If you have not heard about Avios before, then you might have heard about or at one time even collected Airmiles. The Airmiles scheme of flight rewards was run by British Airways, but when in 2011 British Airways merged with Iberia Airlines a new scheme was required. Avios was the result and it became much broader than the Airmiles it replaced. More ways to collect points were introduced along with more ways to spend them.
Now with Avios you can fly the world for free, perhaps not all the world, but a large proportion of it. You can use Avios for free flights to North and South America, most major European destinations, Asia, China, the Bahamas, and Australia.
Avios have divided the world up into nine flight zones. Short haul flights from the UK to European destinations such as Paris, Nice and Amsterdam are in zone one, while long haul flights to Australia are in zone nine, with everywhere else in one of the intermediate zones. The further the zone, the more Avios it casts to fly there. You can also reduce the number of Avios you need by paying some cash, and unlike Airmiles you can book single flights so you can fly to one destination and return from another giving you a huge amount of flexibility.
There are a number of ways to collect Avios. If you are a frequent flyer with BA then you can collect one Avios for every mile you fly; if you shop at Tesco then you can convert your Tesco Clubcard points into Avios; you can get 1.25 Avios for every pound that you spend on a Lloyds TSB credit card, you can get Avios rewards on petrol and car hire, shopping online at dozens of major brands, wine and gifts, and many other purchases.
If you are not collecting Avios, then the question is why not? There are so many ways to collect them that you don’t even need to change your lifestyle to do so, and within no time you could be booking yourself a free flight to some far flung part of the world that previously you had only dreamt about visiting. Joining Avios is entirely free so there really is nothing to lose. Forget those budget airlines and all their hidden costs and what they call customer care (which would be better described as customer contempt), collect Avios and fly with a decent airline for free; so much better.
This is a guest post by Claire Chat a new Londoner, travel passionate and animal lover. She blogs about Pets and Travelling in Europe. If you want Claire to write you specific content, you can find email her here or contact her on Twitter (Claire_Chat).