Our privacy promise
British Airways is committed to respecting your privacy and protecting your personal information.
- We will be transparent about the information we are collecting and what we will do with it.
- We will also use the information to help us understand you better and so that we can give you relevant offers.
- If you tell us, you don’t want to receive marketing messages we will stop sending them. We will, of course, continue to send essential information relating to a product or service you have purchased to keep you informed about your booking and travel itinerary.
- We will put in place measures to protect your information and keep it secure.
- We will respect your data protection rights and aim to give you control over your own information.
If you have made a flight booking with us but one or more flights are to be provided by other airline(s) then that other airline will also separately be considered a “data controller” under European Union and UK data protection law. You can access the privacy policies of the other airlines via their own websites.
Any provider of services such as a hotel or car rental company will also separately be a “data controller”. You can access the privacy policies of those providers from them directly.
If you have made a booking for non-flights services (hotel, car, transfers or experiences) or booked a “package” then the package booking Terms and Conditions identify if your contract is with British Airways Holidays Limited, British Airways is the “data controller”.
If you are a member of the British Airways Executive Club, Avios Group (AGL) Limited will also separately be a “data controller” of your personal information. Avios Group (AGL) Limited’s address is Waterside, PO Box 365, Harmondsworth, UB7 0GB. Avios Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal information means details which identify you or could be used to identify you, such as your name and contact details, your travel arrangements and purchase history. It may also include information about how you use our websites and mobile applications.
Where we reference that others are data controllers in the sections ’Controller of Personal Information’ and ’Who do we share your personal information with?’ you should consult their privacy policies for further information.
Additional Terms and Conditions or policies may apply if you elect to take additional services from us such as making a Highlife purchase on board, using our on-board Wi-Fi or entering a competition linked to British Airways and other third parties.
We take great care to protect the personal information you provide to us. You can read more about how we do this in our Website Security Policy. Here are some things you can do to keep your information secure.
Keep your booking reference confidential
When you make a booking, you will be given a booking reference (also known as a PNR or Passenger Name Record). This will appear on the email confirmation or ticket of each person in your booking. You should always keep your booking reference confidential.
Giving your booking reference to others may allow them to access your booking details through our systems.
If you are travelling with others and would not like your individual booking details to be accessible by them, you may prefer each person to make separate bookings.
Keep your Executive Club number/ba.com registered customer log-in details confidential
To make sure your access to our websites, other online services, and mobile applications is secure, you should not share your log in details with anyone else. When you finish using the website, online services or mobile app you should log out if others may be able to access your computer or device. This is especially important if you are using a publicly accessible computer.
Be aware of and protect yourself against Internet fraud and ‘phishing’
There is an Internet fraud practice known as ‘phishing’ which is the illegal gathering of personal information by deception. Unsolicited emails are sent to individuals from lists illegally gathered by a third party, and recipients are asked to enter or reconfirm bank or password details into a 'cloned' or illegal copy website.
Please see our phishing FAQ (English only) for information about scam emails claiming to be from British Airways.
We collect personal information about you whenever you use our services (whether these services are provided by us or by other companies or agents acting on our behalf), including when you travel with us, when you use our website or mobile applications, or interact with us via email or use our contact centres.
For additional details see question below.
In addition, we may receive personal information about you from third parties, such as:
- Companies contracted by us to provide services to you.
- Companies involved in your travel plans, including airlines involved in your prior or onward journey, relevant airport operators and customs and immigration authorities.
- Companies that participate in our loyalty schemes and other customer programmes (e.g. car hire providers and hotels).
- Companies who provide details to us under privacy polices providing information to be shared with British Airways.
When you use our services, you will need to provide us with your personal details or the details of those individual(s) who will be travelling.
We collect the following categories of personal information:
- Information you provide for British Airways to complete and manage a booking you have made with us or a service you have requested from us.
- For example, your name, address, email, contact details, date of birth, gender, passport number, your account details and payment information.
- If you buy tickets for someone else, we may collect your billing information but may communicate with the passenger directly about their flight.
- We will know if you booked your flight on ba.com or used another sales channel such as a travel agent or our contact centre.
- Information collected during your travel with us.
- For example, we may collect information such as your interactions with staff and cabin crew before and during the flight.
