Now official: British Airways updates its guidlines on getting Avios and tier points for strike-affected flights

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Yesterday we ran an article explaining how British Airways was planning to deal with the issue of awarding Avios and tier points for flights impacted by strike action.

It seems that British Airways was not planning to give Avios or tier points to anyone who had their flight changed or cancelled during the strike.  If you had read the original version of the strike FAQ, it did actually say this but only by implication.  This is also what the call centre had started to tell HFP readers who called to request their missing points and what BA had confirmed to me when I made an official enquiry.

Their position changed on Thursday, which by coincidence was after I gave BA advance notice that we were planning to address this.  Their revised feedback led to my article yesterday.

The official guidance on was updated yesterday evening.  This reflects what British Airways told me on Thursday would be the new policy and which we summarised in Friday’s piece.

BA Avios strike policy

The BA strike page now says in the FAQ section:

“If your flight was cancelled as a result of the industrial action, and you were rebooked onto an alternative service operated by British Airways or a oneworld partner airline, you will automatically be credited with the applicable Avios and Tier Points once you have flown the rebooked flight.

If your flight was cancelled as a result of the industrial action, and you were rebooked by British Airways onto an alternative service operated by a non-partner airline, we will award you the Avios and Tier Points for your original cancelled British Airways flight. Please raise a claim online by logging into your Executive Club account and click the option “claim missing Avios on BA” and submit your original British Airways flight details.

In all other cases where you believe you would have upgraded or retained your Tier status had your flight not been affected by the industrial action, please contact your local Executive Club Service Centre who will review cases on an individual basis.”

There is actually one element here which goes beyond what we wrote yesterday.  Whilst British Airways is still refusing to credit Avios or tier points to anyone who chose to take a refund and arranged their own alternative transportation, these people can contact BA at year end for a manual review if their tier points show that they would otherwise have gained or retained status.

If you have travel planned over the next strike, on 27th September, you will have been contacted by now if your flight is cancelled.  BA CityFlyer has added extra capacity from London City Airport to Munich, Berlin and Amsterdam so customers on those routes should still be able to choose a BA option.

Having read the document that BALPA sent out to its members yesterday, I do not see any sign of compromise.  If anything, some of the alleged actions taken by the airline appear to have inflamed passions even further.

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  1. There were media reports yesterday that staff travel had been withdrawn for 3 years from everyone who went on strike!

    Given that many flight crew commute from all of Europe and further afield, the loss of that benefit, if true, will be significant.

    • They suspended striking cabin crew travel perks indefinitely, so pilots have actually been treated better here. These perks are non-contractual anyway so BA can do what it likes. Still, that no doubt at least partly explains why so many pilots did actually report for work during last week’s strike, I imagine I wouldn’t be too happy giving it up either.

      • Lady London says:

        Perhaps they’ll have to get a Ryanair flight to get to work then.

      • Lady London says:

        The perks are long standing custom and practice. How many cases have been won by City bankers whose bonuses were not guaranteed by their contracts, that got their regular level of bonus paid when the banks tried to stop paying?

        All British Airways has done is reveal how nasty they are to work for now. If they will try this with the pilots then think how badly they must be treating more junior staff.

        This puts the pilots on notice they must censure any new agreement includes existing benefits more explicutly just to avoid wasting time beating BA in court on this.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Let’s be honest peeks long standing or not are given through good faith. They keep turning up for work they get their perks.

          You can’t not have it two ways. You can’t threaten to work to rule or go on strike then moan that your employer has withdrawn their benefits over and above your terms or taken reciprocal action to cause disruption to as you are to them.

          As soon as a strike was called it was never going to be amicable.

          • For God’s sake, if they want a share of the so called ,good times, then go and buy a chunk of shares…easy and painless.

        • Boohoo my heart bleeds for those poor pilots and their measly six figure salaries…

          In reality these greedy pilots have just made things worse for workers who are genuinely in need of union protection. Myself and pretty much everyone I know no longer have sympathy for unions.

          • They’re not all on six figure salaries

          • I’ve no problems with the commander of my aircraft being paid in the region of 6 figures. I want someone who’s at the top of their game for such a demanding skilled job.

          • Ian Worthington says:

            It is a distressing attitude, of predominantly though perhaps not exclusively, the English, that anyone who works hard and studies hard and demonstrates they are sufficiently skilled to carry out a responsible job needs to be belittled for commanding a commensurate salary.

            BA pilots are not typically from upper class families who have paid for them to go to Eton and Oxford and regard anyone who studies as a “girly swot”. These types, worthy of belittling, instead enter politics or well paid city jobs where they earn far in excess of 6 figures.

