Changes to Air New Zealand’s air points scheme have angered a Wellington businessman, who accuses the airline of deceit.
The man spoke with New Zealand news sources last month, arguing that recent changes have raised award levels and put elite status privileges effectively out of reach.
He suggested that his gold membership, won with two roundtrips to the U.K. last year, would disappear unless he doubled that amount of flying.
“I was annoyed because it was done surreptitiously,” he told reporters. “There was no advance warning. I’m still a frequent flyer but it will cost me more today to get the same reward tomorrow. It’s a price increase in disguise.”
He also blamed Qantas for the changes, suggesting that the new Air Points system and Qantas Frequent Flyer program are remarkably similar.
Air New Zealand spokeswoman Shannon Huse told the reporters that the changes were in direct response to customer feedback.
“There are a number of differences between our system and Qantas’,” Huse said. “For example, we base our rewards on kilometers while they use miles. While it is a balancing act, we believe we are being fair to people who travel the most.”