Qatar Airways: Adopts Avios as its awards currency
From late March 2022, Qatar Airways Privilege Clube will adopt British Airways Avios as its reward currency, 1 fo 1. The transition for Privilege Club members of their ‘QMiles’ into Avios will be seamless.
For details, head over to www.qatarairways.com/Avios to see current redemption opportunities, and for those to be announced in March. The British Airways Avios points scheme has the ‘largest portfolio of partners’ according to Qatar CEO His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker.
IAG Loyalty owns and manages the Avios currency which is used by British Airways Executive Club, AerClub, Iberia Plus and Vueling Club, and will soon be the new Qatar Airways Privilege Club currency. IAG Loyalty currently partners with more than 200 global brands including American Express, Nectar, Avis Budget Group and Marriott.
Avios can be earned when flying with Qatar Airways, oneworld® airline partners, including Qantas, and other airline partners, as well as with financial and lifestyle partners. Avios can be used for rewards including award flights, cabin upgrades, extra baggage and more.
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It looks like IAG Loyalty is building itself into a global leader in loyalty. The scheme currently covers Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, LEVEL and now Qatar.
Some Q points still important
Qatar Airways plans to retain its other ‘Q’ loyalty currencies including Qpoints, for status, and Qcredits, earned by Qatar Rewards Privilege Club (QRPC) Gold and Platinum members and used for upgrades, award booking fees and additional luggage.
Do we love this or hate this?
Well the devil will be in the detail of earning and redemptions and status. Avios on British Airways have been a shorter route to earning OneWorld Emerald status than via Qantas, so it is possible that this could also be true with Qatar – making the scheme very desireable – more so than Qantas. However, if the earning and redemption rates, or the status tier qualifications that Qatar offers are more expensive when using Avios, then it could make Qatar’s loyalty scheme less attractive. Looks like we will need to wait until March when more details are announced and we will have a chance to analyse.
On the surface, this is attractive since already, you would require fewer Avios to redeem a flight between say Melbourne and Brisbane (33,000 Avios) versus Qantas points (55,200 Qantas Points). Obviously this does not account for the earn rates. Watch this space literally for updates on how advantageous this change will be for Australians who need to decide between Qantas, Qatar, and British Airways loyalty schemes.
Remember that OneWorld is launching alliance-wide upgrades later this year.That is upgrades centrally located across all their airline members. Depending on how they do this, there may need to be some equalisation across airline loyalty schemes to accommodate this.
Not often you hear positive news about loyalty schemes. Usually its a devaluation, making the hoarding of points for that ‘special trip’ difficult and uneconomic. Potentially, this development is positive. I am preparing for disappointment, but am hopeful of more positive news.
Will I change my loyalty away from Qantas for Australian domestic flying, and turn to Avios with BA or Qatar? Probably not unless there are quantifiable advantages.
Watch this space!