Bits: beat Gatwick ‘buy on board’ with The Grain Store, new BA strike dates announced

News in brief:

Beat ‘buy on board’ with your Priority Pass

Last week I wrote about how The Grain Store bar and cafe in Gatwick South had joined Priority Pass and Lounge Club.  Flash your card and you receive £15 per person – depending on how many free guests you get with your Priority Pass – of free stuff.

One of our readers popped in last week and noted that The Grain Store does a good takeaway service.  Bakery products (which they can toast for you), yoghurts, fresh fruit, decent coffee (La Marzocca machines) and soft drinks.  This can all be paid for by flashing a Priority Pass.

No need to worry about British Airways ‘buy on board’ any longer!  Here are a couple of pictures of what is available (click to enlarge):




New British Airways strike dates announced

Another British Airways cabin crew strike will take place later this week from 17th to 20th February.

This only impacts selected flights from Heathrow – all other airports are unaffected.  BA is guaranteeing that everyone will fly on the day they are booked although passengers may be transferred onto a different flight.  A number of charter aircraft are also being brought in.

I have a London-bound short-haul on Sunday but I am not hugely concerned, to be honest – apart from the fact that I may lose our 1A / 1C / 1D / 1F seating …..!

You may even be better off thanks to the strike, as the charter aircraft are giving out free food and drink in economy!  No buy on board here.

Full details of BA’s plans for the strike can be found on this page of  Contingency plans will be published on that page today, Tuesday.

(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.)

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  1. BlueHorizonUK says:

    OT: Does anyone know if Amex still allow transferring of points to another cardmember when they close their account?


    • It seems so, a reader emailed me about it last week. There may be an article at some point. Apparently agents have recently been retrained that this can be done but, frankly, I believe it when I hear it which (despite the rules explicitly allowing this) I don’t push it. Let me know how you get on.

      • I asked this through the message system recently and was told yes it’s possible. I’m about to cancel Dad’s plat and ask to transfer the points to me so we’ll see.

  2. OT: I have a very perplexing problem with the IHG android app I hope somebody may be familiar with and able to help me to fix as I have googled the issue without success. I’m unable to use the app at all as it keeps reloading a full screen view of my membership card, even after closing the card, the app or following a reinstall.

    • Try using portrait rather than landscape. On my wife’s android phone in landscape it shows the card, in portrait the app.

      • Thanks Peter, gave it a shot but no joy.

      • Great stuff Peter, thanks very much. Experimented with that a little more and discovered that if I keep the phone level or at a very shallow angle the card disappears and the app become useable. Given I no longer use IHG much I can live with that.

        • Glad I could help at least a little 🙂

        • If you lock it in portrait mode that might do the trick? I normally have my phone in that mode anyway unless I need it in landscape for something!

  3. Flying at 0850 from City tomorrow… I know you still get free food from City but does anyone know what you would get on a short haul flight to Edinburgh at that time of day?

    • I believe the breakfast (full English or the fruits in yoghurt) is served till 0930

      • Great 😉

      • Genghis – you are a font of all knowledge! (Do you have time for a day job?!)

        Q : on BA Long haul, in F, if departure is at 2pm, what meals are provided (dinner and breakfast on arrival only?)

        Not lunch first or anything in between?


        • It’s a slow day today reading papers for the Audit Committee for the national charity I sit on.
          Anyway… it depends where you’re going and how long the flight times are. By the sounds of it you’re heading to Asia so it’ll be a lunch/dinner combo and then breakfast. There’s always snacks in between if you’re hungry and don’t forget to ask for the chocs. However, going to Asia you’ll want at least 6 hours sleep or so…

        • Indeed…China!

          An approx 11hr flight I believe. I’ll be delighted if I manage 6hrs sleep! (hopefully comatose post LPGS and JW Blue)

          what snacks are usually available in-between dinner/breakfast? and the chocolate, is that the selection box with fancy inking on top of each individual choc? (have seen a pic of some previously I think)

          Thank you!

          Many thanks!

