250 free Avios for joining Meridiana Club (but any use?)

You may never have heard of Italian airline Meridiana, even though it uses Avios for its reward programme.

I wouldn’t blame you.  It does appear to be a slightly bizarre operation.  It is the 2nd biggest Italian-owned airline in Italy but that isn’t saying much.  In terms of passenger numbers, the league table goes Ryanair / Alitalia / easyJet / Vueling / Meridiana, with Meridiana just 15% the size of Ryanair in Italy. 

You also have Meridiana’s odd ownership.  Formerly almost wholly owned by the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims, a 49% stake was acquired by Qatar Airways in April 2017.  This follows the trend of Middle Eastern airlines investing in loss making Italian airlines, following Etihad’s debacle with Alitalia.

(Etihad wasn’t totally mad. Rumour has it that the money it invested in Alitalia was secured on its Heathrow landing slots.  With the airline clearly unable to repay the loan, it may give Etihad backdoor access to the extra slots it needs at Heathrow to compete with Qatar Airways and Emirates head to head.)

In 2014, Meridiana adopted Avios as its loyalty currency.

I wrote about the deal here.  It is an odd agreement because, at present, you cannot move Avios between Meridiana Club and any other Avios programmes.  However, you can redeem Avios points on Meridiana flights via ba.com (long haul routes seem to require telephone booking) and Meridiana Club members can redeem across BA and Iberia.

Whether you would actually want to redeem your Avios on Meridiana is a different question.  Taxes are huge – a return economy flight from Olbia to Naples costs 9,000 Avios plus £133 for example.  The option is there, though.

Meridiana

Get 250 free Avios for joining Meridiana Club

All of the above is just a long way of saying that the offer below is not necessarily any use to you.  As it’s a Sunday, though, you might want to give it a go if you have a quiet minute.

When you join Meridiana Club in July, you will receive 250 free Avios.

Full details are on their website here.

There is no small print.  The Avios will be added within 10 days.

For total clarity …. there is no logical reason to do this at the moment.  The points will be stuck in Meridiana Club.

However ….. at some point soon, all of the various Avios programmes, including Executive Club, will be moved onto the central Avios IT platform. It is more likely, although not certain, that you will then be able to move points around freely and move your 250 Avios from Meridiana Club into British Airways Executive Club.

Frankly, if it is a choice today of joining Meridiana Club or going out for a kick around with your kids, I’d take the latter.  On the other hand, if you’re reading this on the sofa whilst your other half is watching Fake Or Fortune? then it might be worth a minute out of your life ……

Bits: BA losing all US ground staff, United drops three UK/IE routes, 40% bonus buying Hyatt points
Benefiting from Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts at Park Hyatt Hamburg
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Comments

  1. I’ve lost a lot of faith in these promotions after the failure to post of the 500 Avios for AerClub and 1000 Avios for Marriott.

  2. Costas says:

    I also did not receive the bonus points for Marriott

    • One member of my household account got a random 6600 avios from Marriott. No idea why but I think I got someone else’s points for a stay in a hotel in the USA.

  3. Slow news day 😉

    • No, I just thought it would be interesting to discuss Meridiana for once. I admit I hesitated about the 1-2-3 positioning.

  4. I am also still waiting for the 1000 avios from Marriott

  5. MrsBish says:

    I signed up for Marriot on 3/6, filled in my BAEC number on the form, got a confirmation e-mail. No 1000 points. I e-mailed them 10/7 but no reply as of yet. I’m not sure how companies get away with this sort of thing. If you offer a promotion you should honour it.

    • justme says:

      I got a reply saying there was an error and the miles will post by end of july

      • MrsBish says:

        I’vs had two emails from Marriott about the 1,000 Avios offer; first of all they had no idea what I was talking about so I sent a screenshot of the offer T&Cs. Then I had a reply saying to take it up with Avios – ?!? As this was a Marriott promotion, with the points posting to BAEC, why would I take it up Avios? Really don’t understand what’s going on here.

        • the real harry1 says:

          it’s not ‘they’ or ‘Marriott’ – but some low-paid person trying to dismiss your query in 2 minutes

          which is often the case & why IMV it’s usually not worth spending much time pursuing these things when they go wrong

          if you feel strongly about these 1000 Avios, try escalating the whole thing to the most senior person you can contact

  6. For the 2 minutes it took to join it may one day be worth it. Actually looks a well put together website.

  7. Nice insight there into Rob’s wife’s life……

    • the real harry1 says:

      haha

      I’m sure Mrs Raffles speaks perfect English – same as my wife who is also from foreign shores – but mine does prefer, shall we say, less demanding TV to unwind :)

      to be fair, she also loves Newsnight, Question Time etc progs as well, which we can share – but I wouldn’t dream of watching perhaps as much as 90% of the drivel she puts on TV

      • My wife will only watch Korean TV on YouTube! And I wonder why I spend half my life explaining Bloomberg headlines to her…

        • the real harry1 says:

          haha

          good job our wives hold down big jobs or are otherwise essential to our lives :)

  8. @mkcol says:

    I’d never heard of Fake or Fortune. I wish I’d taken the dogs out for a kickabout in the park instead :-(

  9. Doug M says:

    After 3 ignored emails, and many tweets and Twitter DM I finally today received 250 Avios Ex-Gratia from Aer Club. They are a disgrace, and the offer is entirely counter productive, not that they’ll care but they are never going to see any business from me. I’d sooner ‘slum it’ on Ryanair.

    • Genghis says:

      … until you’re next looking for cheap TATL flights…

    • the real harry1 says:

      why would you form that negative reaction for free points worth perhaps £2.50?

      • Because they were not free, I exchanged my time and access to my data in exchange for the other. Aer Club then failed to honour its offer. The negative view comes from the numerous communication it took for them stick to their side of the bargain.

        • the real harry1 says:

          250 Avios?

          lol :)

          • Exactly. Why offer something of so little value and then fail to follow through. Laugh all you want but there’s plenty of comments expressing anger at Aer Club. As to why, if a company won’t honour £2.50 what’ll they be like over a significant amount.

          • the real harry1 says:

            it’s called cutting off nose to spite face, but hey, no problem

  10. OT, but flew United in early May. I out down my Aerclub number, but the miles still haven’t posted. Contacted Aer Lingus and they’ve basically told me just to wait. Anyone had any Avios posted to Aerclub following a United flight?

  11. Simon Schus says:

    Meridiana have two US routes to JFK, from either Naples or Palermo. Don’t know the taxes on these admittedly.

  12. I dread the day that Executive Club moves onto the central avios platform. I find using avios.com appalling. As far as I’m aware it doesn’t even allow stopovers which makes it almost impossible for those of us in the regions to book flights to anywhere other than London, unless there is a connection within a few hours.

  13. robstaaaar says:

    …ok, so i’m late again to the comments ‘party’…Also never got my Aerclub sign up Avios pre Nov ’16. Called up and they have ‘no record of my application’. Should I bother to even sign up again?

  14. Concerto says:

    I looked for info about Meridiana’s route network, especially in Europe, and couldn’t find anything. For me, it’s another ‘joke’ airline. I once flew DUS to MXP with an IG flight number operated by AB, didn’t get a single TopBonus mile for it.

  15. Frenske says:

    Hmmm Meridana do £36 routes to Sardinia. I might bite.

    • Just make sure you credit them to BAEC / Avios.com rather than getting them stuck in Meridiana Club.

  16. RussellH says:

    I seem to recall Rob telling us that Royal Air Maroc were also going to join Avios.

    (Not that I have used them since 1977/78.)

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