- When passing through security at the airport we may collect photographs and other images (including biometric templates) so that we can recognise you.
- Information about your travel arrangements.
- For example, details of your booking, travel itinerary, details of any additional assistance you require, and other information related to your travel with us such as dietary requirements.
- Information about the services we have provided to you in the past.
- For example, details of your previous travel arrangements, such as your previous flights and travel-related issues, including upgrades received, your baggage requirements, airport disruption, lost luggage and your customer feedback.
- Information about online registration and other interactions.
- For example, we will retain your information to ensure we interact with you appropriately if you have registered with us, either through our British Airways Executive Club, other loyalty schemes or customer programmes.
- We will retain your information if you have entered a competition, registered for a promotion or interacted with us via social media such as Facebook or Twitter.
- For example, to help us to personalise your experience and improve our website we collect information about your searches and the content you have viewed on our website using cookies and similar technologies, such as the website you come from, internet banner advertisements and links which appear on our marketing partners’ websites.
- We will use previous web usage data stored within the cookie and previous web browsing history to personalise and understand you as a customer. This could include if you have entered any booking or passenger name information on our website, if you used your registered customer number or Executive Club membership number.
- We would be able understand from your web browsing history that you have visited ba.com and searched for a flight but did not complete your booking. We may use this information to contact you to offer more information about the booking and the location.
- Information about your device and your location, e.g. if you have been browsing on ba.com or using our mobile application, for example your IP address or unique device ID. (An IP address (i.e. Internet Protocol address) is a numeric code that can act as a unique identifier for your computer or other device – this can be turned off from your device).
- For example, identifying the country from which you are accessing the relevant website or application which will enable us to provide more relevant content and use an appropriate language.
- If we have your permission we may use the functionality on your device (such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS) to determine your location to assist with flight connections, boarding our aircraft as well as provide a personalised service (you can access or change this option by amending the location settings on your device).
- To deliver online advertising such as banner adverts by matching device ID’s.
When and why do we collect ‘sensitive personal data’?
Certain categories of personal information, such as that about race, ethnicity, religion, health, sexuality or biometric information are special categories of data requiring additional protection under European Union and UK data protection law and is referred to here as “sensitive personal data”. Generally, we try to limit the circumstances where we collect and process sensitive personal data. Examples of where we may collect and process ’sensitive personal data’ includes the following:
- You have requested specific medical assistance from us and/or an airport operator, such as the provision of wheelchair assistance or oxygen.
- You have sought clearance from us to fly with a medical condition or because you are more than 28 weeks pregnant.
- You have otherwise chosen to provide such information to us or it has been passed onto us by a third party such as the travel agent through which you made your booking.
- Biometric information (for example, facial recognition) may be collected during the security clearance process prior to, and after, flying with us.
In addition, you may have requested services (such as a meal) which is not ’sensitive data’ but may imply or suggest your religion, health or other information.
The main purposes for which we use your personal information are:
- To fulfil your travel arrangements and deliver the services you have asked for.
- For example, we will need to use your name, address, email, contact details, date of birth, gender, passport number, your account details and payment information so that we can process bookings, fulfil your travel arrangements, take payment, provide information to relevant authorities (such as tax, customs and immigration authorities) and so that British Airways agents know who is booked on a flight.
- To manage the boarding process and to facilitate flight connections at the airport.
- For example, if you have not arrived at the gate to board your flight, we may need to check whether you have passed through airport security or whether you were on a connecting flight in order to understand how to contact you about boarding the flight.
- Also, at some airports where we operate facial recognition. (Use of this technology unless legally required is voluntary.)
- To send status updates and service communications to you.
- For example, we may send a communication informing you that check in is open or if your flight has been delayed.
- To keep track of you in advance of your flight and at the airport.
- For example, when you are travelling with us and using an airport where we operate, we may have the ability to monitor where you are within the airport to assist you with flight connections and boarding of our aircraft as well as providing a personalised service.
- Or if you have presented your boarding pass to gain access to one of our lounges.
- To help keep you safe when you fly with us and to meet certain legal and regulatory requirements which apply to British Airways as an airline.