  4. OT Amex points. What do people find to be the best value transfer? Do you normally have a use in mind? If looking to churn a card you need to always have a home for them. I’m fairly Avios rich so not sure when to send other than Virgin to help maintain IHG status. Any ideas?

    • I’m boring and always transfer to avios as I can always find a home for them. Next time will look to transfer a few to Eurostar Frequent Traveller as I only need a few more for a redemption and to use up a Eurostar compo voucher (so trip to Paris at Xmas I guess) and also SPG if I’m struggling to reach the 90k requirement for the package.

      Transferring to Virgin at 1:1 and then onto IHG at 1:1 means you’ll only get 0.4-0.5p per Amex point for larger transfers, though could make sense for smaller transfers to hit 25k Spire bonus. If your target is to retain Spire Elite (and you cannot do this through other means), prob best to transfer some spend to the IHG card – two IHGs / £which would be the equivalent of 2 Amex / £ if you were going to transfer. Hope this makes sense. Bear in mind also that we’re only in Feb and you have another 10 months to retain your Spire Elite status.

      OT. I know Spire Elite doesn’t really count for much but I think it certainly helped me wangle 10k IHGs on Sat as compo for having to endure a cold shower at a HIX. Only paid £39 for the stay on a quasi mattress run for Q1 accelerate.

  5. OT. I have a two night stay at an IHG hotel 15-17 April.
    I have an accelerate target of 5 IHG nights and it says in the T&Cs “Number of bonus points listed above will be awarded after the required number of qualifying room nights have been consumed by the member at any IHG brand hotels between 1 January 2017 and 15 April 2017 (both dates inclusive)”
    Will my night of 15 April count towards accelerate?

    • First night will, I think. That is generally how these things work.

    • It will not count if IHG count the promotion days the same way as they did last quarter. I almost got caught out by it because last quarter it was a departure from the norm in previous accelerates where check in on the last day definitely counted.

    • A data point – I did a stay checking in 31 Jan checking out 1 Feb and it counted for the “stay once in Jan” bonus.

    • Does any one know if an Ambassador Weekend Certificate booking will count towards accelerate? Need to use one and wondering if it will either count as my weekend stay or whether it can be booked alongside two other nights to count as a 4 night stay.

  6. thanks both. @genghis good point re the value of the IHG transfer being lower.

  7. BlueHorizonUK says:

    IHG Flash Sale. 100% on purchased points.

    • Till 17 Feb. 0.46p / IHG. Still a bit pricy for speculative purchases IMO but if you have stays coming up, could be worth it after doing the maths.

      • Lady London says:

        I did the maths. The price to buy the points vs. regular cash pricing of hotels I tried was well over just forking over the cash. This was even with the 100% bonus on points purchased.

        • Yes, the fall in the £ has made it tricky – as has the increase in the number of hotels at 60k points. It might still make sense in $ or pegged $ countries.

  8. OT
    Has anyone booked a pre-paid Hilton stay with the £50 off £250 stay and had the Amex credit? Planning on spending £500 but don’t want to risk not getting it on the two cards…Thanks.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Shouldn’t be an issue unless they ‘do you a favour’ and don’t charge straight away, believe thats why they talk about checkout, you are guaranteed to be charged at checkout.

      • the real harry1 says:

        yep the Amex statement credits seem bullet-proof

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Yep they always seem to pay out.

          Even if they look like they make be doing you a favour just get in touch with the hotel and ask them to process the payment and you’ll be sorted

  9. OT

    @Alan – Reporting back re stay at Hilton Gatwick last week booked using the £50 off £200 Amex deal via Amex Travel. Got my Gold card # added to the booking upon check in and was upgraded and given free breakfast as per Hilton Gold benefits. Booking showed in my account as points pending until yesterday when they posted as zero despite me charging dinner to room and paying at checkout so they obviously class Amex Travel as a 3rd party agent. Don’t think the 2k points per night deal will post either for this stay. Worth a try though……employer paying so I’ve not exactly lost out on the deal.