Air NZ airpoint changes

November 20th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

has revamped its Airpoints loyalty scheme making it more attractive for shorter flights, while also adding an exclusive by-invitation-only membership tier for its highest spending passengers.

Air New Zealand’s head of customer loyalty Mark Street said many fares will earn higher points, particularly on short routes. But fewer points will be earned on some cheaper fares.

“But overall we expect Airpoints members to earn several million more Airpoints Dollars each year,” Street said.

I’m suspicious. Almost without exception in the past, any changes to their airpoints scheme has resulted in frequent flyers getting done over and losing value.

It will be nice if this is not the case this time, but I remain suspicious until we see exact details.

There’s also good news for members of the renamed Elite membership tier (previously Gold Elite) who will receive an additional complimentary upgrade each membership year for use specifically on short haul routes across the Tasman and to the Pacific Islands.

This is in addition to the existing two free ”recognition upgrades” redeemable across the whole Air New Zealand international network.

Now that is useful, and welcome. Probably makes commercial sense for Air NZ also as they probably get very few people using upgrades on the shorter routes, so giving some complimentary ones away to elite flyers probably is almost no revenue cost – but some extra good will.

The airline’s top spending passengers will be invited to receive an exclusive Elite Priority One annual membership which will come with additional benefits to be revealed in the New Year.

The programme update follows a nine month review and a marketing push by rival Qantas in New Zealand, using a replica Mars Rover to entice travellers to join its Frequent Flyer programme.

This might explain the changes, and why perhaps this time they are actually beneficial to frequent flyers. Competition is good.

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7 Responses to “Air NZ airpoint changes”

  1. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    I’m presently Gold Elite but I stopped flying ANZ for most of this year. I’m aiming to just put through enough travel to retain Gold @ 810 status points. Everything else I use other airlines. There was very little incentive to retain GE apart from GE partner status for wife.

    The additional upgrade for gold elites is very welcome. The first 2 upgrades cost you 450 each (you get one at silver for 450 SPs and two for gold at 900), not getting any extra for hitting 1500 at GE was disappointing. AP$ accrual was less valuable then what you could earn on QF. Also QF status match Gold Elites with very little drama.

    The new guy in charge is making all the right noises, wait and see what he delivers.

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  2. Nigel (514 comments) says:

    It’ll be interesting, I like the air dollars, but the website is flash, so saying smartphone/iPad access is poor is being polite.

    Then there is the LAX lounge which is so packed it’s barely an advantage + no reciprocal access to LAX or NY lounge for Virgin America.

    I think they have a few things to work on myself.

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  3. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    But fewer points will be earned on some cheaper fares.

    There are already zero points earned on Grab A Seat. Can’t get lower than that

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  4. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    LAX is moving to Tom Bradley Nigel – it’s going to be a giant Star Alliance lounge, but run by Air NZ. I still find it very relaxing to get to the Koru LAX as it always means just one relatively easy flight til home :)

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  5. Bill Ted (93 comments) says:

    Air NZ’s credit card charges still infuriate me. They can’t justify those charges – it’s blatant theft. I refuse to fly with them unless it’s through a serious discount with Grabaseat so Air Points are irrelevant anyway.

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  6. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    Air NZ’s credit card charges still infuriate me.

    Use POLI

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  7. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Will Labour repeal these changes ?

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