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)

  • Ro says:

    This year ive flown singapore/qatar/BA/ryanair in economy. BA flight was pleasant enough, but singapore and qatar are way ahead, even in economy. Even the thought of potential eu261 wouldnt make me choose BA over the other two.

  • John says:

    This reminds me of when BA launched Bronze tier. Being a little short of benefits, they stated you’ll get priority if they lose your bags. Trying to turn a negative into a positive

    • Alan says:

      I’d also take it with a few truckloads of salt if the ‘priority treatment’ given to a GGL friend of mine after a lost bag is anything to go by!!

  • jhk says:

    10% we should have 30% discount because their prices are crazy!!! go shopping on internet
    and normaly these prices should be without tax !!!!

  • Nick says:

    Some facts:
    – EU261 is strictly by OPERATING carrier. The company whose colours are on the piece of metal you’re sitting in. This means that KL MSP-AMS does count, but AA planes on BA tickets do not.
    – The time for compensation is the time the first door is opened on arrival. This does not have to be a passenger door, a cargo one counts. Take off, pushback, wheels up/down… all irrelevant. Modern aircraft (basically Airbuses and 787s) record this automatically, for older ones it’s entered manually in a system.
    – BA would never market this as a benefit even if they were allowed to as most people don’t bother claiming – their bill would simply go up!

    And a question…
    – Does right of care really not count if it’s someone else’s strike? True there’s no compensation but surely hotels are universal?

    • Carlos says:

      Hi. Sorry to ask, but I’m in the middle of a claim with BA. When you say that time for compensation is upon arrival, does that mean that if the flight TOOK OFF from origin more than 4 hrs late but somehow made up some of the time during flight and ended up being just this side of the EU261 window, I can claim nothing?

      My flight out of Mexico City was scheduled for 9:20pm, left after 1am in the morning. Awful per se, but we were travelling with my daughters (ages 3 and 1 at the time), so not just an annoyance. However, we landed in Heathrow about 2h50-ish late, literally a breath under 3 hours. Do I have a case for a claim?

      • the real harry1 says:


        • Michael Jennings says:

          It’s a swings and roundabouts thing, if you fly a lot. Two for me from last year:

          – Back from Bordeaux to Gatwick on a Sunday evening on Easyjet. Flight was delayed. I was stuck in the extremely spartan budget terminal at Bordeaux. No facilities at all, uncomfortable seating, and no air conditioning. I had to be at work the next day, and I just wanted to go home and go to bed. Flight was just under three hours late. No compensation.

          – Flying from Geneva from LCY on a Saturday morning reasonably early on BA. Flight was delayed over three hours. The late departure was announced at about midnight the previous evening, probably because the aircraft was stuck somewhere else and would have to fly in in the morning. I thus got to spend an extra two hours in bed, didn’t have any significant wait in the airport, got to Geneva in time for why I wanted to be in Geneva, and got paid 250 euros compensation.

          I think I’ve mentally filed the money as compensation for the first delay rather than the second.

          • Michael Jennings says:

            Actually the Easyjet flight was from Lyon rather than Bordeaux, which I inexplicably typed instead. (I’ll just correct myself before someone attacks me for defaming Bordeaux airport).

          • Aeronaut says:

            @Michael Jennings

            Well Bordeaux airport also has a spartan budget terminal (called Billi)!

      • Rob says:

        Correct. Aircraft doors must open more than 3 hours after stated arrival time.

      • Alan says:

        Only counts for final flight – of course with connecting flights this can work to your advantage sometimes. I had a flight back from Athens via LHR – only delayed by 2h but that was enough to miss last flight to EDI therefore put up in hotel overnight and compensation given arrived at final destination the following day. OTOH have also had massive delays where connection cut from hours to minutes but no compensation due as arrived at final destination on time, just missed out on lounge time en route!

    • Rob says:

      You have ‘right of care’ in a strike – airline must provide hotel, food etc.

    • Stuart says:

      Nick said, “– The time for compensation is the time the first door is opened on arrival. This does not have to be a passenger door, a cargo one counts.”

      You’re going to have to provide a source for that wild claim as the Judgment of the Court (Ninth Chamber) disagree with you. [Arrival time is], “only when the passengers are permitted to leave the aircraft and the order is given to that effect to open the doors of the aircraft that the passengers may in principle resume their normal activities without being subject to those constraints.”

      How does opening a cargo door permit passengers to leave the aircraft?

  • @mkcol says:

    I don’t pre-order duty free as I’ve been told (like special meals) it blocks the ability of their computer to do any operational upgrade, coz the order then won’t follow you to your new seat.

    No idea if that’s genuinely true or not, but I’m not willing to risk missing out on an op-upgrade.

  • Stuart says:

    Can Finnair claim “Extraordinary Circumstances” for a 20 hour delay at Helsinki for my flight to Singapore when one of the pilots was apparently taken ill. They refuse to pay but as this is their home airport, is this really extraordinary circumstances, shouldn’t they have a plan in place for such an event?

  • jamie says:

    am no apologist for ba( we have had plenty of run-ins over the years!) but given the amount of negative ba stuff that appears in the comments on hfp, thought I would mention this.

    have had cause to claim 261 compo on 2 occasions in the last year, once on atl – lhr, and once on lcy – flr..on both occasions full compo sitting in my bank account within a week, no discussion.

    • Anon says:

      Impressive you even got an acknowledgement within a week, never mind payment! Maybe there’s hope I’ll hear something by next week….

      Did you do an online claim, a fax or over the phone?

      • Rob says:

        My brother got €3,000 within a week (5 pax) and Anika got hers in 9 days.

      • Scottydogg says:

        My parents BA flight to Florida was delayed for about 8 hours , they tried to claim something back from them direct but had no joy after lots of phones calls etc . I said I would try and claim it back for them , I used the website ‘Resolver’ and BA paid up pretty quickly to be fair to them

  • Terry says:

    My wife has done pre order on cosmetics and it worked fine. Interesting comment above re upgrades though.