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EXCLUSIVE: Here are the British Airways plans for new service improvements in 2022

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In an internal email to staff, British Airways has outlined a number of service improvements that you can expect to see onboard during 2022.

We may do a further article later once we have had the official briefing from BA.

EDIT: We now have a second article up which covers the official announcement. Click here to read it once you’ve read the summary below.

Is it enough? See what you think.

British Airways customer service improvements

Here are the headline points:

  • BA admits that ‘there’s still a lot of work do’ despite improving customer feedback scores, driven by Club Suite
  • will be improved to allow more customers to amend their reservations without calling
  • Staff numbers are being increased at customer contact centres, and new telephone systems introduced
  • A new document checking process will be introduced before the Summer peak to make check-in easier
  • World Traveller Plus passengers will get a dedicated check-in area for the first time
  • A baggage tracing app will be launched, allowing passengers to see where there luggage is and to facilitate the easier return of delayed baggage
  • A plant-based menu will be introduced to BA lounges
  • The Skyflyers programme for children will be relaunched
  • Club Europe meals will change in March, with a greater variety of options promised
  • World Traveller meals will change in May with ‘additional items’ promised for both meal services
  • Club World will see ‘new enhancements’
  • More drinks will be loaded to end the current shortages due to low supplies, as well as additional spare meals to allow more customers to receive their first choice

More to follow when we get the official announcement. I don’t want to pass judgement until we have seen the detailed proposals – there is, for example, no mention of going back to serving meals in premium cabins course by course, even though most other major airlines have already done so.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard is doubled to a crazy 50,000 Avios! Apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is doubled to 10,000 Avios. Apply here.

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

CRAZY 50,000 Avios for signing up (to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (only to 30th May) 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

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

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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.

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 a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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 (139)

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

  • Alan says: is absolutely dire. The revamp a couple of years ago introduced lots more whitespace but zero improvement to functionality. To not even be able to make basic changes to a flexible ticket online (let alone cope with one that has a connection and doesn’t start in London) is just embarrassingly poor. It’s also incredibly slow to navigate compared to almost any other website. The app is also rubbish and basically just a skin for webpages – for example even if you’re already signed in to the app you have to sign in again to search for reward flights. If they had a good app and website they could massively reduce the number of passengers having to call in – why they haven’t invested in it for years is beyond me!

    • Kevin says:

      Agree. Having joined the Avios collecting club a few years ago, I’ve been very unimpressed with BA website and app. Despite the attempts to up-sell everything from insurance to scratch cards, Ryanair allows easier navigation and functionality. Talking of Irish carriers. Aer Lingus website isn’t too hot either.

    • Gavin454 says:

      It would be great if they could have an “advanced mode” which allows you to do things like choose a specific fare bucket, change payment currency, complex itineraries with multiple cabin classes, multi-carrier reward booking etc, all things which can be done by an agent on the phone but the general public is not trusted with!

  • George K says:

    By far my biggest gripe is how BA turned completely nasty towards its customers seeking compensation or duty of care costs during Covid. We all saw the spike in people asking for guidance during the past couple of years where the only way to get BA to play ball was via MCOL/CEDR, as the airline clearly chose to retrain its people to refuse any payouts by default, hoping most will either give up or claim via travel insurance at no cost to BA.

    While we know this to be true now, it certainly wasn’t like this as recently as 2019. I want an airline that won’t lie to my face when the going gets tough. The best PR comes out not from uneventful flights, but when you have to do good by your customers.

    That’s what a full service airline should be. This should be at the top of Doyle’s list

    • BJ says:

      Had the displeasure of the experience yesterday. Not unexpected as I was hoping to reschedule my 50% avios booking cancelled due to BA suspending BKK route. It wale a tale of 4 agents. Agent one was absolutely lovely but came out with so much nonsense to avoid rebooting that it was hard not to laugh. Agent 2 was disconnected after I said I would be happy with any date in April. Not sure if disconnect was genuine or intentional as searching that day by day would be a lot of work. Agent 3 stuck rigidly to the line BA owed us nothing except a refund as cancellation was more than 14 days before the flight. Was a bit worried this one might proceed with issuing a refund against my wishes but se didn’t. Agent 4 was fortunately a great guy. Listened patiently to my needs, explored a few options to meet them without success so he spoke with supervisor or whatever for a few minutes and then told me I could have any available (no need to be award) seat on one stop Qatar via Doha to Edinburgh. I asked if I could have Finnair instead but answer was no so I was more than happy to take Qatar. So my experience was a sort of microcosm of all the BA agent drama frequently

