British Airways glitch sparks anger as customers unable to convert Avios frequent flyer miles into Nectar points
Swathes of frustrated British Airways customers have been unable to convert their Avios frequent flyer points into Nectar rewards because of a glitch with the airline's systems, which has resulted in an outpouring of anger online.
Update: Thursday 9 December 2021: British Airways says Executive Club members should now be able to convert their Avios into Nectar points. If you're still experiencing problems, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by commenting on our Forum.
MoneySavingExpert.com (MSE) can reveal that British Airways' (BA's) 10 million Executive Club members have been unable to swap their Avios into Nectar points in the run-up to Christmas because of what the airline calls "system changes". Some customers say they have not had their points converted for over a month.
BA would not tell us when the issues began or provide a clear time-scale to MSE as to when the problem will be resolved - though it says it should be back up and running by the end of this week. BA said: "While Executive Club make some background system changes we have temporarily disabled the auto-conversion service and Avios to Nectar manual conversion service."
While those wishing to convert Nectar points into Avios have been unaffected, people hoping to exchange their air miles for Nectar points to use towards their Christmas shopping have been left frustrated, and have vented their frustrations online. Here's a selection of some of the complaints we've seen:
One Executive Club member told members of the MSE Forum: "I’ve got loads of Avios points I wanted to use for the Christmas shop."
In response, another Forum user noted how the issue has been ongoing for over a week: "Yes, this has been true all week and maybe longer! I first tried on Monday. I am in the same boat as you, attempting to transfer points for Christmas and, with BA already taking 10 days to do the transfer, time is running out."
Another said: "I Have the same problem. Loads of Avios, which are of little use at the moment, but Nectar would be very useful."
If the issue is fixed by the end of this week you may still be able to convert your points before Christmas
A spokesperson for British Airways said that the service should be back up and running as usual by the end of this week, however, they couldn't provide an exact date for this.
If this is the case, and you are able to resume making any conversions from Friday, then this would complete on Monday 20 December as the process takes 10 calendar days. However, if you initiate a conversion on a Saturday or Sunday, the 10 days won't start until the following Monday.
Those who wish to convert their Nectar points to Avios can continue to do so and this process takes place instantly and remains unaffected by the problems outlined above.
You can convert Avios into Nectar points at a rate of 250 Avios to 400 Nectar points
The conversion scheme, which was set up to allow BA customers to readily convert their air miles to loyalty points and vice versa, was introduced in January this year after an Avios and Tesco Clubcard partnership ended.
You can convert a minimum 250 Avios to 400 Nectar points, with swaps in higher amounts calculated at the same rate. You can also set up an automatic conversion for a minimum 250 Avios to Nectar a week.
The scheme could be useful for many with new Covid restrictions curtailing travel plans for some, as you may prefer to have Nectar points instead, which can now be more readily spent.
Read our Loyalty Points Boosting guide for more on how Nectar and Clubcard work, and see our 31 tricks to boost and max Avios (which is the underlying points currency for the British Airways and other frequent flyer schemes).