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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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 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 (June 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:

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 £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.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

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 (57)

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

  • Gordon says:

    Pre order duty free yes, Pie No, Not worth the risk of getting a sub standard pie and going through the hassle of bringing it to the attention of cabin crew (Who seem to be struggling with providing an expected service as it is).

  • DanW says:

    I was told 2 days ago, when just about to tap my BA Amex on the reader, that they don’t accept Amex any more. I pointed out the irony that I was trying to pay with a BA Amex. They wouldn’t let me use it saying that Amex doesn’t work well offline and I had to use my Visa.

    • Mike says:

      What ! BA don’t accept the BA Amex card – that is ridiculous

      • Nick says:

        Onboard sales aren’t handled by BA though, it’s all Tourvest. BA has nothibg to do with it. Although the crew member was indeed wrong, it’s only Amex contactless that doesn’t work, if you insert the card (or use Apple Pay) it’s fine.

        • Mike says:

          But surely the Cabin crew member should know that ! I am trusting that person to carry out life saving actions in the event of an emergency so I would hope they would be aware of the “simpler / more straightforward “ actions of accepting payment types for buy on board or are my expectations too high ?

          • yorkieflyer says:

            Just sort of hoping you don’t have a swipe card reader on the emergency exit…

  • L Allen says:

    If you forget to preorder, your Amex will not be accepted on board as their machines don’t work with Amex cards.

  • Nick says:

    Sorry, that pie picture is of the one you were happy with, and not the one still waiting on a refund? It seems that the house style is to add a ‘genuinely’ or ‘honestly’ to statements in place of a knowing wink 😂

    It might be better just to be genuine and honest the rest of the time, come what may with partners.

    • Rob says:

      The picture is the one that Rhys ate (very happily).

      • RussellH says:

        Surely Rhys has better taste than to eat a picture?

      • Nick says:

        It’s a great picture.
        Zoom in and look at the pastry lid. It’s not cooked correctly, instead of a crispy flakiness it’s a stodgy and damp mix of butter and flour under the very top layer of flake, looking more like an apple crumble filling.
        If that’s the level we are very happy with, it might be worth a recalibration.

  • Gary Sharp says:

    I have tried booking speedbird cafe 3 times now on domestic flights. One arrived as planned, albeit late in the flight as they serve business first. The other two either didn’t arrive, or arrived with missing items. With the completely missing one, the crew were good and found us snacks and champagne to compensate (I had my booking email printed and with me). The other came with no gin – I had ordered the premium gin, and when I complained the FA acted as if I was lying and eventually offered me a complimentary Gordons. It was only when I dug my laptop out and showed her the order, that another FA got me the correct gin.

    It’s a terrible service, and 100 Avios wouldn’t tempt me to use it again.

    • yorkieflyer says:

      Just fly from a Northern airport, they nearly all now have a Greggs so no need to pre order your baked goods

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Or fly from the south and replace greggs with Pret 🙂

        • Londonsteve says:

          Pret is three times the price of Greggs while being only 50% better. Greggs wins VFM hands down.

    • Londonsteve says:

      I used the Speedbird Cafe service once. Because it was paid with someone else’s card, the crew were unable to deliver the order to my seat so I had to go to the galley to chase it. The booking page initially harvests the passenger details but it seems that the payment data then overrides this. An amateurish system considering it should be tracking a specific passenger who might miss their flight due to the late arrival of a BA plane they are connecting. The overall concept is pretty poor – passengers expect a broad selection available on a flight for spur of the moment purchases. All the LCCs seem to manage to load well-stocked refreshment trolleys, so why not BA?

  • Based In London says:

    Hopefully you will receive your order. Last week 4 items pre-ordered LHR-Faro, but 2 hadn’t been loaded and 2 had disappeared from the crew’s version of the order. Last December 2 items ordered but only 1 was loaded. In both cases requested a refund and the reply was the same “can gladly re-route your order or have it added to your next order should you be flying with us anytime soon”. Had to request again for a refund for the missing items.

    • Richard G says:

      Yes, same experience here. Couldn’t even get them to sort the refund for me directly, I had to contact an email address they gave me.

  • Richard G says:

    They’ve failed to deliver my items twice (out of four orders).

    I wont be in a rush to use them again.

  • PP says:

    “Due to the legacy IT systems”

    I don’t buy it. Years ago you used to be able to order in BA Economy specific dietary based versions of meals e.g. Vegetarian, kosher etc., well in advance.

    They had the IT then, so why not now?

    • ChrisC says:

      That’s because the meals were free and from a limikted list so there didn’t need to be things like a charging module involved.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.