      • BJ says:

        …reported in the comments . It showed to the benefits of persevering with our rights as frequently explained by Lady London, Meta and others. I cannot help but feel though that BA would have more to gain than lose if they were to focus on honouring passengers rights and generating goodwill as opposed to ill will.

      • Vit says:

        Interesting. I managed to get BKK a couple week before Xmas 2022 using my FTV combined with my 2-4-1 amex voucher. Had to agree that it really depends on the agent, some say no and some say yes, but had to be done with US number. Never succeed with the UK number. Anyway, glad it worked out for you and thanks for sharing your experiences.

      • Vit says:

        Curious though as why you would prefer Finnair over Qatar….

        • BJ says:

          Finnair departs BKK 08.55 with 1h20min transit to EDI on summer timetable equating to 14h30min total travel time from BKK-EDI which is awesome. Qatar with short transit to EDI requires BKK departure at 03:05 with a total journey time of 15h45min IIRC. Based on previous experience I also prefer AY over QR, and I prefer connecting in Helsinki to Doha. Finally, it’s easier to sleep on the longer AY flight than the two shorter QR flights. For me schedule and total flight duration have always trumped differences in hard and soft products between airlines, I think many people overplay the latter. I’m glad you got sorted for Xmas. We have abandoned our usual Xmas trip now in favourbof November and April so we can still use companion vouchers despite BA going seasonal. Spring trips will be INV-BKK and TYO-EDI to cut costs and enjoy Japan also.

          • Vit says:

            Ah… it does make sense actually! It is true that I am not a big fan of ~7hrs x 2 sections as well. Still prefer when LH flies to ABZ back then but now as we moved to the Ferry. EDI suits us better. Yes — Christmas trip to burn 1 of our 2-4-1 voucher. We did book the INV-BKK. Maybe do the TYO-EDI later if Japan opens the country as we have not picked the return flight yet. Was hoping that the INV flight will be changed so we can look to change it EDI without extra cost 😀

          • BJ says:

            @Vit, good luck with your INV change. I think chances are good, so far all our exINV flights except one got changed FOC to Edinburgh. I would have thought your preferred alternative to BA exABZ would be KLM? By the way, how/where did you book your BKK Test & Go hotel in Thailand before Xmas?

          • Vit says:

            Fingers crossed! 🙂 Happy with INV dept time though as it is ~5pm so if it stands there are plenty of time for us to travel up from Broughty Ferry. In the past we use either AF/KLM or LH due to the Petroleum or Oil and Gas club but these are all gone now.

            BKK Test and Go Hotel were all successful. I have done it twice in a span of 2 weeks. haha. Not for fainted heart though as it can be quite over-whelming and especially when me partner is a couple month preggy too! Fun stuffs! But hey ho, we managed it and had a good time with friends and families. Kimpton and Conrad are definitely a must when you are here! Ready to fly back to the cold wet Scotland next week, not! 🙂 I hope test and go will be here to stay (instead of quarantine) but not the 5th day faff test!

          • BJ says:

            @Vit, congratulations, hope all goes well. Have safe journey back too.

  • Andrew says:

    Being able to amend flight bookings, online, during a trip is a must. Example two days ago, in Joburg, needed to add extra leg and return via Cape Town, got through to the Exec help desk straight away but it took 38 minutes to quote for a pretty simple switch, leading to a pretty expensive hotel call bill. Why can’t BA accept calls over the internet, WhatsApp etc? Also, Comair’s breakfasts in SA are much better than BA’s, in fact the whole cabin experience is superior, something BA could learn from.

