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More British Airways airport lounge art for sale at Sotheby’s

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The sale of art from the British Airways Galleries lounges is now in full swing on the Sotheby’s website.

If you click here it will bring up the list of images on which you can currently bid.  Most are being sold via online auctions.

What is surprising is how cheaply most of it is going for.  Apart from the flagship Bridget Riley, which should fetch over £1 million, many of the remaining works carry estimates as low as £4,000.

British Airways airport lounge art sale sothebys

You have to wonder why British Airways is bothering.  Given the staff time involved in this process, it is clearly pointless selling a piece of art from the lounge for £4,000.  Sotheby’s charges VERY heavy commissions, and once you’ve factored in logistical costs plus the cost of buying a replacement picture for the lounge, it makes no sense.

The image above, for example, is by Marc Quinn.  It is one of a set of eight prints which, as a set, have a reserve price of just £5,000.  This means just £625 per image.  It will cost BA more than £625 to buy and install its replacement, even putting zero value on the staff time involved in selling and rebuying.

For a £1 million picture, I see the point.  I’m not sure, purely from an insurance angle, that I would put a £1 million picture in an airport lounge.  Going to the trouble of paying Sotheby’s to sell pictures worth just £4,000, however, makes no sense.  It makes this appear to be a politically motivated sale done as part of the current pay and contract negotiations with staff.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

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

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points 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 – 30,000 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

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

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.)

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