- For example, as an airline there are regulatory obligations on British Airways to maintain a record of passenger information on our aircraft. The laws of certain countries, such as the UK and USA, require airlines to provide certain passenger information to the border and immigration authorities.
- To provide services tailored to your requirements and to treat you in a more personal way.
- For example, if you are a member of our Executive Club, we may personalise the experience you have while flying with us in business class (Club World). For example, a member of our cabin crew may welcome you back on board a British Airways flight.
- We may also update and share information with our media agency, in order to serve tailored and relevant advertising from our partners and third parties on our websites, applications and electronic boarding passes.
- To carry out analysis and market research.
- For example, we will analyse the way in which our sales channels, products and services are being used by customers so that we can understand how to improve the service we offer and encourage customers to use the full range of our products and services.
- To carry out marketing including online advertising and keep you informed of British Airways’ products and services.
- For example, we may send you information about our products and services by email or text message.
- We may tailor the content of our websites, applications, emails and other communications to ensure they are as relevant to you as possible – including previous destinations including offers and/or services relating to that or a similar destination.
- To understand your flying preferences and provide information about offers, such as upgrades.
- If you’ve searched for flights but not booked, we may remind you about our services via email or through online advertising e.g. Twitter, based on the flights you searched for previously.
- We may combine/match customer relationship marketing data with a third party (e.g. Google) so both companies can understand behavioural activities such as knowing other sites visited.
- To undertake targeted online advertising.
- For example, we may combine/match identifiers with a third party (e.g. Google) so both companies carry out advertising of British Airways on our behalf.
- To send you status updates and service communications.
- For example, even if you have opted-out of receiving marketing information from us, we may still send you communications about the services you have booked to use, such as your travel itinerary. These communications will help you get the most from the services we provide and may also contain options and other details about the services you will be using (e.g. advance seating requests, additional baggage and pre-booked meals).
- We may also send you communications about the services you have previously used, for example, where you experienced some form of issue or problem and we wish to contact you about it proactively in order to resolve it successfully.
- To improve our websites, products and services.
- For example, we may monitor the way that you and other customers use our website so that we can identify ways to improve the website experience.
- For management and administrative purposes.
- For example, we may use and retain your personal information, including your purchase history, for administrative purposes, which may include for example, accounting and billing, auditing, credit or other payment card verification, anti-fraud screening (including the use of credit reference agency searches and payment card validation checks) and systems testing, maintenance and development.
When we have your permission we will send you marketing communications from British Airways. As British Airways we do sometimes send marketing communications that include a business partners’ products and services related to the travel you are undertaking, as well as our own.
We will only allow third parties or other members of our group to send marketing communications to you when we have agreed marketing from third parties.
We will respect your choice as to what communications you wish to receive and how these are sent.
If you decide you would no longer like to be sent marketing communications, you can change your mind at any time. The ways to stop being sent marketing communications are described below:
- If you are an Executive Club Member you can change your marketing preferences at any time in your account area or by telephoning the Executive Club on 0344 493 0747 (calls charged at local rate), or writing to us at British Airways Executive Club, PO Box 1125, Uxbridge, UB8 9XR. If you’re based in another country, please see the Executive Club contacts for your local service centre.
- If you are a registered user of ba.com, you can change your marketing preferences at any time in your account area.
In addition, each marketing communication we send by email will also have an unsubscribe option which will allow you to stop receiving further marketing emails. You may also stop any further text messages by replying with the word “STOP”. Alternatively you can unsubscribe an email address using our Permissions Centre, which will stop us sending all marketing communications to the address provided. You will need to do this for each email address you have used with us in the past.
We aim to action requests to stop being sent marketing communications within 10 working days of receiving those requests, but it is possible you will receive some marketing in the period prior to that change being made.
Please note that if you tell us that you do not wish to be sent further marketing communications, you will still receive service communications (as described above) which are necessary, for example, to confirm your booking or to provide you with an update on its status. If you are an Executive Club Member, we will continue to keep you informed about your membership and other important service information relating to the Executive Club. If you ask us to stop sending marketing communications, please note we will retain your personal information for the purposes of indicating that you do not want to receive marketing communications.
