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Bits: mystery bonus when you buy Avios, Alex Cruz loses his 2016 bonus

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News in brief:

“Mystery bonus” when you buy Avios

British Airways is offering a random bonus of between 15% and 30% when you purchase Avios points between now and 23rd March.

To find out what bonus you are getting, you need to visit the ‘buy Avios’ page on here and log in.  I was offered the maximum of 30%.

Unless you have a very specific plan for the points, I don’t recommend jumping in at this price.  I don’t get interested unless I’m paying under 1p.  However, if you need to top up your account for a specific redemption you have in mind, this deal is certainly better than nothing.

Avios wing 10

Alex Cruz loses his bonus

According to reports in the Spanish press, British Airways CEO Alex Cruz will receive no bonus for 2016 due to his role in the Vueling debacle last summer. 

Vueling, IAG’s low cost airline based in Barcelona, was forced to cancel hundreds of flights during the peak season.  Rapid expansion meant that it had scheduled flights but ended up not having enough staff to operate them, especially co-pilots.  The departure schedule also proved to be too inflexible to cope with any sort of delay, including frequent French ATC strikes.

The Spanish article is here and a translation (thanks Anna) is below:

Alex Cruz, the Spanish CEO of British Airways, will not receive a bonus for 2016 from the IAG airlines group. The company said in a statement to the National Stock Market Commission that he will be the only one of the 12 senior executives not to receive a bonus. 

The bonus is paid half in cash and half in the right to a percentage of shares in the company which can be deferred by up to three years, meaning that they can be awarded any time until 2020. Additionally, these executives entitled to a performance-linked action plan based on a series of targets and linking with managers of IAG, explains El Confidencial [a Spanish online newspaper].

The bonuses will range from €93,670 payable to staff chief Julia Simpson to €651,672  payable to William Walsh, CEO of the parent company. Cruz, who has held one of the highest positions in the group since last April, will receive nothing. Iberia’s president, Luis Gallego, will receive over €335,000, and the president of Vueling, Javier Sanchez Prieto, €190,919.

It’s worth remembering that last summer Sanchez Prieto lived through Vueling’s worst crisis in 11 years, when the airline was on the brink of collapse due to delays and cancellations. At that time, the president of the low cost airline blamed his predecessor, Alex Cruz, for the problems. 

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 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

25,000 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 – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee 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 (45)

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

  • AVM says:

    My wife has 123 account- is she eligible for the offers? If so – where to look for them (never heard of them!)? Thanks!

    • Paul says:

      Just be careful as you are not protected using a debit card

    • pr99 says:

      The offers vary but they normally have a Hilton and a Waitrose offer.

      Don’t do what I do and activate the waitrose offer only to buy a £3 sandwich without thinking

      When I log in its on the right side about half way up called Retailer Offers.

      • Alan says:

        Unlike Nationwide they also seem to need you to use the card before you will be given any offers – I don’t have any on my 123 card but can see all the Nationwide ones (which had a very nice 10% off at Hilton offer last year!)

        • Crafty says:

          Where can I find the Nationwide ones? I registered several weeks ago, but don’t know where to go to find them.

  • Anna says:

    I wasn’t aware of last year’s Vueling crisis as I’ve never used them. The article linked to the one Rob’s published says that delayed passengers were stripping naked in the airport terminal to get attention! That’s an interesting thought for T5….

    • insider says:

      the problems were caused by a lack of any resilience in the schedules (ie trying to do too much with the aircraft) – air traffic control strikes in particular across Europe set off a chain reaction which ended up with aircraft and crews out of position leading to hundreds of delays and cancellations

  • @mkcol says:

    I also was offered 30% for Avios. Not buying, as no need.

    Email today from IHG offering “up to 80% more” when buying their points. Not sure that’s quite good enough, I think 100% bonus is where it becomes worthwhile. Thoughts? I only have 1 specific redemption in mind currently.

    • Rob says:

      I reckon a 100% bonus will be here before long, but if you want to lock in a room 80% is better than nothing.

  • Johnny says:

    Great to hear Alex Cruz missed out – he deserves zero for all the pain he puts customer through just to save himself a quick buck. He’s probably the worst CEO out there when it comes to public perception.

    • Mike says:

      James Hogan from Etihad is equally abysmal. No one should be fooled with “what a great airline he has built from nothing”. Utter nonsense. Anyone with an open chequebook from the government could have spent money like a drunken fool. What would have made him a west CEO is making Etihad a customer-focused profitable airline.

      Something goes wrong with your flight on EY, god help you. Profitable? Alitalia. Air Berlin. No more required to be said.

  • IanMacK says:

    I couldn’t agree more with Paul @07:47 regarding bonuses to JS and WW.
    It’s just not credible that a promotee gets zero bonus in his new position for something he did whilst in his last job. AC must be on a sticky wicket now and he is probably under even greater pressure to deliver hence the strategy for BA. (Most job hoppers within the same company get lucky and their past job disasters never catch up with them – maybe not this time !!).
    You would think that a publicly quoted organisation like IAG would have defined bonus performance metrics that would be visible to RemCo at least. Presumably the financial consequences of AC at Veuling didn’t make too bad an impact overall on IAG that WW still earned a nice bonus.

  • fiona says:

    Maybe he woke up one morning with another cost cutting measure.

  • Hardy says:

    Regarding Alex Cruz, I pointed this out earlier. He left Vueling in shambles. Basically when Mr Alex Cruz left Vueling he set in motion huge plans of expansion without planning them properly. this meant they had a domino effect of flights and routes all over the summer. They were threatened by the Catalan Govt, and their right to fly from BCn was nearly suspended (They had lied to customers and not paid them EC261 compensation). Since the Catalan govt intervened, I have heard that everyone including me got the EC261 compensation without issues.
    Lastly, I’d take this time to point out that Alex Cruz has led both Vueling and Gold Car (advisor, but with a lot of influence), both had abysmal Customer care under him, so much so that Gold car has not recovered the petty and sly image it has. Vueling, thanks to the intervention of the Catalan Govt HAD to. I believe they paid nearly 6-8% of their operating profits last year in fines.
    This makes me believe that BA is only going to go down as a brand. Which is sad, though I never thought it was a good product myself, always opting for a stopover Qatar, Malaysian or CX option if possible. Even picked AA to fly to the states instead of the BA option from BCN.
    Lastly, this points me to the way current day CEO’s are targeted and rewarded. For once I am glad that he was denied his bonus and CEO’s are being held accountable for future performance of companies they are currently leading. Though I fear dark days for BA in the future.

    • Anon says:

      How does someone like that carry on being employed in CEO capacity?

      • the real harry1 says:

        I think it’s because despite the headlines, BA/ IAG’s finances are deeply in the doo-doo, because of legacy issues mainly ie overpaid staff, pension deficit & ageing fleet

        So the board is forgiving to a CEO who can obviously make short-term improvements to the P&L a/c & the balance sheet – despite ruining the company in the medium term, they don’t care, they won’t be there

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

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