How to earn Avios points when your child flies

As most people know, children cannot join British Airways Executive Club in their own right.

There is, however, no need to miss out on any Avios points when your children are flying on a cash ticket. They can become a member of a Household Account and therefore earn Avios and tier points.

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 or the six people on your ‘Family and Friends’ list.  That was a definite ‘no-go’ for me, since I often redeem miles for different people and needed full flexibility to redeem for anyone.


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 benefit from the Avios points when my children fly, via a Household Account with their grandparents
  • I can continue to redeem my Avios for absolutely anyone as required without being restricted by the ‘Family and Friends’ rules

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, 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 visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

LAST DAY, CLOSES MIDNIGHT: Win a £500 gift voucher with Head for Points
New Amex statement credit travel offers launched inc Eurostar, Hyatt, Selfridges
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. Do the children need to share an address with the grandparent?

    • Yes, everyone in a household account must have the same address, but it doesn’t have to be anyone’s real address. The membership cards will be sent there though so it has to be an address you have access to.

  2. Ironbark says:

    Our 3 year old is BA Silver, I had no idea he couldn’t have his own separate account. Learn something new every day.

    • How did you get round the DOB requirement? alot of people on FT seem to have accounts for their children- if you do open an account for a child what is the likelihood of BA closing it down due to the child not being over 18 per the T&Cs.

    • Nor me. My son has has his own BAEC account for years and alternates betwern silver and bronze.

      I suspect it is unusual though, as during a standard CX OW welcome routine, the stewardess exptessed surprise when she looked at who she was addressing (‘you can call me Mitzi!’)

  3. Marc R says:

    Article says that tier points can be shared on a household account. Is this right? In which case can a household account be used to manage tier levels? Thanks.

    • No, article says kids in Household accounts can EARN tier points (ie earn their own). They can’t be shared/pooled though.

  4. Any way to get miles for children flying with Virgin?

    • ankomonkey says:

      I think VS Gold members can open accounts for their children, but someone with better knowledge can hopefully provide more/better info!

  5. Hastings01 says:

    Does anyone know if infants can earn avois on cash tickets? or do they need their own seat…

    • They can only earn on seat tickets. Bassinet/lap tickets are non-earning I’m afraid.

  6. Please could you explain Rob how to use Avios to book flights for anyone?

    • BrianDT says:

      Look on the BA or site..login,put their name in the booking.
      Amazing question this day and age.

    • Frenske says:

      Just make a normal booking when you logged-in your normal BA account and use the name you want to book for.

      When you have a household account you can only select one of the names in the account!

      • I misread Rob’s original comment to mean that he could book flights for people when he was not travelling himself.

  7. Similar to a earlier comment, my son has had an Executive account since he was around 3 ( back in 2008) and due to some long haul flights, also hit silver status ( sadly now lapsed ) by the age of 4. He has his own logon , etc. So maybe they changed something in last few years ?

  8. Mikeact says:

    If I break up my Household acct, (no children ) do all outstanding Avios then go to the head automatically?

    • Yes.

      With HH a/cs you can nominate who gets what % of the points when you break it up.

      • Ooops missed the no children bit. Only works (all go to head) with children, who get nothing

    • No for BAEC household accounts.

      If an adult leaves the BAEC household account they take with them only the Avios they earned themselves (as each person in the HHA has their own individual pot within the pooled balance).

      Yes for household accounts.

      When an household account is broken up you choose how to divide the points up on the separation form. Therefore you could give 100% to one person, split them 50:50 or in whichever proportion you choose at the time. That’s because HHAs are recorded as one single account for the “Smith Family”, rather than individual accounts for Mr Smith & Mrs Smith that are pooled together as with BAEC HHAs.

      • This is a very useful facility. I recently used it to transfer my Avios to my wife’s account as she had the 241 voucher on her BAEC account.

  9. Frankie says:

    Slightly OT. 2 years ago I bought flights for for my sister’s mother in law and her friend to Vegas as they wanted someone to just sort it all for them. I also set them up with BAEC accounts and they both earned just over 10k avios each. I thought they may as well have the avios even though I doubted they’d ever use BA again, or even go anywhere abroad again. Vegas was a bucket list place. I used a couple of email addresses of mine that I rarely use to set up the accounts. I”ve said for 2 years to my sister that they should take a trip to near europe as they have a free flight sitting there for them. They’ve never done so and my sister has said to me to just have the avios before they expire as the 2 elderly women will never use them. They dont really understand what they are anyway. Is there a way I can have their avios as they’ll expire in a year? I can’t be going back and asking them for details like passports etc it will confuse or puzzle them. To be clear, I’m not stealing them. I’ve been told I can use them up as someone may as well get the benefit from them. Any help appreciated.

