Club Vistara CV Points to transfer to Air India Flying Returns 1:1 on programme merger

One of the questions that is bothering the frequent flyer community in India for a while has been about what happens to their Club Vistara points and status when the airline and its programme merge into Air India. Today, there has been some clarity around this. While the airline has not clarified about when the programme will be subsumed into Air India’s Flying Returns, it has  assured everyone that the programme will remain till Vistara continues to exist.

Tier Status will be retained or upgraded

While the full formula has not been announced yet, Vistara assures that the tier status will be assigned basis the cumulative points in both programs. Also, the Vistara status that the members have on the date of the merger, will be maintained at the minimum, or if an upgrade is applicable, then that upgraded tier will be handed out to the member (based on the combined activity in both programmes). As a reminder, Club Vistara takes into account only your money spent, while Air India takes flight count or money spent to grant status.

Points to be rolled over 1:1 to Flying Returns

On the day of migration, the CV Points balance and the Tier Points available will be transferred to Flying Returns programme at a 1:1 ratio. The points will remain valid for at least one year from the date of migration, even if they are due to expire sooner. This is going to be helpful to assess your status in Air India, and the signal from Vistara is to continue spending on the airline while you still want to.

Free Flight Vouchers and Upgrades

Club Vistara issues upgrade vouchers as a part of the programme, and complimentary flight ticket codes for those who subscribe to their co-brand credit cards. These vouchers will be transferred to Flying Returns, and while their validity will not be extended, customers will be able to use them, perhaps, on a larger network of flights.

My Take

This is going to be a “fair” crossover for Club Vistara members, who will be handed over to Air India Flying Returns in the coming months. I don’t see that anyone will be disadvantaged here because everyone will get their perks and commitments for the timeframe they were assured by the airlines at the time they were earning them. Although it is hard to put a number to the fair value of Vistara points, I think Vistara customers will feel a bit of disappointment with their premium cabin redemptions at Air India.

Air India frequent flyers will also not be left with anything to be disappointed about, because while they will see a bigger pool of status holders coming in, the numbers will not be astronomically high.

Bottomline

Air India and Vistara’s loyalty programmes are supposed to be merged in the coming months. Today, Vistara laid out some generally accepted principles from their side. Points will be transferred over for at least 1 year to Air India (longer as well if the points are not due to expire). You either get the same status or a higher status at Air India (depending on activity across both airlines). And your upgrades and free flight vouchers will be transferred with the same timeline of expiry.

What do you make of the principles laid down for the Club Vistara : Flying Returns merger?


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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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Comments

  1. What does this mean in their mailer about opting out:

    “If you choose to exercise this option, all your points, tier status, benefits, vouchers etc. will be honoured by Club Vistara only until the program exists. ”

    If somebody opts out, the balance at the end of the Club Vistara program will lapse?

  2. Hey Ajay,

    Quick query: Suppose if one has accounts in both programmes, would Vistara be transferring the CV points to the specified members FR account ?

    Prior to transferring the points from CV to FR, I am presuming that they would query the members if they already have a FR account so that it gets transferred to the account..

    Any idea regarding this ?

    It should not happen that when members transfer their CV points to FR, a new account on FR should not be created for the CV points

    Hopefully the CV-FR accounts would be linked right ?

    Best Regards,
    Ashish

    • @Ashish, at some point in time in the future, we should be asked to link our accounts. While it is easy to link accounts with names such as mine as not common, I’d imagine a name such as “Amit Gupta” would create a lot of confusion. I’ve met a tonne of people with that name in my lifetime so far!

  3. Just hoping they don’t remove the ticket voucher benefit for Vistara co-branded cards. This benefit pays itself for the annual fee/renewal fee as I don’t have any issue to find seat availability in my route.

  4. Air India allows family pooling and Vistara does not. How will that pan out? Best for Vistara is to allow family pooling with the same “head” and allow them to merge the accounts!

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