If you wish to change how we use your personal information, including exercising your right to be forgotten, please see section “What are your legal rights in relation to the personal information we hold about you?“ and “How can you exercise your legal rights and change how we use your data?“
British Airways will only process your personal information where we have a legal basis to do so. The legal basis will depend on the reason or reasons British Airways collected and needs to use your information. Under EU and UK data protection laws in almost all cases the legal basis will be:
- Because we need to use your information so that we can process your booking, fulfil your travel arrangements and otherwise perform the contract we have with you.
- Because it is in British Airways’ legitimate interests as an airline to use your personal information to operate and improve our business as an airline and travel provider.
- Because British Airways needs to use your personal information to comply with a legal obligation.
- To protect the vital interests of you or another person.
- Because you have consented to British Airways using your information for a particular purpose.
More information on each legal basis is provided below.
If processing of your data is subject to any other laws, then the basis of processing your data may be different to that set out above and may in those circumstances be based on your consent in all cases.
We will keep your information for as long as we need it for the purpose it is being processed for. For example, where you book a flight with us we will keep the information related to your booking, so we can fulfil the specific travel arrangements you have made and after that, we will keep the information for a period which enables us to handle or respond to any complaints, queries or concerns relating to the booking. The information may also be retained so that we can continue to improve your experience with us and to ensure that you receive any loyalty rewards which are due to you.
We will actively review the information we hold and delete it securely, or in some cases anonymise it, when there is no longer a legal, business or customer need for it to be retained. If you stop interacting with us as a customer, we will remove or anonymise your information after 7 years.
It will be necessary for British Airways to use your personal information to complete a booking you have made with us. For example, we will need to use information such as your contact details and payment information to provide you with the flight, holiday and/or car hire you have requested and paid for.
As a commercial airline and travel provider British Airways has a legitimate business interest to use the personal information we collect to offer an effective service and carry out our business.
- For example, we will carry out analytics and use data to personalise your experience.
- Also when needed for the conduct of legal claims.
Compliance with legal obligations
There are situations where British Airways is subject to a legal obligation and needs to use your personal information to comply with those obligations.
- For example, if your flight is delayed or your baggage is delayed or misplaced we use your information to communicate with you, make alternate arrangements with, for example, other airlines and hotels or to trace lost bags.
- We are also legally required to provide passenger information to border control and immigration in some countries such as the USA.
To protect the vital interest of you or another person
There are situations where we may need to use your personal information to protect the vital interests of you or another person.
- For example, if we collect and process medical information in the event of a medical emergency and you are incapable of giving your consent.
Alternatively, we may collect and use your personal information where you have given your specific consent to us doing so.
- For example, we ask you if your flight is for business or leisure usage through Manage My Booking on ba.com. If you share this information with us we may analyse and use to personalise our interactions with you.
If the basis of our processing your data is consent to marketing, you can withdraw your consent to such processing at any time, including by amending your account online or by telephoning or writing to the Executive Club on 0344 493 0747 (calls charged at local rate), or writing to us at British Airways Executive Club, PO Box 1125, Uxbridge, UB8 9XR. If you’re based in another country, please see the Executive Club contacts for your local service centre.
However, if you withdraw your full consent, in some circumstances, it may mean we will not be able to provide all or parts of the services you have requested from us and you will not be able to cancel your booking or obtain a refund of any charges you have paid.
Your personal information may be shared with the companies within our group, which includes International Consolidated Airlines Group S.A (IAG), British Airways, Iberia, Iberia Express, Vueling, Aer Lingus, OpenSkies, British Airways Holidays, Avios, IAG Loyalty Retail, British Airways CityFlyer, IAG Connect and IAG GBS. For more details about our group please visit the website of our parent company, IAG. We share information with them, so they can assist us in providing services to you and to understand more about you. For example, if you have flown with one of the other airlines in the IAG Group we may use this information to understand more about the sorts of travel services you are likely to be interested in.
You will only be sent marketing emails from other companies within our group where you have provided your consent to those companies.
We may also disclose your personal information to the following third parties for the purpose described here:
- Customs and immigration authorities of any country in your itinerary or to which your flight may fly over. British Airways and other airlines are required by laws in the UK, USA and other countries to give border control agencies and customs authorities access to booking and travel information when you fly to and from countries including stop-overs and where you may overfly countries to your destination.
