The British Airways data breach saga, which first emerged in early September, has taken another painful turn for the airline.
British Airways disclosed on Thursday afternoon that a further 185,000 payment cards had potentially been compromised.
These cards had all been used to pay for Avios redemptions between 21st April and 28th July.
Only online bookings at ba.com were impacted. Redemptions made via the British Airways app or call centre are safe.
Note that ALL forms of Avios redemption appear to be impacted. You are included if you used Avios to part-pay for a car rental or hotel booking, according to BA.
It is important to note that this is 185,000 ADDITIONAL payment cards which are affected. British Airways seems to have massaged the headline figure by stripping out cards which were also caught up in the first data breach.
The latest disclosure is broken down as follows:
77,000 payment cards have had their name, billing address, email address, payment number, expiry and CVV potentially compromised
108,000 payment cards have been similarly compromised but without the CVV number
You will receive an email during Friday if you are impacted. According to BA:
“While we do not have conclusive evidence that the data was removed from British Airways’ systems, we are taking a prudent approach in notifying potentially affected customers, advising them to contact their bank or card provider as a precaution.”
On the upside, further investigation by British Airways into the original data breach last month has found that ‘only’ 244,000 payment cards have been compromised compared with the 380,000 figure originally claimed.
And, of course, Cathay Pacific revealed on Thursday that a whopping 9.4m sets of personal records had been unlawfully accessed. This includes credit card data.
In some ways, this breach could be worse for BA than the original. 185,000 people represents a high percentage of the active British Airways Executive Club base. The original breach will have caught up a lot of ‘once a year’ flyers whilst this one will be impacting people like us who make up a disproportionate part of BA revenue. Anyone who has already sat through the 2017 weekend IT failure and the recent failures of the new FLY check-in system will probably have had enough by now.
You can find the latest BA statement on this latest breach here.
PS. Having now seen the British Airways email, the heading “Update on Theft of Customer Data” is hugely misleading in my opinion and may lead to the email being deleted unread.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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.