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Why you shouldn’t appeal your British Airways compensation

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A friend of mine recently flew British Airways First Class.  After a litany of issues, including BA only loading one fish plate for a cabin of nine people and only loading one bottle of a particular wine, he wrote to complain.

10,000 Avios was offered.  He felt that was not suitable and wrote back to say so.  This is what happened (note that the person is BA Gold):

Apparently he can have the 10,000 Avios back if, at any point in the next 12 months, he changes his mind and decides that it is suitable compensation.

PS.  I have, in the past, received a written complaint from BA for referring to Avios as ‘Avios points’, which apparently they are not.  It seems no-one told the app development team.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 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.

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.

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 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 (158)

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

  • Luke says:

    BA is becoming really dreadful experience – 5 out of my last 8 BA flights were altered (cancelled, changed, downgraded)…I made written complain with long list of recent problems and they replied something like ”We understand, you were not happy with our service, your feedback is very important to us”..that’s it.

    • Big Dave says:

      Mine is 9th of April too so its seems just coincidence

    • Thomas Howard says:

      They’re earning their YouGov brand index score of -14, their peers looking like:

      CX +41
      QF +31
      AA +12
      U2 +23
      EY +4
      EK +40
      NZ +39
      DL -12

      but still beating FR -71, UA -18, IB -4

      • Alan says:

        Hmmm. BA at -14 is beating IB at -4?
        What am I missing?

        • Thomas Howard says:

          I’m guessing but it could be because the ratings are going to be bias towards airlines that serve YouGovs traditional English speaking research areas. Also, easyJet have a reasonable score despite being “budget” so theres probably an element of expectation built in. People pay mid to premium pricing for BA and on short haul get a Ryanair service, and a mixed bag with indifferent customer service when things go wrong on long haul.

        • Alan says:

          My question was more about the fact that IB appears to have a higher score than BA but you have stated that BA is beating IB. Have I misinterpreted the scoring system?

        • Thomas Howard says:

          No, I’m just an idiot that wrote all that down on a post it note and submitted it without proof reading or organising it into something a little more coherent.

  • Richard says:

    Could you clarify that the 9th April was always the person’s tier point year date? Taking the 10K back is bad taste, but it sort of looks like they have messed with the TPs too which would be insane

    • Rich says:

      It’s self evident from the screen shot isn’t it?

      • Steve says:

        Indeed. Membership year ended on 9th April according to screenshot

    • Doug M says:

      All BA EC years run to the 8th of the month, and last until the final day of the following month, so that in this case even without the 1530TP they’d have remained gold until 31st May. I know none of the circumstances, but 1530 seems very much like someone that does the minimum to achieve gold. So I’ll infer from that the value to BA is not great, take the 10K and move on. FWIW I could be describing myself with the just about reaching 1500 TP remarks.

      • Mikeact says:

        I think it worth a call…a manual adjustment? Maybe a genuine mistake ?

      • David says:

        Disagree with your “minimum to achieve gold” remark.
        A gold is a gold, you don’t start treating some as second class citizens.
        That could easily be someones natural flying pattern. Or natural AFTER the effect of status threshold causing them to bring most of their flying, etc.

        I really would not go down the route of saying 1530 TP must not be great value.

        The fact remians you could have some on 1530 TP who is far more valuable that someone on 3000 TP.
        You could have a Silver member more valuable than both.

        It’s not a direct correlation TP to value.

  • Lux says:

    ‘I have, in the past, received a written complaint from BA for referring to Avios as ‘Avios points’, which apparently they are not.’

    Extraordinary. At least they’re reading HFP, Rob. They should probably tell the US Trademark Registrars as well, since Avios is categorised there under frequent flyer miles / points.

  • Steve says:

    Wow that really is poor taste about them taking back the Avios. Must be a rogue customer relations employee?

    • Andrew says:

      Or someone who has been through DiRE training (Dignity Respect & Ethics) and understands the importance of consent.

      No means no…

  • Unhappy traveller says:

    I think he was lucky to be offered Avios, but maybe that is because he hold Gold membership?
    I have not been so lucky. A recent complaint to BA resulted in the following reply:-

    Thanks for coming back to us about your flight to London Heathrow on 17 March. You’re clearly unhappy with our response to your concerns and I’m sorry you feel we’ve mishandled your complaint. I completely understand why you’re feeling let down, especially as you couldn’t use the lounge until two hours before departure.

    It’s unfortunate for something like this to happen and I apologise you couldn’t access the lounge earlier. Although, I understand your reasons for asking we’re unable to offer compensation on the occasion. We have strict guidelines and policies we have to follow so we’re fair and consistent to all our passengers. I know this isn’t the answer you were hoping for and I’m sorry to disappoint you.

    This was a case where BA say the lounge should be open but it was closed and staff ignored me when I tried to speak with them!

    • Russell Gowers says:

      That’s just a cut and stick answer. If you believe you have a case, keep responding and threaten to refer to CEDR and they might actually do something.

      • Mark says:

        +1, be persistent! About a year ago we flew back from Vegas in Club on a 241 and the (old) club world seat armrest collapsed onto my wife’s finger trapping it. I made sure the cabin service director on the flight recorded the injury so BA had a record so when we had the back and forth with the responses above I could refer to the flight number and the name of the CSD. Got 10k Avios in the end.

        • shd says:

          Q: How did your wife feel about that service recovery gesture?

          To put into a H4P context, that’s exactly how many Avios you’d get by converting £41.67 of Tesco Clubcard vouchers.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      If you didn’t get the lounge service as advertised, I expect you’re on relatively solid ground given the new provisions in the Consumer Rights Act. Shame that BA seen to have decided that a letter before action is the new complaints form.

    • Adam says:

      We got 6k avios back each for complaining about a CW expereince, took a bit of chasing but just after 2 x weeks the long apology email and instant credit of points.

  • Prins Polo says:

    Unbelievable. BA hitting new lows.

  • Catalan says:

    Ouch! Well that wasn’t meant to happen was it.
    Perhaps the complainant flatley refused the 10000 Avios so they took him literally and grabbed them back! Bit of a shocker though.

  • Paul says:

    The best thing you can with BA is avoid them!

    They have become a petty little outfit with poor service standards a mindset that would have made O’Leary blush

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

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