Meet the newest member of BAEC (or, how to earn Avios when your child flies)

I’d like to welcome the newest member of the British Airways Executive Club:

… ie, my youngest.

We are in Dubai again this week (we have family here, which is why we pop down quite a bit). My original plan was to make this my last BMI Diamond Club redemption, using Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa, flying London – Vienna – Dubai – Munich – London. However, connecting with small children is never ideal – and the 45 minute Vienna connection also added in a risk of misconnecting suitcases. We also like the ‘double bed’ set-up in BA Club World, which allows you to create a little prison for your offspring with enough floor space for toys etc!

The BA sale in early March had business class returns to Dubai for the same ‘value’ as my BMI redemption (adjusting for the taxes I get back, the miles I get back and the miles we will earn on cash tickets and the BA Premium Plus Amex spend). It was therefore an easy decision to make to switch. BMI redemption cancelled, 4 Club World returns on BA booked.

Despite being nearly two, I hadn’t signed up my son for British Airways Executive Club before. He has only travelled on redemptions, so there was no genuine need. And, when I signed up my daughter four years ago, she got a random 5,000 Avios bonus because her first flight was a Club Europe return. I wanted to make my son’s first registered flight a paid return ticket in a premium cabin, just in case a similar bonus turned up.

Now, as most people know, children cannot join British Airways Executive Club in their own right. However, they can become a member of a Household Account.

But, of course, there is a snag if you are a member of a Household Account – you can only redeem your Avios for members of the Household Account. And that is a definite ‘no-go’ for me, since I often redeem miles for various friends and family.

How do you get around this?

I took a slightly oblique route to get around these conflicting points.

My children sit in a Household Account with two of their grandparents. My wife and I each retain our stand-alone BAEC accounts.

This gives us the best of both worlds:

  • I can earn Avios points when my children fly, via a Household Account with their grandparents
  • I can continue to redeem my Avios for friends and extended family as required

How do you add a child to a Household Account?

First, you need to have a Household Account, which means deciding which adult BAEC member you want to be the head. If that person is not already a BAEC member, they need to sign-up.

Inside ‘Manage My Account‘ on ba.com, when you are signed-in, is an option called ‘Apply For A Household Account‘. You can then issue invitations to people who you want to join your account.

Once the Household Account is formed, you can easily add a child. The head of the Household Account will see an option inside ‘Manage My Account’ called ‘Change My Household Account’. There is a button here called ‘Add New Member’. You can add a child during this process with no problem – the application will not be rejected if they are under 18 years old, unlike a standard BAEC application.

A sneaky tweak

There is one interesting tweak you can do if you are taking a child who will not be flying with BA again for some reason.

If a Household Account is broken up, the accounts belonging to any children are closed and the miles are transferred to the head of the account.

So … if you are flying somewhere but you don’t imagine that your kids will be doing any further long-haul BA travel for the next few years, you may want to work with this. Add the kids to your Household Account, take the flights and then break up the Household Account. The miles will go onto your Avios account, and your account – now that it is not part of a Household Account – can be used to book redemptions for anyone.

(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

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Comments

  1. Interesting article Raffles

    I have a household account which includes my 5 and 1 year old. I got told by BA that the younger one cannot collect Avios on our flights to New York and Dubai because he is on an infant Y ticket. Is that correct?

    • Found the answer:

      Clause 11.3 and 16.1.8 of BAEC T&Cs

      Infant fares are not eligible for Avios Points or Tier Points

      For the avoidance of doubt, infant fares do not earn Avios Points

    • Correct. Our little ‘un is on a cash ticket because he is the biggest 1 year old in Britain and you don’t want him on your lap for 7 hours!

      You may find that you get OnBusiness points for a cash infant ticket, though …..

      • Do you mean you have paid for a infant ticket in his own seat?

        Does he not fit in the sky cot/bassinet? My little one is tall. He just fitted into the VS sky cot at 4 months (though he hated it). He happily fitted (with room to spare) in the SQ bassinet at 9 months.

        • He has his own £1,000 ticket, yes! No choice, his clothes are 3 to 4 years and he is as tall as the shortest kids in my 5 year olds school class!

          • gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

            I wonder if miles collectors have larger offspring. My 7 month old is currently showing in the 98th percentile for length.
            Sounds like a PhD project for someone.

