Bits: 1200 Avios for £30 of LEGO, London City Airport launches a Business lounge

News in brief:

New Tesco / LEGO promotion launched

Tesco Direct has launched a new LEGO promotion, this time with LEGO Disney Princess.

As you can see here, you will receive 500 bonus Tesco Clubcard points – worth 1,200 Avios or 1,250 Virgin Flying Club miles – when you spend £30 by Monday evening.

This deal requires a smaller minimum spend (£30 for 1200 Avios) than the recent ‘£60 for 2400 Avios’ deal, and may work better if you want to give the LEGO as a gift for a specific child in your life.

This Shopper Points article today looks at the deal in more detail.  The full list of available LEGO Disney Princess sets is here.

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London City Airport launches a Business Lounge next Monday

Regular readers will remember our recent review of the First Class Lounge at London City Airport.  It is based in the Private Jet Centre next to the airport.  It comes with a premium price tag (£95) but you get peace, privacy and – depending on which airline you are using – access to a private security lane and a chauffeur car to drive you across the tarmac to our aircraft.  Which is quite cool.

London City will launch a ‘pay as you go’ Business Lounge on Monday, also in the Private Jet Centre.  We will be popping down to take a look in the next week or so.  This has a lower price point – £33 per person – but you do not get driven to your plane.  You will be driven to the main terminal instead just before your flight departs and you need to pass through standard security before boarding.

This may be a better option for British Airways passengers as BA refused to participate in the ‘be driven to your plane’ scheme.  This took away one of the main reasons to pay the £95 fee for the First Class Lounge.

A photograph of the new lounge is above, and a review will follow. You can book via LoungeBuddy here.

Bits: Flying Blue improves miles expiry policy, Instamiles update
Bits: US flights from Manchester for £1000, 100% bonus when you buy Hilton points
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Comments

  1. OT – Has anyone transferred virgin miles to IHG recently? Do they still count towards earning status?

  2. LaserBeams says:

    Are there any OneWorld lounges at City Airport for BA Silver / Gold passengers?

  3. OT: Anyone had any success with moving an AMEX statement date? My payment on my Platinum is due two days before I get paid and as we are throwing all our spending that way at the moment so it isn’t that helpful. Worth an ask?

    • Yes, called and got it changed, so it is possible. However, there was some issue in their system and it took a couple of months to be rectified. Essentially I started to receive two statements per month but when queried was told to ignore the one with the original statement date. Direct Debit had been changed to new date already. What I didn’t realise at first was that when the original due date came and went, my account showed I was overdue including overdue charges etc. For some reason from the moment I noticed it, they had to wait a month (for the next statement cycle) before they could rectify it. It worked in the end, all call center assistants were very helpful and apologetic, all charges refunded, no mark on credit file etc. I haven’t tried it again because it was a bit of hassle and many calls. But if this was a one-off problem then it should be straight forward.

      • I might have similar issue.
        I have direct debit scheduled in next couple of days, but looks like it may not go through.

    • Uberior says:

      Definitely worth an ask.

      To avoid cock-ups though, be proactive and keep a nil balance on the account when you request that your statement production date is *brought forward* three weeks.

    • Yes, done it for me on the past

      • Thanks everyone – good to know it’s possible but it sounds like a bit of hassle. May move it after next statement when I can have a pause in using the card.

  4. OT- Council Tax @ Post Office

    It may be too early a bird, but just checking if anyone attempted to use Amex to pay their council tax at Post Office?
    I am likely to try this once I have my bill and will report back. Just gauging if anyone had any success already?

    IIRC, the last comment about use of Amex @ Post Office for council tax was last year.
    Hoping to hear any success story this year.

    • Just done it – absolutely fine.

    • Probably varies between branches. If not you may be able to use PayPoint at Coop (again varies between branches).

    • Uberior says:

      Is there a “flag” on the account of the recipient that indicates the type of payment that is acceptable?

      My Council Tax bill has *CASH ONLY* AT PAYPOINT in bold on the statement.

      • the real harry1 says:

        they might say that but it might not be true – only way to find out is by testing it with your card (& don’t accept the first Co-op cashier saying you can’t do it – just ask to put your card in & see for yourself).

