Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How many flights is British Airways operating at the moment?

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If you are wondering what is happening at Heathrow at the moment, I managed to get hold of the British Airways traffic figures for last Sunday.

Across the whole day, BA operated:

british airways passenger figures
  • 43 passenger aircraft arrivals
  • 41 passenger aircraft departures
  • 15 cargo-only arrivals
  • 18 cargo-only departures

Long-haul departures were 33% full whilst short-haul departures were 76% full. This doesn’t account for no-shows so the actual number of people travelling will have been lower.

I have the total passenger numbers too but it may be too sensitive to publish. It is a low four-digit number in each direction.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2022)

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. 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:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

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.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

American Express Amex Gold

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 (SPECIAL OFFER) 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, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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 and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

(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 (61)

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

  • Littlefish says:

    Eeeks, what’s the story on Accor? Did I miss they are not extending points expiry, like pretty much everyone else?
    I last stayed with them a year ago, before my last long-haul LHR flight.
    Everything cancelled since.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      On the Accor example since they’re fixed value there is literally zero value in holding onto them and only risk.

      Yes, it feels warm and fuzzy saving them for something nice occasionally. But you can save 20 of each stay and bank the £20 and that toward it instead and the bank aren’t going to go bust or devalue your money (no more than the BofE do)

      On which note a Q for the accountants – where the scheme is clearly £x value given to the person staying (clearly by way of influencing spending decisions but leaving that aside) how is this still not in scope of BIK? And doesn’t it risk becoming so and bringing the whole thing into the spotlight?

      • Ed says:

        Just can’t understand the Accor strategy here. Surely in most countries travel, both leisure and business, is going to restart slowly. With every other hotel chain seemingly lowering their status requirements to entice customers, Accor are going the other way and needless stuffing their loyal customers over.

        • Alan says:

          Agree, seems sadly par for the course for them – I’ve always found their CS poor. Shame as Accor Plat was actually quite decent (previously had it with Amex Plat).

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          It’s not just that but the expiry is likely to coincide with the gradual opening of travel so they’ll be expiring points and upsetting customers just immediately before they start making choices again…

      • memesweeper says:

        It’s not the value that brings something into the scope of BIK, it’s if it’s consequential to employment. If the kick-back is consequential to a hotel stay, not employment, it’s not in scope.

      • Dubious says:

        I believe Accor stays booked using points don’t count towards status.
        I think therefore it can be tricky doing 60 paid nights in a year followed by the rest on points. This way you get Status benefits during the points stay.

        I managed to scrape one year renewal of Platinum based on spend but by the time I had done this it was nearly the end of the year and only managed one further night spend, which in hindsight could have been on points.

        • Pangolin says:

          You need to include at least one paid night for the stay to be eligible – then the whole stay should count. From the T&Cs: When a Member completes an Eligible Stay at one of the hotels participating in this Programme and the stay includes at least one paid night that the Member actually spends at the hotel, the Member’s account is credited with Points and Status Nights corresponding to the stay. Day Use generates Points credit only, and no Eligible Status Night will be counted.

    • Alan says:

      Yep Accor sticking to their usual strict 12m expiry rules, apart from a slight offer last year for those that had expired where a stay would reinstate them.

    • Rob says:

      Correct. Everything is being expired 12 months after your last stay.

      You may be able to extend them by transferring points in from, say, Eurostar or Flying Blue which might reset the counter.

      • RussellH says:

        I last stayed at a Mercure in Sept 2020, so some time to go yet.
        However, the Accor website tells me to use the points before 9 Feb 2022, on account of my getting e-Rewards and Club Opinions points.
        Next to that date, though, is the ? sign which when hovered over states “To keep your points, you need to spend a night in one of our hotels participating in the programme at least once per year.”
        Are there any data points out there about this apparent contradiction?

        • ankomonkey says:

          I had points due to expire last December and 25 points from Club Opinions has kept them alive. I last stayed in an Accor hotel in August 2019.

      • kitten says:

        Accor Customer Service told me buying a drink or something like that in one of their hotels and putting your card number on the transaction does give points and refresh for another year even if not staying.

        Someone also said they have an Accor online shop that does the same.

        Beware if you move a stay using their current BWC it seems to stay in your account on the original date. Looks like it might shorten the year from last stay.

  • Rich says:

    Eurostar were similarly inflexible when my points expired in August. I had travel booked in January and May, both cancelled, which would have reset the counter..

    My own fault, for not being on-the-ball, but I had hoped for some leniency. 1200 points down the drain 🙁

    • James says:

      All you have to is transfer a very small number of points into Eurostar to keep them from expiring. I used Amex Plat points. Sorry you missed this.