    • duck ling says:

      The pilots will be able to apply to their line manger to have staff travel reinstated soley for the purpose of commuting on one route.

      • Lady London says:

        Oh, so they can get to work for, Brutish Airways? Whilst losing all other longstandung benefits? BA wont win this and is just embittering a battle that had a good chance if being settled quickly with mutually respectful behaviour.

        • You should see the BALPA letter. Allegedly BA continued to roster pilots after the cancellations – ie pilots were told they were flying flights which no longer existed. It seems a large number of pilots were given the same flight, eg 10 captains put onto the same San Francisco flight, so all could be docked 5 days pay which is the trip length.

          • I said elsewhere I have sympathy with the pilots. But once you strike across spaced out days, you’re deliberately maximising chaos from minimum strike days, day before and after impacted by plane locations. Once you done this the gloves are off and I’d expect nothing less from BA than maximising the pain you cause the pilots. Trying to limit the pilots pain is not BA’s role in this. There’s a reason people take sides, it’s a battle of wills and of financial muscle. If this hardens the pilots position then BA are making a mistake, but it’s a very long time since workers really went all in on strikes, maybe Tube drivers aside.

          • Lady London says:

            Surely that’s fraud by British Airways ? Easy enough to prove. As it presumably was fraud in the course of attempting to victimise employees exercising their legal right to strike? There must be an offence BA can be charged with somewhere in their actions against those employees participating in the union action. With a bit of luck

            No wonder the pilots were pushed to strike if this is the sort of thing BA will do – bully boy tactics. Where’s the mutual respect and finding a compromise?

            What on earth are the pilots asking for that:s so difficult for BA?

          • Shoestring says:

            7.5% of overall reported profit (your guess is as good as mine what they actually mean) – divided unequally over all 45,000 employees

          • Lady London says:

            Not an expert but would have thought something close to 3% could eventually be settled on.

            I can see why BA doesn’t want to do it though – and I bet IAG won’t countenance it.

            Wonder what BA’s alternative proposal is then, to provide some objectively measurable, limited level of participation in good results of the company as well as up to medium-high participation in any bad results.

          • Shoestring says:

            or just improve everybody’s potential annual bonus – financial targets met, KPIs achieved

            not exactly rocket science, that’s how companies incentivize performance and pay out more in good years

  2. OT but BA related

    On any Iberia booking when I change my FF no. from Iberia to BA, I no longer see the booking appearing in my Iberia online account.

    Any way around this?
    On Manage My booking it results in error and does not display the booking

    • Shoestring says:

      change it to BAEC on the Finnair MMB page

      • Already done that i.e. changing desired FF number.
        The trouble is on the booking vanishes following FF change.

        • Shoestring says:

          I changed all our IB flights (the IB90K offer) to BAEC FF nos on the Finnair MMB site and they were/ are still visible on the IB My Flights page

          • Must be some temporary error then.
            All flights are available in Iberia App but not on Iberia Website.

  3. “some of the alleged actions appear to have inflamed passions further”… I think that’s being kind in the extreme Rob!

    Unreal tactics from BA, and unlike their apparent volte face with you re the tier/Avios issue, difficult to see how this isn’t a deliberate move by management with full knowledge of the consequences.

    • My sympathy is largely with the pilots. But once you’ve decided to strike and you’ve seen the resulting mayhem, why would you expect BA to not respond as fully as they’re able?

      • Sympathy…….why ?

        • Because BA have made a lot of money and don’t distribute much of it to staff. The pilots have a case as I see it.

          • Lady London says:

            More particularly the pilots did agree to sacrifice 5000 each to the firm to help out in bad times. So not unreasonable to wish to put in place a mechanism for a limited share of externally reported profits in good times.

            Externally mesurable – e.g based on reported profits or perhaps better, on EBITDA (as generally less manipulable) – as BA has proved they can’t be trusted. Also a good counterfoil to any bonus scheme already in place as different criteria can be used to allocate within each. Plus it’s harder for BA to manipulate all of the figures at once, I suppose.

            Remembering also the 5000 sacrifice is still not repaid as promised to the pilots. That promise made when? 15 years ago at least? And BA has had good results for z number if years all this time later and their earlier promise still not kept.

        • Because of the mismatch between company profits and staff wages?

          I wouldn’t expect many people to agree, especially on a site like this, but it should at least be a position you can comprehend!

