Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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.

  • David says:

    Mr Hopeful here! I was delayed over 24 hours last year when part of the wing fell off the plane in flight – my wife was seriously ill for some months after and (unrelated) my father died last year. I could not find the time to complain at the time because of family health; but from a BA perspective I was BA Silver at that stage. What address could I write a letter to?

    • Nick says:

      What’s all that sob story got to do with your ability to Google ‘contact BA’?

      There’s a web form you can fill in, which is easy to find on their website, and sends your note to Customer Relations.

    • Andrew says:

      Sorry for your personal issues but it’s not really relevant to your claim and you don’t need to justify to BA why you’re waited a year. You need to make a claim under EU261. Just google ‘BA EU261’

  • Anna says:

    OT – HH. I recently upgraded to Platinum Amex and enrolled for HH gold. I just chatted to them to confirm the expiry date of the gold status and they said that Amex are currently running a special offer where you get 2 years gold status instead of 1. I’ve requested a transcript of the chat, however the chat rep said he would also update my account to reflect this. Worth knowing if your status would otherwise expire!

    • John says:

      Anyone know what happens if HH Gold already, then get Amex Plat and apply for the Hilton Gold benefit? (would they add it on…as an extra 2 years?)

      • Rob says:

        No they won’t.

        • JamesB says:

          IME it does rollover, and I think other comments have confirmed that. No idea about the two year offer though.

        • John says:

          While JamesB’s experience differs, is it viable to create a new (separate account, differing email, shortened name) to acquire the benefit then?

        • JamesB says:

          @John, why not just call them and ask. That’s what I did and they confirmed it. Mg doubts persisted but from but my status is gold this month as promised.

    • Graeme says:

      Anna, thanks for this.

      I can confirm I did this after dropping from diamon to Silver at the start of this month. I applied via Amex Platinum and got an email stating Gold through March 2020.

      Although the app states 2019 so will see but keeping my email!

  • Optimus Prime says:

    OT – Just read on LL: “Marriott Rewards & SPG Program Merger Announcement Coming At 4:30PM EDT On Monday”

    • Rob says:

      It is, which is annoyingly late. Albeit I am at a big charity event on Monday night so I will be up late, but probably very drunk ….

      • Pangolin says:

        Probably better to be drunk on hearing the news, considering how bad it’s likely to be.

        • JamesB says:

          I’ve got enough SPG points for 7 nights at the moment.Spoiled for choice, cannot decide whether to leave the points as they are, book the hotel, transfer to Marriott or transfer to an airline. Choice is nice but what to do?

  • KP says:

    “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.”

    This just made my day!!! HAHAHAHA!!!

  • krysk says:

    I’ve just returned from 11 days in South America. F out to São Paulo and J back from Santiago. Left my coat with house keys in the cupboard next to my chair. Realised later that day and called You First, was told that someone would be in touch, but didn’t hear back. Also, wrote twice to You First, again no reply. On flight back spoke with Cabin Services Director and he wrote them an email, still no response. What are my rights and expectations of compensation? (Coat probably worth £100, but annoyingly, the keys are expensive to cut, and when I got back after 15 hour fight, needed to spend many more hours travelling to my mother’s house to pick up spare set).

    • shd says:

      You’re expecting BA to offer some kind of service recovery because they apparently don’t care about their customers?

      Sorry, wrong airline.

    • Andrew says:

      You forgot some stuff on a BA flight and expect them to compensate you? Really?

      Claim off your travel insurance. That’s what it’s there for.

      • Jon says:

        He expects that they did not throw away the coat and that it could be found at a lost & found counter. Is it too much to ask?

        • Andrew says:

          BA could have done more to locate the passenger’s possessions but they don’t have to and in this case they didn’t. By the time they’d have received the passengers communication the possessions will have long since been removed by cleaners. By all means be disgruntled at BA and take your business elsewhere but no compensation is due for the passengers own forgetfulness.

        • shd says:

          Does this generalise? Perhaps it’s universal – *The First Law Of BA*, perhaps?

          “BA could have done more to ______ but they don’t have to and in this case they didn’t”

        • Diego says:

          Oh wow at the comments.
          I forgot a jacket with certain positions in a bus in London and after reporting it to tfl, they contacted me one month later informing me that they had found a jacket which seemed to match the description and managed to get it back!
          Seriously if tfl can do that, BA giving a call back to a First Class / Business customer is not that much to ask for…

        • Andrew says:

          There’s a difference between BA should have been more helpful and BA now owe the passenger for his forgotten belongings

      • Stu N says:

        +1. Things left on planes should end up in airport lost property at the arrival airport. It’s not BA’s job to find your lost possessions.

        • Stu N says:

          (That was +1 to Andrew’s comment).

