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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 ba.com 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 points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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 UK’s most valuable card perk – the 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 £12,000 Read our full review

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

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.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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 a long list of travel benefits 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.

  • Waribai says:

    Ok, can we read into this that his days at BA may be numbered then?

    • James67 says:

      Doubt it, he’s probably now looking for 2 cost saving measures per day at BA to ensure he doesn’t miss out this year. What is odd about this is why he got the job at BA if they considered him responsible for the Vuelling debacle.

      • insider says:

        Cruz was in the job at BA before the Vueling troubles hit. It was only after the problems started that they realised he had set up the airline in a bad way

  • Mikeact says:

    Hopefully, he’ll be so upset at loss of bonus, he’ll resign and move on.

    • Lady London says:

      Well he might say that anyway. In investment banking this would be a slap across the face.

  • Wade says:

    Salary enhancement.

  • the real harry1 says:

    15% offer, rotten lot

    & still no Laithwaites points but they did say wait 14 days

    • Anna says:

      I got 30% from BA, (though I am lowly blue who does no business travelling!), but avios.com were only offering 15%. I did buy a few thousand from BA as I see it as a bit like a holiday savings account which will ultimately boost the value of my companion voucher, if that makes sense!

    • Steve says:

      30% from BA
      0% from Avios

      Why send me an email with a link to “find my bonus” to find it is 0%

      • Colin MacKinnon says:

        0% from Avios.com too!

        Why make you type in your name, email and account number – which were all in the email inviting you to purchase -and then give you nothing?

        Never bothered to check ba.com.

        Still convinced BA maintain their aircraft properly, but – you know – it is getting like a restaurant with grubby menu cards. You wonder how clean the kitchen is?

  • Mike says:

    Cruz has taken British Airways to now mean Bloody Awful. And he isn’t done yet with his drive to bring BA down to the likes of other low cost carriers. The Royals should remove their seal as it is embarassing to be associated with what was such an iconic airline.

    Sure – times change and businesses have to evolve with the market. But he has taken what was already not a too-bad airline and is effectively dismantling it day-by-day. Sad to see this happen right in front of our eyes!

    • Dave R says:

      BA don’t have the seal (Royal Warrant). The BA crest just looks similar.

      This was discussed on FT a while ago.

    • Callum says:

      I’ve heard/read this repeated constantly for the last 5 years or so. “BA is at a new low! These fools have no idea what they’re doing – mark my words, they’ll collapse any day now!” – yet the profits still keep rising.

      Isn’t it about time that people start realising that while the airline may not be a good fit for them any more, but it’s clearly a good fit for the market it’s operating in?

        • the real harry1 says:

          Interesting article – it’s true for us (on our usual route) that BA is now nearly always cheaper than many LCC options – I mean the HBO fares – though of course I usually pay even less because of RFS redemptions – luggage swings it on RFS – T-355 helps get cheap fares – the LCCs don’t even offer T-355 for the most part

        • Arun T says:

          Was about to post this myself…

          I think the tide is beginning to turn on public perception on BA. Whilst most of here are fully aware of cost cutting that has taken place – the general public still largely believe as a “national carrier” that is represents a premium, step up over most other airlines. However, I think generally this is now (slowly) starting to change.

          • the real harry1 says:

            not sure you can call it premium

            BA flies from LHR, which is positive, nothing wrong with regional airports though

            aircraft are well-maintained – but no different to European LCCs

            luggage offering still better on the whole – pointless own-goal on refusing to check through BA-BA different PNRs, sack the person responsible

            truth be told Ryanair is the big growth success story, EasyJet is doing well, Wizz is the new kid on the block & going great, if that ain’t the ballsy upstart Norwegian – and BA is the gaga granny in the corner with the saggy bottomed trolley dollies

    • Czechoslovakia says:

      Sat in 1F of an LH bird at MAN the moment, specifically due to all of BAs enhancements. I wish BA luck, but I’ve voted with my wallet.

  • Paul says:

    No bonus? Surely making head of BA was his bonus. This is smoke and mirrors and his reward for messing up Vueling was the BA job. Of greater concern is the bonuses to JS and WW. How can these be possibly be justified.

  • Richard says:

    Does anyone know whether buying Avios counts towards the SuperBoost balance?
    I’m 3000 short of a 12k SuperBoost!

    • Anna says:

      What is a SuperBoost?!

      • Rob says:

        A targetted promotion which offered you a bonus of x,000 Avios if you collected y,000 Avios inside a certain time frame. It is an avios.com rather than BA deal.

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          x,000? My top ‘superboost’ is a whopping 400 points! (but then I hardly credited anything to avios.com so my balance was in the hundreds whereas by BAEC Avios balance is well over a million but that doesn’t count).

    • Nate1309 says:

      Before I hit my target, it showed a link to buy Avios to help get there, so I am assuming it will work.

  • Nick says:

    Forgive me for being cynical, but it says he’s getting no bonus ‘from IAG’. Could that mean he’s still getting one, just for. BA?

    • insider says:

      No – all the CEOs of the operating airlines are employees of IAG, not the operating companies themselves

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

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