NEWSFLASH: Flybe to become full Avios ‘earn and burn’ partner, scrapping Rewards4All

Flybe announced to the Stock Exchange this morning that it is abandoning its Rewards4All scheme with pretty much immediate effect, from Monday 27th October.  The company will become a full Avios partner at that point, allowing you to earn and spend Avios points across all Flybe services.

The announcement is below.  I will have a full analysis tomorrow but you can see the key points in this FAQ page.

The key question for me is whether Flybe becomes a Reward Flight Saver partner.  As I have written numerous times, taxes on Rewards4All redemptions are often HIGHER than the cost of buying a cash ticket on the same flight!  Unless this changes, it will be a bit farcical.

Flybe

FLYBE ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH AVIOS
Flybe Becomes part of the Avios Travel Rewards Programme-

Europe’s largest regional airline, Flybe, has announced a significant new partnership with Avios, part of International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, Iberia and Vueling.

The milestone agreement will take effect from Monday 27th October 2014 and marks another step by Flybe to offer more benefits to its customers, adding value to their flight purchase and providing a broader selection of redemption opportunities for points earned through frequent travel.

Avios operates the global Avios currency for the British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus and Meridiana Club frequent flyer programmes as well as the Avios Travel Rewards programmes in the UK and South Africa.

The new partnership with Avios replaces Flybe’s existing Rewards4All frequent flyer programme. Rewards4All members will need to redeem their outstanding points within six months from today’s announcement. Redemptions can be made on flights up until 24th October 2015. To guide members through the redemption process, the flybe.com website will provide clear information on the process.

This agreement follows Flybe partnerships recently announced with booking.com, the world leader in online accommodation booking and STA Travel, which has established Flybe as ‘Preferred Partner for Student and Youth Travel’ with the world’s largest student and youth travel company with a 2.3 million database. It also follows a new codeshare agreement with Finnair and an interline agreement with Aer Lingus.

Saad Hammad, Chief Executive Officer, Flybe said:

“This agreement represents a significant service enhancement for Flybe customers – a big step change that opens up a new world of reward possibilities.”

“We join Avios following an extensive review of frequent flyer programmes, including our own in-house programme Rewards4All. We determined a better customer proposition existed, and the clear choice was Avios. There are 2 million customers with billions of Avios within 30 miles of a Flybe airport. “

“Our Avios partnership begins on the day we formally start our operations at London City Airport on October 27th, which is already proving an attractive option for the business traveller with daily flights from/to Edinburgh, Belfast, Aberdeen, Dublin, Inverness and Exeter. Flybe customers, and those we welcome onboard from our codeshare partners, are benefiting from our extensive UK regional flying network. Whether flying from Edinburgh to London City, Birmingham to Belfast or Manchester to Stornoway, it makes even more sense to Fly with Flybe!”

 Gavin Halliday, Managing Director, Avios, said: 

“This is an important partnership for Avios, building on our commitment to provide engaging collection and redemption opportunities for Avios Travel Rewards Programme members. Our members will benefit from access to even more reward flights and on new regional routes, as well as the new opportunity to collect when flying with Flybe.”  

The Flybe credit card gets its own reward scheme! Is it any good?
Holiday Inn Wembley STILL just 10,000 IHG points per night!
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Comments

  1. This would be awesome news for me! Fingers crossed they use RFS. I’m looking forward to the analysis tomorrow.

  2. Going by this here FAQ that was spotted over on FT: http://www.flybe.com/avios/faqs/

    Earning rate is 2 Avios per £ on the FARE price, excluding taxes and all that malarkey. Doesn’t seem that good in comparison to the earning rate on equivalent BA flights. (4 Avios per £ on the fully flex ticket though)

    Spending Avios *looks* like RFS, at 4500 Avios for flights <650 miles, "plus airline taxes, fees and surcharges". Not clear whether or not those will be one blanket fee under RFS or if it'll just be whatever they're charged at.

    • neuromancer says:

      “plus airline taxes, fees and surcharges” does not sound as RFS at all

      • Agreed. The 4500 oneway shorthaul is standard whatever airline you do a redemption on with BA/Avios, but that “Plus…” sounds like bad news.

  3. Well, that came out of the blue!

    I wonder how full is this ‘full’ partner and look forward to Raffles’s analysis. For example, will we be able to transfer our FlyBe Avios into BAEC Avios? (Not currently possible with South African Avios.)

    Booking.com as an Avios partner via FlyBe? That could be good for me in areas where booking.com is strong such as South Africa.

    • Do they not all go into the general avios ac then? Amazing that you would end up having two avios accounts it that how it works? Was hoping once they went into the avios account, they become just part of that total. Am amazed BA are good with this!

    • Not sure what you mean about transfers, cos CMA is available between Avios SA and BAEC – I’ve done it a few times, as recently as last week.

