British Airways

Details Of LEVEL, IAG’s New Transatlantic Low Cost Airline

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IAG, the parent company of British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Vueling, has been saying for a while that they plan on starting a new longhaul low cost carrier. Legacy carriers globally are struggling to compete with Gulf carriers (like Emirates) as well as low cost carriers (like Norwegian). So IAG is taking the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach, by launching a new low cost carrier based in Barcelona.

LEVEL, IAG’s new low cost carrier, will initially operate two A330s between Barcelona and the U.S. West Coast (Los Angeles and Oakland), with quick growth after that. Tickets go on sale today at flylevel.com, and start at $149 one-way.

In June of this year LEVEL will be launching service between Barcelona and four destinations:

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Video: Celebrities Go Undercover As British Airways Employees

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British Airways emails me their press releases, and most of the time I glance at the subject line but then don’t actually read the story (since I know what I find interesting, and what I don’t). Well, British Airways’ press release this morning caught my attention… perhaps some of you can guess why.

In this video, British Airways has three British celebrities — David Walliams, Emma Bunton, and Tom Daley — dress up as British Airways employees at London Heathrow Terminal 5 and surprise customers. Not like “surprise and delight” them, but rather screw with them for our collective entertainment.

Per the press release

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No Avios For You: Match.com Is Canceling Memberships

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Well this is turning into an adventure. Last week I wrote about how British Airways was offering 150 Avios per dollar spent on match.com memberships when going through their shopping portal.

This seemed like an incredible opportunity to generate tens of thousands of Avios for ~0.67 cents each. While we’ve seen some shopping portal glitches in the past, that didn’t seem to be the case here. The British Airways shopping portal had been offering 75 Avios per dollar spent on match.com subscriptions for quite a while, and they were having a limited time promotion where you could earn double Avios with all retailers.

So perhaps they hadn’t fully considered the implications of awarding 150 Avios per dollar spent, but I don’t think anyone would argue this was a fat finger mistake on their part, or anything. Within a day or so of making a purchase, British Airways’ shopping portal began to show pending Avios for purchases, which is great.

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Good & Bad News With The British Airways Dating Site Offer

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Since yesterday, British Airways’ online shopping portal has been offering double Avios on all purchases. That opened up quite a few opportunities, though nothing quite like the one available with match.com. You can ordinarily earn 75 Avios per dollar spent with match.com, but through this promotion you can earn 150 Avios per dollar spent. That’s like acquiring Avios for ~0.67 cents each, which is incredible.

As I explained, I decided to buy a one year subscription to match.com with all the add-ons. I was able to spend a total of $548.57. At a rate of 150 Avios per dollar spent, that should net me 82,285 Avios. That’s such a good offer that I also encouraged a couple of family members to join match.com.

When it comes to these amazing shopping portal deals, there are generally two concerns:

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Should You Also Join eHarmony For 130 Avios Per Dollar?

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As I wrote about earlier (and as discovered by Frequent Miler), British Airways’ online shopping portal is offering double Avios on purchases this weekend. This includes dating sites. The best of those is match.com, which is offering 150 Avios per dollar spent. That’s an insane deal, and an opportunity to buy Avios for 0.67 cents each.

So as I outlined, I signed myself up for match.com, as did several family members. Dating isn’t usually a family activity, but when you’re earning 150 Avios per dollar, why not? My general philosophy on opportunities like this is that when a great deal comes around, take full advantage of it, so that’s why I tried to buy the most expensive packages being offered.

Some readers asked if I could write a similar guide to the process of signing up for eHarmony, so that’s what this post is about. eHarmony is offering 130 Avios per dollar spent, rather than 150 Avios. That’s a rate of 0.77 cents per Avios, which is still very good. However, in the end I decided not to take advantage of this, despite going through the whole process. Why?

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I Earned 82,285 Avios For Joining A Dating Website!

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As I wrote about earlier (and as discovered by Frequent Miler), British Airways’ online shopping portal is offering double Avios on purchases this weekend. This includes dating sites. The best of those is match.com, which is offering 150 Avios per dollar spent. That’s an insane deal, and an opportunity to buy Avios for 0.67 cents each.

So, even though I’m happily in a relationship, I have my priorities in order — I refuse to turn down points at that rate!

I figured I’d outline the process, so you can do this too. For me the entire process took just 15 minutes, and that included taking screenshots, filling out my profile, etc.

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AMAZING DEAL: Join A Dating Site And Earn 150 Points Per Dollar!

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Wow, now this is a heck of a deal. Last October I wrote about how you could earn 76 British Airways Avios per dollar spent on a match.com membership. At that price just about everyone should join a dating website, in my opinion. 😉

However, it gets much better than that, as Frequent Miler has discovered. This weekend only, the British Airways shopping portal is offering double Avios on all purchases.

