Bits: 100 Clubcard points on kids books, football tickets for Emirates miles, more BA ‘you couldn’t make it up’

News in brief:

100 Clubcard points on childrens books

Tesco Direct has launched a new promotion, offering 100 bonus Clubcard points (worth 240 Avios or 250 Virgin Flying Club miles) when you pre-order selected childrens books.

The selection is here.

These seem to be aimed at the ‘young adult’ market – there was nothing suitable for my 7-year old.  If you have a 9-10 year old or above then you should be OK.

The books are already massively reduced, some by up to 50%, so there may be potential to resell them on eBay in the run up to Christmas.  Alternatively, this is a good time to get an early Christmas gift for any 9-14 year olds in your family.  Click here for the full list.

Love Clubcard, don’t collect Avios?  You should be reading our sister site, Shopper Points (www.shopperpoints.co.uk), which covers the latest Clubcard and Nectar offers without any distracting frequent flyer talk!  Why not check it out now?

Wimpy Kid

Arsenal football tickets available for redemption via Emirates Skywards

I wrote an article in the Summer about the great day I had at the Emirates Stadium with my father-in-law, treating him to seats in the best positioned executive box in the ground courtesy of my Emirates miles.  That was for the Arsenal vs Chelsea match.

Emirates has f-i-n-a-l-l-y made the first wave of Arsenal tickets available via this page on the Skywards website.   This covers games up to Christmas.

You will need 12,500 miles (standard) / 20,000 miles (Superbox) for games against weak opposition and 30,000 miles (standard) / 45,000 miles (Superbox) for the best games.  The best options have already gone, unfortunately.

Remember that you can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points into Skywards miles at 1:1 and they transfer INSTANTLY if your account is already linked.  You are limited to two Superbox seats per game per Skywards account – I don’t know if they cap standard seat redemptions.

One problem is that availability is not shown (apart from telling you that there IS availability) until you have enough miles in your account.  There is a risk that you transfer enough points for two seats only to find that just one is left.

If Arsenal isn’t your thing, you can also book for AC Milan, Hamburger SV, New York Cosmos, Olympiacos, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and SL Benfica.  Not a bad list!  Tickets for these clubs require fewer miles than Arsenal.  The idea of a Winter weekend in Madrid watching Real from the Emirates Skybox is not a bad one ….

More games will be added as the season progresses.

Arsenal Emirates

British Airways appoints new ‘brand director’ …. from Avis Budget!

British Airways used to employ a guy called Frank van der Post.  He was appointed to a new role – now called ‘Director of Customer Experience’ – with a clear remit.  He was to act entirely in the interest of the customer, pushing forward changes across BA which would make life better for passengers.

Not surprisingly, he didn’t last long.  This was a shame as everyone I know who met him at BA events was very positive about him.

Frank came from Jumeirah, the Dubai-based luxury hotel company who – as I know from my many visits to its hotels – do a very good of ‘customer first’ luxury service.

The replacement for Frank has taken a while to find.  The guy is called Troy Warfield.  He comes, astonishingly, from Avis Budget.

On paper, this beggars belief.  After all, Avis Budget has just agreed an EU-wide settlement to change its ‘anti customer’ business practices.  Troy was “Chief Commercial Officer, Europe Middle East and Africa” for Avis Budget ….

There is no part of the travel industry which is held in as much contempt as the car rental sector.  I won’t even begin to list the ways that the major rental companies conspire to work against the interests of their customers.

One paragraph in the press release on his appointment explains why many people believe Frank left – “With the spotlight continuing to shine on our brand, we need to be agile to meet the growing and fast-changing expectations of our customers while maintaining a clear focus on cost control.”

Appointing someone from the car rental industry to a ‘putting customers first’ role in BA is, frankly, a bad joke.  Apart from Avis Budget, Troy’s career was spent at Unilever and Kimberly Clark – not well known luxury brands.  He may be able to provide insight into the quality of the toilet paper in Terminal 5, however, so all may not be lost.

Important dates for your diary
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Comments

  1. * typo
    should have read ‘move’

  2. How long do BA usually take to respond to complaints.

    I contacted them a couple of weeks ago ago about some issues on my first flight in F includng very undercooked food and lack of service. Havent heard anything from them yet.

  3. cheekychappie says:

    O/T EDF warning – pay.coms

    They have refunded nearly £1000 to the individual pay.com cards instead of to my current account, which is obviously a right PITA :)

    They have also messed up a bit, ie some cards have £50, some have £0, I look to be missing a few quid.

    • Yes, I had a similar issue with TFL. I now only use 3V cards and visa prepaid for services which will be consumed immediately i.e. bills already owed.

      • cheekychappie says:

        Just done the maths (2 a/cs) and they have sent me £25 too much, so not over bothered at the extra bit of work, I’ll just punt it to OVO tomorrow.

  4. OT…but…I finally got round to using the Shangri-La vouchers. As we are both big fans of Malaysian food we opted for Ting Lounge instead of the restaurant. Great if you are in to Hainanese Chicken rice or Char Kuay Teow.
    Vouchers were easy enough to have printed off at the reception but when we walked round to the restaurant they did not have our booking in the system. The onus then was on us to prove that we had actually booked. Luckily I could access a copy of the email on my phone and we were ushered in albeit after a 5 minute wait and being told how lucky we were it was lunchtime!
    So if you are going definitely take a print out of your booking too otherwise you could end up with vouchers that have to be used by the end of the day but no table reserved!

    • I used my wife’s and my own points in Singapore and used the app so the points were deducted without the need for points. Made for Grand Finale to the holiday.

    • Thanks for the tip. We need to use ours by the end of the year. Will probably end up taking the kids for a lunch as we don’t have anyone to babysit (although they are 11 and 8, not exactly babies). Hopefully our 2000 points will just about stretch for all four of us.

  5. Oh! Matron! says:

    This looks like the same type of appointment that Apple made, with that John SoDullIveFprgottenHisName from Dixons to head up their retail. Beggars belief indeed

  6. How on Earth you can judge a stranger so harshly simply for working in the car hire sector is beyond me…

    • If the EU had just forced my company to change anti-customer practices at the time I was the commercial director I would expect to take a hit, wouldn’t you?

  7. Not flown BA for a while until last week on MAN-ORLY via T5 (Now using Lufthansa ex BHX or MAN)
    Good friendly service out but on return a lengthy delay for my last flight back up to MAN
    Was chatting to a fellow passenger who told me he had worked out it was his 14th consecutive MAN-LHR return flight that’s been delayed.
    Galleries North Lounge smells really bad near the washrooms. Better extraction fans? Air fresheners?
    Once at MAN they had lost half the flights luggage and it was chaos. Bag arrived at home 48hrs later. Lets hope Troy sorts it all out. :-)

  8. Perhaps the previous incumbent wasn’t a great success as his suggestions were at odds with a company wishing to control costs – hence the line in the release. In other words, the new guy might be more effective as he’s not trying to swim against the tide the whole time>

    • “We’ll do anything you suggest to improve the customer experience as long as it doesn’t cost any money.” The paucity of ambition is, in some ways, impressive given the Middle East ‘big 3’ are now approaching 150 weekly departures from the UK between them.

  9. Email from Tesco today 500 bonus clubcard points for purchase of a case of wine, (over £50 spend for free delivery) code XXMRR4