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BA Investigating Theft of Personal and Financial Data

BA Investigating Theft of Personal and Financial Data

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Old Nov 24, 18, 3:49 am   -   Wikipost
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On Thursday 6 September 2018 at about 1830 London time (UTC+1), BA announced that there had been a data breach involving customers using the BA website and the BA mobile app.

Updates from BA are being posted to this ba.com page: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb...st-information
A further update dated 25 October 2018 can be found in this post 1377. The SPG Law class action thread can be found here.

As at 1400 London time on Tuesday 11 September 2018, the body of that page read:-
Customer data theft

We are investigating, as a matter of urgency, the theft of customer data between 22:58 BST August 21 2018 until 21:45 BST September 5 2018 from our website, ba.com, and our mobile app.

The stolen data included personal and financial details of customers making bookings and changes on ba.com and the airline’s app. The data did not include travel or passport details.

The theft has been reported to the authorities and our website is now working normally.

What to do if you have been affected

If you believe you may have been affected because you made a booking or paid to change to your booking with a credit or debit card on ba.com or the mobile app between 22:58 BST August 21 2018 until 21:45 BST September 5 2018, we recommend you contact your bank or credit card provider and follow their advice.

We understand that this incident will cause concern and inconvenience. We are contacting all affected customers to say sorry, and we will continue to update them in the coming days.

Phishing

Customers should also be aware that fraudsters may be claiming to be British Airways and attempt to gather personal information by deception (known as 'phishing').

We will not be contacting any customers asking for payment card details and any such requests should be reported to the police and relevant authorities.

See below for more information on how to validate that the email you have received from us is genuine.
That is followed by a series of FAQs. These are reproduced at the end of this wikipost.

If you are experiencing difficulties in changing your BA password or want further information about doing so, some information is in this thread: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/brit...rd-ba-com.html (which also has a wikipost).

Reports from FTers suggest that credit card companies and banks are taking differing approaches to this incident:-
  • American Express - A recorded message says they are aware of the breach, there is no need to take any further action and if you suffer any financial loss you will be fully compensated; an email says: "There is no action you need to take – we will contact you immediately if there's any unusual activity with your Account. In the meantime you can continue to use your Card as normal" (see post 293, post 401, post 470 and post 491).
  • Barclaycard - They just assured me I was fully protected, and I didn't need to do anything yet (see post 253); however at 18.20 on 7/9/18 the customer service helpline automated message says that affected cards are being reissued (see post 511).
  • Barclays Bank - They have contacted people they believe to have been affected, and have blocked their cards from online use (website/app), but the cards remain valid for physical (chip & PIN) transactions in shops, ATMs etc. New cards being dispatched "within a week" (see post 918).
  • Capital One - online transactions being blocked, new cards being issued (see post 493).
  • Chase (British Airways visa) - no contact from Chase about data breach and card still working
  • HSBC Premier Mastercard - Offering customers the option to freeze the card or replace it with a new card (see post 274).
  • Lloyds - Said "wait and see", but did give the option to cancel the card and have it reissued (see post 403).
  • Lloyds Mastercard - Based on the information they have, fraudulent use of my card is unlikely, just keep an eye on online banking and report anything suspicious (see post 370).
  • Monzo - Automatically replacing all cards (see post 371).
  • Natwest- Of the opinion that as there had been no fraudulent activity on my account to just keep an eye on things, and to call immediately if any suspicious transactions appear and fraud team would refund (post 315).
  • Sainsburys Bank - seem to be replacing all cards proactively (see post 968)
  • Starling - Automatically replacing cards (see post 460).
  • Tesco Bank - Pro-actively sending a new card as per details in this post (post 484)
  • TSB - Call the Telephone Banking Team on 03459 758758 to discuss further (see post 437).
  • Vanquis - online transactions being blocked, new cards being issued (see post 493).
FAQs (as at 1400 London time on Tuesday 11 September 2018):-
Have I been affected?

How do I know if I have been affected?

Customers who made bookings or changes to their bookings on ba.com or our mobile app between 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 and 21:45 BST September 5, 2018 may have been affected.

We advise any customers who believe they may have been affected to contact their banks or credit card providers and follow their advice.

We are experiencing high call volumes into our contact centres so please continue to check this page for the latest information.

Contact us

What data has been lost?

The personal and financial details of customers making bookings on ba.com and our mobile app between 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 and 21:45 BST September 5, 2018 was compromised. No passport or travel details were stolen. Only customers who made bookings between these dates are affected.

Names, billing address, email address and all bank card details were all at risk.

