Bits: Rolling Luggage winner, Avios via Charles Tyrwhitt sale, your new bedtime reading

News in brief:

Rolling Luggage competition winner

Two weeks ago we launched a great competition in association with Rolling Luggage.

Rolling Luggage is the latest company to join forces with Avios and to celebrate the partnership they kindly offered a Cosmolite suitcases set to give away to one of our readers.

The lucky winner is: Adrian L.

Happy travels with your new set of suitcases!

As a reminder you can collect Avios with every purchase online and in Rolling Luggage’s UK stores.

Customers must be members of British Airways Executive Club, AerClub or Avios Travel Rewards Programme (including Flybe)

You will earn 5 Avios per £1 spent

Customers will be awarded 1,000 bonus Avios on their first purchase at Rolling Luggage online or in store with a minimum spend of £100.

If the customer makes a second purchase online or in store within 12 months of the first purchase, 750 bonus Avios will be awarded with a minimum spend of £50.

You can check out their impressive selection on their website here.  If you entered the competition and asked to be added to the Rolling Luggage email list, you should be receiving your 10% discount code in the next couple of weeks.

Up to 15% off Charles Tyrwhitt shirts this week – and earn Avios

Shirt company Charles Tyrwhitt – also an Avios partner – is offering up to 15% off everything until Sunday.

15% off minimum spend £100 with code JUMP

12% off minimum spend £75 with code MOVE

10% off minimum spend £50 with code STRETCH

These offers expire on Sunday 15th October and are only valid once per customer.

Tyrwhitt is an Avios partner and you will also earn 4 points per £1 on your shopping, either instore or online – add your number on the checkout page.  The site is here and the current clearance offers are here.

Some bedtime reading ….

If you’re looking for something to read in bed this week, there is an interesting new paper out from the Oxford Internet Institute, part of the University of Oxford.

It is called “Hacking Code/Space: Confounding the Code of Global Capitalism”.  At least one of the authors is a HFP reader I believe.

It starts off sounding quite fun:

It is based on over ten years experience that both of us have in ‘hacking’ frequent flyer systems. In the paper, we draw on examples as varied as the time that I bought about 50 kilos of cheese (picture below to prove it), or Matt bought 2000 $1 coins: all just to accumulate frequent flyer miles.

Although it soon becomes clear that it could be a tougher read than you imagine:

In the paper, we argue that while these sorts of practices are fun (and allowed us both something approaching unlimited mobility over the last few years), they have important (and more sinister) implications for what Doreen Massey refers to as ‘power geometries’. 

And then, frankly, gets a little confusing:

The global airline network is a key code/space of contemporary global capitalism and, like other core networks, relies upon a heavy degree of algorithmic (albeit non-hegemonic) governance. Crucially this analysis shows that the encoded rules and algorithms of airlines are potentially malleable via the practices of hackers that “offer an abstract negation that doesn’t already fit into a binary computation” (Shaw and Graham 2017); they refuse to act in the ways that algorithms and systems define as normal. These efforts demonstrate that the very complexity of code/spaces can render systems designed for hegemonic control porous and susceptible to subversion by those it was meant to restrict. The diverse and colorful examples from airline hacking highlight both the myriad ways a system has been turned towards unintended purposes and the creative (and time consuming) methods some will use to manipulate code/space for their own goals. In short, these transgressions demonstrate that we need not do everything that the machines tell us to do.

To be clear, the case of airline hackers is not necessarily a subversive or even democratic activity as the motivations and effects are focused on personal gain. Encoded rules often exist for good reason, and thus, hacking is not inherently emancipatory (Mott and Roberts, 2014) and has the potential to undermine well-intentioned and socially beneficial systems. However, our analysis demonstrates how playful, trangressive, and mischievous approaches can repurpose and recreate the code/spaces of airlines and beyond.

You can download the full paper, free, here.

HMRC to stop accepting credit cards on 13th January - no more cheap miles
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Comments

  1. I think I’ll give the paper a miss. Life really is too short.

  2. The paper brings back ideas of the production of space that I haven’t thought about for the past 10 years. Quite interesting.

    • Agree, very interesting early morning read! Not exactly my first choice read at 7am, but yes brings out lots of questions…wonder if airlines really do respond and rework their systems in response to such activity? interested to hear what Harry has to say after the school run!

      • the real harry1 says:

        A good read & nicely explained/ theorized – but is there anything very new in there for many of us here? Just off to ‘re-write the code’ on the Halifax cashback offer – £30 off my council tax wys £300 @ Co-Op/ PayPoint – and might include £5 free Amazon credit (£5 off £50 @ Tesco MOCs) – calling it subversive sounds fun but doesn’t make it new. Having said that, 10 years ago I was very wet behind the ears on this type of hack. There do seem to be fewer & fewer big opportunities, which would bear out the idea of algorithmic rules getting tighter over time. I think even if the glory days seem over, there’s much more in it than a mildly remunerative hobby, though – look at all the people turning left now who wouldn’t (wouldn’t being a choice) possibly have afforded that if they had to pay with their own money.

