Sometimes, trends sweep like waves across the airline industry. A daring company comes up with an innovation and more and more airlines follow. In some cases, like Finnair’s business light fare, the development is still stalling. In other cases, as with charging extra for checked bags, they set a new industry standard.
The implementation of revenue based frequent flyer programs seems to belong in the latter category. As the newest example, Iberia (soon) and British Airways (in 2023) announced in a press release that they will alter the way members of their frequent flyer programs Iberia Plus and British Airways Executive Club earn Avios. Until now, your Avios were calculated based on the distance of your flight. In the future, they are calculated on how much money you spend.
A base member can earn 5 Avios for every Euro spent on flight tickets (excl. taxes & surcharges), elite members up to 8 Avios per Euro:
While there is no official statement from BA yet, their customer relationship manager is quoted in Iberia’s press release with the following words:
“We congratulate our colleagues at Iberia for introducing this change, and we look forward to joining them in 2023. More announcements will follow about what this change will mean for our Executive Club programme, which will unlock even more opportunities for our Members to earn Avios when they fly.”Ian Romanis, Head of Retail and Customer Relationship Management at British Airways
Avios can be used to redeem award flights or other goodies – you earn your status independent of them. Iberia explicitly states that the way you earn frequent flyer tiers remains unchanged.
Just like Miles&More, Mileage Plus and other programs, both British Airways and Iberia switch the way of earning rewards to what is seemingly becoming industry standard. While this is an understandable move, it continues the shift from airlines having frequent flyer programs to loyalty programs.
If you think about switching programs after this announcement, you might want to have a look at our loyalty program comparison:
Cover Picture: © British Airways