    • John says:

      Use Skype and if you don’t have access to the UK free phone numbers, the US toll free is for everyone. Not done this for several years so not sure if still works

  • Dawn says:

    Personally pleased to see a plant-based menu. I’m allergic to dairy products and there’s never anything in the lounge to eat. Lovely soups always have cream in them. On the plane I’ve tried the ‘lactose free’ alternative but the meals are awful so I either don’t eat or have gone to ‘pot luck’ and pick out what I can eat from the normal meal. Lactose free doesn’t mean it’s free from all milk proteins. At least with plant based I know there is no hidden dairy in there.

  • Karen says:

    Cancelled my Business Class reward flight with companion voucher. Expected to get my avíos back and a refund on Tax as per stated t&cs. Have been sent voucher codes with no indication whatsoever what they are for tried for 2 hours 3 days in a row to speak to customer service cut off every time. So frustrated I could cry. Xx

    • Rob says:

      Should have asked here, we would have told you.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Practically speaking, yes – but the actual right thing would be for BA to look after its customers and not rely on you to help them

  • Clare says:

    An improvement in service has come too late for me. I am so disgusted by BA’s lack of service to customers by phone or email. I requested a refund when in November they cancelled my March 2022 2 for 1 business class flight, booked last September. Their email on 1’st of December said they were processing the refund. But I am still waiting for the Avios. Unable to speak to anyone on the phone. The cash element was returned after 6 weeks….unacceptable. I have 2 other 2 for 1 vouchers I am unable to use without enough avios. I believe BA are deliberately withholding avios for their own benefit. I have now booked cash flights to Buenos Aires in October with Lufthansa, having missed the boat for reward flight availability. I have noe decided to use other airlines in future. I will cancel my BA card at the next renewal and say goodbye to usinf BA out of preference, except if it happens coincidentally to be the best option for particular journeys in future. I would rather pay for business class with other airlines than suffer the frustration and disappointment I have endured due to BA’s total lack of interest in putting the customer first.

    • ChrisC says:

      But they are refunding lots of RFS vouchers so they are obviously not holding onto avios. Sometimes things just go awry.

      Personally I’d drop a note to BA legal giving them 14 days to refund the avios otherwise you’ll take them to MCOL for the equivalent cash value.

      BA legal don’t like having to deal with what are essentially minor customer service tasks but will get it sorted.

    • John says:

      I don’t know why people choose airlines that aren’t the best option, but BA has been relying on it for far too long.

      • Rhys says:

        Because for many people the best option is often the one that flies direct.

      • Lady London says:

        Without BA having close to monopoly on – guessing – 80% of their routes for most people, they would be uncompetitive and people would choose to fly on someone else far too much of the time.

        Italy does not seem to want to lose a carrier they can call their national carrier either leading to all sorts of privileges for Alitalia ( or whatever that sorry mess of commercial non-viability is called now).

        I think BA can count on the same partiality from the powers that be in the UK, especially now the UK is out of the EU.

        Frankly BA doesn’t have to improve. There’s no competition reason why it makes sense.

    • Mikeact says:

      @Clare. Good to see you changing carrier.
      I guess we won’t see you on here anymore…I’ll look out for your comments over on Lufthansa.

  • David S says:

    I’m finding as well that it’s getting almost impossible to find CE availability on many routes even looking a full year out. Almost every day next winter has the full 6 Economy seats available but zero CE on every day for the next 355 days. Is this a deliberate BA tactic – it used to be so easy to find seats

  • Colin JE says:

    Wow, haven’t seen so many comments so early in the day for a while. This clearly has stirred up feelings.
    I’ve not been badly affected by BA’s shenanigans but in terms of genuine improvements I’d love to see some proper CE seat improvements with extra legroom. Why would anyone over 5’10” what to pay 3x the price of economy just for a meal and a drink, especially if you already have lounge access through status?
    I usually opt for an exit row in Economy. Other than the occasional elbow jousting with a neighbour it’s better than being kneecapped in CE.

    • ChrisC says:

      To give extra legroom in CE that would mean removing seats and a loss of revenue.

      It would also mean CE being a fixed size cabin which BA would be reluctant to do.

    • Rhys says:

      This article as published yesterday, to be fair 🙂

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