        • It is, in general, swings and roundabouts. Let’s go back 15 years – lower Avios (Air Miles) redemption costs, for sure, but miles were massively more difficult to earn if you weren’t flying. No Amex 2-4-1 voucher, which makes a massive difference for most people. No Qatar / airberlin (ahem) etc in oneworld. Very high cash fares – fares I paid 10 years ago, not adjusting for inflation, which I thought were bargains at the time now look pricey. No flat beds in BA business class if you go back 20 years.

          At the end of the day (and I know you love Doha) you can redeem 60,000 Avios for a one-way J to Doha on Qatar for a private suite in business class with a closing door, and you can get those 60,000 miles from a couple of credit card applications.

    • Anything that quotes such an eminent geographer as Massey is worth a bookmark for my future reading.

      Not on this sunbed though!

  3. Stevie G says:

    Bits OT: those who disabled Hilton from their Award Wallets may wish to switch it back on. It’s been a few days now and I haven’t been asked to go through pages and pages of Captcha looking for ‘signs’, ‘cars’ and lost minutes of my life.

    • Yeah!

    • Hmmm, hope it does get resolved, doing 3 or 4 pages of finding roads and cars is tiresome. Mine just timing out this am, unable to update, not even presented with a captcha.

    • It’s comforting to know that that happens to other people too – I was blaming my phone.

    • No captcha but Hilton still not working for me. None of our Tesco or Iberia accounts are working either.

    • My Hilton account was hacked and emptied via. points.com just over 3 weeks ago, so the Captcha didn’t help me out anyways (we can only assume it wasnt brute force, but a lot of accounts were emptied at the end of August according to Flyertalk, so something suspicious is going on!)

      My case is currently sat with Hilton Fraud team, so I’m pointless (and they cancelled some hotel bookings) – frustrating.

      • If you think your Hilton account has been hacked I would suggest you consider if you have used the same password elsewhere particularly other loyalty schemes where it allows you to log in with your email address.

        • It wasn’t a shared password to be honest, so it’s even more surprising (to me) the account was compromised.

  4. very interesting paper, thanks

  5. OT Quick query!

    We have our companion voucher, however there are 3 of us (one teenager, a 13 yo). I’m guessing that I would be best advised using the BA redemption finder to locate available seats for the journey that we want to make and then ringing BA to make the booking rather than using the website? Given values I guess that I would best using my avios and companion voucher for the Mrs and I, and then booking the lad his own ticket paying cash?

    • Cash or Avios for the kid is totally down to cash vs Avios pricing. If you want 3 Avios tix, you can book this online using the 241. You CANNOT mix cash and Avios tickets on one booking so you will have 2 booking references if you go down that route.

      • Thanks Rob – I suspect that we will be short of “earned” avios required for another CW return so would have to stick him on a cash ticket / or wait for another bonus offer as there was recently. The former would the. mean two bookings so we’d need to try to get three seats together when booking or split (I guess he can sit with his mum and give me some peace 🙂 )

        • I suggest using the 2 4 1 for one the voucher holder plus teenager, and make the other booking separately if need be (though you could always use the avios plus extra cash option if it’s worth it economically). There are complications with bookings for minors, and worst case scenario would be you being separated from him/her on the flight or pay up to £99 pp to pre-book your seats!!

    • We have the same issue, having a single child. However, as she is only 10 then she still qualifies as a child and thus we get (I think) 25% off base adult fares. This seems to change around 12 years old when they become an adult in travel industry speak (and can presumably vote, get married, pay their own bills, own a gun etc.).

      However, you might find that getting a decent BA ticket is hard. We tried to find a 3rd ticket to Asia and the price for the matching flight via BA was so horrendous that we changed the Amex 241 from the adults to one adult and the child in preparation for possibly using an alternative airline for the 3rd (adult) seat. You could not have done this with both adults on the 241 and the child flying alone aged 10 (or at least I would not have done that).

      In the end we dumped BA altogether and booked 3 on an ME3 carrier and put the avios away for a first class splurge.

      • Thanks Talay – that has crossed our mind (not telling him, of course), that we might just be better buying three seats in the Jan sale for a trip abroad while we then use the avios and the voucher for a child free get away!

  6. Amanda Hayes says:

    Has anyone received their bonus avios from Rolling luggage yet? It’s been more than 28 days.