As luck would have it, even the dating websites qualify for that. This includes the ability to earn:

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British Airways Is Introducing Business Class On Domestic Flights

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I don’t think there’s a region in the world that has a lamer standard of regional business class than Europe. For most airlines in Europe, business class is simply economy with a blocked middle seat. On top of that you get better food and drinks, and in theory more attentive service.

Historically British Airways has offered business class on all intra-Europe flights, with the exception of flights within the UK. I’ve always found this to be a curious decision. I suppose it’s because most flights within the UK are quite short, and British Airways doesn’t have much competition, aside from ultra low cost carriers.

The people who would pay for business class on those shorthauls likely wouldn’t be considering ultra low cost carriers anyway, or are likely on a longhaul itinerary, in which case EasyJet or Ryanair wouldn’t be an option anyway.

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Convert Hotel Points Into British Airways Avios With A 35% Bonus

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Between February 6 and March 8, 2017, British Airways Executive Club is offering a 35% bonus when you convert select hotel points into Avios. The promotion is valid for points transfers from Club Carlson, Hilton Honors, Hyatt Gold Passport, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards, Shangri-La Golden Circle, and Starwood Preferred Guest.

There’s no registration required, and bonus points should post 4-6 weeks after the conversion is initiated. In order to be eligible for the bonus, you have to transfer at least the following number of hotel points:

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The British Airways AARP Discount Has Been Extended, But Cut In Half

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For several years now, one of the best ways to save money on transatlantic tickets has been through AARP. That’s because AARP has been offering members discounts on British Airways tickets in economy, premium economy, and business class. The savings for roundtrip tickets between the U.S. and Europe have been $65, $130, and $400, respectively.

When I mention the discount, the first response I get from many is “but I’m not old enough to join the AARP.” That’s not true, as anyone can join for $16 per year. The AARP is about supporting seniors, and membership doesn’t have an age requirement.

This has coupled very nicely with the increased trend of there being more discounted business class tickets from British Airways, which this offer can be stacked with. Airlines are trying to do a better job of monetizing their premium cabins, and part of that is actually trying to sell all the seats, even if it’s at a discount.

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British Airways Is Improving Service On Flights To China

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British Airways seems to be making nothing but cuts lately, in particular on shorthaul flights. For example, as of a couple of weeks ago they no longer offer free drinks or snacks on shorthaul flights — not even free bottled water. British Airways’ CEO is the former head of Spanish low cost carrier Vueling, and seems to be doing everything he can to run British Airways like a low cost carrier.

So I do think it’s worth giving the airline some credit for improving service, at least in one market. British Airways has just announced that they’ll be improving service on flights to China, including to Hong Kong. Specifically, British Airways will offer:

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Could British Airways Introducing Dine On Demand Be A Bad Thing?

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I’ve written in the past about the 11 features that I value most in business class, and one of those is a dine on demand menu. We’re all on different schedules when we’re flying, so it’s nice to be able to eat and sleep when you want to as well.

At the same time, I don’t actually think all airlines should necessarily offer dine on demand. The key here is that airlines have to train their crews to offer service efficiently, whatever form it may come in. There’s no point in doing a dine on demand service if it’s just going to lead to frustration and disappointment for passengers.

It’s no secret that British Airways offers among my least favorite fully flat business class products out there, both in terms of the hard and soft product. Soon they’ll be taking delivery of their first A350, which is supposed to feature a new business class product. Based on everything we’ve been told, the new seat will be an evolution of the existing product, rather than a product that’s actually globally competitive. They don’t plan on retrofitting existing planes with this product, because they don’t view it as being sufficiently different enough.

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British Airways Being Sued After Denying Boarding To Emotional Support Dogs

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how the U.S. Department of Transportation was considering addressing phony emotional support animals. While I don’t disagree with the need for certain service animals, I think we can all agree that at least some people take advantage of this easy opportunity to travel with pets, without a legitimate “emotional” need (I’m not saying that’s all, or even most people, but certainly some).

While I won’t pass judgment in this particular case, there’s an interesting story of a lady who is suing British Airways after an airport agent didn’t let her take her two emotional support animals on the plane.

This lawsuit is regarding a July 2015 OpenSkies flight from Paris to New York, where Sharon Kao, a fashion executive, was traveling with her two Maltese dogs.

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Great Deal: $1,300 Roundtrip Oneworld Business Class Tickets From Paris To New York

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Here’s a great deal for readers on the other side of the Atlantic who are oneworld loyalists (or crazy people on this side of the Atlantic who are willing to position themselves). 😉

Premium fares in the New York to Paris market have been driven down by La Compagnie, the discounted all business class airline flying between the two cities.

Well, at the moment oneworld airlines are offering especially good business class fares when flying roundtrip from Paris to New York. Roundtrip tickets are available for just ~$1,300. The basic details are as follows:

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