[UPDATED OCTOBER 2010]
British Airways offers a 10% discount to its shareholders.
Today, you can purchase the required minimum 200 shares for around £480, so it’s a bargain if you plan on buying several thousand pounds of flights in the next few years.
You get the Shareholder magazine and also are invited to the Shareholder Meetings each year in London, which can be interesting if you like tea and biscuits.
The discount is especially valuable on the “Premium Leisure” Club World Sale fares starting from just £848 rtn undiscounted (example given is LGW-SSH Sharm El Sheikh, Sept 2010 Sale); sales are usually over Christmas and midsummer.
Note you used not to be able to use an MFU (Miles for Upgrade) at the same time as a shareholder discount; while this functionality does not exist online it should now be possible to do this on the telephone after booking, subject to availability.
Shareholder discount fares do not qualify for onbusiness points.
The discount is only granted to shareholders on the register at the record date (which I seem to recall is about 5 November) and you are usually mailed your code in December, which can be used for bookings made online from 1 January.
BA might wave this 1 January restriction on the start date for the discount at its discretion, but it is the exception NOT the rule.
All flights used to have to be exUK but now exEurope departures are covered too, they still must be on BA metal (NO codeshares), and the discount only applies to the fares element of your flights not the increasingly onerous taxes and fees part.
Simply book online via the special link provided; the discount cannot be applied retrospectively.
But you do get the same BA Miles and tier points credit as would be the case had you booked without the discount. You can book up to 9 people in the same reservation (up from 5 in 2008).
The discount has been increased to 15% off during December, though this did not happen in 2009.
While shareholders used not to pay the credit card surcharge, this now applies to all bookings. So no escape.
More info and booking link at http://www.bashareholders.com
Note that in June, BA often offers a closed user group discount of up to 15% off all fares to those who attend the Taste of London Festival in Regent’s Park which they sponsor. No guarantees this will happen in 2009, of course.