    • You can transfer South Africa avios into BAEC avios

  4. trickster says:

    If they do RFS, this would be great news from the ‘Regions’.

  5. Positioning to take over Little Red routes/slots?

  6. Bet there’s no RFS! Avios have always said that’s for BA & IB only .

  7. czechoslovakia says:

    As a regular from MAN, this is possibly great news. But I`m a sceptic on the RFS outlook. BA are effectively subsidizing the (actual) taxes and (actual) airport security fees somewhat on the RFS tickets, aren’t they? Given the laughable Flybe R4A scheme, I can`t see them being so generous, and I`m certain IAG wont want to be loosing out on the deal. Especially as Flybe cooperate with so much of BAs main competition. Interesting development, though. Looking forward to tomorrows update Rob.

    • neuromancer says:

      As the biggest part of the “taxes” are actually carrier surcharges, going directly to the airline, it is hardly “subsidizing”.

  8. Having endured a 1hr 45 min flight on a FlyBe Dash 8 from EDI – LCY on Monday this is some good news for earning avios, it also gives all those BA Gold members at Edi a reason to use FlyBe (if they can be bothered walking to the far end of the terminal building, and then getting a bus transfer).

  9. Just tried a couple of dummy bookings, as RFS would be great for us living near MAN, with the inlaws being near INV, flying with a toddler and a baby is just less hassle than driving. At the moment there is loads of availability on avios.com, way more than I’ve seen before, but taxes/fees etc are at £55 and some pennies, so I’m assuming no RFS.
    Checked with a booking from MAN to DUS, direct flights are 9000 Avios plus £61.04, indirect on BA via London are 9000 Avios and £35 RFS.
    (Random dates in November). I assume therefore that (as yet) there is no RFS.

    • That is disappointing. That said I’d probably be willing to spend the £26 extra for a direct flight. In the end more options for the regions is a good thing I think.

  10. if only they could find a way to give us tp’s… 😀

    As good a news as this looks on the surface, my guess is it ends up a bit of a crap deal, both earning and burning. shame as this would be great for me doing Newcastle – Exeter a few times a year.

  11. sandgrounder says:

    Shame it’s not a proper scheme merger, I’m sitting on a massive 2 points I earned from a WIC-EDI-MAN avios redemption in August. Looks like they will go to the great points account in the sky now…. :-)

  12. And about time too, but I wait with baited breath re Avios Burning.

  13. R4A was pretty useless for redemptions but it did have the option of burning points on the lounge access card. No sign of a replacement for that in the FAQ, unfortunately.

  14. guesswho2000 says:

    Wonder what this’ll mean for the Flybe credit card? Might actually have a sign up bonus worth going for!

  15. Can you transfer rewards for all points to avios or do you have to spend the points?

  16. Anyone got any idea how to actually pair your avios number to your flybe account?

    The FAQs state within “my Account” but I can’t see anything……

    • They are not ready to go yet – you cant add your avios number until the scheme actually goes live.
      Which sucks if you are flying next week.

      • But like other airlines/flights, you can probably claim your points retrospectively.

  17. It’s long haul award passengers subsidising RFS not BA themselves.

  18. Looks like this is the final nail in the coffin for their lounges. Over the last while they have been converting these into Servisair lounges, eg BHD, BHX.

    On above point re lounge redemption, it changed from 35 points to 70 a couple of months ago – this was the previous nail in the coffin.

    The combination of the 70 point thing and the phasing out of Rewards4All means there will be fewer and fewer people with card access so presumably the rest will be converted in some way.

    Fortunately my card year ends in May (and I have more than 70 points) so I can renew in March 2015 to get access until March 2016.

    Also agree with above posters that Rewards4All is generally useless as availability is normally only on flights where the base fare is nil or close to that. So we will end up probably losing lots of points as there is no effective way of spending them other than on the lounge card.

  19. Sounds like the earn rate will be degraded compared to currently. At least in the past the ‘per sector’ accumulation rate meant you could earn double points, for the same, sometimes less, spend using an indirect route:

    e.g. SOU – BFS – GLA GLA – MAN – SOU….
    even LGW – NQY – MAN comes up as an option sometimes, but this one is not economically viable for the passenger!

    If they move to a per £ rate, that’s potentially very few miles for the same journey.

    Sounds like overall, they’ve potentially degraded the earn rates whilst improving the burn ‘options’.

    Will be interesting to know if they start to award Avios on their Spanish Routes too (currently excluded from Rewards4All)

  20. Lady London says:

    Interesting, coupled with the Emirates alliance news.

    Kind of looking like flybe might finally become what Germanwings is for LH? and Vueling for IB? Hmmm I sense big rationalisation here (and not in a good way!).