Did this affect just new bookings or any payment transaction made within the impacted time period?

All payment transactions made on ba.com or our mobile app from 22:58 BST August 21 2018 to 21:45 September 5 2018 inclusive were affected. Nothing before or after these dates and times was impacted. Payments made through our call centres, travel agents or online travel sites are not affected.

Are my saved payment card details safe if they were used to make a booking in that period?

If you made a payment using a saved card on ba.com or the mobile app from 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 to 21:45 September 5, 2018 inclusive, you may have been impacted.

No Executive Club accounts were compromised in the data theft. There is no impact to Avios or details stored with the British Airways Executive Club.

Has saved credit card data been stolen, even if a booking hasn’t been made in that period?

No, saved payment card data has not been compromised. However, if you made a payment using a saved card on ba.com or the mobile app from 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 to 21:45 September 5, 2018 inclusive, you may have been impacted.

How were phone numbers not affected?

Phone number information is collected in a separate part of the booking process and is not used as part of the payment transaction therefore this has not been impacted.

I used PayPal to pay for my ba.com transaction. Is this impacted?

If you booked through PayPal, your PayPal account will not have been compromised. There does remain the risk that some of your personal information such as your name and address may have been accessed. No passport details or travel details were compromised.

Is Apple Pay affected?

If you used Apple Pay via the mobile app then your data will not have been compromised.

I had a failed payment attempt during the affected time period – am I affected?

If you clicked the pay button on ba.com then the transaction would have taken place even if the outcome was unsuccessful and the data would have been compromised.

We advise any concerned customers to contact their banks or credit card providers and follow their advice.

Will I be affected if I made a free change to my booking but my payment card details were saved in the reservation?

If you made a free change to your booking via ba.com and did not use your payment card as part of that transaction, then you will not have been impacted.

Are travel agent bookings affected?

Only bookings or changes to bookings made directly with ba.com or the mobile app between 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 and 21:45 BST September 5, 2018 were affected.

If a change was made to a travel agent booking on ba.com and payment made for an additional product, such as seat reservations or excess baggage, then these would be affected.

Does this affect Executive Club accounts in any way? i.e. missing Avios/ Tier Points

No accounts were compromised in the data theft. There is no impact to Avios or details stored with the British Airways Executive Club.

I received an email about the data theft, however I only cancelled a booking during this time – will I be affected?

If you cancelled and refunded your booking between 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 and 21:45 September 5, 2018, you will not have been impacted.

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What should I do if I think I am affected?

Should I call my bank or cancel my credit cards?

We recommend that all customers who made bookings or changes to their bookings with ba.com or the mobile app, between 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 and 21:45 BST September 5, 2018, contact their banks or credit card providers and follow their advice.

I think my card was compromised when I made a booking on ba.com outside of the time period – what should I do?

The data theft relates to customer bookings made or changed between 22:58 BST August 21, 2018 and 21:45 September 5, 2018 only.

We advise any concerned customers to contact their banks or credit card providers and follow their advice.

How would I know if I have been a victim of identity theft?

There are a number of signs to look out for that may indicate that you might have been a victim of identity theft:-
  • Post from your bank or utility provider doesn’t arrive.
  • You apply for state benefits, but are told you are already claiming.
  • Refused financial services, credit cards or a loan, despite having a good credit rating.
  • Receiving letters in your name from solicitors or debt collectors for debts that aren’t yours.
If you think that you might be a victim of identity theft, then you should:
  • Request a copy of your credit file to check for any suspicious credit applications.
  • Report the theft of personal information and suspicious credit applications to the police and ask for a crime reference number.
  • If fraud has been committed, contact Action Fraud.
I have had some suspicious emails or phone calls – are they legitimate?

If you are concerned about an email, we recommend that you don't click on any links, open any documents or reply to it until you have looked into it further.

Official emails relating to this theft will be sent from: [email protected] You should hover over the sent email address to confirm this is where the email has been sent from before clicking on it.

British Airways will never proactively contact you to request your personal or confidential information. If you ever receive an email or call, claiming to be from us, requesting this information, please report it to us straight away.

We've put the details of the scams we're aware of on our ba.com website security page. There's also security essentials information to help you, along with details of how to report any new scams to us (or other emails/calls that have concerned you).

Will I be reimbursed?

We take the protection of our customers’ data seriously and are very sorry for the concern that this criminal activity has caused.

We will continue to keep our customers updated with the very latest information.

No customer will be out of pocket as a direct result of the criminal theft of data from ba.com and the airline’s mobile app. Any customer who made a booking between 22:58 BST August 21 2018 and 21:45 BST September 5 2018 will be reimbursed for any fraudulent activity on their accounts as a direct result of the data theft and we shall advise the process for this in due course.

