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British Airways call centres to remain in-house following staffing changes

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British Airways has announced that its five main contact centres, in Manchester, Newcastle, Delhi, Bremen and Hong Kong, will remain in-house.

Detailed discussions were believed to have been held with Capita but the shock profit warning issued in late January probably scuppered the deal.  The collapse of Carillion also meant that any announcement of outsourcing was likely to result in more negative PR for the airline.

BA call centres to remain in-house

Final agreement on the call centres remaining in-house will depend on employees voting to accept more flexible working agreements.  A cheerful email from Alex Cruz, announcing the news, told the staff that “[they have] fallen significantly behind” compared to their competitors.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2023)

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard is doubled to a crazy 50,000 Avios! Apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is doubled to 10,000 Avios. Apply here.

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

CRAZY 50,000 Avios for signing up (to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (only to 30th May) 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 £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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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 (114)

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

  • Cal says:

    OT – New Virgin Atlantic credit card(s) to be announced next week –

  • Maciek says:

    Is there a source for the Conrad Singapore news? I have an upcoming reservation that I will be looking to cancel if I cannot access the lounge as Diamond.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      No better source than the hotel itself. Email them with regard your reservation and seek the assurance you desire directly and in writing.

    • Rob says:

      Long thread on Flyertalk

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      I found Conrad Singapore rather underwhelming (certainly the worst out of the six or seven Conrads I’ve stayed at, although it’s a high bar), the lounge in particular. Would choose the JW Marriott around the corner – you may want to give it a look.

  • Rupert S says:

    The EI Seattle flight makes a lot of sense given the massive Microsoft investment in Dublin in the past year.

  • AndyW says:

    Question re curve. I have the new debit card version, and it is passing through the underlying merchant to my credit card, on the old version every transaction was just ‘curve’. Is this what others are experiencing? If so what happens when you withdraw cash?

    • Genghis says:

      This has been happening for a while for me anyway on prepaid and now debit card. It usually says the location of the atm. Eg Crv*The Cooperative, Crv*London Cheapside [=Halifax]. Classified still as a purchase

      • AndyW says:

        Thanks Genghis

      • Tony says:

        Genghis, do you mind me asking this Curve question: if someone has BOTH old and new Curve cards (e.g. my old card is the one where, technically, I’m a business customer, whereas, with the new [debit] card, I just signed up for the card as a normal, non-business customer) and if they have different Curve email addresses/logins for each card, THEN would it be possible to withdraw TWO lots of £200.00 from ATMs per month, i.e. £400.00, “fee-free” if my underlying card was actually the SAME credit card? To date, I’ve used the same credit card on each Curve card I have without issue.

        • Genghis says:

          Give it a go…

        • RIccatti says:

          When you register the underlying credit/debit card on Curve account, it will check if this card number has already been registered on any other Curve.

          So not possible to withdraw two times from the same underlying card.

          MBNA supplementary cards have exactly the same number as main card (but different PIN which you can’t see online).

      • Catalan says:

        Re Curve:
        I have the old Curve Card (credit). Can I apply for the new one (debit) without having to cancel the old one?

        • Jonathan says:

          You’d need two different email addresses and two different mobile numbers (and mobile devices). You should then be OK although each credit card can only be in 1 curve app at a time, but if you have supplementry cards you’ll be ok.

        • Genghis says:

          What is the advantage of keeping the old one? I personally don’t see one. I still have Curve Rewards on the new debit

        • Catalan says:

          Thanks for your responses Jonathan and Genghis. If there’s no disadvantage in terms of Curve Rewards then I’ll replace my old with the new debit card.

        • Bonglim says:

          Is the advantage that there is a total limit on curve card spends?
          If someone is using Curve for paying tax, then suddenly the annual limits are a little more restrictive, so having 2 might be very beneficial.

    • The_real_a says:

      It has sent the merchent data since i got the card 2 years ago. I think its more that your CC provider has now chosen to expose the data. Its just the same data fields used to describe a shop location if you visit tesco etc. The merchent is still curve.

      • AndyW says:

        Thanks that probably explains it, I have changed the card I have linked curve to.

      • Genghis says:

        I believe it was Curve that started putting that information though (due to customer feedback) as people were struggling to reconcile transactions when it originally just said “Curve London”.

  • Callum says:

    “If you credit a cheap Club World sale ticket to Alaska Mileage Plan you earn 150% of miles flown (see their chart here) so over 16,000 miles for a return to LA. A fully revenue based Avios scheme earning 4 Avios per £1 would earn you just 6,000 Avios if you paid £1,500 for your ticket, even less if taxes were excluded.”

