AirMiles and Avios

I don’t know how many people in the UK collected AirMiles, but I am pretty sure that many will no longer be collecting Avios. I am one of them.
In June 2011 (I nearly wrote “last year” then), we enjoyed a trip to New England, with the flights paid, for the most part, via AirMiles. For two tickets, the cash I had to stump up was £350, on top of 5,000 Airmiles. The AirMiles had been collected over a number of years, through mercilessly taking as many off Tesco as possible, and Shell fuel, Lloyds TSB credit card etc.
I had enough left over to allow us to get to New York for £400 in March 2012. That’s not a bad deal, considering that I would have bought the fuel and bread any way. I did this deal, before they changed.
Since their change to Avios, the number of Avios one needs to do the same flight has been reduced slightly, but one now has to pay duty and taxes ON TOP of the cash element. The total cash component of this deal, is now around £950, plus all the Avios points.
I have just priced two seats on the same aeroplanes that we will be using in March on the BA site. The flights would cost me £750 for the two, if I were to buy them today. that’s £200 LESS than using a shed load of loyalty points and cash.
I really don’t get this at all. The loyalty points with hundreds of retailers are now worse than worthless.
Avios state that they have much better deals for short haul flights. Which they might do, if you live near London. For those of us who are fortunate enough not to live in the South East, their only option is to fly you to London first, THEN on to where you want to go.
The whole thing is just ridiculous, and the Avios company just don’t care that they have ripped off hundreds or thousands of customers.
The good thing, though, is that I don’t need to shop in Tesco ever again – every cloud has its silver lining…
You don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Interestingly, my wife got £90 off of the “big shop” at Sainsbury’s yesterday, with the points acrued on their own loyalty card since we stopped shopping at Tesco.