Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Will you be getting Avios and tier points if your flight was impacted by the British Airways strike?

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When I updated our article on the British Airways pilot strike on Monday, I said that you should ensure that British Airways credits you with the Avios and Executive Club tier points you would have received, had your flight not been cancelled or transferred to a non-oneworld carrier.

I wasn’t expecting this to be controversial:

It is British Airways policy that, if you are moved to a non-oneworld carrier for operational reasons, you receive the Avios and tier points you would otherwise have received.

In previous cabin crew strikes, British Airways has – automatically – credited members who were disrupted with the Avios and tier points they were due.  I should know, as it happened to me once.

Avios wing 7

Here is the relevant line from the BAEC terms and conditions:

14.6. Where a Member is involuntarily re-routed by British Airways onto another carrier, and the original flight on which the Member was booked would have qualified for Avios points, the Member may still claim such Avios points online at British Airways will endeavour to ensure the Member’s account is credited with the appropriate Avios points however it may be necessary for details of the Member’s itinerary, including the retained segment of the boarding pass and passenger receipts to be sent to the Member’s Local Service Centre in order to claim any Avios points credit.

It all seems relatively clear.  Tier points are not specifically mentioned but Avios and tier points always come together in these cases.

However, I had a number of emails on Monday and Tuesday from readers who had been told by the British Airways call centre that they were not going to receive anything, having been rerouted on non-oneworld airlines.

I decided to have a dig.  Without going into the details, British Airways gave me a statement which I wasn’t particularly happy with.  I made this clear and, to give them credit, they asked for 24 hours to have a think.  I then got a new statement.

Here is the current British Airways position on earning Avios and tier points if your flights were disrupted by the strike this week:

If you were moved to another carrier, British Airways has confirmed to me that you WILL now receive the Avios and tier points you were due.  If you were moved to a oneworld airline then you will have received Avios and tier points from them and BA probably does not owe you anything, unless you feel you got less than you would otherwise.  If you got moved to a non-oneworld airline then obviously BA owes you the full Avios and tier points you would otherwise have received.

If you chose to take a refund from British Airways, you will not receive anything.  This is irrespective of whether you rebooked for cash yourself or chose not to travel at all.

It is possible that we may see some further movement from BA on the second point.  Over the initial weekend following the announcement of the strike, BA did not have many alternative airlines available for rebooking.  Many people will have felt obliged to take the cash and find their own replacement flights. 

If you are in this category, I would leave it a couple of weeks to see what develops but then – if you did rebook with your own money – submit a claim together with proof that you really did fly.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) 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 unbeatable travel 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 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.

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 sign-up 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 (73)

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

  • Alex says:

    We had flights booked Abz to Miami using 2 2-41 our flights Lhr to Mia on 13th 10.40 am got cancelled.
    They booked 2 of us on 1.40 and 2 of us and baby on 4pm all downgraded from first to business
    After 2 hours of trying to phone them we got them to put us all on Ba flight from Lgw to Mco on 13th
    What compensation are we entitled too

    • Lady London says:

      No compo for cancellation if they advised cancelled 14 days before flight.

      75% of ticket refunded if downgraded.

      Extra cost of getting to Lgw claimable if applicable.

      • Lady London says:

        They also owe you cost of any extra hotel nights you had to do due to the change, plus meals if you were delayed across mealtimes by thé new scheduling when you werent on your original booking. Keep receipts, no alcohol on the bill, 200pds generally acceptable for 1 room for 2, 25pds per adult head for meals.

      • Shoestring says:

        unfortunately you can turn an involuntary downgrade into a voluntary downgrade by asking an airline to re-ticket you on a more preferred route, ie you have accepted getting moved from (say) First to Business voluntarily – because you always had the option to insist on your original class of ticket but on a later flight [not much use when you are missing days of holiday etc!]

        @Alex how did your arrival time on the new ticket compare to the original arrival time?

  • Alex says:

    We arrived in Mco within an hour of Mia flight time

  • Alex says:

    We were given 20hours notice of flight cancellation.

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

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