    • Take control of their BAEC addresses. Change addresses so they match yours. Join them up to a household a/c with you as head of household.

      Earn them each a point or 2 eg by shopping to give their points another 3 years.

      You can immediately start using their points as any redemption will subtract points from all HH a/cs.

      If you just want the points to sit under your name, break up the HH a/c in due course.

    • Another way:

      Set up accounts and transfer them into their, Raffles article below explains this. I believe it will also reset the clock on the points expiring as BA says

      “Keep your Avios active
      You don’t have to worry about losing your Avios. They won’t expire if you collect, spend, buy or transfer at least one Avios every 36 months. With so many ways to collect and spend, it couldn’t be easier.”

  10. Worth mentioning the downside of HH a/cs. You can’t transfer in points from eg Iberia.

    • Only HHA. No impact on a BA HHA as each person keeps their own account.

      • It still wouldn’t let me. I could transfer to IB from BAEC but not the other way around

        • Iberia to to BA. Works all the time unless your account is a household account too

          • that’s what I had to do – dissolve the HH a/c, easy, kept 100% myself – transfer IB —> – I kept the BA HH a/c

  11. Iberia has the Iberia Plus Kids for + 2 years old children. We use it!

  12. Frankie says:

    Thanks for the answers. It also seems from the above comments that I could just go into their respective accounts and just book a reward flight for anyone as there’s enough avios for a RFS flight for zone 1 in each BAEC account. I can just put in my own name and pay for it with my payment card with no issues and it uses up most of the avios. Gone are the days when a Vegas return in economy got you 10k avios.

    • pauldb says:

      I was going to suggest that was probably the best way to get 90% of the value out, unless you particularly want to use them for long-haul. Booking one ways and paying avios+money would open up longer RFS and CE flights too.

  13. Ghosty says:

    I added my grandson to our HH account, not sure if I created a separate account for him 1st before adding him to HH account. He also has his own log-in & password and booked on a flight with avios & (2) 2-4-1’s as a family trip.

  14. How many people share a house with 3 family generations? The terms clearly state that everyone must live at the same address.

    “18.1.2. A maximum of seven individuals are allowed per Household Account. All Household Account members must permanently reside at the same residential address.”

    I find household accounts a great benefit for my family of 5. It would be a shame to see them cease to exist or come to harm due to blatant abuse of the T&C’s, and posts like this which are essentially encouraging others to do the same.

    • Amongst the ethnic community, quite a lot. My old family home is now a three generation house.

      • Fair enough, there are bound to be some. Is your current household amongst them?

        Don’t get me wrong I think most of the content of this site is great, but sometimes – and this article is an example – I think it crosses the line from being informative and helping people with their hobby to encouraging abuse of the system. When enough of the latter goes on, then things usually change to the detriment of all.

        BA would be well within their rights to close down the BAEC accounts of people creating fraudulent family accounts.

        • We done a lot of things we’re not proud of. Robbing graves, plundering tombs, double parking. But, nobody got hurt. Well, maybe somebody got hurt, but nobody we knew.

      • Do you have any feel for how much BA care about the rule that everyone in a HHA must have the same address? Clearly people (including you, it would seem) don’t take it seriously. It’s hardly the worst abuse in the world – it is just finding an easier way to use perfectly legitimate avios – but if BA don’t care about it, is there any reason why they don’t just drop it and let you pool avios with x number of people, changes allowed every 6 months?

        • That would make invite more abuse though. Best to set the official rules one notch above what you would actually tolerate.

  15. Raffles: am I missing something? Why wouldn’t you just have a BA HHA with all of your family in it; and a personal account? That way if you wanted to book flights for someone outside of your BA HHA you just simply move some avios over to and book it from there.

    • Not the case for Raffles IIRC but if you wanted to take advantage of extra Gold economy availability or Gold Priority Reward then you’d need to be able to book using

    • Booking redemption flights from vs BAEC are not the same thing. They cost the same but there are big advantages in always booking through BAEC.

      So you need the points in BAEC and want to avoid the situation where you are unable to transfer —> BAEC.

    • Need to book partner airlines for others, for a start

  16. Frankie says:

    Great tips. Thanks Pauldb

  17. “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 or [shouldn’t this be AND] the six people on your ‘Family and Friends’ list.”