Three weeks ago I wrote an article about Qantas introducing ‘status holds’ for new parents. This is a topic that interests me as I have a couple of young children and, on both occasions, my wife lost her British Airways status when she went on maternity leave. I have never been very happy with this state of affairs.
Under the new Qantas scheme, any Silver, Gold or Platinum status member can put their Qantas status ‘on hold’ for up to 18 months. Full details are on their website here.
Here in the UK, Virgin Atlantic has an impressive policy for new mothers and fathers.
The Virgin website only alludes to this briefly. I asked Virgin for clarification when I wrote about this last year and this is what they told me:
Due to maternity and paternity leave, Gold and Silver Flying Club members can apply for an extension to retain their Gold or Silver status … The member needs to put the request in writing to Customer Services team (firstname.lastname@example.org) and provide documentary proof of the maternity/paternity absence. Customer Services can give the member a list of accepted documents.
Iberia, BA’s sister airline, has now taken up the idea too.
According to the current edition of the Iberia magazine:
To celebrate Mother’s Day (Sunday 1 May in Spain), Iberia Plus has decided to launch a groundbreaking permanent initiative.It will extend the validity of the Iberia Plus card for one year for women who are pregnant or have a baby and who therefore can’t maintain their flying time and lose their card level.
Female frequent travellers who wish to maintain the level of their Iberia Plus card for an extra year can submit a medical certificate of pregnancy or a birth certificate email@example.com
After the documents are confirmed, the level of the Iberia Plus card possessed by our customer at that time will be extended.
This offer is only for mothers and not for fathers, unlike Qantas, but it is still a major step forward. With one of the two major IAG airlines now doing this, can BA be far behind?
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)
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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.