- For example, if your flight involves flying over the USA, then the information will be supplied to the relevant authority in the USA. This may include checking a Visa status with some countries authorities if appropriate.
- Further information about Government access to British Airways booking records (English only).
- Further information about Passports, visas and API (Advanced Passenger Information).
- Airlines and other service providers needed to deliver the services you have asked for where, for instance, part of your travel itinerary involves a flight operated by a different airline or includes car hire or a hotel booking. Those airlines and other service providers will be identified when you make a booking.
- For example, if your destination involves transferring from British Airways onto another airline both within and outside the IAG group.
- If you book a ticket through our online portal to travel with pre-booked onward transport service, (bus service) we will provide the transport company with your name and email address so your ticket can be issued and your booking made.
- With our partner airlines and franchisees to facilitate your flight transfers or to administer benefits because of cooperation between loyalty programmes.
- With travel agents and other third parties who you book travel through.
- If you have joined the Executive Club or another affiliated loyalty program, our partners in the Executive Club and other loyalty schemes that you have joined so that we can administer the benefits of the loyalty programme to you.
- Credit and charge card companies, credit reference agencies and anti-fraud screening service providers to process payments and (where necessary) to carry out fraud-screening.
- In response to a valid, legal request from Government and law enforcement agencies such as customs and immigration authorities.
- Third party service providers we are using to provide services that involve data processing, for example, to carry out marketing initiatives or run customer surveys on our behalf. You can make a request not to receive a survey to a specific email address by using our Permissions Centre. You will need to do this for each email address you have used with us in the past.
- Third parties, such as law firms and law courts, to enforce or apply any contract with you.
- Third parties, such as the police and regulatory authorities, to protect our rights, property, or the safety of our customers, staff and assets.
- We may provide usage information including your personal details to marketing agencies to deliver online advertising on websites or social networks.
- If necessary to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation in any jurisdiction, including where that obligation arises because of a voluntary act or decision by us (e.g. our decision to operate to a country or a related decision).
If your booking of a package of a flight and other services (such as hotels) is with British Airways Holidays (or they are providing parts of your package) as set out in British Airways Holidays Terms and Conditions, your personal information is provided to both British Airways Plc and British Airways Holidays Limited.
We do not sell personal information to third parties, and we only allow third parties to send you marketing information where we have your consent to do so.
What countries will your personal information be sent to?
Your personal information may be sent to and stored by us and third parties in countries outside the country in which you are located and outside the European Economic Area and the UK.
The nature of our business means it is often necessary for us to send your personal information outside the European Economic Area or the UK to fulfil your travel arrangements. This occurs because our business and the third parties identified in ’Who do we share your personal information with?’ have operations in countries across the world. For example, where you are flying outside of the European Economic Area or the UK, your personal information will be transferred to border control and immigration outside of these territories.
In addition, we may transfer your data to parties in countries outside the country in which you are located to provide services to us.
This may involve sending your data to countries where under their local laws you may have fewer legal rights.
If you would like more information on these safeguards, please contact the Data Protection Officer, British Airways Plc, Waterside (HCB3), PO Box 365, Harmondsworth, UB7 0GB, England.
Legal statement for flights operated by OpenSkies
In accordance with Article L232-6 of French Internal Security Code, please be informed that air carriers may transmit reservation/checking and boarding data collected from their passengers (PNR/API) to the French national public services and competent authorities for the purposes and under conditions as defined in the Decret N°2014-1095 dated 26 September 2014.
Under data protection laws in the European Union and the UK, you have certain rights in relation to your personal information. Responses to exercise your rights will be provided within one calendar month and generally there is no fee for making these requests. If your request is particularly complicated we may extend the deadline for responding to three months, but we will let you know if this is the case.
We will handle all requests in accordance with applicable law. However, depending on the right you wish to exercise, and the nature of the personal information involved, there may be legal reasons why we cannot grant your request. Further explanation of those rights and the exceptions to them are set out below.
Details of how to exercise your rights are set out in the section below “How can you exercise your legal rights and change how we use your data?
