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

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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 (70)

  • Patrick says:

    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

    • Rob says:

      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.

  • keiths says:

    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

  • camille says:

    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”?

    • Rob says:

      Yes, that sums it up!

    • camille says:

      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.

      • camille says:

        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.

        • John says:

          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.

      • Rob says:

        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.

  • will says:

    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?

  • emad says:

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

  • Matt says:

    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?

    • Rob says:

      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’.

      • Matt says:

        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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