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.
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:
…. 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:
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 (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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)