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The air-miles con

November 13, 2009

I don’t have a great track record as a compiler of air-miles, but over the last couple of years I’ve been building up a balance. Yesterday I decided to spend some, so I logged into British Airways Executive Club. I wasn’t after much, just a couple of one-ways from Edinburgh to Barcelona, and I had the miles to cover it, so no problem. When I hit the select button I found that my ‘reward flights’ were going to cost me £143, for that’s the catch, folks, air-miles only cover the fare itself, not the various add-ons.

So what did I do?  I logged on to Ryanair and booked from Edinburgh to Girona, which is around an hour closer to our ultimate destination. Saved myself £30.

Now I’m left wondering whether British Airways management actually understand the meaning of the phrase ‘customer loyalty. Is it any wonder that while Ryanair, unlikable as it may be in many ways, continues to expand, the major flag-carriers are swirling inexorably down the pan. (If you imagine that the BA take-over of Iberia . . . that’s what it is, not a merger, but the Spanish government wouldn’t want it described thus . . . will make any long-term difference, forget it.)

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