        • Anthony Dunn says:

          Correct, I now have a drill whenever I get up from a train/tube/bus seat and/or from an aircraft seat: I pad myself down to confirm keys, wallet, passport, phone etc. I now prefer to take a little bit more time getting up and departing to ensure that I have everything after leaving an ancient mobile phone on a BA LGW/AMS flight and not having it found or returned. For all I know, it’s still down the back of the seat.

          In the meantime, excellent response and service from when I did leave my jacket behind in the AY First lounge in HEL: very prompt response and despatch upon receipt of my payment.

    • Catalan says:

      Wait a minute. YOU forgot YOUR property on the aircraft and want the airline to compensate you? Am I reading this correctly?

      • krysk says:

        A little presemuptious in my first posting. I conflated leaving an item in known place which has since gone missing with not getting an adequate response from customer service. I guess if the first person I spoke to had acted quickly, the coat might not now be lost. In any case, just a question, thanks for you answers.

        • Anna says:

          Technically if someone has found the coat/keys and kept it or thrown it away, they have stolen it (legally they have no right to retain it or dispose of it). I doubt very much that BA would offer compensation under these circumstances but if it’s not in a lost and found property store you could log a complaint of theft with them.

          For something like this, unless you are covered for simply “losing” an item, your insurer may well ask for a crime reference number before paying out.

        • Leo says:

          Ah barrack room lawyering…..

        • Anna says:

          No Leo, professionally…

        • Leo says:


    • sunguy says:

      Oh! Come on folks – its not that bad…

      You will usually find that its the airport not the airline you have to deal with (yes, even in 1st).

      When I left my iPad and headphones in the seatback pocket on a BA LHREDI (returning 2 days later), I very nearly wasnt able to get them because of the stupidty factor.

      The handling agents (Menzies) and the Airport (EDI) make it absolutely impossible for anyone to contact them, especially at the weekend. At EDI, lost and found is outsourced to a private shop that sells suitcases and charges £20 per item (yes, this includes your £2.50 umbrella).

      EDI suggest that they had too much pilfering to allow the baggage/security folks to look after it!

      From Friday night, it took until the Sunday evening for my stuff to make it to the lost property office and be listed. They dont make it easy, it has to be listed on their website before you can possibly ask about it – oh and it used to be that Items collected within 2 hours of being processed are subject to a £2 administration fee only – however, not only was that rule not upheld by the outsourced shop, but, the way the items are dealt with meant that was totally unlikely to happen anyway….

      SO, this is probably where your coat is – somewhere between the aircraft cleaners, handling agents, airport security and the outsourced lost property shop.

      Try … and be prepared to pay a fee…

      • Anna says:

        They can’t charge you to return your own stuff, unless you’ve undertaken to abide by their conditions.

        • Andrew says:

          Correct. If you can get to Sao Paulo airport and convince the Brazilian police to help you then you can get your belongings back for free.

          Alternatively if you’d rather an independant third party communicate with the airport and then transport the belongings to your home (dealing with any customs paperwork along the way) then you might have to pay them for their trouble

      • Rebecca says:

        I left some headphones behind on a CW flight and they were never handed into lost property. I was a bit disappointed, you’d hope they possibly might hand stuff in that gets left in a premium cabin. I know its my fault for leaving them, but it was a sleeper flight and I’d not been awake long!
        Have to wonder what happens to them.
        I did have travel insurance but between the fee I have to pay to the police site for registering them lost and my travel insurance excess I wouldn’t have got much back so I didn’t bother. Lesson learnt.

        • John says:

          “the fee I have to pay to the police site” ?

          What fee? What site?

          There is no fee to report a loss to the Police (in the UK)

    • Steve says:

      Also don’t see why compensation would be due.
      I left an item on a QR flight a couple of weeks ago, this was their response (after 3 days):
      Greetings from Found Property Central Office!

      Please accept my sincere apologies as we were not able to reply
      to your email immediately due to the large number of emails we
      are receiving on a daily basis. All inquiries are being replied
      to in order by which they are received.

      In reference to your claim ID No.xxxxx, we are pleased to
      inform you that the same item was found and now in our
      storage lockers for safe keeping. The is under
      found property reference number xxxxxxx.

      As a part of our commitment to give you a 5-star service,
      kindly advise if your currently in Doha or the nearest airport
      to your location where Qatar Airways operates, and we will
      arrange to send the item to our colleagues.
      You will have to collect it personally and present a valid
      Photo identification and your boarding pass/ticket as a
      proof that you travelled on the said flight.

    • pr99 says:

      Just to clarify you are talking about the cupbord next to your seat on the plane right? Otherwise I am having trouble understanding your complaint.

