BA changes Household Account rules – you can now redeem for ANYONE

I wrote a piece earlier in the year about setting up and using Household Accounts at British Airways Executive Club and avios.com.

Household Accounts have obvious benefits, allowing the Avios points from your entire family to be used for a single redemption.

Family group

However, a BA household account came with a massive caveat – if you had one, you could never redeem for anyone outside your Household Account.

For many people, this was not a problem.  For me, it was a massive deal breaker.  I regularly redeem tickets for my parents in law in Germany or other extended family members.  Last year I booked a seat at a few hours notice for an Aunt in Canada whose daughter had become seriously ill whilst travelling in Venice.  I want that flexibility.

Quietly, British Airways has sneaked out a change in policy.

Go to ba.com, click on Executive Club and then Household Accounts.  You will come to this page.  Scroll down and you will see a reference to ‘Family & Friends’.

Family & Friends

This is how BA describes it:

Once you have a Household Account, you can create a list of family and friends, so you can spend your Household Avios on more people who are important to you, and who don’t live at the same address as you.

There is then a link which allow you to create a Family & Friends list.

There is a long T&C’s on ba.com, but I have distilled it for you:

You can have five people on your Family & Friends list

A person cannot be removed from your Family & Friends list until they have been on it for six months

Only the head of the Household Account can add or remove people from the Friends & Family list.  De facto, it is one Family & Friends list per household account, rather than per person.

You need the full name, date of birth and an email address to add someone to your Family & Friends list

Overall, this is a massive improvement to Household Accounts with British Airways and they deserve credit for implementing it.  Household Accounts should now look a lot more attractive for most people than they once did.

Travel Companions list

Alongside this innovation, BA has also brought in an online ‘travel companions’ list.

If you regularly book revenue or award tickets for someone, you can now store their details online.  This will make it substantially quicker to make repeated bookings.

Again, this is a simple improvement to ba.com but one which should save some people a lot of time.

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Comments

  1. erico1875 says:

    Is this family and friends list in ADDITION to the “household account” members Raffles?

  2. I don’t suppose the family and friends can add avios into the HH account can they ?

  3. Useful information Raffles so thanks as ever for that but I presume it unlikely that your Aunt in Canada would have been one of your 5 nominees and so still unhelpful in this regard? Still, I only have five in my entire family so it will work for me so thanks again for the info.

    • I could have added her and then immediately booked, though. It would be a bit silly, in my view, to add anyone to the list until they need a ticket.

  4. courtster says:

    Fantastic news, it was a real drag to keep exporting Avios to avios.com to book for someone else. Well, unless avios.com had better award availability of course!

  5. So basically you can have 7 people pooling their earning, and an additional 5 people who you can redeem for?

  6. If only they’d to change the stupid rule where the account holder must be one of the passengers booked where 241 voucher was used.

  7. nice but you can nearly never use these points. 900k points and upgrades and companion tickets and you can use nothing so better that ba starts to change this that we can book tickets than make these extra things and still you can not use it. a drama airline. compleet no service to the customer. and if you see how many profit they make and do not give the right service.

    • Hingeless says:

      Too much sherry ?

    • courtster says:

      Please be nice, I enjoy it here due to the happy together feeling of Raffles and the regular posters. If I wanted to read about peoples moans I’d spend more time on the BAEC board on FT!

      I don’t know how people have such trouble redeeming Avios. I have no such issues. Flexibility is key.

      • i fly myself about 60 times a year and on trip about 140 days a year so with my job not easy for the make time and the holiday and holiday season you can forget. gold diamond life time member senator etc.etc but special with ba you can forget it. keep in mind they offer it to us. better lower ticket prices and stop this. but when they offer you can not use. than you look in the flight and you see many seats still free. and what we not can see the seats they block to make the prices higher for selling their normal tickets. it is the most tricky business. so stop the points make tickets cheaper than all the people are happy. keep also in mind that you have paid already for the points because nothing is free!!! and i think (my own company also) will be more happy with cheaper tickets than all the points!! and for that money what you save you can buy normal tickets and that is Always possible. the airlines need to go back to basic and make the customer happy

        • If you are Gold, you can have any seat, any plane, if you pay double Avios.

          I am about to do this for half term next May. £500 to get a ticket on the Saturday after half term starts, so double Avios (this is a European redemption) is still a bargain.

          • Thanks for yet another nugget Raffles, i never knew this. HFP is just a wealth of information !

            • than they need also to give double points for the flights than i have no problem. as we call this it is taking extra points from the loyal customers!!! also nice check it out. take the differences in level and than try to book on avios no difference!!! no forget it. make the tickets cheaper and than we do not have to loose all that energy!! also check Always your statement at ba. my trip to bali with 4 people with malasian all the people nearly did not get their points. at ba no people and my children only halve of the points at klm. also nice than you send the info. get email back from ba and confirmed all and still not on my account. what do you call this ?? st……….

