British Airways

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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Great Deal: British Airways Offering Triple Avios On All Flights

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British Airways is kicking off the year with a very generous triple Avios promotion. While British Airways Executive Club isn’t usually a program I’d credit flights to, with this offer I’m quite tempted to, assuming I fly British Airways (or on one of their transatlantic joint venture partners) in the next few months. Best of all, the promotion is valid for all fare classes on all British Airways routes.

The basic terms of the promotion are as follows:

— Registration and travel required by March 31, 2017
— The promotion is valid for the first eight sectors you fly
— Only travel booked during the promotion period qualifies
— All fare classes are eligible, and you earn triple base Avios (meaning that class of service and elite bonuses aren’t tripled)

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How Much Will British Airways Charge For A Cup Of Hot Water?

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As we first (officially) learned about in late September, British Airways will be switching to a buy onboard model for their shorthaul flights. This new policy will apply on all shorthaul flights out of London Heathrow and London Gatwick as of January 11, 2017, and on all London City and London Stansted flights by summer 2017.

Up until now British Airways has offered complimentary drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and snacks in economy. British Airways’ current CEO used to be in charge of Spanish low cost carrier Vueling, and it looks like he’s trying to run British Airways in a similar manner.

With the new policy, the only thing that will continue to be complimentary on request is potable water. However, it appears that only cold potable water will be complimentary. If you bring your own tea bag and want hot water, you’ll still be expected to pay the £2.30 that would usually be charged for tea.

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British Airways Flight Attendants To Go On Strike Over “Poverty Pay”

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British Airways has a few different flight attendant contracts. One of those contracts is for their “mixed fleet” crews, which are their relatively newly hired flight attendants.

As you may remember a few years back, British Airways flight attendants went on strike because they couldn’t agree with management on contract terms, and British Airways threatened that if they didn’t have more reasonable terms then they’d stop hiring flight attendants under their contracts.

The flight attendants didn’t give in, so what British Airways did is start hiring “mixed fleet” flight attendants, which operate select shorthaul and longhaul flights. They’re paid significantly less, typically stay at worse hotels, and have shorter turnarounds (typically only one night).

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Should You Buy British Airways Avios With A 50% Bonus?

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Through Monday, December 5, 2016, British Airways is offering a 50% bonus on purchased Avios. While you’re usually capped at purchasing 35,000 Avios per year, for this promotion the limit has been increased to 100,000 Avios pre-bonus (150,000 factoring in the bonus).

The bonus applies regardless of how many Avios you purchase. What’s strange about Avios is that the cost to purchase points is different depending on the country in which your account is registered. You have to pay in the local currency, though the price in USD and GBP and EUR doesn’t actually convert.

In the case of my account (which is registered in the US), I’m given the option of purchasing up to 150,000 Avios at a cost of $2,775, which is a cost of 1.85 cents per Avios.

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Save 25% On An AARP Membership (And Save Money On Travel)

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One of the best ways to save money on transatlantic travel is through the AARP. That’s because British Airways offers significant savings for AARP members. The sweet spot is being able to save $400 on the cost of a roundtrip transatlantic business class ticket.

Given that British Airways and their oneworld partners frequently publish transatlantic business class fares of under $2,000 roundtrip, this is a great opportunity to book business class for only marginally more than economy. I’ve taken advantage of this several times to fly roundtrip business class from the US west coast to Europe for ~$1,150.

The first concern people have when discussing AARP memberships is the age requirement to join. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no age limit to join the AARP. The organization is intended to support seniors, and you don’t have to be a senior to do that.

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British Airways First Class Is On Sale

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Earlier I wrote about a great British Airways business class fare sale being offered for travel originating in the US, with fares of under $1,400 per person, assuming you’re traveling as a pair.

One of the great trends we’ve seen in the airline industry the past few years is premium cabin pricing becoming more reasonable. With the cost of business class often only marginally higher than economy, and with the number of miles required for many award tickets increasing, there’s more value than ever before in just outright purchasing the business class ticket that you want.

While business class frequently seems to be on sale, we don’t see as many offers for international first class, which continues to remain rather ridiculously priced. Seriously, who is paying $18,000+ for a roundtrip first class ticket between New York and London?

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Great Deal: Business Class From The US To Europe For Under $1,400

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British Airways has some “Black Friday weekend offers,” where they’re offering discounted business class tickets from the US to Europe when traveling as a pair. The catch is that the eligible travel dates are fairly limited. The promotion is valid for travel December 10, 2016, through January 14, 2017, and June 20 through August 29, 2017.

Through this sale, British Airways is advertising the following fares:

— New York to Barcelona for $1,880
— New York to Madrid for $1,885
— Washington to Dublin for $1,964

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Is It Now Worth Redeeming Avios For American First Class?

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A bit over a month ago I wrote about how American was realigning their fare codes for first class on domestic flights. With this recent adjustment we saw the following changes:

— The “F” booking class (full fare first class) changed to the “J” booking class
— The “A” booking class (discounted and upgraded first class) changed to the “D” booking class
— The “P” booking class (discounted first class) changed to the “I” booking class

In practice this doesn’t mean much for American AAdvantage members. This was a logical change, since previously there was no differentiation between first class on a three cabin plane and first class on a two cabin plane in terms of the fare codes. It makes a lot more sense for two cabin first class to be aligned with three cabin business class, since the pricing of those products is more similar.

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