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Bits: more luggage on BA via a travel agent?, Qatar launching Dublin flights

News in brief:

BA offering bigger baggage allowances via some travel agents

A HFP reader who travels to India on a regular basis dropped me a note with an interesting observation.

The current free luggage allowance for long-haul World Traveller (economy) tickets is 1 x 23kg suitcase.

….. if you book via ba.com.

It seems, in order to avoid losing business from people who decide to compare prices and terms first, British Airways is quietly offering better deals via some travel agents.

ticketstoindia.co.uk states clearly on its home page that it has negotiated better luggage deals with some airlines.  Price up a BA economy ticket and you will see that you are offered 2 x 23kg suitcases for free rather than just one.  Lycafly apparently operates the same way, as does Southall Travel.  Something to bear in mind if you often find yourself in World Traveller and paying for an extra suitcase.

Avios Suitcase

Qatar Airways to launch flights from Dublin

According to reports in the Irish press, Qatar Airways is gearing up to launch flights from Dublin to Doha next May.

This timetable is not firm as it relies on deliveries of Qatar’s troubled A350 order from Airbus.  These aircraft are required in order to free up a Boeing 787 for the Dublin route.

Dublin to Doha would be an attractive Avios redemption for many people who could hop over to Dublin to avoid Air Passenger Duty on a redemption from the UK.

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Comments

  1. Lady London says:

    Very happy to see QR doing Dublin. Trouble is, by the time the route starts, if the UK pound keeps going down against the Euro, it might even be cheaper to pay the ridiculously large APD costs and fly out of the UK instead! :-)

  2. Dublin would be a fantastic help. Two birds with one stone, see the family and do our Asia trips. And retain sliver.. All good. You have a good point there about conversion rates. However, the current QR sale has good prices from HEL.

    • I jumped onto the QR sale last night. 2 people AMS-BKK, RTN in March.. £1146pp in J. The same tickets have been sitting around £1500pp for the last 3-4 weeks..

      • You could have got a choice of flights exUK for £1150–1500pp with one stop versus two, uninteruoted sleep and no stress with positioning flights or baggage. Still, a good deal exAMS if you want TP or break in AMS. ExAMS I would normally expect AY to beat this (with added advantages of shorter journey time and less restrictive fare) but might now be similar, or a bit more expensive due to falling £ as I have not checked recently.

        • Thanks James for the advice.. We’ve a late afternoon flight out of AMS so as it’s Tier points we need we thought we’d spend a night in Amsterdam too.. I was watching AY and comparing them with QR over the last month.. AY were about £80 less pp.

          • Clearly you made right choice if TP key, and I think the overnight or longer break is what makes exEU more worthwhile. Enjoy.

      • I was a bit tempted by the SOF-SIN flight for £860pp. Thought it might have been a good tier point run. Though I’m not sure if the SOF-DOH stretch is long enough to get 140 tier points. Would need someone to confirm, but think it’s only 40…. Still Singapore bit is 140 for sure, and a wee stopover in Bulgaria would be nice.

        • 2002 miles I read yesterday so long haul TP.

          • Rob Clark says:

            So, there’s a lot of chatter online about R class fares with QR no longer attracting TPs in the BAEC. It’s still on the calculator although many being told by the EC that R class no longer a valid TP earning fare class! Any clue?

        • Damien, did you look at the HEL departures? That would def be 140×4 nearly gets you to sliver. Some good ex eu prices out there. Def can’t wait for the DUB option.
          James67 one of these days we will try your AY suggestion, almost as good as direct from LHR. BTW, on Vietnam in Jan, did you ever do the train or VIP bus from Ho Chi Minh city to KUL? Looking at options ATM.

          • Strong rumours on FT that R class on QR has been completely removed from earning avios and TPs as part of the new BA code-sharing agreement. Might be wise to hold off for confirmation before booking trips if TPs and avios are a deciding factor.

