Avios drops Tristar as a partner – how else can you earn travelling to Heathrow?

Avios dropped chauffeur group Tristar as an earning partner yesterday.  Existing bookings will still be honoured but you will no longer earn points on new Tristar bookings.

Coincidentally, Emirates gave me a Tristar chauffeur when I arrived at Heathrow on Friday afternoon and it was the smartest car I’ve been driven in for ages.  I’m not sure if this was because I was in First Class rather than Business Class but it was substantially better than the (non Tristar) car Etihad sent me on Tuesday morning.

The email sent out by Tristar makes it clear that this decision was taken by Avios and not by Tristar.  The partnership has only been in operation for a little over 18 months.

It is presumably part of the ‘tidying up’ of the various Avios programmes before they are migrated to the avios.com platform later this year.  That said, Tristar operates in 80 countries – so it’s not as if it lacked coverage in other places where Avios operates – and British Airways Executive Club does not have any other chauffeur partner.

One possibility is that BA could be moving to Blacklane, although this is only a guess.  Blacklane has just launched a partnership with Lufthansa Miles & More and is expanding aggressively.

Tristar logo

Virgin Flying Club remains a Tristar partner

If you will still be using Tristar, remember that it remains a partner with Virgin Atlantic.

Full details are on the Virgin Atlantic website here.

You earn 2 Flying Club miles for every £1 you spend.  You can also redeem 17,500 Virgin Flying Club miles for a one-way Tristar transfer if you have booked an Upper Class redemption.

How else can I earn Avios getting to the airport?

There are still two other ways of earning Avios points when travelling to Heathrow.

If you book Heathrow Express tickets via this special link, which does not offer the cheaper advanced purchase options, you will earn 10 Avios points per £1 spent.

If you choose to take a taxi, you can still collect Avios whenever you take a trip using cab app Hailo (now being rebranded as mytaxi).   Full details of that partnership are on ba.com here.  You earn 1 Avios point per £1 spent.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. You can also earn by flying (from the regions) to LHR 😛 (couldn’t resist answering the question, sorry!)

    For HEX I’ve been sticking with earning HR points to keep that balance alive, even though not an amazing earning rate, they seem to credit reliably.

  2. SPG with Uber then convert to Avios is also an option.

  3. Certainly Etihad’s cars have been sent downmarket over the last couple of years.

    My impression is that the cars they used to offer, such as new / near new 5/6/7 series BMW (and not bottom specced models) have been replaced with largely 5 series and in the 3-7 year old bracket.

    I also (perhaps incorrectly) get the feeling that whereas previously the chauffeurs couldn’t really have owner their own cars (largely due to cost) that the current drivers do actually own their ageing BMW 5 series.

    As I say, I could be wrong but it appears that way and as a company, I’d never lease or own ageing vehicles doing stellar mileage.

  4. my guess is that BA moving to partner with Blacklane would be a strange move. aligning your premium brand with an aggregator which has no control over the quality/age/appearance of vehicle or driver could do significantly more damage than good. This is why Tristar has prospered in the complimentary transfer space because it owns its vehicles and its chauffeurs are immaculately turned out

  5. Re. Blacklane, they also expanded in Asia and partnered with AsiaMiles (for worldwide miles earning) at the beginning of 2017.


  6. Stuart says:

    Is the hailo deal just for London? I use this service almost daily in Ireland but can’t find any way to link accounts. Think I’m missing out!

    • There is an Iberia deal if you are based in Madrid, so an Irish deal may well appear at some point via AerClub.

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