If you held 200 shares in British Airways before it merged with Iberia to form IAG, you will have received a letter or email from BA advising you that the 10% shareholder discount is being stopped from January 31st.
This is not altogether surprising. The benefit was never rolled over to IAG shareholders so the beneficiaries were an increasingly small number of people who were on the old British Airways share register in January 2011.
It was a particularly lucrative scheme whilst it lasted. BA shares traded around £1.40 for much of time before the merger with Iberia which meant that you could buy into the shareholder discount for around £280. Ignoring the share price performance – which has been excellent – it was very easy for anyone buying premium tickets from their own pocket to get back the £280 very quickly.
(It was never a great perk for economy ticket holders because the discount was based on the pre-taxes and charges price.)
British Airways was not the only company to offer a decent shareholder discount. This page on the Hargreaves Lansdown website gives a summary of companies who offered discounts as at September 2013. The list includes Carnival, pub groups Fullers, Marstons and Greene King, Marks & Spencer, Irish Continental ferries, Mulberry, Next, Whitbread (Premier Inn) and Safestore.
There is one other group of people who receive a 10% discount on British Airways tickets – holders of the old bmi credit cards. If you log on to the Diamond Club website you will see a special link which allows you to book flights whilst triggering the discount. Luckily, for those of us who still have these cards, there is no sign of this deal going away.