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Get £250 or 50,000 Avios if British Airways flies you in ‘Old First Class’

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The roll-out of the new British Airways First Class seat is now complete.  If you get on a British Airways plane and are seated in First, this is what you should get:

British Airways new First Class seat

However, there still a chance that you may end up with this:

British Airways old First Class seat

ALL of the Boeing 777’s have the new First Class seat, as do all of the Boeing 747’s with 70 Club World seats and of course the new A380’s (the 787’s delivered so far do not have First Class).

However, there are also 25 Boeing 747’s with 52 Club World seats.  Half of these do NOT have the new First Class seat fitted, because they are due to be scrapped as additional A380’s and B787’s arrive.

British Airways has now launched a generous (in my view) compensation scheme if you find yourself flying in ‘old First’.  On most routes, you will be offered a £250 British Airways voucher or 50,000 Avios points as compensation.

Remember that this is per person and per direction.  If you were (un)lucky enough to get old First on both legs of your return flight, you would have accrued £1,000 of BA vouchers or 200,000 Avios between you.

I think this is a decent deal.  You obviously receive the same food, drink and lounge access whatever version of First you get.  The old and new seats are also – give or take – the same size and the same configuration.  The main difference (apart from wear and tear on the old seats) is the tiny TV screen – something I never use anyway.

I can understand that, if you have been waiting for a dream trip for a long time, that the old seat may be a disappointment.  However, personally, thinking about how I would use the £500 per couple (or 100,000 Avios) compensation would make up for it ….

Sadly – before anyone asks – it is not possible to guarantee any route which would have old First, in case you thought this would be a good way to get yourself a pay out!


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2024)

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

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

30,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year 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.

Comments (47)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • joe says:

    Any chance some of this is retrospective? Went to LAX in OF earlier this year. Never made a complaint so didn’t even get 30k each. Thoughts?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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