Two titbits of British Airways news emerged yesterday, tucked away in a press release about ice cream.
(Ice cream is being introduced on all long haul flights departing London before 5pm. This is for World Traveller and World Traveller Plus only.)
Of possibly more interest ….
Pre-take off sparkling wine is coming to World Traveller Plus
I wasn’t aware this wasn’t a ‘thing’ at the moment, to be honest, but from ‘mid July’ British Airways will be bringing back pre-departure sparkling wine in World Traveller Plus.
(It is probably not the one pictured above, which is an old PR image.)
The press release stresses this is ‘pre-departure’ so it may not be available throughout the flight.
The in-flight sparkling wine in Club World is being switched to a British wine, Balfour Rosé de Noirs, which is made only from red grapes. Rosé champagne, on the other hand, uses chardonnay in its blend.
Speedbird Cafe is to rebrand as High Life Cafe
The second bit of news is that Speedbird Cafe, the ‘buy on board (or pre-order)’ food and drink service in short haul economy is being rebranded.
From 20th July it will be known as High Life Cafe.
‘Speedbird’ is the air traffic control call sign for British Airways (this article explains the background) but has little resonance beyond the aviation community.
More importantly from a practical perspective, Speedbird Cafe lives on the highlifeshop.com website which doesn’t make a lot of sense.
I think that British Airways does a poor job of marketing Speedbird Cafe. It isn’t heavily pushed in pre-flight communications. It would also make sense to make wi-fi access to highlifeshop.com free inflight. People who realise on their outbound flight that they can pre-order items can immediately log on and order for their return trip.
My one attempt to try Speedbird Cafe led to me being served a hot Tom Kerridge pie which had not actually been heated up. I asked the crew to heat me a replacement (unwrapped ones cannot be reheated) but there were no replacements on board. I was promised a refund but the money never turned up. Rhys had better luck with Speedbird Cafe as he reviewed here.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.