Adios Air Miles, Hola Avios!

airmilesWe’ve just booked flights to Budapest so we can attend the wedding of an old university friend. The flights cost us nothing, because we paid for them using Avios. What are Avios, you may wonder? They’re a loyalty points system operated by British Airways, and they used to be called Air Miles.

Air Miles was a fantastic brand, because it told you exactly what it did, and everyone knew what it was. But the company decided to change the name to Avios because it wanted a name with more international appeal.

But how do you say Avios?  Is the “av” pronounced like in “aviation” or like in “lavatory”? Is the “os” like in “boss” or in “toes”?

That’s already four possible ways of saying it, but we haven’t even considered stress yet. Is the stress on “Av”, as in “Av-ios”? Or is it on “i”, as in “Avi-os”? That makes eight possible ways of pronouncing this silly made-up word which means nothing in any known language.

So well done, British Airways. You destroyed a strong, cool, and recognizably British brand, and replaced it with an unpronounceable, meaningless non-word that nobody can identify with.

Still, our flights were free, so who can complain, really?

11 responses to “Adios Air Miles, Hola Avios!

  1. Maybe they wanted to use a name that allowed them to include things other than actual air miles. I’m reminded of the SciFi channel here in the US that renamed itself to SyFy, principally so they could branch out into programming beyond sci-fi. Unfortunately, they proceeded to use this flexibility to branch out into Wrestling and similar classes of programming.

  2. Budapest! For free! Avios then.

    Have you been there? It’s lovely. I especially liked the baths and the opera…really beautiful. The baths, however, were all over the place…the one I’m thinking of was for women only (so we could go naked) and I felt like I’d died and entered the enchanted land of Greek goddesses. It was magnificent and vast with gorgeous columns, intricate mosaics, stained glass, fountains everywhere…which you could drink out of! The co-ed ones were nice, but nothing like this. (And no, I don’t have photos. Unfortunately, they weren’t allowed outside the locker room.) 😉

    • Yes, this will be my 3rd trip to the city, but the first with the family. I love Budapest too. The first time I visited it was still under communist control. Soldiers armed with machine guns moved us on from the parliament building. These days they are more tourist-friendly.

  3. Have a wonderful journey to one of my favorite places in the world.

  4. I miss your “like” button 😦

    • I have actually found it quite liberating. I have freed myself from the bondage of my shackles and refuse to conform to your bourgeois expectations.

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