We will be offering a 12-month credit rating monitoring service to any affected customer who is concerned about an impact to their credit rating, provided by specialists in the field and will share details of this in the near future.

Will BA pay for costs associated with getting new cards, e.g. postage costs?

No customer will be out of pocket as a direct result of the criminal theft of data from ba.com and the airline’s mobile app. We are working through the process and will update our customers as soon as we can.

How do I reset my ba.com password?

ba.com and Executive Club accounts have not been compromised and your login details are safe.

However, if you’d like to change your password, first ensure you are logged out of ba.com and click the Forgotten Pin/Password link on the top right-hand corner of the homepage. We recommend you choose a unique password that you do not use for any other online account.

We are aware of some customers experiencing intermittent issues when attempting to reset their passwords. We are working on resolving this as quickly as possible.

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How does this affect my bookings?

What shall I do if I am due to travel today?

The incident has been resolved and all systems are working normally so customers due to travel can check-in online as normal.

Will I still be able to check in?

Yes, all customers booked on our flights will be able to check in as normal.

Will this affect any future bookings?

The incident has been resolved and ba.com is working normally so future bookings will not be affected.

Will bookings made over the period of this incident remain confirmed?

Yes, all bookings made remain valid for travel.

If I cancelled the card my booking was made with what do I need to bring to the airport?

The payment card that was used to pay for the booking should be brought to the airport if you are the owner of the card and are travelling. However, if the payment card has expired since the booking was made and you have a new card, or you don't have the original card used for payment, please print out a copy of your flight itinerary from Manage my Booking.

I have now cancelled my credit card, but I had used that card to make a future flight booking, so how will I be able to access that booking?
You do not need to enter your payment card details when retrieving an existing booking via Manage My Booking on ba.com, so access to future booking is not restricted due to the cancellation of the payment card.
As of Wednesday 12th September, affected customers are being emailed with the following additional information

We deeply apologise for any worry and inconvenience this criminal activity has caused. For your reassurance, we’re offering you 12 months of free credit and identity monitoring services, provided by Experian, one of the UK’s leading Credit Reference agencies.

Your free ProtectMyID membership
To help you to monitor your personal information for certain signs of potential identity theft, we are offering you a free 12 month membership to Experian ProtectMyID. This service helps detect possible misuse of your personal data and provides you with identity monitoring support, focussed on the identification and resolution of identity theft.

Activating your free ProtectMyID membership
1. Ensure that you sign up for the service by 12 December 2018. Your code expires after this date.
2. Visit the ProtectMyID website to get started.
3. Click on ‘Join ProtectMyID’ (top right-hand side).
4. Enter your details along with the following activation code: XXXXXXXX
This code is unique to you and only available in this email – please keep this email for reference.

Once your membership is activated, you’ll have access to the following features:
1. Unlimited access to your Experian Credit Report.
2. Credit Alerting – an email or text to let you know when certain changes happen on your Experian Credit Report, such as the addition of a new credit search.
3. Access to an Identity Theft Resolution service if you do become a victim of fraud, where you’ll have a dedicated case worker who will support you in resolving fraud that has occurred.
4. If you are at higher risk of fraud, Experian can add protective Cifas registration to your credit report which can help prevent credit being taken in your name. The Cifas Protective Registration service places a flag alongside your name and personal details in the National Fraud Database. Companies and organisations who are signed up as members of the database will see you’re at risk and take extra steps to protect you.

If you have any questions regarding this service, then please contact Experian’s Customer Support Centre on 03444 818182*. They are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and Saturday, 9am to 5pm.
Note that the email from BA gives you a personal "Activation Code". However, when you get to the signup forms for ProtectMyID, you put the code into the second page of the sign up form in the "Promotional Code" field.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 10:08 am
  #751  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Originally Posted by pomkiwi View Post
Wonder if they will be calling all of us lowly gold card holders as well?

Although I am not sure there will much to be gained wasting more of my time than I have already keeping up to date with news and trying to work out what I need to do to mitigate risk.
Well they haven’t got through the GGLs yet 😂
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Old Sep 9, 18, 10:09 am
  #752  
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Originally Posted by moral_low_ground View Post
Lots of old school IT comments here. You know, these days, it's not that hard to instantly snap back to a period before the breach
Not necessarily so.