      • Rich says:

        Yes, kicking myself. I even track in Award Wallet. Either I missed the email, or else it was having trouble logging in at the time

  • BJ says:

    BA PAX: would be more interesting to know who they are, expats going or coming home etc.

    Lufthansa: Anybody successfully redeemed miles for a giftcard recently?

    • insider says:

      I suspect a lot of the flights would be running on the basis of the cargo being enough to justify them. Then maybe 20/30 people per longhaul flight might be enough to make sense to put some crew on board. I suspect you can find that many people going to spend a decent chunk of time back in their home country or moving country for jobs etc.

    • kitten says:

      I did Amazon – works in UK not Germany – a while back now.

  • Baji Nahid says:

    I do wonder if it will come a point where many organisations would be happy with consumer loyalty points expiring, it’ll save them a good buck in not having to provide things for free.

  • Matthew says:

    Stansted drop off is £7.

  • Mark Hunter says:

    As LH was one of the airlines who resisted paying legally required refunds most strongly this does not come as a surprise. I think they will happily see their liability in miles for UK residents decrease and aren’t at all worried about their UK customer base (which isn’t likely to be spending much on travel for the foreseeable future). They will be happy to rely on their huge state subsidy.

    • bafan says:

      yeah I’m surprised about how much criticism BA gets sometimes, the EU airlines seem to have been a disaster. I’m STILL waiting for a KLM refund.

      • Rob says:

        I got my Lufty money this week from a flight cancelled in early October.

        • Alan says:

          I ended up having to do a chargeback for my one in March 2020 that LH still hadn’t paid by the summer.

  • NigelthePensioner says:

    So LGW, on the brink of financial collapse, is going to “encourage” more passengers by charging a £5 drop off fee? Get real LGW!!
    A train journey with a change of train and with luggage vs drop off outside the doors? Think again LGW! Your “green” credentials are bunkum! This is a desperate attempt at revenue generation, nothing else.

    • LeMain says:

      Absolutely … baggage trolleys will be next I imagine (to ‘encourage’ passengers to bring less luggage)!

    • memesweeper says:

      I’m inclined to think you are right — is there any evidence that a charge levied at any other airport caused a ‘modal shift’ away from private cars? I’m sure the LGW press office can furnish HfP with the data used to inform this decision… and naturally, if this is all about pollution, EVs will be zero-rated, right? Again, the press office will be happy to confirm this.

      • Adrian says:

        What about disabled/limited mobility passengers? Doesn’t this fall foul of the Disability Discrimination Act?
        Presumably if other airports have got away with this money-grubbing scheme, LGW thought they could too (and subsequently LHR)?
        Haven’t used any of the other airports listed which similarly grab cash, and it’s been ages since stepped onto a plane – for obvious reasons – so am not up-to-speed with all the “improvements” being touted by the industry but when I’ve dipped into this website (which is great!) the litany of cutbacks and money grabbing do not exactly encourage me back any time soon.

    • Tom says:

      The idea of getting more people onto trains would be fine if matched with suitable investment in more, better trains. The pre-pandemic experience, particularly coming away from LGW, was a nightmare of packed trains, standing for half an hour, no proper luggage space for the types of large suitcase most common for what is primarily a leisure airport.

    • Adrian says:

      P.S. to my previous exasperated comment; just looked at Gatwick website (should’ve before) and they say IF an application is made in advance they may grant an exemption from the charge.
      However, not if you arrive by taxi!! Bizarre.
      Presumably, you would have to apply twice for a return flight.
      Mind you, in their printed ‘justification’ on the LGW website,they admit this is to improve their”revenue streams”, i.e., how they can extract cash from a captive audience.

      • Henk says:

        Pick up was never allowed on the drop off zone, you have to park and pay the short term car park charges

    • ChrisC says:

      There are ways to avoid the fee even if you come by car and use the 2 hours free parking in the long stay car park and shuttle bus to the terminal.

      Thousands of people do this day in day out already with out apparent complaint.

      As to the train station I’ve only ever got the train to/ from LGW and never had any problems with either the trains or the station. They are adding more lifts and escalators as well as increasing the circulation space. The big issue is the step between the trains and the platforms so if they can do something about that it would speed up getting on and off the trains.

      And trains and platforms would be better loaded if people didn’t crowd in the same spot at the bottom of the lifts / escalators. And at Victoria if people walked down the trains they would more often than not find a seat and space for luggage.

  • Waribai says:

    Slightly OT, are BA refunding tickets on flights which have been cancelled but they have already moved you to another flight departing within 4 hours? Or do they try to argue it’s just a schedule change?

    • ChrisC says:

      If the flight is cancelled you can have a refund.

      Them rebooking you makes sure if you do want to travel on the same day that you have a seat

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