Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: 10% off pre-ordered BA duty free, should BA use EU261 as a marketing gimmick?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

News in brief:

Save 10% on pre-ordered British Airways duty free

You have been able to pre-order duty free items for delivery to your aircraft seat on long haul British Airways flights for some time.  Not that I know anyone who has ever done it!

To give you some encouragement, BA is offering a 10% discount on pre-ordered duty free items until 30th April.  You will also receive the usual 2 Avios per £1 spent on inflight duty free items.

Here are the rules:

You need to order via

Tobacco and clearance items are excluded

Offer not available for home delivery

You need to use promo code H01EXEC17 at checkout

What is not clear is whether you need to be flying by 30th April or whether that is the deadline for placing your pre-order.


Should BA use EU261 as a marketing gimmick?

Bear with me on this one 🙂  I’ve never had a marketing job and I haven’t read a marketing book since “The Long Tail” by Chris Anderson was published eight years ago.

We have discussed EU261 compensation – the compulsory EU legislated compensation for flight cancellations, delays or downgrades – extensively on Head for Points recently.   Here is Anika’s guide to claiming EU261 from British Airways for her own benefit after a delayed flight.

There is one tweak to EU261 rules.  Inbound flights operated by non-EU airlines do not qualify.  If your Thai Airways flight TO Bangkok from Heathrow is delayed by four hours, you get €600.  If your inbound flight is delayed by four hours, you get nothing.

British Airways is legally bound to pay you this money – so why don’t they make a virtue out of it?  Perhaps put a little logo in their ads reminding readers that flights on non-EU airlines don’t quality coming home.

There is, after all, very little to choose between long-haul economy carriers these days when you balance out seat width, pitch and service.  The chance of losing out on €600 compensation if your flight home is delayed may be enough to swing a few potential passengers, especially when their ticket is likely to cost less than €600 in the first place.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Comments (112)

  • Talay says:

    Nice logic Rob but I wouldn’t advertise in my business that we promptly matched or exceeded the statutory compensation levels when things went wrong.

    I wouldn’t even advertise the incredibly low percentage of items which require a compensation event. Anything negative is …… well …….negative.

  • Mr Bridge says:

    I will tell you why.

    I Had to really fight to my €600 (£515), having being declined 3 times by BA won at Cedr.

    If they had to pay the whole plane of 220 pax £113,300..thats why

  • Martin C-C says:

    Nice pic of BOAC 707 – did I miss something?

  • Natalie says:

    I wonder if you can help me with this. My Vueling flight last week was canceled due to the air strikes. Vueling sent us on an extra flight to Barcelona and then we had to spend the night before taking a flight back to London. However they’ve refused to cover accommodation / food under EU261 claiming this is only required if the strikes were in their actual company. Do you believe believe this is true? I don’t buy it…

    • Rob says:

      This is true, unfortunately. I looked it up last week because Anikas airberlin flight was cancelled on Friday due to the ground staff strike at Tegel.

      • Natalie says:

        Thanks for the reply — can you let me know your sources ? What I’ve found on newspapers (I think the telegraph) suggested otherwise, although I’m aware that’s not the greatest source..

        • Genghis says:

          Denise McDonagh v Ryanair Ltd ruled that in extraordinary circumstances no compensation is due but that airlines are not released of their obligation to provide care:

          “Articles 5(1)(b) and 9 of Regulation No 261/2004 must be interpreted as meaning that, in the event of cancellation of a flight due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’ of a duration such as that in the main proceedings, the obligation to provide care to air passengers laid down in those provisions must be complied with, and the validity of those provisions is not affected.”

          • Natalie says:

            This is super helpful — thank you. N

          • the real harry1 says:

            then Anika should get her fight shirt down from the wardrobe and have another go to get any incremental costs redressed

            probably aren’t any, camping on a friend’s sofa I suppose 🙂

            I also guessed this was the case with the Iceland Volcanic ash (so-called) incident – we were staying out at our place in Europe (& got delayed a delightful week or so in the sun) so couldn’t exactly claim any compo for hotels & food, maybe I should have got a neighbour to write me up a fat bill 🙂

          • Alan says:

            That was more my understanding too – no compo but still duty of care so they should have to pay out on the hotel.

        • Rob says:

          It was a law firm website, one of those that specialises in EU261 claims. Can’t remember which one.

  • Nick_C says:

    I’ve read lots of articles which say the compensation on a long haul flight delayed between 3 and 4 hours is €300. It would only go to €600 if the delay was more than 4 hours.

    So a 3 hour delay to Bangkok is only €300?

  • Oli says:

    I suffered a 44 hours delay with Norwegian this week end, on a Funchal to London flight. The airport in Madeira was closed on Saturday due to strong cross winds (which means EU 261 does not apply I guess). Our flight was rescheduled to Sunday, but a few hours before take off it was rescheduled again to Monday. I called the airport on the Sunday, they said the airport was operating (I then recorded other flight number that operated fine that day, although only two third of the flights operated due to strong wind. Even a Norwegian flight to Copenhagen operated). I called Norwegian who said there was no reason in the system for cancelling that Sunday. Any idea if EU 261 applies to the Sunday flight?

    • Anon says:

      My first question would be as Norway is not an EU country, are Norwegian included in EU261?

      • Tom says:

        I’d be very interested in the answer to that question! Am flying with them to JFK next week..

  • Simon says:

    High Life Works well for spirits which sell out quickly on board. Some odd quirks worth noting – eg: not possible to buy online for the LHR/ Las Vegas 271/270 rotation, but can still pre-order for the old LGW/LAS 2276/2277 which it replaced over a year ago. Raised this with HLS and BAEC, but they say its deliberate or can’t be changed. Turning sales away then. Gave up after that…

    • Surfnode says:

      What about an aa operated flight but with ba ticket number / code on the ticket? Happened to me Jan year ago (5h late), is that worth a go?

    • Crow says:

      I’ve used it before, and you can always get a 10% discount codes by registering with a new email address each time. Another sector it isn’t possible to pre-order on is BA15/16 between Singapore and Sydney.

  • Harry says:

    Pre-order Duty Free: I haven’t preordered with BA but have done so with other airlines. If the price is right for what you want it is a great way to go. No last minute hassle with 10 people in front of you at the duty free shop checkout and no bottles to lug about. No “sorry Sir we have sold out of that”. If you by chance see a great bargain or something exotic in the duty free you can simply say you have changed your mind.

    EU261: Why should BA advertise something that will cost them money? I have never even seen the required information sheet telling passengers of their rights. BA try their hardest to avoid payment when there is the slightest chance to do so. I was recently on a short intra Europe flight that was, in terms everyone understands, three hours and ten minutes late. However BA denied this using the time the flight actually took off, not left the gate, and the time the wheels touched the ground, not arrived at the gate. 2 hours 45 minutes late as it took a long time to get into the air and a long time to taxi to the gate at the destination. They would not give me money but did give 10,000 Avios. As that was more than the flight would have cost in Business in Avios, I decided to not spend the time fighting. Are there rules anywhere setting out how the late period is calculated?

    • Nick_C says:

      The articles I’ve read say the arrival time is when the doors open.

      You can be more than 3 hours late taking off but less than 3 hours late landing, which could mean no compensation.

      • Andrew says:

        True. But you can also just “tip over” into a longer delay if you end up sat on the ground waiting for a gate to become free. On our way back from IAD in January, we sat on the ground for 40 minutes at LHR and although we landed 20 minutes early, the BA app/website recorded an arrival time of 20 minutes late which is when we arrived at the gate/blocks on.