Air Miles under fire over new points policy
The Air Miles UK travel loyalty scheme has come in for severe criticism after warning customers that they could lose their points if their accounts are inactive. The scheme (a subsidiary of British Airways) is writing to 1.7 million account holders who have 500 or more Airmiles but have not collected any in the last two years. It warns that their accounts may be closed down if they do not start collecting again in the next six months.
Air Miles, which has eight million UK members, says the change in its terms and conditions is in line with other loyalty schemes which void points after a certain period of inactivity.
The move has brought the scheme in for a lot of flack with Simon Calder, the Independent’s travel editor, likening it to banks closing savers’ current accounts due to a lack of activity.
Air Miles says the change is intended to remind people of the benefits of the scheme, and that members only have to collect one Airmile in the next six months to keep their accounts open.
The scheme says the move had brought a positive response from thousands of customers who had started to collect points again to be redeemed for free flights.
There are several ways of collecting points on the scheme including expenditure on an Air Miles credit card, and also for other every-day purchases, online shopping, buying petrol and on certain mortgage offers.
Airmiles was established 21 years ago by British Caledonian’s Alan Deller and advertising firm Mills, Smith & Partners before being sold to BA in 1994.