Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get 100 Avios via your BA Amex when you try BA’s ‘Speedbird Cafe’ or pre-order duty free

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In early 2021, British Airways made the unexpected announcement that it would be improving the food and drink in Euro Traveller (short haul economy).

This involved the re-introduction of free water and a small snack for all passengers. Alongside this would be a brand new pre-order menu for heartier items and drinks called ‘Speedbird Cafe’, with selected items curated by chef Tom Kerridge.

If you’ve never given this a go, a modest bribe of 100 Avios for a £10 spend is currently available on many (all?) British Airways American Express cards. You need to opt-in via the ‘Offers’ tab in the Amex app or website.

British Airways Eurotraveller Tom Kerridge steak and ale pie

Travelling long haul?

‘Speedbird Cafe’ is only available for short haul economy flights.

However, the Amex offer is also valid for pre-orders of duty free items on long haul flights via highlifeshop.com. This includes fragrances, tobacco and alcohol.

How does ‘Speedbird Cafe’ work?

Due to the legacy IT systems used by BA, adding ancillary products such as meal pre-orders during a flight booking is quite difficult.

You can pre-order your meal on the High Life Shop website here after you have booked your flights. You must pre-order at least 24 hours prior to departure.

The ordering process itself is fairly simple. You add in your flight number and personal details and British Airways will automatically match your order up to your booking. You don’t need to know your booking reference.

You add items to your bag and check out, just as with any other online order.

The service is only available to passenger travelling in short-haul economy.

Rhys tried out ‘Speedbird Cafe’ last Spring and you can read his review of the process here. Whilst his Tom Kerridge steak and ale pie looked a bit different from the PR image above:

Speedbird Cafe Tom Kerridge British Airways steak ale pie

…. he was genuinely happy with it.

My own attempt to try it out in February came to grief. My pie had barely been cooked and was cold inside. With no spare pies loaded, the crew gave me a Club Europe meal tray instead. The refund I was promised never arrived.

How does the American Express offer work?

This is the offer you are looking for on the Amex website:

American Express High Life shop offer

The only bits of small print to note are:

  • the offer is not cumulative – you need to spend over £10 in one transaction
  • you can earn the bonus multiple times until 6th June

‘Speedbird Cafe’ is not bargain priced, so spending £10 will be easier than you think.

If you are travelling long-haul, spending £10 on pre-ordered duty free fragrance, alcohol or tobacco is not a problem. If you are buying multiple items, it may be worth placing separate orders to trigger multiple bonuses.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 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 – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. 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

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 (57)

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

  • Bagoly says:

    “You add in your flight number and personal details and British Airways will automatically match your order up to your booking. You don’t need to know your booking reference.”
    The number of flights with namesakes can’t be that small – using booking reference would have made a lot more sense.

    • Simon Schus says:

      Agreed. I often get told: “we have been looking for you for a while!” when they turn up with my order. Sometimes, the cabin crew ask us to press the call bell, raise our hands, or mention we have a order whilst they hand out snacks.

      • Londonsteve says:

        It’s comical. Crew cannot find the relevant passenger amongst approximately 200 people whose exact name they have harvested at the point of booking and double-checked before boarding. The system is not fit for purpose, I won’t be using it again. It should take no IT effort at all to build at app that records that Joe Bloggs on PRN XYZ is sitting in 7E and automatically directs the crew to the relevant seat.

  • Simon Schus says:

    I’ve used this to buy the little Proseccos and medium bottle of champagne. They come with the most outsized plastic flutes! I usually fly alone on these flights, and I’m handed two flutes each time. I’ve found it was 50/50 up until this year as to whether you’d get your order, but it is now 100%. The challenge is drinking the bottle of champagne as it is medium sized and you only have about 25 to 40 minutes to drink it on a domestic, as it arrives after serving the water and snacks.

    My main challenge is that sometimes the flight numbers don’t come up when trying to preorder. I’ve always had a refund when it hasn’t arrived by emailing the email address, and it is always swift as the cabin crew allegedly have a button to show it was delivered or not. I even got a refund on the little bottles of Prosecco when I was upgraded to CE on a LHR-NCL recently.

  • Skyflier7 says:

    Funny you should mention your barely cooked pie. I’m crew and recently had someone order the pie. There was ZERO information on the packet about how to serve it. Hot? Cold? No idea. We discussed it, and I banged it in the oven for 12 minutes. Don’t know if that was enough, but the pax seemed happy. I fed this back, but no idea if anything has been done about it.

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

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