        • Genghis says:

          Says that on my bill too but I’ve done it many times.

          • Tried using Amex at my Post Office last year, but clerk said: no, South Lanarkshire don’t take Amex.

          • The Original Nick says:

            Says that on my Council Tax bill too but I’ve been paying at coop for over a year now. I just buy a selection bag of crisps with it to throw the cashier. They don’t normally look at the card so just put it in the card machine and bung your pin in. Job done.

    • I have my Council Tax currently set up to pay in instalments by Direct Debit. I think its over 10 instalments. So are we saying that if I go to a Post Office I can opt to pay all the outstanding balance for the year in one hit and then cancel the Direct Debit? My experience of my local sub post office is they will take Amex to pay anything that is a Post Office transaction but not take Amex for other goods they sell themselves (eg birthday cards and childrens toys etc). Wish I had realised this while I was still getting double Avios on the Lloyds Amex Exchange Rate Fee free card (having upgraded from the old legacy free Lloyds Duo card)

      • I cancelled the direct debit first and then pay monthly by direct debit using Allpay at PayPoint. I would not expect a post office to accept Amex for council tax but some have managed it.

      • If you pay it all in advance they won’t take anything by DD. Remember to consider 3% cashback via DD option though and see if using card is still as good value!

    • Just to report my finding.
      The grumpy lady at post office declined saying you cannot use credit card for council tax payment!

      • the real harry1 says:

        yep you can’t pay council tax with Amex at Post Office – you can usually pay at Paypoint though (with Amex) – so give it a go & if it works simply cancel the DD

  5. OT… my wife applied for the Virgin cc on the last day of the last increased bonus but then wasn’t accepted for a couple of weeks. After receiving the card she called to check she was eligible to receive both bonuses and this was confirmed. The second bonus didn’t turn up so queried it via online chat… we’ve now had a reply from a senior person acknowledging what was said on the call but informing us that the wrong info was given and that they are unable to give her any additional points. The letter finished by saying to go to FOS if we weren’t happy…. has anybody had any success in similar situations? And I really don’t understand why they would want to encourage us to go down that route rather than just giving her the 7000 points

    • Genghis says:

      Doesn’t a FOS complaint over and above the limited number of freebies for the firm cost c. £400?

      • £550 I think… it just seems a very odd response for something that could have been dealt with fairly simply

        • I have had at least 20 complaints over the years from people who have been legged over by MBNA because they genuinely have no records of when their own promotions start and end. They will swear blind than an offer wasn’t available on a certain date even though I had already had an article up.

          With Virgin I can usually get them fixed by going via Virgin HQ but you’re on your own with Etihad, Lufty etc. It is a joke and an embarressment, frankly – perhaps this is why Lloyds wanted to buy them :-)

          • Matthew says:

            I had big issues with the Etihad card but kept phoning and chasing and eventually got the due bonus 4 months into the card year despite meeting the spend in month 1.

      • Uberior says:

        Varies depending on volume.

        With one sub-prime card provider, I’ve now negotiated a straightforward upfront settlement every time they make a specific error rather than go through the full complaints process.

        They were getting tied up in knots with my complaints being dealt with by the ICO rather than FOS.

    • Bonkers but if that’s how they want to play it then fine – I’d progress matters!

  6. OT – Instamiles: I wanted to try Instamiles this morning at LHR T2, but all LHR challenges have been removed from the app (or my profile). The only remaining one at LHR is the Spa T5 one. Pity, was going to give it a try!

  7. So who gets in this lounge then? Club Europe? Silver? Gold? Priority Pass? Seems like vital info missing from the article!!

  8. Partner and I doing BA001 LCY – JFK on Tuesday morning, but I think we only have access to the ‘lounge’ near gate 24. Do you know if we get access to these private jet centre ones?