          • thanks but never ever use them for europian flights. for that money Always cheaper to pay i need them for long flights..
            and why pay double because they need to give the service and now thet get extra money from the loyal customers. would be nice you buy a big mac but when you like to wait you pay normal and direct service you pay extra. forget.
            i am not a fan with klm but i need to say to book points is getting better. only they start also with to pay extra you get easier place but this is only making more money for them

            • You already earn double points as a gold (or silver) member. And it isn’t always cheaper to pay for European flights with the RFS.
              There are a lot of other airlines if you don’t like BA and their redeeming policies.

  8. Did not know the gold double up thing. Have you written about it before?!

    • Found it “If there is no availability in your chosen cabin or on the flight, with the Gold Priority Reward you have the option of using double the regular Avios to secure a seat of your choice on the flight, providing you book 30 days or more in advance. All you have to do is call us to make the arrangements.”

      • why you make a system for this?? need to call ?? you offer all this and than we need to make a call. forget we take another one better and i hope more service and loyal to the customers

    • No, because I have never used it and it is one of those features that people tend to forget about. However, if I get these half-term seats booked then I will do a post on how easy / hard it was.

  9. Excellent news, and very neatly resolves a specific need we have in respect of non-resident family members (who obviously can’t be in the HHA).

  10. Good news but cynical and pessimistic as I am, I think the few good things we have had from BA of late are just to sweeten us before a big devaluation. Was there not a redemption sale about thids time last year? Would be nice if one would come along soon.

    • you are compleet right. each time you get less and the old best good old time at ba is not anymore their. it shoudl be crazy that i need to Phone. must all the ba customer than take the Phone. it must be a joke. nice my lady is living near london so nearly each week i am their than when you fly with ba they can never give you a gate ?? yes at the last moment. and than you know why because than they think we go shopping in a terminal. hahaha with these prices tax free you do not spend any. also nice terminal c no lounge no nothing. but i have a tip when you have a buss class ticket or silver/gold card you can get free drinks/food at Starbucks i also need to find this out!!! fly with them buss. class you get never ever a dutch news paper!~!! again good service. try to get at 08.00 in the morning a dutch newspaper also not their.!! i was loyal had in the past 7 flights with the concorde but now the times are like ……………………. but the nice thing this give new airlines new ways to get new customers !!!

      • You are very entertaining

        • Thats one word for it.

          • sounds like me after a few beers. problem is its 11am!

            • Sherry

            • sorry i forgot. when you have 1.5 hour between connecting flights with ba better take a later plane because they can not manage this at their new drama airport. from the 10 flights in our company 8 we have no Luggage. drama ba again. sorry mostly Always a delay they are champion in this. also never take the fast lane at Heathrow drama ba terminal, this we call the slow lane. so take the normal one better and quicker if you like to fly drama ba.
              Swiss air i did my last flight to india i need to say top service top plane top seats top food. in europe for me the nr. 1. 90% i fly to asia so i do not talk about the european flights!! and their prices are ok when you book early even much better so 2014 will be a Swiss air year for our company. about 40 first class flights and 80 buss we use so up to the Alps

            • Lady London says:

              11am where?

  11. Sean Brennan says:

    Balls. I have just recently removed my wife from our HHA so that she can book redemption tickets for her father. This would have got around that!
    Am I correct that I cannot add her back in until the 6 months is up?

    • Theoretically yes ….

      • Sean Brennan says:

        Thanks.
        I suppose this is good for BA as well as the old HHA rules limited people spending their Avios.

        • Maybe speak to BA and explain the situation – you never know with Christmas goodwill and all…

    • I am pretty sure I removed someone from my HHA and re-added them after a few months…………

      • courtster says:

        Once I needed to do something similar a few years ago and my mind is a little foggy so don’t quote me..

        I think what I did was as head of HHA I dissolved the HHA, booked what needed to be done then my wife created a new HHA and added me in. Within a week I’m sure.

        As said above though the best way since avios.com came along was to ‘combine my avios’ to avios.com and book there for whoever you needed to, assuming you didn’t need the extra Gold availability.

  12. Does this potentially open up the Black Market for Avios selling and trading?

    • To answer my own question, no. I guess you could already do this if you were not in a household account.

      • Yes you can sell them. In the statesbtheir are companies you can buy tickets what they buy with points and you can also sell them. But they need not 100k

    • Thanks but the can not even solve old problems, ba always reply with a sorry. Go to a store and buy 1 sorry. What do you get. Nothings solve the problems. Because i fly a lot Many people what i met they even not take action because iT is not working even their own crew is telling me when they make complaints They know their own problems but money is more important than have loyal customers. When All the governements and State own companies and uk banks and not fly with ba than we have Many seats for avios free.

  13. Apologies in advance for an off topic question. My CX Gold card which comes with AMEX Plat has not arrived. I am due to fly out on QR in Y on Saturday morning. I was hoping to ask QR for an invite to their contracted lounge at T4, the Skyteam Lounge. If I put my CX MP number while completing online checkin, will that show Gold status on their systems? Would that be enough to claim MP Gold loung access? Or no joy without a card?

