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Bits: United cancels Manchester-Washington, Iberia Plus Avios refunds, change in HHA rules?

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News in brief:

United cancels Manchester – Washington

United Airlines has announced that it will drop its Manchester to Washington route for Summer 2017 after six years.

The airline has already announced its intention to drop its Belfast to New York service.

Demand for flights to the US from regional airports, which are more leisure driven than routes from London, is expected to fall next year due to the stronger $.  These routes were both aimed at UK travellers flying to the US than US residents flying here and the fall in UK passengers cannot be balanced out by increased US visitors.

Don’t forget that you can now collect Avios on United Airlines services following the launch of the Aer Lingus AerClub.


BA redemptions via Iberia Plus now refundable

One of the more annoying things about Iberia Plus was that redemptions on British Airways were non-refundable.  This seemed very harsh given that they share the same parent company.

At some point recently, Iberia changed its policy.  Avios redemptions on BA made via Iberia Plus now appear to be refundable according to a message that comes up via the booking process.

Redemptions on other oneworld partners remain non-refundable so any bookings for Qatar, American etc should continue to be made via and not Iberia Plus.

British Airways BA A380 flying

Changes in the way household accounts treat children?

There also appears to have been a change in the way that British Airways Executive Club treats household accounts with children in them.

In the past, if you closed a household account, the Avios of any children would pass to the head of the account.

According to a reader who did it recently, this has changed.  He removed a child from his household account and the Avios were not transferred.

This is the email he got:

We confirm that XXXXX has been removed from your Household Account as you requested.

If this Member is under 18, then their Executive Club membership and their Avios have been cancelled.

If you have removed the last Member of your Household Account, then your Household Account has been closed.

It seems that temporarily creating a household account for your children before a major trip and then cancelling it afterwards – to transfer all the Avios to the parents, who do not actually want to be in a household account long-term – is no longer a strategy.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 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

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Barclaycard Avios card

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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British Airways American Express

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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

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The Platinum Card from American Express

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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.

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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.

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (18)

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

  • Metatone says:

    Re: child avios, maybe thing to do is transfer them all out to your account before cancelling?

  • Zoe says:

    If you have a redemption that will use more avios than your childrens’ balances then move excess avois from your balance across to Iberia / leaving exactly the amount you need in your household account. Once you have redeemed close kids accounts (if you still want to).

    • John says:

      If you then cancel the redemption would the remaining household members get all the Avios back prorata or would it be “refunded” to the closed accounts?

      Could be a way of paying a small amount to save the avios (especially if any accounts have been inactive for 36 months)

  • Chris P says:

    Slightly off topic and maybe I’m a bit thick but I didn’t realise if you make a booking with BA part cash part Avios and subsequently cancel whilst you receive the taxes back you don’t get the Avios re-credited. It was only an LHR-MAN flight and I knew I wouldn’t receive the actual fare but I had assumed it would be full credit of the Avios (as with a full redemption ticket). I was told the Avios are classed as the fare and the fare isn’t refunded.

    • John says:

      Well there are 2 possibilities:

      1. You bought a revenue ticket and used Avios for a discount (usually around 0.66ppA, but sometimes 1p during promotion periods) – so BA paid you money for your avios, and you used the money to buy the ticket. Then whether you get a refund or not just depends on the terms of the ticket. If you had bought a fully flexible ticket then you would be refunded the Avios and the cash.

      2. You made a redemption but you didn’t have enough Avios, so you paid BA money to get more Avios, at a better rate than the usual rates for buying Avios. Then the whole ticket is a redemption and subject to the normal redemption rules of full refund until 24 hours before departure minus a maximum of £35 (except I believe you keep the Avios that you bought rather than getting those refunded for cash too)

    • Waribai says:

      Yes, this happened to me once.

  • Frankie says:

    That’s a shame about the BFS-EWR flight. It was the only scheduled flight from NI to the USA. I remember the joy in the summer when Stormont had secured a 3 year £9m rescue plan. But the EU have said no it seems as the money is state aid. United have already paid it back.

  • DeanB says:

    Worth noting that with Iberia+, award flights might be refundable in terms of Avios, but not the cash part, even on Iberia flights themselves depending on the booking class.

    I bought & then cancelled a MAD-GUA flight (economy, blue class) & lost £184, although I got my Avios back.

  • JonL says:

    I remember the gold old days of United from Manchester, when it was Continental. There were 2 flights each morning to EWR – the first one was often fully booked so they would offer you incentives to go onto the later one which always had space. That second flight turned into IAD.

    • David says:

      good job VA are starting some US flights next year from MAN

      • Simon Schus says:

        Aye I was just thinking about some of the new routes from MAN to the US which are supposed to be starting in 2017.

        As mentioned by David, there are some VS routes from Manchester (BOS, JFK and SFO).

        I think Thomas Cook are expanding their flight route network from MAN too… and will be competing directly with VS. e.g. Thomas Cook will be starting new direct routes MAN-BOS and MAN-SFO in addition the MAN-JFK route.

  • Mark says:


    I have been trying to add my 2 year old to my BA household account. The BA customer service tell me to add her online, but it asks for an email address which she does not have as no provider e.g. yahoo / gmail / hotmail allow anyone below 18 to open an email account. How can I get her added to the Executive Club to start earning miles if she has no email address?

    • Simon says:

      I had the same problem last year. I just setup an email account for my daughter to get around it.

  • johnny says:


    Writning from across the pond but figured your expertise in Avios would help where my fellow American blogs couldn’t.
    I have 70k+ avios in BA; my wife 168k+ Avios and a household acct in her name. My goal is to transfer 200k to my Iberia + acct. Can this be done or am I only able to transfer the 70k+ amount that is in my name?

    • the-very-real-arry says:

      you could 1. set up a/cs in your individual names
      2. transfer your BA Avios to your a/cs
      3. set up Household a/c
      4. dissolve Household a/c and keep 100% of the Avios yourself
      5. send the Avios to your IB a/c

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

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