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In its nine years of operations, Vistara's service quality has created a strong base of loyal customers. The new information shared by the airline sheds light on how the merger will impact these customers.

As the merger of Air India and Vistara airlines picks up steam, the process of merging their loyalty programs has also begun.

“As we work towards a merged, larger airline, Club Vistara will also merge with Air India’s Flying Returns,” Vistara wrote to members in an email this week. “The Club Vistara program will continue to exist until the integration is complete.”

Here are additional details: 

  • Tier status: Both Club Vistara and Flying Returns have four tiers of memberships, with different levels of benefits.

    For Club Vistara, these progressive tiers are: Base, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. With Air India’s Flying Returns, the tiers are named Red, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

    Vistara told its loyalty program members that after migration, their tier status would be assigned based on their cumulative points in both programs. “You will be able to maintain, at least, your current Club Vistara tier status or get upgraded if you qualify on the basis of cumulative points. Going forward, the rules of Flying Returns will apply,” it said.
  • Points balance: Club Vistara members accrue reward points, called CV Points, every time they book tickets and fly with the airline, or on spending with its non-airline and airline partners. These points can be redeemed to get complimentary flight tickets or upgrades.

    Along with this, members also earn Tier Points every time they fly Vistara. These points are only used in order to evaluate the tier which needs to be assigned to a member.

    “On the day of migration, the CV Points balance and the Tier Points available in your account will be transferred to the Flying Returns program at a 1:1 ratio,” Vistara explained. It added, “The points will remain valid for at least one year from the date of migration, even if they are due to expire sooner.”
  • Future bookings: The airline informed its customers that all future bookings that they have with the airline will be transferred, and the members and their nominees will receive the revised flight details once the migration has been completed.

    “Any changes to the existing bookings will be as per Flying Returns’ rules, post the migration,” it added.
  • Award vouchers: Vistara, as benefits of its loyalty program and co-brand cards, provides members with complimentary flight ticket vouchers. It also provides one-class upgrade vouchers that customers can use to upgrade their seat class when flying.

    All valid and unused vouchers for class upgrade and complimentary flight tickets will be transferred to the Flying Returns program with their existing validity. 

It is not yet known what would happen to the co-brand credit cards that Vistara offers in partnership with several banks, including Axis Bank, State Bank of India, and IDFC First. The airline said that the updates regarding this will be shared in the coming weeks. 

The merging of loyalty programs will happen automatically unless Club Vistara members choose to opt-out within 21 days – but for those who do opt-out, all the points, benefits, and vouchers, among other related details, will end with the Club Vistara program. 

Vistara has not yet shared the date of migration, but has said that it will be communicated over the coming months. 

Air India-Vistara Merger Progress

The Tata group is expecting the merger of Air India and Vistara to be completed by the end of 2024, ahead of its earlier deadline of mid-2025.

Earlier this week, the CEOs of both the airlines held a townhall meeting with their employees, and informed them that more than 7,000 employees have been assessed and their roles and responsibilities would be clear by the end of June. 

The organizational structure of the combined airline has also been finalized. 

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Tags: air india, airlines, aviation, aviation industry, aviation news, frequent flier programs, frequent flyer programs, frequent flyers, iag loyalty, india, india travel, indian airlines, loyalty, mergers, vistara

Photo credit: The Tata group is expecting the merger of Air India and Vistara to be completed by the end of 2024. Vistara/X.com

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