    • When you have a copy of the Cx statement and iT is standing on than they can see you have this status. Than no problem.

    • If you enter your CX number on the booking then it should show the status appropriately on your boarding pass and to the check-in staff.

      @Jhk – I’m afraid I’m having difficult following some of your posts, not sure if you can do anything to improve the typing/grammar?! ;-)

      • Many thanks! Hope its enough and they don’t fob me off saying I need to have the card on me.

        I am assuming that once I am in the lounge (fingers crossed) I can go back and change my FF program through Finnair?

        • Yes, fingers-crossed! Contract lounges can be difficult but if you get the check-in desk to provide an invite that should help. I’m less certain re. changing in the lounge on Finnair – I know it works when done by the agent but with this being a contract lounge they probably wouldn’t have access to the system. I’m not sure Finnair would let you change it once you’re checked-in – others may have more experience in that regard.

          • PS gate staff should still be able to change it for you, though it’s a slight risk so depends how many points you’re dealing with. Your other option would be just to take a printout from the CX website showing your status and try and get them to give you lounge access based on that, but I doubt the contract lounge would accept it so you’d need to hope the check-in staff can give you an invite.

            • Thanks, okay, I will give it a go and hope that the QR check in desk accept it. Fingers crossed!

            • Well, I checked in online, but the printed boarding pass doesn’t have my CX number on it. Everything will depend on the checkin desk!

  14. Excuse my ignorance as I’m quite new to collecting avois.

    Could anyone tell me if it is possible to transfer tesco clubcard avois from 2 separate tesco clubcard accounts ( one in my name and one in my girlfriends name) into one standard BA executive club account (in my name) without changing it to a household account ?

    Thanks

    • No, it unlikely to go through. There is a small chance, if your live together and your Clubcard account is registered at your address, that it goes through on the basis of an address match, but probably not.

      Easiest thing to do is try a tiny £2.50 transfer (the minimum) and see. If it fails, she gets the points back so nothing lost.

  15. I must have got lucky recently – used a 2:4:1 and my companion was a friend who was not in my HHA. Just had to phone up to do it.

    Booked it in June in WT+ but then moved them to First later on when availability came up

  16. Even though we have one (with me as the Head), I have never really understood the point of a HHA. The only 2 benefits I can see are: -

    1. Enabling you to pool Avios of family members (residing with you) – which, as I see it, is only really a benefit for those with modest balances which alone are not enough for a single redemption. (we have 3 family members who each have 300k+, so perhaps this feature is important to some, but on me its lost)

    2. Ensuring kids u-18 can earn Avios and TP’s on revenue fares because, as I understand it, minors cannot have a BAEC account in their own right unless its part of a HHA. (nearly all my flights date have been redemptions, and given our kids are still under 2, we have not yet had to buy revenue tickets for them…..so this feature hasn’t really affected me).

    Have I missed a benefit? Is the above essentially “it”?

    • Yes, that sums it up!

    • Sorry, I don’t mean to say that HHA’s are crap just because of no use to us. I am just wondering whether there is any other benefit, e.g.. offering some kind of protection to one member if he/she is about to lose miles through non-activity, etc

      To me, HHA’s seem restrictive. This ‘enhancement’ only makes them slightly less so, IMHO.

      • Thanks Raffles (posts crossed).

        One of the reasons I ask is that like courtster above, I am thinking of dissolving our HHA (which contains 1m+Avios), in order to book some redemptions…..but, frankly, I am paranoid ‘something’ is going to be lost, just don’t know what that is.

        I suppose I could export using avios.com and do it, but just seems like hassle.

        We have the same family members in VS flying club with similar mileage balances and we have never had issues booking redemptions, but no HHA there. So I do wonder the point (other than the above 2) of it.

        • An HHA might be useful for you if you have relatives who fly once a year or less, which would allow you not to waste the 10000 or so avios that they might earn. But only one of you who has a high balance needs to be in the HHA.

      • I don’t think that Avios expire if you are in a HHA. However, as you need 3 years of zero activity on the account for them to expire, this is hugely unlikely anyway – especially as any redemption on the HHA would cause ‘activity’ on all of the accounts, as Avios were withdrawn.

  17. If the head of a household account is a GGL member, and a different member has a companion ticket through a BA amex then is it possible to play a joker and use the non GGL’s companion ticket as long as the companion ticket holder is flying?

  18. I wonder if you can now redeem the 2for1 voucher for Family & Friends rather than just limiting it for household accounts memebres?

  19. With the new changes to the rules would it now be possible to book WTP flights LHR/NRT for myself and a friend and use my 60k avois which I have in my account to upgrade to CW if we can find availability?

    • You are in a HHA already and friend isn’t? Yes, should work. Easiest way to check is to do a dummy booking for a day where CW seats are available and see if it will let you do a ‘book and upgrade’.

      • Thanks Raffles

        Yes I’m in a HHA account with 1 family member but my friend isn’t. I’m hoping I can now add him and use my 60k avois to upgrade our flights if we can find availability in CW.

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