  2. John Trops says:

    Great stuff Raffles. I like the photo too. Very cute:) With a one year old daughter I was interested in this double bed set up in
    Club World and creating a small enclosure! Which seats should I be aiming for? Thanks

    • Any middle pair is OK. The bulkhead pair are the best and that is where the cot sits, so if you’ve got a sub-2 year old on an infant ticket you will be able to reserve those. However, we were not a bulkhead this time and it was still OK. Only snag is that – if the person in the row infront puts his seat into a bed – you need to jump over his legs to get to the kids. Upside is that it creates a further barrier to stop the kids escaping!

  3. vindaloo says:

    Thanks, Raffles. Two quick questions from me too:

    1. If you’re not in a HHA can you redeem your Avios for other people if you’re not flying yourself?
    2. If you are in a HHA, can you use an Amex companion voucher to redeem for two other people in the HHA if you’re not flying yourself?

    One thing I discovered recently (which won’t affect many people but did happen to affect me) is that if you have a HHA where one member is BA Gold and another member has an Amex companion voucher, you can’t redeem the voucher for those two people and avail of the extra BA Gold award inventory, even though the extra inventory would be available to everyone travelling with the Gold member if the companion voucher weren’t being used.

    • 1. Yes, you can redeem for anyone if you’re not in a HHA

      2. I believe that this can be done, although it is against the rules. The BA website seems to allow it, I understand ….

  4. John Trops says:

    Thanks for the tip Raffles!

  5. neuromancer says:

    Can the middle pair in Club be used by 2 adults and 2 infants? Everybody recommends this, but are there enough oxygen masks? I just found out we can’t sit side by side in an Embraer because of this.

    • Good question, don’t know to be honest. We always had the bassinet seats at the front in CW when travelling with 1 non-seat holding infants, not sure what would happen with 2 under 2’s or indeed if sitting further back.

      By the way, you get the same issue in Club Europe on some short haul Airbus and Boeing planes, with some seats being blocked out to a person with an infant.

  6. Hi raffles!

    just saw this post, I have a few small questions:

    Is their really more award availlibiity for GOLD members? and if so is it enough to have a gold member in your houshould?

    About your childrens HH acount, i didnt get how YOU can benefit of the miles being earned as you are not part of the houshould and they cant book for you as being an hh ACOUNT

    About the HH acount in general, is there any way to bypass the remove one per 6 months rule?

    and can i open an houshould account on AVIOS? same terms and conditions?

    lots of questions..

    Thanks

    • There is more award availability for Gold’s for ECONOMY travel, not Club World or First. It is therefore most useful for short-haul redemptions when flying Economy is more palatable!

      I imagine, if you’re in a HHA, the Gold member would need to be logged in to see those extra seats.

      I don’t think you can bypass the 6 month rule, it is there for a reason (ie to stop people forming HHA’s for a week purely to get around the rules).

      Avios.com has ‘family accounts’. These work differently. The miles are GENUINELY pooled. Each individual person in the family account no longer has their own balance. When you log in, all you see if the family total. If you break up the family account, you tell avios.com how to share out the miles. This allows you to transfer Avios from one person to another for free – you form a family account with the other person, and then later break it up with one person being allocated 100% of the combined total and the other person getting 0%.

      Back to my kids HHA with the grandparents … the benefit for me is slightly convoluted. I can use their miles to book tickets for them, when we travel together, so I don’t need to use Avios from my own account, hence I am better off.

      • Thanks !

        So basically I can move around avios by moving from BA to AVIOS.COM , create family account, close it , and then move it back to BA ? and also can an avios family member book for a friend? So why don’t you just create an AVIOS family account?

        • I’m not sure if children can have an avios.com account, you’d need to check. I don’t think they can.

          I have actually used a family account to get an effective free transfer to me from another person. My Mum had some old Air Miles, so when they became Avios I formed a family account with her at avios.com and later closed it, with me taking 100% of the miles (then moving them to BA) and her taking 0%. Worked fine. Only issue is that it all gets done by post with paper forms, which is fiddly.

          I can’t remember off the top of my head if you can book from an avios.com household account for someone outside it, sorry. A quick look at the HHA rules do not forbid it, unlike with a BA HHA.