Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

British Airways pilots vote to accept revised pay deal

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

The British Airways pilot fleet has voted to accept BA’s revised pay offer.  This removes the threat of further industrial action.  

The vote was reportedly 86.5% in favour, which I found surprising given the hostility towards the deal from a couple of pilots I spoke with.  My understanding is that there is still limited trust in certain commitments given by the airline, although Alex Cruz has agreed to monthly meetings with BALPA.

British Airways pilots accept pay deal

You need to remember that the union had effectively caved in, with the original offer being remarkably similar to the original one which was vehemently rejected at the time. 

The pay rise element of 11.5% has not changed markedly, except for some inflation protection should CPI shoot up.

It is not clear if there will now be adjustments made to the pay deal accepted by cabin crew, since there was an understanding that both groups would receive an equal package.

British Airways BA Amex American Express

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of 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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (117)

  • Anna says:

    OT – BAPP. Undecided whether it’s better to wait 2 years and get a new sign up bonus (plus referral bonus) or apply again next year for an extra companion voucher. We’d definitely get value from the voucher as currently need to travel in school holidays. Has anyone come to a conclusion re this?!

    • Mr. AC says:

      What’s the point of the voucher during school holidays? There’s no regular Avios availability pretty much anywhere, and the voucher can’t be used with the Gold priority 2x Avios force open thing. Or are you booking 355 days out?

      • Shoestring says:

        school hols dates are usually agreed by schools at least a year ahead…both my son’s and daughter’s schools get as good as (nearly) 2 years ahead, ie publishing Sept 2020-July 2021 in September 2019

      • Anna says:

        You’re rather misinformed Mr AC! Availability is great considering it’s supposed to be peak period, we use 2 4 1’s to the US and Caribbean every year (sometimes twice) in the school holidays. Even booking now there are CW seats to NYC, Florida and many other destinations. But as Harry notes, school holiday dates are decided well in advance so we usually book as soon as we know we can get the time off.

        • Cat says:

          I’m jealous – I’m still waiting for the 2020-21 school year term dates (they always wait for the feeder primary term dates, then try to coordinate, for the benefit of families with kids in different schools). I’m hoping that the school sticks to the half term dates on the Lambeth website, because I’ve already booked Oct half term…
          But yes, it’s pretty easy to use a 241 in the school hols, although it’s easier if you book at 355 days out, or can be flexible about your destination.

        • Mr. AC says:

          Interesting – good to know, thanks for setting me straight!

    • Spurs Debs says:

      I was never a churner so that didn’t affect me, but I do use my 241 every year and I’m only a leisure traveller but always manage to have enough points to use with it. You have answered your own questions really by saying the 241 is useful.
      Thing is what would be good for someone else might not be right for you. Do what suits you best.

      • Anna says:

        I think you’re right, Debs. The 100,000+ avios value of the voucher does outweigh the 26k of the sign up bonus.

        • chris1922 says:

          Couldn’t agree more. 2 x 241s used to Tampa for four seats in J, in the bag 355 days out, late June to mid-July, Scottish school holidays. First time in J for all four pax, although mum and dad have travelled F twice before, albeit minus kiddies.
          There were 7 J seats on the outbound, with more to MCO too.
          But, as stated, you need the Avios to begin with, to make use of the 241.

          • Doug M says:

            Tampa is a great airport experience. Also easy to access without toll roads, try avoiding them in Miami, that takes some careful planning. Downside is battered Gatwick 777s meaning not the best CW experience. Love the Gulf Coast.

          • sunguy says:

            Get yourself a SunPASS for ~$20 then you dont need to worry too much about toll roads in FL….(as long as you keep it topped up of course!)….otherwise it could be rather expensive – AVIS for example, like charging you $20/day for a “convenience fee” for paying by tag or the SunPASS in the vehicle!

          • roberto says:

            @sunguy – Sorry your’e wrong

            Avis says “If you use the e-Toll service at any time during your rental, you agree to pay a convenience fee of $5.95 for each day on which you incur a toll up to a maximum amount of $29.75 per rental period (not to exceed 30 days)”

        • Polly says:

          Anna, we are still doing the basic blue until 9.5k spend then upgrading to BAPP for the better 241 voucher, doing a couple of referrals at that point.
          Then having a green plat for ongoing MR spend. Plan to upgrade to Plat for a heavy travel period of 4 months over winter, more referrals, then back to green. On our final Plat atm, previous fee tho.
          Thus cutting fees to a minimum, but earning enough and more for an Asia 241, but in J this time, not aiming for F any more. But we have enough avios in the pot and an upgrade becomes available, we might take it.
          As others say, the BAPP 241 is the best value out there. If you can earn the required avios.