It's possible that the vulnerability has been there for years and has only been discovered and used by bad guys recently. It's a different situation from a newly introduced bug which doesn't need to be discovered by bad guys first in order to manifest itself.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 10:14 am
  #753  
 
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Would calling in to book and pay over the phone eliminate the risk of details getting sniffed during payment process?
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Old Sep 9, 18, 10:15 am
  #754  
 
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Originally Posted by billyb750 View Post
Have to say in all this, I do have a lot of sympathy for the front-line telephony customer service employees from BA who, through no fault of their own, are having to try placate all the understandingly concerned individuals that have phoned in about all this (me included). Can't be an easy task for them.

If any of those BA employees are reading this, thank you for all your help under the circumstances!
I applaud your sentiments here, and those telephone support staff involved certainly deserve our appreciation and sympathy. It’s a point well worth making.

For the hard-working front-line staff in customer-facing roles, it can be tough and, at times, demoralising, when you’re dealing with the flak arising from incidents and decisions totally outside your control. It was, of course, ever thus in all large organisations ; but nevertheless must often make for a stressful day.

That memorable (for some ?!!) line from Ali McGraw, in the old movie ‘Love Story’, takes on a rather different flavour in today’s BA, where daily life means always having to say you’re sorry.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 10:23 am
  #755  
 
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Originally Posted by pomkiwi View Post
Wonder if they will be calling all of us lowly gold card holders as well?

Although I am not sure there will much to be gained wasting more of my time than I have already keeping up to date with news and trying to work out what I need to do to mitigate risk.
Well I’ve got no chance being the holder of a poo coloured card 🤣
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Old Sep 9, 18, 10:25 am
  #756  
 
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Does this affect customers who were refunded or reimburse money into their account?
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Old Sep 9, 18, 10:47 am
  #757  
 
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Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
Would calling in to book and pay over the phone eliminate the risk of details getting sniffed during payment process?
My details definitely got taken, and I booked over the phone a few times during the period, gave my CVV etc... got a polite call from CC company that card had a mysterious transaction, so duly cancelled and replaced...
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Old Sep 9, 18, 10:50 am
  #758  
 
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Take Action - Sign Up for Credit Security

I know enough about data security to be dangerous (mostly to myself), but I'm far from an expert.

Some thoughts ....

At the moment only selective people within the BA organization and trusted vendors know how the data was acquired. It is highly unlikely the method will ever be made public. There is as much chance of a sophisticated data stream grab as there is of gaining access to a database, or as simple as some 3rd party injecting some code in to the workflow that re-directs a copy of the order data.

As others have mentioned, the FACT? that the BA IT infrastructure was not closed down while the entry point was secured, suggests, that it was a relatively primitive attack, where the hole in security, once observed, was simple to close. It may even be possible that it was NOT the hole in security that was found, but the data was observed being advertised as available on the dark web ! EVERY company with IT requirements similar to BA doesn't just try(ha ha ha ha) and protect the data on their website, but they meticulously trawl known servers for data that could have been captured from their website. This is one very scary aspect that has received NO discussion. The possibility that the 'hack' was not discovered due to a security analysis of the website, but as a result of data being made available on the dark web. A real case of finding which stable door is open long after your horse is discovered in someone elses stable !

Each of us has differing opinions of the negative impact caused by our credit card details or our personal information being in the 'dark' domain.

One of the biggest problems hackers have is finding matching data. As an example, your name and date of birth is already out there. But, they don't have your mailing address. Now they get your mailing address, but don't have your credit card number. Now they have your credit card number but don't have your CCV. And finally, they want your mothers maiden name, your NI or SSN number, etc. etc. etc. It's all about building a profile of your data, which may not come from a singular source/attack. As such, each individual piece of information, relating to each of us, may not be that big of a deal. But, for some of the 380,000, it might be the piece of the puzzle that lets someone pretend to be you and cause massive havoc with your credit.

I've re-typed this post 10+ times as I didn't want it to read as a scare piece. Sorry .....

For a small percentage of the 380,000 this could cause MAJOR problems. I wouldn't (and haven't) taken the risk that "it'll be OK", make sure you avail yourself of BA's offer to obtain credit security from one of the major suppliers (some of whom have actually been hacked themselves :O). Don't wait until your horse has bolted !

Last edited by BritBoyInFL; Sep 9, 18 at 12:42 pm Reason: update
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Old Sep 9, 18, 11:01 am
  #759  
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Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
Would calling in to book and pay over the phone eliminate the risk of details getting sniffed during payment process?
BA have said that in respect of the recent incident, phoned bookings were also at risk, and logically that makes sense, in an unfortunate way, given the vulnerability appears to be at the final stage of the core payment process.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 11:12 am
  #760  
 
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Originally Posted by BritBoyInFL View Post
I know enough about data security to be dangerous (mostly to myself), but I'm far from an expert.

