Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Check-in changes for British Airways Executive Club Bronze members

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

When Gatwick Airport reopened the South Terminal a few weeks ago, British Airways took the opportunity to introduce a dedicated World Traveller Plus check-in desk.

The same thing has recently happened at Heathrow Terminal 5. I’m not sure about Terminal 3.

Whilst this has not been widely publicised, British Airways has changed the check-in rules at Heathrow and Gatwick.

Check-in changes for British Airways Bronze members

If you have Bronze status in British Airways Executive Club, you should now check-in at the dedicated World Traveller Plus desks. These can be found in Zone C.

Whilst the signage in Gatwick and Terminal 5 reflects this, has not yet been updated.

Oddly, this move seems to break oneworld rules. This page of the oneworld alliance website says that ‘oneworld Ruby’ members, which is what BA Bronze is equivalent to, can use business class check-in desks.

Bronze members shouldn’t necessarily see this as a downgrade. I can imagine that a dedicated World Traveller Plus / Bronze area could be quieter than the dedicated Business Class / Silver area.


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 (57)

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

  • Gordon says:

    11:20am 29c Sitting on the beach at Grand Hyatt Nusa Dua Bali reading this article.That’s a coincidence as I reached the dizzy heights of bronze yesterday lol, After my flight to Singapore. Seat selection 7 days ahead will be a nice change. I was actually surprised to earn 10.146 Avios & 160 Tier points on a 2-4-1 Companion redemption.I didn’t think you earned anything….

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      Ssh! We got the same on one 241 this year too!

      Remember the big BA Exec club IT improvement shutdown last year, maybe this was the “improvement”. I haven’t seen any other!

      • Gordon says:

        Oh ok. Mums the word. Lol

        • Polly says:

          30degrees here in Surrey this week, tomorrow, but wishing we were also in Nusa Dua…it must feel amazing finally being back there….well done on the bronze. We will probably drop to bronze now end of September, but glad to be able to use J check in, if long Y queues in Asia in Nov.
          And if a QR J ex eu sale pops along, we will get back to silver, eventually!

          • Gordon says:

            Polly, Yes it’s fantastic to finally get back to Bali. It’s been a long time coming, Heathrow T5 was eerily quiet when we arrived on the 7th June, we went straight to the front of bag drop, The south galleries was about 40% capacity But B galleries was 5% at the most,
            Just received a GOV update on Indonesia travel. We took out extra insurance that had to show for covid illness hospitalisation etc. But they did not even ask for it. All they were interested in was the 500,000 Rupiah (VOA) for me and my OH. It took us about an hour to clear customers etc in Bali.
            You should sail through in November as looking better by the day.
            PS You can still live like a king over here, Prices are still great.
            People are Starting to trickle over now but it’s still quiet atm.

            Change made:
            Addition of information on what to do if testing positive for C-19 whilst in Indonesia (‘Coronavirus’ page). Removal of information on the presentation of insurance requirement and compulsory vaccination on arrival (‘Entry requirements’ page)
            Time updated:
            3:58pm, 15 June 2022

          • Polly says:

            Tnx Gordon, great to read your report.
            Apologies for OT tho, couldn’t help asking you.. can’t wait…

            Re BP draw. I noticed before l linked my avios ac to BPme, l got 4x offers of 200 pts, followed by 120 for each of my next 3 visits. Where as l had pre linked my OH ac, he just gets the 5x for the ultimate fuel. So, no point in my filling up with ultimate. I did fill half a tank tho to do a clean. I just got straight points for the ultimate fill, and this 200 bonus . Two earning rates side by side then.

    • Tom B says:

      This is odd. A few friends have had the same recently earning tier points on redemptions (one mate in 1st with a 241). I also used Avios for 2x upgrades to business on Qatar and had tier points posted.

      • Rob says:

        Lots of people getting this due to BA IT screw ups but totally random – even within the same booking. My daughter now has BA status after our Mauritius holiday but my son does not.

