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.)
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.
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.
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 ……
(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.)