          • the real harry says:

            any changes wouldn’t normally be applied retrospectively

          • Just like the ET catering? Oh wait…

          • the real harry says:

            when we had the big BA points devaluation and my ET tickets only got 25% of miles, BA honoured the old rate for old bookings

          • the real harry says:

            F&B is obviously more difficult to manage that way because you can’t go giving free F&B to old bookers and charging new bookers M&S prices, on the same flight that would look terrible

            BA have cocked up in terms of disappointing nay outraging loyal customers because they have not found a decent solution

            1000 Avios compo per flight might have been barely/ minimally acceptable but I understand from FT that BA are now saying once only per PAX booking, on 1 booking only (though others have received nx 1000 per flight).

            still considering my position

            we burn 9 redemptions at Xmas ie before F&B changes but that makes about another 30 flights booked under the old regime

            like I said, 30,000 Avios and I would have been disappointed but walked away with a handshake & a grimace – looks like I won’t get that – not that I have tried yet – so I am thinking about it & what to do

          • No, never did that Polls, sorry. CV3V may know something though, he’said headed to VN soon I believe. Don’the forget cheap TP can be picked up on MH. I had great experience in VN with Tung at levietnamcycletoursNo rip offs, great guides and tours. They can organise car tours , not just cycle tours. Prices were great value.

    • You should consider sandwiching an Asia-UK revenue rtn between a long-duration exDUB rtn then. easy to pick up great fares on AY, MH (especially exThailand), UL and even CX at times. Not as good as it once was due to £ but still good. ExAsia-UK rtn fares often seem to ‘absorb’ the APD for the rtn exUK leg into overall competitive fares so it seems to be not a factor any more if you understand what I’m getting at. I suppose it all comes down to how often you want to visit family in Dublin. Just be aware that if booking fares exAsia TA can often be cheaper than the airline websites. For you the real saving might be to do this uding your BA 241 in F for a rtn exHKG-UK.

  3. Looks like we got bumped from Money Mail again this week …. I appear to be filler for a quiet week :-)

    • Looks like you’re their equivalent of ‘bits’ 😉 Am sure they’ll be going mental with their coverage of Trump anyway, he’s their sorta guy!

    • Lady London says:

      And I even bought the Daily Mail in eager anticipation to read on a flight last Wednesday.

      Cough….I had to buy it because BA seems to no longer provide newspapers out of outstations.

  4. OT: Just moved £5 from clubcard to avios for first time ever to get 1000 new partner bonus. Does it match accounts with email address, noavios account number was requested? Thanks.

    • Yes, although their automatic system often mucks up – if so you need to contact Avios (webchat is fine) and get them to merge the accounts. Stupid system, wish they just let you put your Avios account number in!

      • That will be interesting when i go to do my first Clubcard > Avios redemption as the email accounts don’t match.

        Anyone any idea how I can keep my daughters BA Avios account live without taking any flights? It’s easy enough for us 18+ but she’s 13 so many options aren’t available to her.

        • Ah, brilliant thanks.

        • Presumably she’s in your household account (as under 18). Any redemption from your own account will take some avios from each account including hers, and keep them all alive.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            reply really for AndyGWP

            Don’t think Incognito will work as these sites rely on cookies and incognito is meant to block cookies etc being saved?

            not sure why you’d need to go incognitio gate365 is only concerned with a transaction being completed you can be buying for anyone

          • Thanks for the reply.

            Incognito just (effectively) clears all previous history / cookies and is an good way of stopping previous visits to a site “contaminating” the tracking info

            It only clears the cookies when you close the browser window so doesn’t lose them during the session :)

          • That’s interesting pauldb, thanks. However, we are not currently planning on making any redemptions we are in “collection” mode. Our family situation isn’t one where we manage to get lots of Avios collecting possibilities (no business travel etc) so it takes a long time to collect enough to use – probably more than 3 years from our previous flight, so I want to keep what points she has, alive.

          • @Alan. I’m just thinking aloud but how about booking a JAL one way flight something like KIX-TYO and then cancelling. I think avios are refundable on these but you’d likely lose the £1 taxes.

        • I’ve made two (chrome incognito mode) purchases from Gate365.