    Though surely Alaska can cut that rate (just like they did for discount economy) and/or BA can offer more than 4 Avios per £1 (either for everyone, as a bonus for higher cabins like Norwegian and/or as a bonus for elite flyers like the US airlines).

  • Aalsc says:

    1) the lounge offering at the Conrad Singapore is very poor especially when compared to usual Asian offerings.
    2) unless I’m missing something fundamental, access is still being offered, just in a different location. Therefore Diamond freeloaders will still get their free spring rolls and sweet chilli sauce, just on the 4th floor?

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      Seems to be two ways of looking at this. The positive spin could be a genuine enhancement for those who qualify with no change (other than location) for those who do not. Until it opens, it seems wrong to draw a conclusion.

      Unless the Conrad views the word enhancement the same way BA does…

  • Keith says:

    O/T it looks like you can but the Marriott certificate online has anyone else? If I bought today would the bonus avios still credit? Can I use two certictae against same booking (i.e. 2 rooms in my name?)

    • MarkH says:

      I thought you had to call up so I did and it took less than 5 mins to do assuming you have your Marriott and BAEC details to hand.

      The points just need to leave your hotel account before 31st to get the bonus Avios.

  • AndyR says:

    I guess many will lose their Hilton Diamond status at the end of this month though from the generous status match offered a couple of years ago (the one without stay requirements)?

    To be honest I wont miss it much now I have Marriott Gold which is just as good if not better.

    • mark2 says:

      I am losing (undeserved) Diamond, but have found Marriott Gold to be much more valuable.
      At Seattle Hilton we got nothing except poor breakfast in small crowded lounge, At Delta Suites in Vancouver BC we were treated like royalty: upgraded to enormous suite on top floor and unlimited choice of excellent cooked to order breakfast. Also embarrassing constant thanks for our loyalty; they did not seem to know that it is possible to get status without stays – this was our first Marriott stay.
      Of course it is unreasonable to judge from this sample; we are staying at Marriott Kensington in a few weeks so we shall have more information and Residence in on Boston Waterfront in October.

      • mark2 says:

        Having said that, I now remember that at Stucky Molino in Venice we had an upgrade to a deluxe room looking across the canal to the city, entrance to the lounge (without tail-gating which seemed to be the normal practice) and superb breakfast in the dining room.

        • Tracy says:

          Just back from Venice and stayed at Stucky Molino, best part of having Diamond status was the free prosecco in the happy hour in the lounge lol

      • AndyR says:

        We are off to Seattle in May and nearly booked the Hilton but read similar comments to yours so didn’t bother. We went for the Hilton Garden Inn in the end but still keeping my eye out for something else.

        How did you find Seattle? Did you do the Boeing factory tour?

        • mark2 says:

          Seattle was good for five days. I wanted to do the Boeing tour but my wife refused. Must sees are Bainbridge Island, trip into the mountains and Pike St Market.

        • Graham Walsh says:

          I had a day in Seattle, Pike St market was good

        • the_real_a says:

          Seattle is nice, but the Boeing tour was Meh… All they do is bus you to the production line, you look over for 20 minutes and then take you back to the reception. Even the viewing platform is so far away from the parked aircraft is was difficult to see anything. Still its not expensive if you have a hire car already. There is a cheap IHG hotel on the Boeing site for 20k points.

    • Brian says:

      Really depends on where your stays are. US stays in Hiltons won’t be that great for Diamonds, since every man and his dog is a Diamond over there, as Rob mentions. If you travel in Europe, it’s a different matter. I find Marriotts to be more expensive than Hiltons and no better, often worse.

      • Pangolin says:

        I have SPG Platinum (hence Marriott also) and decided to get Diamond on HH (status challenge) for similar reasons. SPG are great where you can find them but their program is geared more towards the top end. Marriotts aren’t as widely available in Europe as Hilton and I like the HGI and DoubleTree as cheaper options (HGI is much better breakfast than Hampton).
        At the cheaper Marriott options like Courtyard and AC, Plats don’t even get breakfast.

        Also, Marriott treatment of Platinum is nothing special – in over a dozen stays last year I never got upgraded (except to Club access room) without asking. Some of these stays were at very low occupancy properties.

        SPG is still my favourite and I’ll requalify (hopefully) as Plat with them this year, which means I’ll have top tier in Marriott, SPG and Hilton until early Sping 2020. Good to have choices!

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