously flown by British Airways under the BA Connect brand, and on some of these routes these are a British Airways codeshare with Flybe under a BA flight number. Here, you should always enter a BA executive club number to earn more BA miles.
Redemption costs are going to be higher under Avios. FlyBE flights up to 650 miles cost 4,500 Avios and up to 1,150 miles cost 7,500 Avios.
Avios was previously known as Airmiles, but was rebranded to Avios in 2011 following the merger between BA and Iberia.
Flybe's existing frequent flyers will only have six months to redeem their existing points.
Saad Hammand, chief executive of Flybe, said "This agreement represents a significant service enhancement for Flybe customers - a big step change that opens up a new world of reward possibilities."
Flybe is planning to return to the London market after having pretty much abandoned it last year, and from November is launching five routes from London City Airport to Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter and Inverness.
It is a sharp turn around after the regional airline almost pulled out of the UK capital last year when it sold 25 Gatwick take-off and landing slots to easyJet for £20m. However it maintained flights from Gatwick to Newquay. This is regarded as a vital lifeline for Cornwall, following the closure of Air Southwest several years ago.