The original Air Miles logo, no longer used in most countries Air Miles is the name of separately operated loyalty programs in Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain (under the brand Travel Club), the Netherlands and the Middle East, through which points are earned on purchases at participating merchants.
The Air Miles concept was originated by British company Loyalty Management Group (LMG), which licensed local rights to the concept to various operators in different countries. It was originated by Sir Keith Mills, and began operating in the UK in November 1988.
LMG was later acquired by Canadian firm Groupe Aeroplan (now Aimia), which retains the intellectual property associated with the Air Miles name and logo internationally, and is the majority partner in the Air Miles program in the Middle East. In all other countries in which Air Miles programs operate, Aimia is the licensor and is not involved in program operation. In Canada, Air Miles competes directly with Aimia's Aeroplan program. Similarly the former Air Miles program in the UK had no affiliation with the Nectar program operated by Aimia.
Air Miles United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, Air Miles has eight million customers. Airmiles can be collected through Lloyds TSB Airmiles Duo credit card accounts, Shell petrol stations, Tesco supermarkets (50 airmiles for every 2.50 in Tesco ClubCard vouchers), Southern Electric, travel products, package holidays purchased from Air Miles and over 100 online retailers.
Air Miles was created in the mid-1980s by Alan Deller, Commercial Director of British Caledonian Airways and the partners of advertising agency Mills, Smith & Partners initially Keith Mills, Brian Smith, William Kershaw, Nick Tomlin, Peter Badham and Geoffrey Bean and later Liam Cowdrey. Together they formed the Air Miles Travel Promotions Company Limited in 1986 and sold 51% of the UK operation to British Airways soon after. They produced the consumer launch campaign Stop dreaming. Start Collecting , gaining a database of three million Air Miles collectors in the first three months. Keith Mills later founded the Nectar loyalty card. Operations in the UK commenced in November 1988.
The British program also has an online shopping portal including UK retail partners plus eBay and Currys. Airmiles can be redeemed for flights with British Airways and other airlines, Eurostar and ferry crossings, cruises, hotel accommodation, car hire, travel insurance, package holidays, spa and golf breaks and leisure activities. It is based in Crawley.
Air Miles is a subsidiary of British Airways, but the airline operates a different scheme for its frequent flyers called BA Miles.
In September 2011 Air Miles announced that it would be rebranding to Avios and that taxes and charges would then be chargeable, quoting 497 for a return flight to Sydney; many previous users expressed regret and anger over this. The Airmiles scheme ended at midnight November 14.
Air Miles Canada
The AIR MILES program logo in Canada since 2009. Air Miles card
Currently owned and operated by LoyaltyOne, whose parent company is AllianceData, the AIR MILES reward program was launched in Canada in 1992, and is Canada s largest coalition loyalty program. In 1998, AIR MILES Canada was acquired by Alliance Data Systems. In 2008, Alliance Data Loyalty Services became known as LoyaltyOne.
Air Miles Canada has more than 100 partners, including Bank of Montreal, American Express, Shell Canada, Canada Safeway in the western provinces, Metro and Rexall/PharmaPlus pharmacies in Ontario, and Sobeys and Lawtons in provinces east of Ontario. Consumers collect Air Miles reward miles from sponsors, which can be redeemed for 1,200 reward choices, such as travel, entertainment, home electronics and giftcards.
There are more than ten million active collector accounts across Canada: approximately two-thirds of Canadian households participate in AIR MILES .
In April 2009, AIR MILES Canada launched My Planet, an initiative to help people trade in their Air Miles for environmentally conscious products and services. Initially, My Planet offered collectors over 140 "green" redemption items, including public transit passes, organic cotton linens, and electric scooters. In September 2009, the program was extended to stores and point of purchase.
AIR MILES Canada has received awards for marketing, customer care/call centres, human resources, training and leadership.
Air Miles Middle East
In the Middle East region Air Miles is operated by Rewards Management Middle East and is co-owned by Aeroplan and HSBC. Currently it operates a single program across the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain. Members who are HSBC credit cardholders are credited Air Miles for credit card transactions.
Air Miles the Netherlands
Similar to other Air Miles programs, Air Miles in the Netherlands originally had flights as its only reward but later expanded to include other rewards. Flight rewards are obtained by exchanging collected miles accompanied by cash. The program commenced in the mid 1990s, but its popularity later waned. In 2004, ABN AMRO ceased its participation. Albert Heijn did the same in some branches to allow greater product discounting. At Shell gas stations, customers can choose between Air Miles or stamps.
Air Miles United States
An Air Miles program was launched in the United States in 1992 by Loyalty Management Group. Participating companies included Lenscrafters, General Cinema, AT&T, and Citibank. Unlike its Canadian counterpart, the U.S. program was unsuccessful and suspended operations in May 1993.
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