  4. I was rebooked onto Aer Lingus Glasgow-Dublin-Lyon in economy instead of BA Glasgow-LHR-Lyon in Business and will now only receive 40 TP instead of 80. Can I make a claim for the missing 40 ? Also missing a lounge crawl in T3 😩

    • David, apply for Original Routing Credit. That should give you both TP and Avios per your original booking.

      Also you should get a refund for the downgrade from biz to economy.

      • Lady London says:

        Try for a lounge boucher each for future use too. As you were put in a class without lounge access.

      • Lady London says:

        Specifically, you are due 75% of original ticket cost back for the downgrade.

  5. Nikki Nicholson says:

    We were using air miles and a companion voucher, ba cancelled our flights, we changed it then they told us they had made a mistake, when I tried to change it back they would not release the seats in club, so we have had to come out a day later. It took us over 5 hours to get this sorted but ba’s attitude is that because it was a freebie it’s tough. I incurred £35 on my phone as I and hubby were using different numbers but that was all really. Any chance of getting anything off them.

    • Is anyone seriously still using PAYG? Doesn’t nearly everyone have unlimited minutes nowadays?

      • Nobody said PAYG but why not, people still use Sky TV, your comment is redundant!

        • Lady London says:

          As a matter of interest what is the list of things people are using instead if Sky TV these days?

      • Lady London says:

        Depends where calling from. I blew 120 pounds trying to Get an award ticket changed after a reschedule in the last Day or so of BMI. Was en route and falling from Munich lounge. After that I decided maybe Skype was worth looking at after all.

      • Yes, I use PAYG and pay less than £5 per year. I use multiple free data SIMs from 3 which give me 2GB per month.

      • Data plans are fine for people who are largely in one country and know their likely usage. We travel a lot (all 7 continents) and use Worldsims, works out much more economic than a prepaid plan and massively more flexible – load it on and use it where you like. Can also add data if you need it.

        • Just looked at WorldSim. Their call rates may be decent enough, but their data rates are pretty extortionate. e.g. in the UK they want £100/GB (quoted as £0.10/MB).

    • Lady London says:

      Hold on…at what point did BA tell you thé cancellation was a mistake? If thé flight wasnt cancelled then your seats should have still been there in the class that you booked. No reason for BA to change them. If they werent and thé flight was not cancelled then BA owed you either compensation for cancellation as I’m guessing by then you were les than 14 days ahead, or downgrade compensation if you were still on the flight but BA was refusing to seat you in Club.

      If you accepted a flight in Club a day later just to stay in Club then BA have got away with it and you have missed out on approx 250-600 euros compensation or 75% refund due to downgrade.

      • Lady London says:

        Above for Nikki. BA is known to pick on people using 241’s for downgrade. This is what BA did to you it seems. The flight wasnt cancelled but they gave away your seats. See above for how i think you missed out.

  6. Can we please not have strikes in October and November….

    O/T – for those of us who are on IHG Accelerate two which runs till 31/10 will we get new promotion to sign up for at end October as currently if I try sign up for new IHG promotion says I’m not eligible again…

    • The sun ran a story yesterday that BALPA were planning 10 day strike in November! Ive not seem substantiation elsewhere so hope this is not going to be the case.

      • Lady London says:

        BALPA press released yesterday they told the the Sun no such thing.

        Wondering if BA is employing someone to spread false rumours and attempt to discredit the pilots’ union? Such people do existing.

      • Lady London says:

        Much more fun to do 5*2-day strikes, similar to the model created by the French railway unions.

  7. OT but BA related. Is it worth paying the extra Avios and/or money to fly BA Cityflyer from Manchester to Europe? As far as I can tell it’s just slightly better food and lounge access as the seats are 2×2 anyway.

    • Think you need to clarify. Do you mean Club Europe on a Cityflyer flight? No, not worth it unless you need TPs. No lounge at LCY. Can’t you go via LHR? Cityflyer has food and drink in economy.

    • As compared to what, WT? On such short flights I’d say no, the lounge at MAN is mediocre and as you say the seating is the same in both classes.

      • Sorry, yes, I meant Club rather than Economy and it is from Manchester as Anna says, rather than London. Thank you both for your replies, I’ll book in economy I think.