          • chris1922 says:

            @Doug M. Yes, have been through MCO, MIA and TPA, Tampa wins hands down ! So much quieter and efficient, and quick. Off to gulf coast for 9 nights, then Orlando/Kissimmee for ten. This will actually be my first time in BA J, i’m sure it will beat WT !

          • Lady London says:

            Very, very smart @Polly!

            @Anna go 2-4-1 at least for as long as you are tied to school hols! Also that means you would be using it each year instead of waiting for a longer period and getting hit by a rule change before you’ve cashed in.

            I still think Amex might come up with some surprises yet in the future and not necessarily good ones. So I’d want my earn and burn cycle to be short, and repeated.

          • chris1922 says:

            @sunguy. it’s not as bad as that, from the Avis website:
            “If you use the e-Toll service at any time during your rental, you agree to pay a convenience fee of $5.95 for each day on which you incur a toll up to a maximum amount of $29.75 per rental period (not to exceed 30 days). In addition, you will pay all tolls incurred at the maximum prevailing non-discounted or cash rates posted by the toll authority.”
            So, £29.95 plus tolls for a two or three week trip. Some tolls are electronic only, as I found out. And no transponder needed, toll – by – plate is now in use, my last car didn’t have any form of transponder. Rented from Tampa to be fair, but drove it into the Orlando area with no problems

          • Doug M says:

            My toll comment was specific to my own usual plans. If I’m in the Miami area then I just pay the toll and be done. But when I rent in Miami only to drive to Orlando/Gulf Coast/Cocoa I really resent paying the Avis/Hertz toll ‘convenience’ fee because I get mugged on SR112 on the last day of a 16 day rental during which I paid any other minimal tolls with $. With the traffic volumes, general difficulty of avoiding SR112 when going to MIA airport, and last day mood it’s quite some effort to avoid tolls. When I get it right it really pleases me. Given the cost of the holiday the tolls and fee is so small, but it’s like resort fees, it leaves a feeling of having been cheated.
            Another annoyance is that if I use google maps and say avoid tolls the route works, if I use the Sat Nav in 3 different Chevrolet’s I’ve had from Avis they still take you on SR112, despite ticking avoid tolls. I always wonder if that’s a little rental car special they’ve had Chevvy bundle for them.
            The length of this post alone tells you what an obsessive about it I am.

    • Rob says:

      The voucher is clearly worth more than the sign-up bonus + referral. On the other hand, you need to have enough Avios to use the 241, so it is a bit chicken and egg if you’re not generating 100k Avios per year without bonuses.

      • Freddy says:

        My wife is having a 2 year break from the BAPP whilst I hold it for the voucher gain. Then we’ll swap over for the bonus and referral points. A good middle ground?

        • Anna says:

          That’s what we were doing but I’m thinking another 2 4 1 next year would be worth more to us. Considering 2 long haul trips in 2021 so 2 vouchers would come in very handy (MO usually being that 2 of us travel on the 2 4 1 and the other 1 or 2 on paid bookings.)

          • Liz says:

            We are the same. I have renewed my BAPP for a 2nd year for the voucher. Need to stop using it very soon as I don’t want to trigger the 241 for a few months. Will switch to SPG and Blue Amex for spend in 2020 then in 2021 I will be able to refer hubby for all 3 again then I will cancel all mine. That is the plan for now anyway…….

      • Doug M says:

        For couples yes, but not for sad sack loners. The voucher is near worthless, now the old Lloyds voucher is very sadly missed. I’m rather the reverse, generate lots of Avios, have no need or want of the Amex 241.

        • Anna says:

          Maybe HFP should start a page for lone travellers who can pair up and get the most from their cards. Surely there’s someone else out there who fancies a trip in CW or F?

          • Doug M says:

            Well speaking personally its an absolute choice, not a failure. The last thing I want is a random to travel with.

        • PJJ says:

          Totally agree. Why can’t BAEC offer the choice of 241 or upgrade like Virgin WITHOUT Virgin’s restriction

      • Anna says:

        It can be worth buying the avios when peak prices are through the roof. I worked out once 2 x reward flights to NYC or BOS in F using a 2 4 1, buying the required amount of avios and taking into account surcharges and BAPP fee, would require a cash outlay of about £2800.

  • Soloflyer1977 says:

    OT: I have circa 22k Turkish miles and smiles expiring shortly. No flight plans in the near future. Am I redundant to using them on their online shopping portal (poor value) or is there a better use of them? Cheers

    • Shoestring says:

      there’s no better use for them, extending for another 3 years costs a nominal amount/ 1000 and would be worth it if you’re going to collect more & use them, otherwise money wasted

    • ankomonkey says:

      I might be interested in buying them from you. E-mail me at ankomonkey at if interested.