  9. Has anyone ever written to Gate 365 telling them about a really bad experience with one of their suppliers? I ordered something from Achica and it didn’t show up on the promised time (Dec 16) so I wrote to them and asked them to check dispatch. They responded and told me the date would actually be March and offered a refund if I wanted one. I declined and said as long as they could guarantee the item would arrive on the revised delvery date I wanted to proceed. The item I bought was a group wedding present and I could have bought a similar item on sale in the January sales to replace it if the order needed to be cancelled. I didn’t do this because he promised March. The week. Was expecting my delivery I wrote them again and they then informed me they were unable to secure the item and offers me a £5 credit plus refund which was pretty inappropriate since I now have a bunch of colleagues who think I cannot even organise a wedding present and do not have the budget to buy the item at full price. I’ve received no response to my complaint to Achica. It’s embarrassing for me and I think their communication and customer service has been very poor. I wouldn’t buy something from them as a gift again since I obviously cannot rely on their supply chain.

    I wondered if writing to Gate 365 might prompt at least a response to my complaint. I also think having vendors messing around customers like this is not what Gate 365 would want to provide in terms of service.

  10. Graham Walsh says:

    Re the council tax, got mine and says I can call up and pay Hertsmere directly. Doesn’t say what cards they take or fee. As I”m used to DD, do I just pay the monthly DD amount (either over the phone or via PayPoint)?

    • Genghis says:

      Yes. You’re only required to pay what’s due at that time. So I only paid just over a month yesterday at PayPoint to help with cash flow (and no credit card sign up bonuses at the moment). For my council, it says PayPoint takes 5 WDs so you might want to get your payment in quick before the start of the month?

  11. Nate1309 says:

    O/T just seen IAG launching a new airline “Level” flights to start in June. Looks like trying to compete with Norwegian. Only flights leave from Barcelona.

  12. the real harry1 says:

    A couple more pics https://buyingbusinesstravel.com/news/1526987-london-city-open-%E2%80%98business-lounge%E2%80%99

    They don’t seem to realise we want the essential info on the booze selection + food & is it self pour? :)

    • “Chris Clayton, London City airport Jet Centre Customer Service Manager, said: “London City Airport’s new Business Lounge is the perfect option for passengers who want first class hospitality, comfort and privacy.”

      I think Chris needs to work on his marketing a bit. Surely passengers who want first class hospitality, comfort and privacy should be forking out the 95 quid for the First Class lounge?

      • The Original Nick says:

        Genghis, O:T, Sorry, I think you answered this question for me when I asked the last time. I left the Hilton Opera Hanoi on Wednesday just gone. I’m now in Conrad Bangkok. My points have hit my honors account including the 2017 HH1 2K EVERY DAY but I used my new Barclays Hilton CC to pay for my few drinks from the bar so I was wondering when the 2500 points hit for using the CC because they’re not showing. Do they take a while longer to hit?

        • Sorry. I’ve no idea.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          They can take a few days if not just message barclaycard vis secure message and they will add them

        • They can take a few days but TBH more often than not they never turn up.

          I complained to Barclaycard CS before, they couldn’t even add them but I managed to get them to pay the equivalent amount for me to buy them (and that wasn’t when there was a bonus points sale on with Hilton either!)

          • I am still chasing the equivalent from using my card in KL and it’s reached absurd levels. Barclaycard have registered it as a complaint, which has resulted in 3 customer service calls to me and counting. Amazing amount of wastage for them. All, as I keep pointing out, over about £7 worth of points.

          • Escalate to the Executive Office if required, you should get decent compensation out of them.

  13. OT – I’ve placed numerous orders recently through the avios e-store and all the points have tracked apart from 3 orders, all placed with Clarins. I submitted a “missing avios” report, only to be told that I didn’t use the e-store link. I have replied asking for the complaint to be escalated, as I can’t see how I “forgot” to use the link for 3 orders with one company, but not with any of the others! Where do I stand – it’s worth about 2000 avios?

    • Daniel Evans says:

      I had 16,000 Avios credited via e-Store which then confirmed to my statement but were then removed a few months later as apparently, the retailer didn’t register Avios as the last click. I am currently disputing this with Avios.com

      • That’s interesting, I wonder who the responsibility lies with, the retailer or avios.com. There’s little incentive to use the e-store if there’s no guarantee you’ll get the avios.

        I just found an email from last week where they said they have a record of the first transaction, so there’s clearly some kind of IT glitch but to accuse me of not using the link is just lazy and unprofessional!

        • Avios has no responsibility. It is made very clear that it is basically optional whether you get the points.

          • Just like cashback, you should never bank on the cash until it’s confirmed and payable.

