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Update on upgrading travel agent tickets with Avios

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Here is a quick update on my post from two weeks ago explaining how BA will now allow you to upgrade travel agent fares using Avios.

An interesting tweak has emerged since the soft launch.  This is the relevant rule:

Upgrading using Avios Points for Upgrade can only be applied to bookings which are made in the member’s Executive Club membership country.

What this means, for a lot of corporate travellers, is a problem.  It is very possible that your company travel agent is not based in the UK, or that you may be working abroad for a company which does ticket its travel here. 

In either case, you will not be able to upgrade your tickets even if you meet all of the other qualifying criteria.

Some people will find this easier to get around than others.  If you are working abroad for a UK company on assignment, simply change your British Airways Executive Club account back to a UK address and all will be well. 

What happens, though, when your employer has outsourced your travel booking to a group which uses a booking centre based in India?  You could change your BAEC account to a made-up address in India, but that is hardly practical!

There will be more to come on this, I’m sure.  In general, though, the new system seems to work OK.  My wife has a trip next week and instead of getting the message ‘You cannot upgrade this ticket’, she now sees ‘You cannot upgrade this ticket because it is in the wrong ticket category’ (which it is). 

I suppose that is progress of sorts.

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (1)

  • The limitations stemming from people’s membership country really need to be sorted out and removed.

    I’m not talking about just this, but also the need to use your home membership country call centres for many things, etc.

    BA are, afterall, a company in the business of transporting people around the world!