        • ChrisC says:

          It seems to happen if your booking has been changed in some way – cancelled and rebooked or a flight change and there are no avios seats so they put you in a revenue bucket..

          This has been happening for years and isn’t directly related to last years “upgrade”.

          It’s just more noticeable now because of all the Covid cancellations and changes it has increased the numbers it has happened to.

          • Phillip says:

            I noticed this a lot on bookings that were cancelled and rebooked.

            That said, I have also seen cases where BA has rebooked flights onto revenue fare buckets when award space was not available, and these still earned 0! So definitely very random!

        • Gordon says:

          @Rob. Can this be revoked. Or is it the price you see is the price you pay…. Or in this case. “The prize”

          • SamG says:

            I’ve never heard of it randomly disappearing. I have heard of someone trying to get it for their OH who didn’t get lucky and finding theirs “corrected” instead !!

          • Rob says:

            Clearly if it is revoked you can’t complain.

        • Paul says:

          And yet my wife’s Avios one way CE booking with her BAEC number clearly on display credited to my account as ineligible, but my CE cash fare on separate PNR did not credit to either account!
          The hopeless claim Avios system which requests ticket number does not recognise a BA ticket number.

          There is no part of BA that is operating normally

        • sayling says:

          I wonder if it’s anything to do with the new, post September 2021 issued vouchers using I class?

    • Will says:

      Nice when that happens.

      I once flew first to Sydney with my partner using a GGL joker, 2-4-1 and GUF so paid 1 club worlds return avios and then the TP and avios for the flights credited to our accounts which made that a very cheap trip indeed!

      • Lady London says:

        Grrr jealous

      • Paul says:

        I was used 2 x 241 vouchers for the 4 of us to fly LHR PHX in F return and not a single Avios was deducted. I did not complain

  • Leo says:

    What about when flying from somewhere where this is no premium economy check in desk? Still use Business I presume.

    • John says:

      I seem to recall that HKG always had premium economy desks for BA

      • Paul says:

        HKG was always very well organised. I knew the BA station manager and his deputy very well and they were both superb members of staff.

      • SamG says:

        Yes SIN had a status desk and IIRC it was also for WT+ ? (CW+F used the separate premium check in area)

        Not sure on current arrangements

        Another well run station

  • Dawn says:

    I’ve found the Business class check in to be so busy each time I used it that I just didn’t bother. This is a really good move in my opinion.

    • SamG says:

      100% agree. I’ve never used T5 Cw check in even flying Cw. The self service machines have never had a queue whereas that area always seems too and my ego does not need stroking with some special useless “priority” tags 😉

  • TimM says:

    “Oddly, this move seems to break oneworld rules”
    Adding to Britain’s increasing reputation for rule-breaking.

    • BSI1978 says:

      Blimey, that’s a convoluted shoe-horn if ever I’ve read one…..

    • AJA says:

      Isn’t this website based on the idea that we read the rules of any reward scheme and tweak them to our best advantage even if that isn’t strictly how the schemes were supposed to work? For instance signing up to a credit card for the SUB, spending required sum, then cancelling to reset the clock? Rinse and repeat.

      I’d say BA (and the UK) has just woken up to the idea and started to do the same thing. It’s not like thet’re alone in doing so. Qatar Airways has for a long time applied its own rules as to who can enter its premium lounges.

    • ChrisC says:

      Yiu are Priti Patel and I claim my £5 prize.

    • memesweeper says:

      If a oneworld status holder from another airline shows up and demands to be able to check in at a business desk, I suspect they would have to be allowed to.

      AA has different (worse) rules for lounge access for its own elite members versus oneworld partner equivalents… so there is precedent for BAs actions in the alliance.

  • Richie says:

    At Gatwick, it can be quicker to drop off checked luggage at the economy self service drop off desk.

