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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.

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 (September 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up 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.

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

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable 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 10,500 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.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

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 an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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.

  • Cate ⛱️ says:

    I suppose the knock on effects of the alleged Conrad changes will trickle down through the rest of Hilton’s brands. Hilton do appear to be taking a stance against customer’s ‘freebies’ this year don’t they.

    Would Diamond Hilton people change their allegiance to Marriott after the initial toy throwing; swelling Marriott’s exec lounge? Will Marriott watch what Hilton are doing and bring in their own version when the SPG/Marriott finalizes next year? Interesting times seem to be ahead of us.

    • Olly says:

      Looking at the Conrad Exec lounge headline in isolation as meaning the group are denying access to all the Honor members regardless of status is wrong. Looking at other hotels though, such as IHG or Pan Pacific in Singapore, you only get access if you pay for a club room or get upgraded to one which, because they are more pricey isn’t really a perk anyway. I have read quite a few Hilton brand hotel in the far east reviews on TA recently that have mentioned Gold are not getting access to the Exec lounge, only Diamond and that was regardless of room type reservations so I am keen to see how this pans out.
      I am yet to stay at a Marriott hotel since upgrading to Platinum to compare the two brands but if this Hilton change becomes worldwide and official I think the comments about Marriott getting Hilton’s customers will be prophetic. I have read that a lot of Marriott are older properties and perhaps lesser in quality but TBH I’ve been to a few Hilton hotels that have been in need of refurb but the room/suite upgrades and lounge access have compensated for older decor and furnishings.

  • krys_k says:

    Stayed at the Conrad a year and a bit ago. Very disappointed. Aged rooms on the exec floor (although believe at the time they were renovating). Lights were manipulated via a physical and gaudy box that a 60s Bond villain would be proud of. Not a patch on NY Conrad which from memory didn’t have a lounge.

  • Tom Holmes says:

    Conrad Singapore news is interesting. This is an approach you find from time to time in Starwood hotels which have a ‘Platinum’ lounge with reduced offerings and then a ‘real’ club lounge which requires booking a club room or suite instead. Sheraton Hong Kong springs to mind as an example (and unfortunately the Platinum lounge there is not well regarded, it’s basically just a couple of hotel rooms joined together!)

    On the Conrad Singapore generally I stayed there a couple of years back (pre-renovations) when I was focused on Hilton Honors rather than SPG. Wasn’t terribly impressed by the hotel or the stale-smelling suite I was given (that I had paid for, not a free upgrade) or being told I’d have to move from the suite I’d paid for if I wanted to check out after 12pm to a different ‘late checkout room’. Understand it may be slightly better now, but this is somewhat off topic from my general point.

  • Roger says:

    OT- Can you have both Amex Platinum and Gold at the same time?
    Obviously you do not expect bonus but would the MR accounts be a single merged account in such scenario?

  • Andrew says:

    OT If you qualify for BA silver on the outbound and return before the tier points credit, are you able to get into the lounge? I’m guessing not thinking of the practicalities of it but thought I might as well check!

    • Genghis says:

      Even when you get the required TPs it takes a day or so for status to update.

    • roberto says:

      Be prepared for a knock back but in reality you may get in.. I got into the Flounge at LHR recently by doing just that.. Was about 12hours after my last flight to get to gold. The tier points hit 36 hours later..

  • Roger says:

    OT- Marriott rewards

    I am 60 points away from travel package.
    Any quick option to get these points easily?

  • Kathy says:

    I have been toying with the idea of getting my IHG platinum status matched to Hilton diamond before it expires and maybe picking a Hilton with an exec lounge on my next trip (not entirely sure where I’m going to go yet though!). Not sure if it’s really worth it for a twice-a-year at most leisure traveller who normally doesn’t spend much time in the hotel though!

  • Rob says:

    Cash at 1.2p per point

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

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