Over half term, my brother had a terrible time flying out to New York on BA. His connection from Manchester to Heathrow was delayed due to a cancellation. Because they had booked 5 x World Traveller Plus seats, BA struggled to reseat them on a Heathrow service and they had to take a taxi to Gatwick to take their NYC flight. They arrived about five hours late.
He promptly filed a claim for his automatic compensation under EC261 for delays over three hours. To give them credit, British Airways was very efficient and within a week he had received €3,000.
Recent reports on Flyertalk suggest that BA is offering customers the option of taking Avios instead of money.
This is allowed under the EU regulations, which state:
The compensation …… shall be paid in cash, by electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank cheques or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in travel vouchers and/or other services.
What I don’t understand is that BA appears to be treating this as another option to leg over its passengers.
The deal being offered is €600 (c £500) or 38,000 Avios.
This is a VERY poor deal if you take the Avios. You are paying 1.33p per point.You can often buy Avios for noticeably less than 1.33p per point via the regular special deals run by BA and avios.com. More importantly, most people would struggle to get more than 1.33p per point when redeeming – take a look at my core article on ‘What is an Avios point worth?’.
I would strongly recommend taking the money if you find yourself in this scenario. Money is more flexible than Avios and if you really need 38,000 points an offer is likely to be along soon enough to buy them for less than 1.33p anyway.
BA could do itself a favour by offering, say, €800 of travel vouchers instead of €600 in cash. This would be a more interesting alternative and would help retain a customer who (since they are making a delay claim in the first place) is probably not feeling very positive about BA currently.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2022)
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.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
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 10,000 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.
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.
(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.)