British Airways

British Airways Flight Diverts To The Azores After Someone Tries To Self Upgrade

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Here’s a crazy story. Wednesday’s British Airways flight from London Gatwick to Kingston, Jamaica, BA2263, had to divert to an airport in the Azores in order to offload a disruptive passenger who refused to return to his economy seat. The Boeing 777 landed at Lajes Air Base in the Azores, which is both a military base as well as a commercial airport.

Here’s what transpired, per 9News:

“The airline said the man refused to return to his economy seat after sitting in business class without permission.

Cabin crew and one of the pilots spoke to him but were unable to convince him to move, British Airways said.”

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That Was Quick — Approved For The BA Visa Card!

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A few days ago I applied for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. At the moment the card has a nice limited time sign-up bonus offering additional Avios for reaching certain spending threshold — at most you can earn 100,000 bonus Avios after spending $20,000 within a year. Even if you don’t want to spend all the way to that threshold, there’s still a ton of value to be had — you can earn 50,000 bonus Avios after spending just $3,000 within three months.

Keep in mind that this is one of the few remaining Chase cards that isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule, so you’re eligible for this card even if you’ve opened more than five accounts in the past 24 months. Furthermore, you’re eligible for the card as long as you don’t have the card right now, and haven’t earned the new cardmember bonus on the card in the past 24 months.

I had this card years ago back when it was first introduced, though decided to pick it up again, especially as I might find it worthwhile to try and earn the travel together certificate.

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The 4 Personal Travel Credit Cards NOT Subjected To The 5/24 Rule

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Last year Chase expanded what’s commonly referred to as the “5/24 rule.” I’ve received quite a few requests from readers asking for an updated list of which cards aren’t subjected to this rule, so that’s what this post is about.

With Chase’s 5/24 policy, you typically won’t be approved for a card if you’ve opened more than five new accounts in the past 24 months. This is more of a general guideline than a strict rule, though. Here’s what you should know about 5/24:

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My Experience Applying For The British Airways Visa Card

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At the moment there’s an increased sign-up bonus on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. The card is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000-100,000 Avios, depending on how much you want to spend. The breakdown of the bonus is as follows:

— 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
— 25,000 additional bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening
— 25,000 additional bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening

In other words, you can spend just $3,000 within three months and get 50,000 bonus Avios, or if you’re willing to spend an additional $7,000 or $17,000, you can get an additional 25,000 or 50,000 Avios, respectively. Even if you only plan on getting to the 50,000 Avios spend threshold, I think the bonus is still very much worthwhile. You don’t really see bigger bonuses on this card without bigger spend thresholds.

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Great Deal: Sign-Up Bonus Of Up To 100K Avios With The British Airways Card

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For a limited time, the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is offering an increased sign-up bonus, allowing you to earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios. The bonus can be earned after the following spend thresholds:

— 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
— 25,000 additional bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening
— 25,000 additional bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening

The sign-up bonus on this card isn’t available to those who currently have the card, as well as previous cardmembers who received a new cardmember bonus for the credit card within the last 24 months.

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Ghana’s President Thinks British Airways Should Improve Service Quality

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It seems I’m not the only one who isn’t a huge fan of service on British Airways. 😉

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is Ghana’s new president as of this year, and on Tuesday he met with British Airways’ head of sales for the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia, Paolo De Renzis. Apparently the meeting was to commemorate the election of a new president, and also to celebrate British Airways operating flights to Ghana for nearly 80 years, and their continued commitment to the market.

During this meeting, Ghana’s new president apparently brought up the “pre-occupations of [Ghana’s] people,” which is that service on British Airways isn’t good. Per the Government of Ghana:

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Why Airlines Cutting Free Food & Drinks On Longhaul Flights Isn’t A Bad Thing

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Yesterday I wrote about how British Airways is considering cutting free food & drinks in economy on longhaul flights. This follows them having recently cut free food & drinks on shorthaul flights, which had people up in arms.

On one hand it’s tough to imagine a day where most airlines charge for food and drinks on longhaul flights. At the same time, a decade ago it would have probably been hard to imagine that the “big three” US carriers would charge for carry-ons for some domestic fares. Even Emirates, which is known for being as full service as they come, sees a future where they unbundle business class. However, it would have probably also been hard to imagine that there would be an airline offering $65 transatlantic fares. It goes both ways.

Unbundling is the future of the industry, and I think there are two ways to look at it. One way is to view airfare being unbundled as a negative development. The other option is to view it as being positive, given that it makes travel more accessible than ever before. Nowadays you can fly across the ocean for the same price you’d otherwise pay for an hour-long cab ride in some cities.

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British Airways Is Considering Eliminating Free Food & Drinks On Longhaul Flights

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Earlier this year, British Airways eliminated free food and drinks on shorthaul flights. Instead they’re offering a selection of snack options through Marks & Spencer. British Airways claims that this is actually an improvement for customers, since the old stuff they used to serve wasn’t good, and now passengers have access to fresh food that they’d actually want to eat.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but this seems to only be the beginning of British Airways’ transformation into an ultra low cost carrier, at least in economy.

The Sunday Times quotes British Airways’ CEO, Alex Cruz, as saying that the airline may move to a buy on board model in economy on longhaul flights as well, and eliminate free food and drinks:

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British Airways Is Revamping Their Business Class Experience

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Yesterday British Airways had a media flight from London Gatwick to London Heathrow to unveil some changes they’re making to their product. I was invited, though unfortunately couldn’t make it. Today British Airways has outlined these changes to the public. They’re calling it “a new BA,” and these changes have the tagline “new thinking, new flying.”

So, what’s changing at British Airways? Here are the bullet points they use to describe these changes:

— £400m in Club World (long-haul business class)
— Introducing Club Europe on UK domestic services
— New lounges
— First Wing direct security and lounge access at Heathrow
— Latest generation Wi-Fi fitted on long-haul and short-haul fleets over the next two years
— Self-service check-in and biometric boarding gates to speed up the airport journey

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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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