Your rights include the following:
- You may request us to stop sending you marketing. To see how to change your permission to market please refer to “How can you change what marketing communications you receive and how you receive them?" which can be located in "When will we send you marketing?". If you do so we will no longer be able to send you marketing communications. However, if you subsequently book a flight with us we will need to send you communications about the services you have booked to use, such as your travel. These communications will help you get the most from the services we provide and may also contain options and other details about the services you will be using (e.g. advance seating requests, additional baggage and pre-booked meals).
- You may request us to stop using your personal information where we are doing so under legitimate interests (see the section “What is our legal basis for using your personal information” for examples of when that applies) unless it is needed for dealing with legal claims or we have other compelling legitimate reasons that override your rights.
- You may request us to stop processing of your personal information for marketing purposes including analytics for the purposes of targeted marketing, including online advertising. For example, if your travel history suggests you predominantly travel to Europe and visit city destinations, we will use analytics to show you offers relevant to you on our ba.com homepage.
- You may access the personal information we hold on you. There are some limited exceptions to this right, such as information relating to others who have not consented to the disclosure of their information and information which is legally privileged. Please see “Accessing your personal information” which can be located within "How can you exercise your legal rights and change how we use your data?" for more details.
- You may ask us to correct the personal information that you have shared with us (the 'right of rectification’) if that information is inaccurate. You may be able to update much of it yourself through your account area, including personal and contact details. If you spot any inaccuracies in the report that you can’t fix yourself, please email the details to email@example.com or write. We are not able to amend any data that has been created as a result of a transaction with us e.g. flight history.
- You may ask for personal information which identifies you to be removed (anonymised).
To do this the information that identifies you will be removed our active systems. However, a separate and restricted copy of the identifying information will be kept for 7 years to meet the obligations we have to law enforcement, national authorities and legal proceedings.
Considerations for removing/anonymising data:
- We may need to retain certain elements that relate to a contract between you and British Airways because we need it for our own legal and auditing purposes (for more information on the basis on which we process your personal information see the section “What is our legal basis for using your personal information?”).
- A record of your request including the personal information you supplied will be retained in the application used to carry this out for 3 years.
- In some circumstances it may mean we will not be able to provide all or parts of the services you have requested from us in relation to previous travel or retain any preferences you have previously shared with us.
- If you are a member of our Executive Club we will close the account.
- We will be unable to anonymise your information if you are an authoriser of an On Business account as we require this information to deliver our contract with you. If you wish to proceed you will need to transfer your On Business authorisation beforehand.
- We cannot erase your personal information if you have either flown with us in the past 13 months or you hold a forward booking with us. For Legal reasons, we need to keep information linked to these flights. You may come back to us once this time period has passed and submit a request.
- We cannot erase your personal information if we have identified that you either have an open complaint with us or we hold a previous case for you within the past 6 years. We are required to retain this information in case there is a need to re-open the complaint.
If you wish to change how we use your personal information, please use our Permissions Centre.
We will ask for some information to identify you, which will only be used to process your request. We will verify your identity via email before continuing with your request.
Alternatively, you can make a request by writing to us, ensuring you mark the letter for Customer Permissions.
Data Protection Office
British Airways plc
PO Box 365
Accessing your personal information
If you wish to receive a copy of any other information we hold on you, we recommend that you make a request in writing and include the following information with your request:
- Your name and postal address
- Details of your request
- We need corroborating information to establish your identity this could be: a photocopy of your passport or driving licence.
- your signature and the date of the request
- if you are applying on behalf of another person then signed authority from the individual is required
- Any details which may help us locate the information which is the subject of your request, for example:
- Booking reference or flight numbers and dates
- Executive Club number
- Telephone recording details (identifier number, the number you call from, the number and option you dialled, the date and time of your call(s)).
You may also send your request to: DPO@ba.com
The address for a written request is:
Data Protection Officer
British Airways Plc
PO Box 365
If you have any questions about this policy, please contact the Data Protection Officer.
The Data Protection Officer for British Airways can be contacted at DPO@ba.com.
We work hard to handle your information responsibly. If you are unhappy about the way we do this, please contact British Airways’ Data Protection Officer who will address your concerns.
We hope that we will be able to resolve any concerns you may have.
However, you have a right to complain to the UK’s Supervisory Authority for data protection, the Information Commissioner at:
Information Commissioner's Office
Last updated: January 2019
© British Airways Plc