Some thoughts ....

At the moment only selective people within the BA organization and trusted vendors know how the data was acquired. It is highly unlikely the method will ever be made public. There is as much chance of a sophisticated data stream grab as their is of gaining access to a database, or as simple as some 3rd party injecting some code in to the workflow that re-directs a copy of the order data.

As others have mentioned, the FACT? that the BA IT infrastructure was not closed down while the entry point was secured, suggests, that it was a relatively primitive attack, where the hole in security, once observed, was simple to close. It may even be possible that it was NOT the hole in security that was found, but the data was observed being advertised as available on the dark web ! EVERY company with IT requirements similar to BA doesn't just try(ha ha ha ha) and protect the data on their website, but they meticulously trawl known servers for data that could have been captured from their website. This is one very scary aspect that has received NO discussion. The possibility that the 'hack' was not discovered due to a security analysis of the website, but as a result of data being made available on the dark web. A real case of finding which stable door is open long after your horse is discovered in someone elses stable !

Each of us has differing opinions of the negative impact caused by our credit card details or our personal information being in the 'dark' domain.

One of the biggest problems hackers have is finding matching data. As an example, your name and date of birth is already out there. But, they don't have your mailing address. Now they get your mailing address, but don't have your credit card number. Now they have your credit card number but don't have your CCV. And finally, they want your mothers maiden name, your NI or SSN number, etc. etc. etc. It's all about building a profile of your data, which may not come from a singular source/attack. As such, each individual piece of information, relating to each of us, may not be that big of a deal. But, for some of the 380,000, it might be the piece of the puzzle that lets someone pretend to be you and cause massive havoc with your credit.

I've re-typed this post 10+ times as I didn't want it to read as a scare piece. Sorry ..... but for a small percentage of the 380,000 I suggest you contact BA for approval to obtain credit security from one of the major suppliers (some of whom have actually been hacked themselves :O). Don't wait until your horse has bolted !
Very interesting point about finding out from seeing the data for sale rather than actually spotting the hack. If that’s the case, I suppose it’s even possible it wasn’t BA or BA suppliers who discovered the data at all but perhaps just some random person who then reported it. So who knows how long it could’ve gone on for.

On the last point, BA have offered a credit montiforing service to all affected customers but I don’t think we’ve got the details yet.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 11:29 am
  #761  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
BA have said that in respect of the recent incident, phoned bookings were also at risk, and logically that makes sense, in an unfortunate way, given the vulnerability appears to be at the final stage of the core payment process.
Yes, from the limited information that is currently available it clearly was an attack on the payment system rather than the website. It doesn't really matter how your details arrived at that system but one they got there they were at risk.

And based on that there is nothing an end user could have done to protect themselves other than not booking through BA while the hack was running. I am one of the lucky ones as I couldn't find the flight that I did book during this period on BA.com and booked it via AA instead. I won't be making any further purchases directly though BA until they have got their PCI DSS ducks in a row.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 12:49 pm
  #762  
 
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Anyone having issues logging into their BA account? I changed my account password after receiving the BA email and it worked initially, but doesnt want to play ball now... need to book some flights (I know lots of folks on here are not keen to do that at the moment!)
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Old Sep 9, 18, 12:53 pm
  #763  
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Originally Posted by travelwithross View Post
Phishing Email - looks quite sophisticated!
(I didn't want to repeat the whole message.).

The spam message begins 'Dear BA Customer'.

Responsible organisations dealing with serious matters say they will always address customers and clients by name, certainly not as 'Dear Customer' or similar. Using this greeting shows that this one was clearly a phishing exercise.

But wait! Cruz's e-mails were addressed 'Dear Customer'. Have we all been subjected to a major phishing exercise? No, just poor form.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 12:58 pm
  #764  
 
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Originally Posted by Steph G. View Post
Since changing my password, I have not been able login to the app on either my iPad or iPhone. Has anyone figured out a fix for this? I can log in to the website on my iPad using Safari fine. I have deleted and redownloaded the app, but it still doesn’t work. (Sorry if this doesn’t belong in this thread. Delete if not.) Thanks!
Same here.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 12:59 pm
  #765  
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There's one aspect of replacing credit cards that I haven't seen mentioned.

I' have several promotions linked to my BAPP. Would they automatically transfer across to a new card, or would it be necessary to re-register for them? And what about those already in progress, such as the 3,000 Avios for this or that? Thanks.
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