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British Airways to stop US and Canadian members joining class action lawsuits

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British Airways Executive Club rolled out an interesting update to its terms and conditions this week to the 1 million members based in the USA and Canada.

This was the email that members received:

We’re writing to let you know about some changes to your Executive Club membership. These changes include adding an arbitration agreement and class action waiver to our Terms and Conditions from 28 May 2020.

British Airways to force members to drop class action lawsuits

At British Airways, we would always try to informally settle any issues that may arise. However, if that’s not possible, we require our US and Canadian Members, such as yourself, to use arbitration to resolve disputes individually – and not through a court or a class action.

You’ll be asked to accept these changes the next time you book with us on

If you look at the small print, US members must file a claim within two years of becoming aware of whatever issue led to the dispute.  This clause is not in the Canadian terms, presumably because local law does not allow it.

British Airways Executive Club has been hit by class action lawsuits in the past.  In 2018, British Airways was forced to pay out 2.2 BILLION Avios in a US class action lawsuit against fuel surcharges on Avios redemptions

The claimants filed that these ‘fuel surcharges’ bore no relation to the actual costs of aviation fuel and were not valid surcharges.  All US residents who had booked an Avios redemption between 2006 and 2013 were able to claim up to 35,000 Avios.

There is no change to the Terms & Conditions for members outside the US and Canada.  This is interesting as, of course, there is a class action lawsuit in progress in the UK against British Airways seeking compensation for the 2018 data breach.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios 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 a huge range of valuable 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.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

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 bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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.

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