Meridiana is an airline you may or may not have heard of. It is the second largest Italian owned airline and runs a mix of short haul and long haul routes. British Airways used to codeshare with them on Meridiana’s Gatwick to Florence service. Today Meridiana runs three Italian routes out of Gatwick.
And then this appeared on their website ….
Meridiana has relaunched its Hi-Fly frequent flyer programme as Meridiana Club.
And the currency for that programme is Avios points.
This is a very interesting development for the Avios programme. British Airways has persuaded a third party airline, totally independent of International Airlines Group, to use Avios as its loyalty currency.
As far as you are concerned, these are the important points:
Effective immediately, you can redeem your Avios points for Meridiana flights.
At present this can only be done on the telephone via BA Executive Club but online redemptions will be added later this year.
You cannot – for now – earn Avios when flying on Meridiana. This will change later in 2014.
You CANNOT use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move Avios to or from Meridiana Club.
Let’s take a step back and look at what is happening here.
Meridiana’s frequent flyers will now be earning Avios points when they fly.
Existing Hi-Fly points have been converted to Avios as the rate of 2:1
As well as redeeming on Meridiana, they will also be able to redeem on BA and Iberia via their service centre.
They will NOT get access to oneworld partner airlines such as airberlin.
Later in 2014 Meridiana members will also be able to earn Meridiana Club Avios by flying BA or Iberia (but not other oneworld airlines)
There is no mention of whether or not Meridiana Club members will be able to use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move Avios to or from BA. I doubt this will happen.
The press release makes it clear that Meridiana Club members will only be able to earn and burn on BA and Iberia, not the whole of oneworld. If it became part of ‘Combine My Avios’ then Meridiana would effectively have snuck into oneworld by the back door, since members could credit oneworld flights to BA and then move the Avios across.
The inability to use ‘Combine My Avios’ means that I will NOT be posting about easy ways to earn Avios in Meridiana Club as there is no way of moving these across to BA.
Tomorrow, I will run a separate post on Meridiana’s route network and possible redemption opportunities for UK Avios collectors. They fly to The Maldives for a start …..