Consumer Fury Over AirMiles Rebrand

The rebrand of AirMiles to Avios, which will see a major change to the reward scheme's Terms & Conditions, has resulted in an online backlash from irate customers.

Avios has also changed the amount of points needed to fly to different destinations - some flights now require more points than before. This will affect up to 8 million AirMiles, BA Executive Club and Iberia Plus customers.

Not only have customers vented their fury online at now being charged for air and fuel taxes on flights that are advertised as being "free", many have said they will now cash in their AirMiles and exit the scheme altogether, since the new T&C's mean that AirMiles not earned or redeemed in 36 months will expire.

In addition, a Facebook group called "Fight the Airmiles Change" has been set up to urge customers to contact AirMiles, BBC's Watchdog programme and participating retailer Tesco's CEO Philip Clarke to register their dissatisfaction.

Meanwhile, the company itself has defended the move by saying that the changes will see new customer benefits, including more opportunities for collecting points, and greater flexibility, such as the ability to book one way flights with points.

Head of brand at The Mileage Company, Rahul Patel, commented: "We know that some people are disappointed... We're working hard to help our members understand what the changes mean for them and explain the benefits that the new programme and brand brings."

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