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.