  8. Bob Clarke says:

    I have a *RED* highlighted flight on 28th September. BA said they would look at changing my flight back to UK with a TP or IB connection. I said if the strike on 27th is called off then I would want to change back to direct BA. To which BA said the charge as per ‘change of flight’ would apply in that case. Seems most disingenuous! 🙁

  9. Had a nightmare 24 hours – my BAEC year end is 8 sept and I’m 35 TP short of retaining silver, so I booked LCY-MAN on BA7310. That can heavily delayed until this morning after sitting on the plane last night and hitting the LCY curfew – then exactly the same thing happened today, and we were on plane at 1pm when the Saturday curfew came down! Now on a train as just need to get home – believe I should get a refund and compensation as it was a late arriving plane yesterday and a booking mess today then led to manual pre flight checks. From above I take it I’m not going to get TPs automatically, but could call and see if they make a manual exception?

    • I’m currently chasing my OH’s tier points from a cancelled MAN – LHR last month. The cancelled flight doesn’t show on line and emails seem to be mostly ignored at the moment so I’ve written to BA. Fortunately the rest of the itinerary just squeezed him to Bronze otherwise I would be fuming!

    • Shoestring says:

      Sounds like you are due 2x compo, as it was 2 different flights cancelled. Make your first online claim for flight #1, wait a few days then make your second claim for flight #2. ie don’t roll them into one claim.

      • Hmm – could try, but all the BA boards and app were showing the original was delayed until the necmxt day, albeit I believe it was originally cancelled and whilst we were awaiting news on Friday evening it was reinstated for the Saturday.

        • Lady London says:

          Did it have the same flight number both days? Even if it did I’ve got a vague feeling moving to same flight number but on a different day counts as a cancellation.

          • Shoestring says:

            I think it might unfortunately have been the same plane/ flight – BA7310 is an 8pm flight so they feasibly could argue the ‘delayed but same flight’ logic if they tried to get it off the ground again at 1pm Saturday

            still good for 1x cancellation compo – and I’d be asking for a bit more in points given all the faffing around for 18hrs

    • Lady London says:

      Sounds like compo for cancellation or at least massive delay is.due unless they can come up with exempt reason. Make sure you get the official reason both flights were delayed.

      Original routing credit is in BAs ts and cs and there isn’t any wording separating treatment if Avios and tier points so I assume you can ask for both to be credited as if you flew on the original booked date.

      Sounds like BA responsible for overnight hotel and meal expenses under duty of care part of eu261too.

      What a miserable experience.

      • Thanks – yes utterly miserable!

        Yes both flight numbers were the same – BA7310. BA paid for hotel and food vouchers at hotel, and taxi there – one less thing to claim!

        • Shoestring says:

          what was the face value of the food vouchers?

          • In the hotel, £20. I forgot to ask for some in the airport…

          • Shoestring says:

            just for future reference, there’s nothing stopping you spending whatever is reasonable on duty of care meals, eg £25 per head for lunch & dinner is fine by BA and they have paid out more in the past in places where £25 doesn’t go very far – obvs with receipts & a ready rationale if over £25

    • Lady London says:

      PS defo ask for ‘original routing crédit’ – it’s in the ts and cs. I.e.tier points and Avios. Call thé Exec Club first as i think you might avoid BA’s Indian call centre and their idiotic intransigeance (IME) that way.

      • Thanks – even though I abandoned and have requested a refund?

        • Lady London says:

          Yes. You were forced to. Anyone would say that after a delay of the length of the ultimate delay after it failed to take off on the second day, you were effectively forced to.

          Would have been better if you’d asked BA to reroute you though. Most likely they’d have wanted you to go to LHR for a late flight if there was one on a Saturday.

          If the tier points are thé most important to you get them while watching here for how policy and crediting them develops. Have you managed to accurately record the official reasons for both delays? Did BA make themselves contactable and offer a further reroute or were you forced to decide to take the train before this could be achieved?

          I suppose the thing to do is to take a refund if it’s worth more than the compo for late or cancel and refuse a refund if the compo is worth more?

          • Many thanks for the responses.
            Tried BA Exec Club today and believe I got through to India 3 times. All said given I hadn’t flown I could get TPs. Told me to try customer relations tomorrow when open (assume UK centre?)
            Said there was typically 2 exemptions – two weeks extension and 20 TP – given I need 35 they werent willing to help me retain silver. Will try again tomorrow!

    • The CAA should be able to impose sanctions on an airline with such a horrendous record of trying to avoid its legal obligations.

  10. Has anyone been successful in claiming missing Tier Points and Avios? My situation is I was re-routed onto Air France. All stayed on the same booking code and ticket number was 125-. Trying to claim for Original Credit – it doesn’t accept the 125- ticket number (only says it was the return leg) and I can’t claim ‘partner’ airlines because Air France isn’t a partner airline.

    I tried submitting through an online form and just nothing.

    Slightly irritating! How did you all manage it?

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