The History of “Adios” Points
If you are considering taking advantage of the new Membership Rewards 50% bonus on transfers to British Airways Avios points, you may be interested in the history behind the derogatory “Adios” nickname for BA’s recently-unveiled program. We caught up with Walter Thompson in Omaha, who was around for the first Chase BA 100,000-mile sign up bonus promotion.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” says Thompson. “I was searching through the AAdvantage Mall for something I could tolerate buying for bonus miles when I looked up to see my wife throwing away an envelope from Chase with a British Airways 777-300 on it.” After saving the envelope from its doom he ripped it open and nearly fainted from the offer within. He immediately logged on to FlyerTalk as user mAAdvantage and posted about the offer. Says Thompson, “Next thing you know, everyone and their mother was taking Chase up on the 100,000 offer.” As word spread in the frequent flyer community, thousands more cashed in on one of the most generous credit card sign-up deals of all time. We at Points Envy got three each.
But the offer was not unique, and when Chase brought back the 100,000 bonus in 2011, Thompson knew something was wrong. “Why would they be so generous after all the deserving people had already gotten it?” He claims to have foreseen the award chart changes that would ultimately devalue BA miles. “I was ready to give up on British Airways, and as soon as I saw talk online of the change to Avios points, I said ‘Adios,’ and I said it online.”
Sources at FlyerTalk have confirmed that mAAdvantage’s post was indeed the first to mention the word “Adios” outside the context of describing a trip to a Spanish-speaking country, but many still hesitate to offer Thompson any praise, usually citing what FlyerTalk user MilesHighness calls “the obviousness of the name.” According to MilesHighness, “Everyone thought of it when they heard about the change; so what if he posted it first?”
Such comments don’t rouse Thompson, who thinks the detractors’ jealousy is unproductive. In a recent post, he states: “Just to prove once and for all that I do think of these things way ahead of the curve, I am hereby unveiling the names ByeMiles and MileageMinus for Delta and United, respectively.” Thanks Walter, we would never have figured those out.