Friday 1pm update: Various reports in our comments and elsewhere suggest that – despite BA statements – people who have booked via telephone and with BA Holidays are receiving emails saying their details are compromised. There are also other people like myself who made redemption bookings who have not received any email. It is probably best to assume that any transaction you’ve made which led to a BA credit card charge is likely to be at risk
Friday 12.30pm update: IAG’s share price is down 3.6% so far today as investors worry about compensation payments and the impact on future bookings. The overall market is only down 1.0%.
Friday 11.30am update: It is worth noting that ba.com now says “The personal and financial details of customers making or changing bookings on ba.com and the airline’s mobile app were compromised.” This means that you might be affected even if you did not purchase a ticket during this period.
The official ba.com page with more information is here.
Friday 10am update: I get two paragraphs in the Daily Telegraph today, both website and newspaper – see here. The Alex Cruz interview on Radio 4 this morning confirms that the following data has been stolen:
- email address
- postal address
- credit card number
- expiration data
Your frequent flyer and passport data has not been impacted as that is not transmitted during the payment process.
On the upside, there is no sign of the vest yet:
I just realised that I have not received the BA email, even though I made a redemption booking on 3rd September. Whilst this was an Avios booking, I paid taxes on a credit card and the payment process is the same as for a cash booking.
Friday 9.30am update: BA appears to be in breach of ICO guidelines in its email to affected customers. To quote from the ICO website:
“You need to describe, in clear and plain language, the nature of the personal data breach and, at least:
- the name and contact details of your data protection officer (if your organisation has one) or other contact point where more information can be obtained;
- a description of the likely consequences of the personal data breach; and
- a description of the measures taken, or proposed to be taken, to deal with the personal data breach and including, where appropriate, of the measures taken to mitigate any possible adverse effects.”
Friday 9am update: This breach is ONLY related to transactions made online at ba.com, not avios.com or BA Holidays it seems. This implies that BA may not have been encrypting payment details when they were sent to their payment processor and someone was picking them up on the way. You are at NO risk if you have a credit card stored at ba.com but did not make a purchase during this 2-week period.
Friday 8am update: It now appears that 380,000 transactions have been compromised. You should have received an email overnight if you are included. There are no reports so far of card fraud linked to the breach and credit card companies are NOT replacing cards automatically. If you are nervous, you can report your Amex card as ‘lost’ via the website and it will be replaced.
The following press release just turned up from British Airways five minutes ago, for your information:
BRITISH AIRWAYS: THEFT OF CUSTOMER DATA
September 06, 2018
“British Airways is investigating, as a matter of urgency, the theft of customer data from its website, ba.com and the airline’s mobile app. The stolen data did not include travel or passport details.
From 22:58 BST August 21 2018 until 21:45 BST September 5 2018 inclusive, the personal and financial details of customers making bookings on ba.com and the airline’s app were compromised.
The breach has been resolved and our website is working normally.
British Airways is communicating with affected customers and we advise any customers who believe they may have been affected by this incident to contact their banks or credit card providers and follow their recommended advice.
We have notified the police and relevant authorities.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and Chief Executive said “We are deeply sorry for the disruption that this criminal activity has caused. We take the protection of our customers’ data very seriously.”
British Airways will provide further updates when appropriate.”
Coming just a week after the high profile launch of the September sale – bookings for which have been caught up in this – the timing could not be worse.
I feel a bit sorry for British Airways at the moment. They have spent the last year reversing the cut-backs of 2016 (the changes to Club Europe catering on the 12th are almost the final piece of the jigsaw) but there is no sign of public perception improving. Good news, of course, makes for less interesting press coverage than bad news, which is why coming back from bad publicity is always hard.
Following on from the IT outage from last year, this theft is likely to raise more questions about the decision to move much of BA’s IT infrastructure to India. Whatever money it saved will be peanuts compared to the costs of dealing with this breach.
And, given that I made a couple of redemptions last week, it looks like I’m going to need a new British Airways American Express card ….
The official BA web page discussing the leak and what you should do is here.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2022)
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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
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 10,000 Avios.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.