A reader dropped me an email to tell me how a number of employees at his Mayfair investment fund had been ‘let go’ recently after it was found that they were stealing British Airways On Business points.
Is anyone stealing yours?
On Business is the British Airways loyalty scheme for small and medium sized businesses. The only criteria for joining is that you have a VAT number. I wrote a two-part On Business review here and here.
On Business allows a company to collect points every time one of its employees flies. The scheme works in a similar way to Avios, except that it is 100% revenue based on the earning side. The more you spend on a ticket, the more points you earn. These can be redeemed for free flights or upgrades.
The important thing to note is that you can earn BOTH On Business points and Avios on the same flight. Signing up for On Business does not impact the ability of your staff to collect Avios points.
But where are your points actually going?
If you or others in your company fly British Airways a lot, it is very likely that you have an On Business account. But do you know who actually benefits from it?
Would you know if a member of staff had secretly opened an account in the name of your company and was inserting the number into all of your bookings?
When I worked in Private Equity, we had a very clear system for distributing the points. At our Christmas party, the names of all the support staff were put into a hat and one drawn out. That person ‘won’ the entire On Business points pot for the year and could book whatever they wanted with it. It was a decent prize given the amount of travel we did, especially as this was before the last OB devaluation!
If you have never seen a big flight giveaway at your company, you might want to be suspicious. There is no easy way to check if there is an On Business number in a booking, because if one has been added via a GDS the option to add one will still show in ba.com in my experience – but if you put something in yourself it won’t override what is already there.
If you don’t think that your company is collecting On Business points, perhaps you should suggest they do. If nothing else, the free flights could be given away at Christmas or raffled off to raise money for charity. It is a shame to let them go to waste.
The sign-up page is here (click ‘Join On Business’ in the menu bar). If you are signing up, you will qualify for a special sign-up bonus of triple points for your first six one-way flights within 12 months of joining. If you say on your application form that you were referred by member OB10171896 then I receive a small referral points bonus – thank you!
(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.)