    • Lady London says:

      I like to keep people in work so I will always use a serviced counter when available

      • TimM says:

        Same for Smiths, Boots, etc. at the airport and supermarkets otherwise. I am happy to pay extra for service over self-service. I wish I could carry a card saying so.

    • Jack Hodgson says:

      I would rather start have jobs don’t need more machines we pay for staff

  • ChrisC says:

    Re Kimpton offer.

    Just repriced my August bank holiday trip to the de Witt. Won’t be changing as my existing rate is better.

    BUT this rate is the same as the railcard discount. I have a network railcard others – like the seniors – also qualify.

    However the rail card rate has better terms – no deposit and can cancel upto 3 days in advance of the stay. Also bookable 5 days in advance rather than 7.

    • DJ says:

      Just a general question, will a stay booked under railcard rate classified as a qualified stay via IHG?


      • ChrisC says:

        Yes they certainly are qualifying in terms of both nights and points.

  • aseftel says:

    I’m pretty sure that punting Bronze out to a separate check in queue at Gatwick predates the reopening. I recall seeing it in February 2020. Not sure whether it was WTP as well.

    • Rob says:

      No, it’s new. BA even put a press release out.

      • Paul says:

        Perhaps they could put out a press release on yesterday’s meltdown at T5.

        NCE – LHR delayed 4 hours last night, thrown out of the lounge at 9pm for a 11.35 re timed departure, no information beyond the boards, no vouchers, no EU261 information and no one who’d admit to working for BA. The Gaelic shrug was in overdrive.

        When you look at T5 departures board everything was delayed hours or cancelled between 2pm and 8pm.

        • Lady London says:

          don’t forget to claim delay compo plus you’d have been able to be reimbursed dinner receipts at reasonable local rates (no alcohol)

        • ADS says:

          are NCE employing irish staff ?

          or did you mean gallic shrug ?!

  • G says:

    WTP is often a much quieter checkin as all Silvers/Golds head straight for business class or first check-in. Opening this up to Bronze members at Gatwick is a benefit for both Bronze (quicker check in) and reduces the demand on other check in guests for silvers/business class fliers.

    • Harry T says:

      As Gold, I’ll just whichever desk has the shortest queue, which could be WTP! I was recently flying F out of Boston and changed to the business/silver desk as it was less busy than first/gold desk. Some of the people in the much longer queue for the first desk looked surprised that I would relinquish the chance to queue in the fancy people line 😂

      • TimM says:

        Quite correct. Research re. motorway traffic shows you should switch lane continuously according to each lane’s foreseeable traffic. This behaviour also optimises the global throughput. Queuing theory also proves that one-line is the least efficient, e.g. at a main post office.

        Regarding check-in, if you have to go through such an indignity, then only first class opens all the options to switch lanes. Go for the shortest queue open to you x speed of that check-in member of staff. It may take a minute or so to assess the situation and make the calculations 🙂

      • Polly says:

        We will just be glad to not have to join those long Y check in lines we saw in Asia down through the years. KUL looked brutal at times. Bronze with WTP, or J checkin will be just fine. Yes, we would go to the shortest queue also. Makes sense.

      • WaynedP says:

        Perish that thought Harry T, I’m a short-term, one off Gold for this year and there’s nothing fancy about me 😆

    • FatherOfFour says:

      Presumably if you are silver/gold or travelling in Club and you see that the WTP/Bronze queue is lighter, you could use it?!

    • Greg says:

      Exactly. I guess if you are now gold/silver/bronze/blue flying premium / club, you will head to the shortest queue, even if that is economy.

      I’ve even experienced economy passengers queuing with me at Club. They get spoken to, but never get sent back to the right desks.

      • Mike says:

        Greg – that does sound like “when will the poor people learn to stay in their lane”

        • Gordon says:

          Mike. Your not necessarily poor if you fly economy, You may be frugal….

      • Jonathan says:

        If you’re flying in Economy to a country that requires a visa to be arranged in advance, then it’s generally better to use human operating check in desks, to save time at the gate

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.