    • Leo says:

      Partner left earphones on CX J flight in Hong Kong. Still at the airport when realised and raised issue in the lounge. All very smiley response but couldn’t help us – nothing on the air craft 10 minutes later etc. Claimed on NatWest Black insurance – paid up no problem, that’s what insurance is for. Sympathetic re-losing expensive keys, have done it myself.

    • Nick says:

      A similar story in the interests of balance: my wife did the same thing on a flight to Singapore. The fantastic cabin crew chased after us for quite some distance through the airport to return it. She was one of the older cabin crew with loads of experience – amazing service throughout the flight. This is BA’s biggest asset from a flight experience perspective, but sadly they don’t seem to value the amazing service that many of their staff provide.

    • Alanr says:

      Another story with a different outcome: a friend left an iPad on an Etihad flight (economy) and remembered when he was in Abu Dhabi airport terminal (after a bus from the aircraft). Ground staff said they couldn’t do anything and told him to call Etihad. Several calls, including at his final destination in Melbourne, seemed not very promising as they just said they would pass the message on to Etihad baggage services. Then about a week later he suddenly gets a call from Etihad’s office at Melbourne airport. They had found the iPad and sent it on a later flight. He just picked it up with no fees – we were impressed with the service.

  • Sundar says:

    Quick question – Lounge card, obtained through Amex Gold, allows holder +1 for 2 free entries/year ?

  • Alan says:

    OT Amex Platinum. I’ve read many articles on this blog about Hotel chain status that you get with Amex Platinum but, as yet, I haven’t found any of the articles state how you go about getting those statuses.
    How do you go about claiming your higher status and is it the same process for all chains involved with AMEX platiunum? If there is an article explaining the process then I apologise for this post but I couldn’t find it

    • Lottietiger says:

      If you log onto your account and go to rhe card benefits section you will find the links to the relevant hotel chain upgrades under the travel section. You then just need to fill each one in separately with you hotel membership numbers. All sorted very quickly apart from Hilton who is still sorting despite several chats.

      • Anna says:

        I had to give details 3 times for HH, on the third go it worked!

        • Louie says:

          Amex Platinum kindly awarded HH status to some complete stranger, no idea who. Certainly not me though as the HH number shown on my Amex account is not mine. It’s at least six weeks since I raised this with Amex and I’ve had a number of sympathetic emails but as yet nothing concrete to sort this out.

        • john says:

          Took 23hrs when I did it. Havent had confirm on others but not checked

        • Stuart_f says:

          Louie – it probably is yours. Amex have most likely opened a second account in your name.

    • Rob says:

      Whilst not necessary, you should open the relevant accounts yourself first so you have the log-in details.

      Go to where there are online forms to fill in for each chain. That’s it. Wait a few days (longer for some chains) and your status will update.

      Following the website revamp, your supplementary cardholder now needs to register their card via their own online Amex account. They can then also log in at the Platinum website and request their status upgrades.

  • Mark says:

    Wow, that really is a new CS low. We’ve come to expect very little in terms of the way BA handle these kind of things, especially over the past couple of years since Cruz took over.

    Even so, 1530 TP over a year is likely to represent a reasonable amount of spend, and they’re being petty over that person accepting 10K avios for service issues of BA’s own making. Clearly they thought that was an appropriate level of compensation, so why not just say that’s all they’re able to offer?

    • Cate ⛱️ says:

      But are they being petty or is this a correction in our thinking that loyalty schemes were created just for our benefit? Like you say Mark all those tier points have come from spending. They’ve had this customer’s money – ‘next please’.

      • Mark says:

        It’s not really about the loyalty scheme though, it’s about how you treat your customers and how that message plays out to a wider audience.

        Travel spend is typically not a one time thing. I’m assuming there’s future travel spend up for grabs (BA wouldn’t know if there wasn’t).

        Whether it makes any difference will depend in part of course in whether Rob’s friend has any control over who they fly with. But even if they don’t this is the sort of thing that has the potential to generate negative publicity, for the sake of 10K avios and a point being made…?

        If it’s CS policy I really don’t understand what they’re trying to achieve.

        • Cate ⛱️ says:

          They’re not trying to achieve anything though, alas they don’t have to. They’ve had this person’s money – obviously many many times over – and that’s all their interested in sad to say. They’re not thinking about the future, they’re thinking now.

          The only thing that causes significant damage to an airline’s reputation is if their aircraft makes an unscheduled landing into terrain.

        • CT says:

          I have total control of who I fly.

          Been an EC member for 20 odd years and scrap by gold and sometimes silver.

          All this has done is made me smile, realisss they don’t care any loyalty is one way. I have been flying less and less BA over the last 3 years. This single CS agent has made my TP target for next year zero.

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