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Is the Avios ‘Global Loyalty Platform’ finally about to happen?

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British Airways sent out an email earlier this week about Household Accounts. As we covered in our article on BA Household Accounts yesterday, you will be unable to open, close or amend a Household Account for a six week period, from 4th October to 17th November.

A few comments under the article suggested that this timetable was, to put it mildly, a bit OTT. You would expect such back-end IT changes to be carried out overnight in six hours (or even six minutes) and not six weeks.

There could be a reason, however …..

One Avios project IAG Global Loyalty Platform

I have no inside information on this, but my thinking was confirmed by a comment on HfP yesterday from an IAG employee.

For many, many years, IAG has talked about a ‘Global Loyalty Platform’.

This has been in preparation for so long, it doesn’t just predate the current Avios CEO, it dates back to the Avios CEO before the previous Avios CEO.

If you want to know what this would look like, eventually, visit Miles & More or Flying Blue.

Miles & More is a central hub for all mileage activity for flyers on Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian, LOT and Brussels Airlines. Instead of looking up your mileage balance, booking redemptions etc on, you need to use the Miles & More site.

Similarly, the Flying Blue site is a central hub for, primarily, Air France and KLM passengers to manage their mileage activity.

It isn’t that simple, of course

One inherent problem with ‘one Avios’ is that – unlike Miles & More or Flying Blue – each IAG airline operates its loyalty scheme in its own way.

For example, there is no centralised status scheme. The rules for earning and retaining status with British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus etc are totally different from each other. Vueling, LEVEL and Aer Lingus aren’t even in the oneworld alliance, so you couldn’t give oneworld status benefits to those flyers even if IAG wanted to do so.

There is no centralised list of Avios partners. Whilst there has been some consolidation over the last decade – Avis Budget is now the exclusive IAG car hire partner, for example – there are still plenty of companies which only offer Avios in either Iberia Plus (eg NH Hotels) or British Airways Executive Club.

Is the 'one Avios' project finally about to happen, after five years?

There is no centralised redemption chart. In fact, there isn’t even a centralised method of redeeming Avios:

  • British Airways and Iberia use a chart-based redemption model, albeit with charts and peak dates which do not match each other
  • Vueling uses a pure revenue based model, unless you book redemptions via Iberia Plus in which case it prices off a redemption chart
  • Aer Lingus uses a points based model – with different taxes and different availability depending on whether you book at or – but also lets you pay for the full cost of a flight using Avios as a fixed ‘pence per point’ rate

None of these are a reason why you can’t have a ‘one Avios’ platform, but it adds confusion. You may end up checking your status details on but your Avios details on for example.

Would there be any upsides from ‘one Avios’?

Potentially. Being able to offer pan-European deals may bring in new partners. It may also encourage other independent airlines to adopt Avios because there would be less IT integration required – long-term readers will remember the Flybe deal with Avios, but also the deal with Royal Air Maroc which was quietly shelved.

There are, of course, potential downsides if you strip out positive quirks from each Avios programme to find common ground. However, given the recent BA Amex relaunch and the new Avios commitment of at least 14 reward seats per flight, I don’t think there is any risk of a purely revenue-based redemption model.

This won’t happen immediately

Based on the comment posted on HfP yesterday, this six week downtime period is simply Stage 1 of the project. It involves migrating all Avios data from the individual airline platforms onto one IT system controlled by IAG Loyalty.

Our source says that your account numbers will not change, but individual accounts will be linked in the background – presumably via email and ID matching – to give IAG has a holistic view of your activity. There was an implication that individual scheme balances will continue to exist so you won’t – for now – see the same Avios balance if you log in at or

Let’s see how it goes. Clearly an IAG IT project has never gone wrong in the past ….

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2024)

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 £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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

40,000 bonus 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

Huge 30,000 points bonus until 12th May 2024 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

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 sign-up 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.

Comments (61)

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

  • ChrisC says:

    Just a bit strange that they would suspend activity of a functionality on what is a small subset of BAEC members for such a long time.

    I wonder if there is more to it than mere data migration (which as you say could be done in hours not weeks) but perhaps they are doing something like a data matching exercise of HHA members and their addresses against other data bases and registers that can be accessed via the appropriate data sharing arrangements and where mismatches are found people will be ‘encouraged’ to make corrections.

    Perhaps they have read the regular comments on here such as “oh just add granny to your HHA so you can get access to her avios since she’s not going to use them”

    • Andrew says:

      I think BA have got better things to do.

    • BJ says:

      It doesn’t add up for me too well either. If this is about finally launching a single avios platform then why wouldn’t they just develop that separately in the background and when all is done and dusted switch the new site on and the old sites off? However, getting a new unified platform launched … and sold to raise cash… could be compelling for IAG coming out of the pandemic. If it is a single platform it is hard to imagine it would not bring a huge lot of changes along with it resulting in a whole new ball game with winners and lovers. I cannot really see them launching a single platform that preserves most of the disparity between the schemes, wouldn’t that be more trouble than it’s worth?

  • Fly1A says:

    ….and whatever else happens (or doesnt happen as intended with BA IT) there will probably be a fall in the value of Avios. So get booking flights that will inevitably be cancelled now and add to your filing cabinet full of vouchers!
    Dont forget to fill up your tank again too!!

  • Jim says:

    Noooooooooooooo. Please don’t merge accounts, my Iberia account is -90k Avios and my BAEC is +110k.

  • r* says:

    If there was a single avios platform, I wonder what would happen with the fees as it seems like it would highlight how much BA are ripping everyone off when you can see on the same site that a business flight on iberia has £80 of fees while the BA one has £500.

  • TimM says:

    My guess is that the 6 weeks denial of Household Account functionality is some weird data-collecting experiment to see how it affects members’ behaviour.

    • Michael C says:

      Oooh, a bit like Squid Game?
      But without chopping the members’ heads off at the end, hopefully.
      Or maybe just Bronze and lower?

      • TimM says:

        Not being familiar with the Squid Game, I had to refer to Wikipedia, “More than half the players were killed in the first game, and some survivors beg to leave”.

        That is not my idea of a loyalty scheme, household members or not.

  • marcw says:

    Well, IB Plus just went through an 8 week data migration process.
    So it makes sense BA is next.

    • Bagoly says:

      It’s quite difficult to imagine why it could take so long.
      Perhaps they are continuing the IAG tradition of choosing the cheapest IT supplier regardless of quality who is really that slow because they aren’t very capable, so do everything using lots of manual checking.
      Or could it be that the accountants/loyalty team have had enough of IT mess-ups so are doing it themselves, and only know Excel with manual cross-checking?

      • marcw says:

        The way I saw it is that programs are formed of hundreds of pieces. They ported one piece at a time, fixed bugs/issues, and then they carried over with the next one. In the case of IbPlus, there were a couple of days in July where not a single flight got posted in the account. If you retro-claim, IbPlus says you weren’t on the flight, so you have to send your BP to confirm claim points.

  • Can says:

    It still does not add up for me. Why do you need 6 weeks and why would you deactivate “that” functionality? If it was transferring Avios between BA and Iberia for instance, maybe.

  • Mikeact says:

    I think Revenue based redeeming could be very much on the cards going forward. BA/IAG certainly wouldn’t be alone on this one….it’s already in place with other airlines, KL/AF for one.

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

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