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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.

  • JC says:

    And here comes the massive devaluation of Avios. A load of households have built up mountains of unused Avios. I can’t imagine they can keep them as priced as they are otherwise the demand for Avios redemptions (even with extended availability) would far outstrip supply.

    • Andrew says:

      Not necessarily. Demand from businesses is unlikely to pick up particularly quickly. I can imagine a scenario where in 6 months travel is possible between most countries but demand is still way below normal. Doubling (or even more) the reward availability would be a good way of BA filling those planes, getting in some much needed cash and working down that large avios liability. I’d imagine the fees alone on a premium redemption are enough to make sure BA don’t lose money assuming the seat would have gone unsold otherwise.

    • CarpalTravel says:

      Every day I expect to see an article on this site saying as much. Ever since they sold a huge number of them to Amex who seemingly, are being quite generous with their sign up offers.

  • Andrew says:

    We’re all missing the most important question here. ‘Global Loyalty Platform’ or GLP. Is the acronym pronounced GuLP, GLoP, or something more like gallop?

    • old codger says:


    • CarpalTravel says:

      Given the preference for HfP’ers to use wholly uncrackable code, I would have expected it to be known on this site as something like the “Altogether Staunch Stage”…

  • David S says:

    I just wish BA would be honest about what they are doing. They are either being honest (and crap at IT) or they are doing something different (like GLP)

  • TimM says:

    Perhaps Avios is going to fully merge with Nectar? Sainsbury’s could have gold member-only self-service checkouts, priority seating at Argos and a new Sainbury’s-branded airline at Gatwick. They have the right colour scheme to compete with easyJet head-on.

  • Speedbird676 says:

    They would be able to link my accounts in the background but a couple of years ago they closed my account after telling me they wouldn’t. For a recent flight with Vueling I had to create a new account with a different email address because I couldn’t reuse the same address as the closed account. Now I can’t transfer those Vueling earned Avios to BAEC because my email addresses don’t match on each account. What to do?!

    • Sandgrounder says:

      Change the email address on your BA account? Or can’t you do that? Never had a need to myself.

      • Speedbird676 says:

        This was Avios helpdesk’s official response. Change the email on my BA Exec club to match the Vueling Avios account and then change it back again after the transfer.

    • Memesweeper says:

      Get a brand new gmail account and change all your IAG company profile email addresses to match. You can then change the ones that matter back to your rea
      , preferred email address

      • Terri says:

        Memesweeper, Your post wold have saved me hours of frustration had I known the issue last year.

        I’m in a household account and had so much trouble trying to transfer out of Iberia avios back to BA avios using my Aer Lingus account that previously worked.

        A cancelled redemption left a 6 figure Avios balance in my Iberia acccount. It took me hours to finally solve why I could not use my existing Aer Lingus account (or the new vueling account) I opened to transfer the avios back to Aer Lingus then on to BA.

        Although Avios said it had closed my account it appears not to actually have done so. The hidden (closed) Avios account was blocking future transactions using the same email. When I finally grasped this I used your method to resolve the problem.

        • Speedbird676 says:

          When I tried to create my new account, initially using the same email address, I kept getting a cryptic “There has been a communication error” on the Vueling website. After a couple of days trying and no response from Vueling I tried a different email address, which mainly use for things likely to attract spam, and it worked. That’s when I twigged the old closed account was still lurking somewhere in the ether.

      • Speedbird676 says:

        Thanks. I would prefer if BA/Avios didn’t make their incompetence my problem in the first place.

        During the shutdown of the standalone Avios programme they sent me multiple emails telling me my account wouldn’t be closed because I had previously collected from Vueling. Then they closed it anyway and told me I’d have to create a new one with Vueling.

  • Betty Boo says:

    BA can hardly manage to answer the phone these days this is more likely to be that they’ve run out of paper for household accounts so are having to order some more in. Far more likely then anything technical actually working

  • Alex says:

    There will be a ‘massive devaluation’ of avios if your Iberia account has a negative balance after their generous promo a couple of years back ….

    • Lady London says:

      Well positive balances of avios in Iberiaplus are automatically removed and replaced with zero after 3 years of inactivity on the account. Iberia say it’s an automatic process that they can’t stop.

      So negative balances of avios in Iberiaplus should also automatically become zero after 3 years inactivity too.

      Not long now till we know, if it’s a monthly sweep job as I think Iberia has said.

    • Alex Sm says:

      How did these negative balances appear in the first place?

      • Rob says:

        Via the ‘90,000 Avios for £200’ promo a couple of years ago. You had to spend the Avios quickly in Iberia – when you moved them to BA, Iberia still took 90,000 Avios from your account and left it at minus 90k.

        • Lady London says:

          And in my case I only moved the 90K out after having my award booking for Christmas travel to the USA seriously trashed by Iberia who refused to fix a flight messup caused by one of their own reschedulings. I was going to have to spend Christmas stuck at T5 Heathrow because the connection would never work they’d left me with. Together with an agent I even found avios seats on a different set of flights that would work at pretty much the same time, removing the risk of misconnecting, ruining my Christmas and making my trip to the US pointless so it would have to be canned at T5, and still Iberia refused to fix it (shouldn’;t even have been necessary to find avios seats on the replacement flights but we did manage it)

          My only alternative was to take a refund and shift the 90,000 to BA, incidentally having to pay out 25,000 extra avios as only a First seat was available back from Seattle, because Iberia wouldn;t fix their own mess.

          So if Iberia doesn’t scrub the resulting -90,000 balance on my Iberiaplus 3 years later without activity, as they would if it was a positive balance, I’ll be shouting FOUL !!

        • Alex Sm says:

          But why did you need to move them to BA if it created a negative balance? My partner and I just spent them on nice Iberia flights between London and Madrid in business class on A340. Simples

  • Andrew says:

    When you migrate data you link up the source and target systems to continue to function during the cutover. If this is the only functionality that’s being suspended, there’s a high chance there is no part of the target system to handle HHAs, or it’s sufficiently different it can’t be synchronised easily.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the new system doesn’t support HHAs and the feature has been dropped. Or it works very differently and will come with changes to how it’s implemented. Or it is on the backlog and hasn’t been coded yet and will reappear online later, with a manual call centre workaround. It could also be that the matching up of accounts across the Avios platform needs to happen before the master account IDs can be linked into a HHA.

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

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