Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

What can the British Airways “You First” team do for you if you are booked in First Class?

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

“You First” is a dedicated call centre set up to help anyone holding a British Airways First Class ticket.  Not many people know it exists, which is a shame because – irrespective of the wait times at the main British Airways call centre – telephone calls to “You First” are generally answered quickly.

The last time I used it, back in August 2020 at the height of the pandemic when getting an airline to answer your call required a minor miracle, I got through within 30 seconds and within five minutes my tickets were changed following a cancellation.

‘You First’ is by far your best opportunity to get an affected flight rebooked or refunded.

British Airways You First telephone number for first class passengers

The British Airways “You First” telephone number is 020 7949 3055.  If you are in the UK, there is also a free version which is 0800 408 7667.

‘You First’ is open 24/7, although if you call outside UK office hours you may be diverted to an offshore call centre and the service level may be different.  It is, I believe, the same team that look after Gold Guest List members.

You can also ring this number to make a First Class booking for cash or Avios, as well as call to make any changes or cancellations.

What else can “You First” do for you?

The British Airways website is rather vague about what “You First” offers.  On the webform for contacting “You First” it suggests using them for:

  • Travel queries
  • Journey disruption
  • Mishandled bags

To be honest, I don’t think I have ever used it for anything other than flight changes.

Much of the value used to be in booking spa treatments or cabanas in The Concorde Room lounges in London and New York, but these features no longer exist.

British Airways You First telephone number

You can ask “You First” to send you the menu for your particular flight in advance, if you contact them within a few days of departure. This can be especially useful if you are wondering whether to pre-order a special meal or not.

The British Airways “You First” service is NOT meant to be a concierge service.  They will, however, answer the telephone quickly and deal efficiently with the basics such as ticket changes – although you could justifiably argue that you shouldn’t need to have a First Class ticket to get this level of service!

There isn’t much about “You First” on the British Airways website, but the little there is can be found here.

Don’t forget that we have a full guide to redeeming Avios for British Airways First Class seats which you can find here.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 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

30,000 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 – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel 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 (31)

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

  • Alex G says:

    Used them last year when I needed to call to make an open jaw Avios booking. Was flying out in F to DUL and back in J from BOS. Even though only part of the itinerary was in F, they were happy to assist and completed the booking quickly and efficiently. Was impossible to get through on the main number at the time.

    My brother found them very helpful when an itinerary originally booked for May 2020 had to be rescheduled several times and was finally flown two years later. Again, this was F out and J return.

  • AJA says:

    I used them in 2020 when my Avios flights to Tel Aviv in First were cancelled because of Covid. Unfortunately I ended up going for a refund as I ran into ticket validity issues when trying to rearrange the booking. Had I known then what I know now I definitely would not have gone for the refund. That said the refund was done quickly and efficiently when I agreed to it and the Avios and companion voucher were back in my account before the call ended. Cash was back within 3 days too.

    • Vit says:

      @AJA, sorry to hear that you had to go for a refund. Though are you saying ticket validity can be more than 12 months? I’ve never had to deal with such with BA but had rewards booking with EVA Air and “somehow” managed to extend the 12 months “validity”.

      • AJA says:

        It was going to be my first experience of First so I was very disappointed. Still haven’t experienced First 🙁

        BA says ticket validity is 12 months from date of issue or one year from the date you first travelled using the ticket, as long as your first flight took place within a year of the ticket being issued. I’d booked 8 months before the flight so YouFirst would only transfer me to a flight within 12 months of booking which meant any time in the following 4 months which was no good to me. In retrospect I should have just accepted a reschedule extending to the maximum date allowed and then dealt with it again closer to the time.

        BA can extend beyond 12 months by simply re-issuing the ticket but you have to find an agent willing to do this (see Alex G’s comment above). The other complication was that BA stopped selling First to TLV so I would have had a battle anyway. One might have more success on a route where they continue to sell First.

        • JS says:

          Memorize these words “I need to put my ticket ON HOLD due to complications”. Don’t use any other type of language. They will put your ticket on hold and you can rebook within 12 months.

  • Andrew J says:

    For changes to BA Holidays including an F flight, you can also call them, they can’t help but will connect you directly to the Holidays team, without a wait and introducing you to them, explaining what your request is so you don’t need to repeat it.

  • Paul says:

    In general the service is as you describe but they suffer with the same inconsistent service issues that affect the whole of BA. It depends on who answers the phone! Pre pandemic I had an issue mid travel. I knew the ticket was flexible and that changes while allowed would be priced at the historical fare level level. In my case I estimated it would be around £250 including APD. I was forced to pay an additional £1600 in order to fly, downgraded due lack of Avios availability and due to their incompetence when the inadvertently cancelled another carriers segment which was full. It took 4 months of back and forth and an email to the CEO before a call refunding £1,350.
    As always with BA caveat emptor!

  • Tony says:

    So why, when you book First, do they not bother to give you these phone numbers?! It should be in big numbers in the booking confirmation. But needless to say BA keeps it quiet to avoid passengers annoyingly telephone in! Thanks HfP for this. I’ve flown First many times but never had this number. How about the Concorde Room giving out a card with these numbers?

  • Barnaby100 says:

    Would add I am flying BA 1st today but on an AA code share and You First said they can only support BA coded bookings (even though both flights today are with BA)

    • Alex G says:

      Makes total sense. You bought an AA ticket. AA should be dealing with any booking/ticketing issues.

      • Andrew says:

        AA codeshare doesn’t necessarily mean an AA ticket does it?

        • Thegasman says:

          BA métal & AA code = AA ticket. If it was ticketed by anyone else then it would have that airline’s (eg. IB or JL) code or the BA prime code.

  • Manya says:

    Would also be interesting to see how people have used the Amex platinum concierge service.

    I’ve had limited success using the concierge service and generally haven’t had much luck when using them to get hotel or restaurant bookings etc or event tickets where none are available despite their claims of having exclusive access.

    • Steve says:

      I’ve had some success with this when in Japan (quite a few high end Japanese restaurants won’t deal directly with foreigners) but otherwise don’t normally bother.

    • Andrew says:

      It’s a really long winded way of explaining what you need to someone and waiting for them to google it and eventually email you back.

  • Chris says:

    I honestly thought the platinum concierge service had been dropped

    haven’t tried to use it for years, and I never had success when I did try to use it

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.