          Is there any way to confirm they’ve tracked (1 was a Tesco click and collect, the other was a not on the high street order)

      • Andy you can see the tracking in Gate365 and usually get an email confirmation.

    • Think they match post codes rather than email addresses.

      You’ll know things have gone wrong if you get a welcome to Avios pack in the post!

      Their customer service team are well used to sorting this out.

      • Thanks John – thought I should have received an email (judging on my wife’s experience of the portal)… never did, but I can see they both tracked :)

        Annoyingly, in the transaction log I can see I’ve used the portal in the past year though, so won’t benefit from the 1000 avios! Dammit! – will check the Avios store

  5. the real harry says:

    Bits: Don’t miss this amusing article: Half of Heathrow’s 25,000 noise complaints made by the same 10 people http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/half-of-heathrow-noise-complaints-made-by-just-10-people/

    ‘Heathrow told Telegraph Travel that it had received 87,201 noise complaints for the year to date – or one every five minutes – from 4,282 people, and that 46.8 per cent of those (40,829) came from 10 people. That means that, on average, those 10 people made a complaint every 90 minutes.
    “We do take every complaint seriously and each one is logged,” said an airport spokesperson.
    In January last year the airport unearthed a scheme whereby campaigners were using automated software to generate complaints against the airport. Officials caught out the set-up when the two anti-Heathrow enthusiasts forgot to take into account the hour going back in October, and began complaining about flights that had not yet taken off or arrived.’

  6. The QR sale ex germany has some good fares as well in the two for one offer….Dubai was sub 1000 euro from munich….

  7. Great news about Dublin for QR – I am guessing that feeder flight from DUB to MAN never worked out that great or was very popular. I never saw the feeder flight advertised apart from on an odd search direct on the QR site.

  8. FIRSTclstraveller says:

    I have a forthcoming trip to Nairobi, booked by a travel agent in the USA and also got 2 x 23kgs bags.

    • I guess this only applies to long haul – anyone? Would be useful for economy positioning flights with on onward flight in J. Currently have this issue with 1 x 23kg bag on positioning flight and 3 x 23kg onward. Unfortunately, I can’t see the Mrs managing with 1 x 23kg :-(

  9. OT Nice to see the Shop small is back from the 3rd to 18th of December. Some new ones around me.

  10. OT – Starwood are offering discounts of up to 50% on SPG points purchases. Obviously the £ taking a beating recently doesn’t help, but whilst I was offered 2% off my wife got the full 50% off. I’ve never bought SPG points before, but from the T&Cs it seems to say that an account can only receive 30k points per year, and if you gift points which go over the 30k, then they can’t be redeemed until the next calendar year.

    So with the offer being on until 31st December, could I near the end of December buy 30k on her account, get her to gift me 30k for this year, and get her to gift me another 30k which I can claim on 1st Jan? That would be 90k Starpoints for c£1,300 which I know I could definitely get some decent value out of (either through Starwood or converting to Marriott). If anyone could advise, it would be greatly appreciated!

    • Not clear, to me, if the 30k is joint ‘buy’ and ‘gift’ or not.

      Is a good deal and I am tempted for Lüfthansa miles at 1p.

      • Ok thanks Rob – will perhaps have a play nearer the end of December to see if I can get it to work.

        My discount should have read 25%, not 2%!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Also got the 50% off will wait til closer to 31st Dec to pull the trigger, maybe the vote will help us vs the $ a little

  11. Anyone have any tips for hunting down the best QR prices? I’m potentially very flexible of where I could fly to and from but using QR 15 day calendar is extremely laborious

  12. Sussex Bantam says:

    OT – has anyone seen the bonus points from PayQwiq ?

  13. Clearly you made right choice if TP key, and I think the overnight or longer break is what makes exEU more worthwhile. Enjoy.

  14. Apparently IAG to be offering wifi on short haul: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37848554

    From the article: “The company told the BBC it would be the responsibility of each airline brand to decide whether to charge passengers an access fee.”

    So that will be a big fat yes for BA…