Get your Airmiles spent, before Avios reintroduce tax charges

3 November 2011

Bitterwallet - green planes of the future If you’re a frequent flyer with a big bundle of Airmiles stashed away, you might want to think about using them sooner rather than later. From 16th November, Airmiles will be rebranded as Avios, but the rules will be changing as well – and not necessarily for the better.

From that date a couple of weeks from now, taxes and charges will be applicable separately to flights booked with the Avios miles – since 2008, fares have been all-inclusive. The world has also been broken down into various zones, with different values placed on them and some tax-savings available if you’re a member of the Reward Flight Saver scheme.

If you fear change, brace yourself because there’s more. Airmile values will multiply by ten in order to become Avios points. The British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus reward schemes will also be incorporated into Avios, possibly leading to a super-strength flight reward point scheme giant that will one day roam the earth, indiscriminately devouring us all.

The Airmiles/Avios site has some of the advice that you’ll need but to be honest, our good friends at MoneySaving Expert came up with a much more succinct guide when the changes were announced in September. Props to you Martin Lewis. PROPS!


  • Not A.
    How can it be right that in 2011 10000 airmiles gets you to Sydney rtn, but 2012 it will be 100,000 Avios (in effect the same) but an additional £499 est in Taxes and Charges? With a decent notice period you can get a return to Sydney for about £6-700 on the web, so why bother with Airmiles anymore? there are alternative websites offering cashback on every purchase etc so you could save the fare much quicker in real money. It's a scandal, if you have Airmiles and are annoyed about the change, contact Trading Standards and ask how British law allows your points to be devalued in this way... especially if you bought them for cash as they were always pestering you to do!!!
  • Kris
    I emptied my airmiles balance out, along with my friend who also collects them, as soon as the first avios email came round. They said they'll be multiplying miles by ten, and the cynic within me just assumed that the flight prices would be multiplied by more than ten. When I dug through the small print, and saw that they'll be adding taxes as well. I assumed we were looking at a double-whammy devaluation, so knew it was time to flee. I'd advise anyone with airmiles to spend quickly... I booked flights into next summer, so you should have chance to book something convenient that you fancy. With the best "proper" frequent flier programme in the UK (BMI) now in doubt because of Lufthanse offloading BMI to BA, now is not a good time to be saving airline rewards. I think its time to start finding another scheme to join and focus on.
  • New S.
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  • milesaway
    Avios Pointless How many points do you need when the flights accepting Avios are not available? I have loads of points and a couple of Companion Tickets - enough to fly around the world if only there were flights we wanted to use? If you can get there, chances are you cannot get back & vice versa. Is it for real. When you add taxes into the equation you wonder why you bother collecting them. Bye bye BA Amex Card...

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