          • Are they not breaching advertising standards? It doesn’t say on a particular offer that you might not get the avios.

          • It will be there in the T&Cs. It is possible that anti spyware software on your PC is the problem, stopping the tracking cookie being placed.

        • It says that as a condition for using the entire site though.

          Affiliate marketing is a nightmare – which is effectively what Avios eStores is. There are so many ways that clicks can be mis-recorded or a different cookie can overrule the link you thought you were using etc. that it’s hard to blame the company involved – same goes for Topcashback and Quidco.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Yeo why I choose Quidco/TCB rather than avios. once the cash or gift card is in my hand they can’t just decide they can take it back

  14. OT- I have just received my new Virgin card and can put another card worth of spend so thinking of referring Mrs. Rick for white virgin card.
    IIRC, people in the past have stated about referring Virgin cards. Any ideas on how I can do that?
    Is that via MBNA website or via Virgin Flying Club? Thanks.

    • Genghis says:

      MBNA send you an email with a referral link. Not sure how else you can get one.

      • I got an email ages ago from them with the referral link… when I went to find it it had disappeared from my inbox.. called up flying club who told me to go to MBNA who told me to go back to flying club who then told me to go back to MBNA etcetc so I gave up.. misteriously I got a new email with the referral link a few days ago….

    • You get an email with a link but it might take a few months to come through. I didn’t find a way of forcing it.

  15. OT- Just had a baby girl (wooo!). Can one get a BAEC account for an infant? And can they accrue avios? I am keen to add her to our Household account.

    • Genghis says:

      Congratulations!

    • Wyle E Coyote says:

      Congratulations! It’s very cute you are enrolling her for her Avios accrual.

    • the real harry1 says:

      sure, I enrolled our kids onto BAEC no problem, ISTR somebody said the rules forbid it but never had any problems

    • Andrew* says:

      Congratulations! Yes, you can register infants for BAEC (but not Avios). Found this out just before booking a family holiday and had to go off and register two children then go back through the whole booking procedure…

  16. Graham Walsh says:

    So after my 5hr delay from AMS to LTN with easyJet, I got this after prompting them yet again
    —————
    Thank you for your reply to our response sent on February 14th 2017

    We can reconfirm that your flight from Amsterdam to Luton was delayed due to weather.

    As your flight delay/cancellation was caused by a lighting strike, which is an extraordinary circumstance, you are not eligible for compensation under article 7 of EU261/2004.

    Whilst we realise you are disappointed, we hope you understand the reasons behind the decision. We now consider this case closed and will not respond to any further correspondence about your claim.

    If you wish to take this further you should refer your complaint to CEDR Services Limited, International Dispute Resolution Centre who is approved by the Civil Aviation Authority to provide an independent review of complaints. There is a fee for using this service.

    Once again we are sorry for the delay/cancellation of your flight but hope to welcome you on board again soon.
    ————–
    So I video recorded the crew announcement when they came on to apologise at 2:30am in the morning and they said it was due to the plane being in Iceland and then back to AMS and delayed due to de-icing. It was also delayed do to no crew being available so had to fly into Gatwick to get some. Surely this message of lightening is BS? How can they prove it? It was snowing (1cm) back in Feb, not lightening.

    Have I got a chance to claim with CEDR?

    • I would investigate whether this is attempted fraud by the airline (or whatever it is when they deceive you and lie to save money).

      The thing is that they won’t have made up that story at the time and yet some beancounter and his merry men have pushed an executive to lie later and his minion is the one sending the email.

      Now if this executive is a director, it all gets very messy very quickly because you can’t lie to deceive people and remain a fit and proper person to act as a company director of any company, nevermind a PLC.

      I would quietly find out who sent the email and who decided to make up that story (if possible) and then go for the jugular and perhaps hit their website for their Conduct Risk statements and then go straight to the Chairman highlighting this as a prima facie breach of their aforementioned Conduct Risk policy.

      A friend in PA News, or the Metro paper or some other news desk on a slow news day might help.

  17. virgin still not paid out Bonus miles for Tesco conversion , 3 phone calls and 2 emails and losing patience

  18. Where’s the piece on the new BA low cost long haul announcement?!

  19. the real harry1 says:

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