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Daily Telegraph: Simplified version of Airmiles launched

By Alistair Osborne, Business Editor
Last Updated: 2:56am GMT 15/12/2007
   
Airmiles, the British Airways-owned travel rewards scheme, will next week introduce a simplified pricing model featuring all-inclusive fares in a bid to outflank rival loyalty card operators, such as the recently sold Nectar business.

For the first time in its 20-year history, all taxes, fees and charges – such as Air Passenger Duty and fuel surcharges – will be included in Airmiles fares for flights with BA and other airlines. At present, passengers have to pay these extras in cash.

In a further simplifying move, Airmiles has split the globe into seven geographical zones with each commanding a specific fare, ranging from 750 miles to 10,000 miles. This enables customers quickly to tell how many miles they need to travel to a destination. The new pricing will be introduced on Tuesday.

Andrew Swaffield, 40, who became Airmiles managing director just over a year ago, said the changes were the result of extensive research among its members and a YouGov survey of 2,000 adults.
  
“The research we have been doing has been saying two things loud and clear,” he said. “People hate paying taxes, fees and charges now that they are so high. Second, they found our pricing quite confusing. The changes address both of these.”

Airmiles has 8m members on its database, though only 2m are classed as active – people who make sure they collect miles on their everyday spending.

Airmiles has four big partners – the Lloyds TSB Airmiles Duo credit card account, Shell, Tesco and Southern Electric – as well as more than 120 online retailers. Miles collected are traded for flights, as well as Eurostar journeys, golf weekends and days out, such as a trip on the London Eye.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/12/15/cnairmiles115.xml

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