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

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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 ……

(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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Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. Frenske says:

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

    • David says:

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

  5. 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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