  • Shoestring says:

    The eternal Xmas question solved! 🙂 – what to get your +1 without breaking the bank

    All the better if you can earn a few Avios points

  • Pierre says:

    Re earning points on F&B without a stay: Does anyone know whether it is possible (yet) to earn Hyatt points on F&B spend at Small Luxury Hotels without a stay?

  • Joseph’s mum says:

    OT – can someone advise how are Avios split when a redemption is done from a Household account? Looking at a recent redemption (done last Thursday), significantly less Avios (approx 40k) have been taken . I can’t work out how they’ve done this….although I would have had a bit more in my account than the other 2 people (one of which is included on this redemption) . Please tell me I’ve got lucky….or is it too early to count my chickens?

    • Nick_C says:

      Avios are taken pro rata to the individual account balances.

      So if I have 200000 Avios and my partner has 300000, if we book a redemption that costs 100000, I will pay 40000 and my OH will pay 60000.

      You can alter this by moving Avios from BAEC to Aerclub before booking a redemption, and moving them back afterwards.

      • Joseph’s mum says:

        Thanks – worked it out now! They had taken from the third person in the HH account even though they aren’t flying in this redemption. I hadn’t realised they did this . So I counted my Avios chickens too early 😩

      • Josh O says:

        If you and your wife have both generated a 241 on their respective BAPP credit cards, do they both get deposited into the household account?

        • Jonathan says:

          No, they go to the Avios account of the Amex holder who earns voucher. Can use Avios from household account to book flights but the person who earned voucher must travel. Ie. Husband & son couldn’t use Wife’s 2-4-1 voucher.

        • Rob says:

          The person who earned it still must travel – just because you’re in a HHA doesn’t let you and someone else travel on a 241 generated by your wife.

          • memesweeper says:

            If you ever get the ear of someone in BA who writes the T&Cs on those companion vouchers — the restriction on ‘voucher earner only’ in the context of a household account is extremely annoying and restrictive. In the case of my family means BA loose out on possible revenue tickets if I’m the only person seeking to earn/extend status but also the only person able to use a 2-4-1. What I’ve wanted to do more than once is send my family on holiday for Avios and buy my ticket for the same flights. I doubt I’m the only regular-ish BA traveller in this position.

          • Rob says:

            I think BA is more concerned about people selling vouchers and Avios.

          • memesweeper says:

            I guessed that was their concern … but for a genuine household it’s a terrible rule.

  • JJ says:

    Any thoughts on the best use of just over 1000 Shangri La Golden Circle which expire at the end of the month?
    Most recent comments seem to suggest the 100usd voucher might just get me two glasses of champagne at the Shard. It looks like I might be able to transfer them to my almost dormant United Mileage Plus account with a 25% bonus, but I’ve been focussing on VS miles. Would be grateful for any better ideas?

    • Benilyn says:

      We used ours at Ting Restaurant at Shangri La at the Shard. 2 course meal I want to say came to £125 odd.

      • JJ says:

        Thanks Benylin, thats sound better than some UAL miles that I will struggle to use.

        • Benilyn says:

          btw don’t convert into a voucher. You can pay with all your points (i.e. the bits just over a thousand as well) when the bill comes.

    • Jen T says:

      However, if you can’t get over there by the end of the month, converting to a voucher will give you another 6 months to use the points.

      • JJ says:

        Thanks Benylin and Jen, this time I think I’ll get the voucher so as not to lose the points.

  • Lumma says:

    OT – has anyone used the LoungeKey feature on the premium Revolut? From what I gather you pay £20 and get a QR code for the lounge to scan. If the lounge isn’t accepting guests do you just lose the £20 or are you meant to check first, then pay? Can you get a refund if they turn you away?

    • Pangolin says:

      Make sure you can get in before you pay. I wouldn’t want to go chasing up Revolut support for any refunds.

    • the_real_a says:

      “Revolut can’t guarantee entry and availability of every lounge listed in the App.”
      “You can request a refund for any unused Lounge Passes within 14 days of the date of purchase. This can be done by reaching out to us via our in-App chat function.”

      Its an online coupon so revolut can see if its been redeemed or not. If you dont get in you can just have it cancelled via chat. If its the same as the other card providers, Revolut will be able to logon and manage the coupons via a portal.

  • Doug M says:

    The BA pilots disappoint me. All that disruption they caused and for what? Their spineless approach, meant obvious failure. The almost immediate cancellation of the 2nd strike created more trouble with rebooking and pre-planned cancellations being undone or not. So much trouble when they had so little actual will to succeed. They should have ran home crying the first time Alex or Willie looked at them sternly. BALPA are pathetic and they should be ashamed of their inept handling of the entire thing.

    • Lady London says:

      +1. It is all looking as though the pilots didn’t have any b***s.

      The problem is, this failure makes it harder for other groups in future, who have less leverage than the pilots.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.