News in brief:
New British Airways Gatwick lounges now open
The two new British Airways lounges at Gatwick had a soft opening over the weekend. I understand that there is no table service food offering yet in the First / Gold lounge. It seems that Club Europe customers are not being allowed to use the Business Lounge but will be redirected to the Speedbird (ex Virgin) lounge. Reports on Flyertalk suggest that the Business Lounge had to close entirely yesterday afternoon due to ‘toilet issues’.
Feedback is generally positive so far, which is good news.
If I can get down there this week I will do a report. If not, I need to be in Gatwick next Saturday anyway and will do a review then.
Competition for converting Clubcard points to avios.com – but not BA
Regular HFP readers won’t be surprised to learn that there is no bonus for converting Tesco Clubcard points into Avios this quarter.
There is a 10% bonus for converting points into Virgin Flying Club miles (see my article from Friday) but as this is only open to first time converters I doubt many readers will qualify.
If you are converting into Avios, it makes sense to convert via avios.com because of the competition they are running this month. BA has not launched any sort of offer. (EDIT: it appears from the comments that BA is offering a Madrid holiday competition to targetted people. This is not on the BA or Tesco websites.)
Remember that it doesn’t matter which route you take as you can move your points around, instantly and for free, using ‘Combine My Avios’ on either site.
This is how the competition works:
For every £2.50 of Clubcard vouchers you send to an avios.com account before 28th February, you receive one entry into a prize draw.
50 people will win 10,000 Avios points.
You convert via this page of tesco.com. The competition is not mentioned there but it is on the Tesco page at avios.com.
If you collect Avios via Clubcard points, remember to follow our sister site Shopper Points which has daily articles on new Clubcard (and Nectar) offers.
Avios partners with Amazon Alexa
Avios has launched a new ‘skill’ for Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service. It is now available in the UK through Amazon’s voice-controlled speakers, Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot.
Alexa is the ‘brain’ behind Amazon Echo. As you can see from the image above, it is basically a cross between Apple’s Siri service and a hi-fi speaker. It allows customers to play music, get information, news, sports scores, weather and more, just by asking. Alexa also provides capabilities, or skills, that help customers to interact with services in a more intuitive way, using just their voice.
If you download the Avios ‘skill’, you will be able to ask your Amazon Echo or Echo Dot questions such as:
How many Avios are in my account?
How many Avios are needed for a particular award?
How can I increase my Avios balance?
“Avios is passionate about embracing new technologies that enable our customers to interact with Avios in new and innovative ways” said Paul Miller, Director of Strategic Innovation at Avios, using that strange press release version of English which people never use in real life. “We believe that working with Amazon to offer the Avios skill for Alexa will increase our ability to make recommendations that will inspire customers to travel using their points.”
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)