    • the real harry1 says:

      no

      sent them the feedback they requested at the weekend and it was so nice about them they moderated it 🙂

      incompetent or untrustworthy/ disreputable – take your pick

      • I had a follow up email yesterday, saying it was an error etc… etc… and points would post within five days. (although they are not there yet)

        It does appear to be a case of not posting the 1k points, unless you chase.

  7. OT: Readers here strike me as the sort of people who may read the Private Eye.

    Any offers, deals, discounts, points, etc, on subscriptions?

  8. OT: We’re Considering a Feb trip to Bali with two young ones. Can I ask folks who have been before for hotel recommendations? The only hotel status I have if it helps is Hilton Diamond.

    Thanks in advance:)

    • We did the Conrad at Easter which is excellent. Hook up with me on twitter or FT @genghis1232 and I’ll send you the link to my TA review (or just find it – it’ll be one of the more detailed ones from May 17 where I detail Diamond benefits).

    • We were at the IC and the Alila Ubud in March. Both great hotels but the weather was rubbish. Check the historic forecasts for Feb before you book. I didnt check this assuming it would be similar to Thailand wrong! It’s a long way to go to sit in the rain. I also found Bali weirdly expensive.

  9. the real harry1 says:

    Amex offer £5 credit on £10 tesco spend (possibly account specific – platinum cashback card

    must be delayed ‘similar’ version of the 500 Avios offer on the BA Amex cards last week

    • the real harry1 says:

      works on both Gold and BA Amex cards, supps as well

      • Nothing on my GC (though it is a week old). Redeemed the 500 avios on the BAPP which has posted today.

        • New Card says:

          How long did the 500 take to post for you?
          For me – I used a Tesco Self Service checkout and so the statement line item says “Self Service at Tesco” (or something similar). Base points added, but no sign of the 500 yet…

      • @the real harry1

        Is there a need to register your supp card under a separate online Amex account in order to get such offers for said supps then?

  10. O/T for general information if people do not know. I ordered a phone from the Eitihad shop as I had points expiring I knew this was not the best use of the points but got a lot worse when I got a DHL request for 128 pounds tax. The pre installed card would have been much better
    Live and learn

    • Oh you must have selected UAE as the country (or it is pre-selected). You need to change it to the UK. I ordered a phone as well but it came from a UK company so no tax

  11. I have an expiring Melia hotels offer on my platinum card. Has anyone managed to trigger this offer with a prepaid reservation? Looking unlikely I would be able to stay before the offer expires.

  12. Grumpy me, but fed up reading hints and tips described as “hacking”.
    Getting into Avios’ systems and transferring loads of points to your account is hacking, taking advantage an offer is not!

  13. Scottydogg says:

    OT , does Gatwick South arrivals not have any arrivals lounge for BA Club europe / Club World ? i done a quick google search and read how they closed one down in 2013 . Is there anything else in place now ?

    • No

    • Sadly they closed down their nearby arrival hotel deal a few years ago. Nothing now, which is annoying for those of us connecting to a domestic flight rather than just going home. Presumably BA assume only London-based leisure travellers from LGW…

  14. rams1981 says:

    OT new Amex layout a disaster. Still not worked out how to copy over offers from other cards. Anyone know?

    • Yes. Offer added just this morning. Just use Steve’s advice from last Tue but copy and paste the first bit from an account (a supp) using the old look.

      • the real harry1 says:

        [Our informant’s first point is emphasizing the need to keep the fare secret; there are cracks in code/space but if they are pushed too wide and used by too many people, they will cease to exist.]

        @Genghis – ran into small problem with PayPoint/ Co-Op/ Halifax/ c/b – till refused to do £150+£150, most it could do was £200 so I settled for that, strange as I have done more than that elsewhere – £20 to me 🙂

        @rams1981 – you got a HUKD a/c for PM?

        Also, 500 bonus Avios has been redeemed on my Gold card, try finding them though – today’s £5 should be fine on any a/c

      • Genghis – how do you get back to the old look? I can only see new site with no ability to copy offer ids (I don’t have any supps).

        My twitter is tempcheck01 if best offline. Cheers

    • Can’t be done AFAIK

    • I’ve been moved to the new layout today for both my Amex Gold and BAPP. I had previously manually ‘forced’ the Tesco 500 Avios offer onto both cards, and had made a qualifying spend on the BAPP, albeit had received no confirmation the offer had been successfully redeemed (this may be explained by the fact it was a contactless transaction.)
      However, today on the new layout, although the offer still shows as applied to my Gold card, it’s gone completely from the BAPP. Do I contact Amex, and risk blowing this “hack” (!) wide open?

      • I’m not quite sure why you would contact Amex to say that an undocumented quirk of the system you made use of didn’t work for you?!

        I must say nothing posted for me from redeeming offer on SPG card, but not planning to chase!

        • You win some, you lose some.

        • My thoughts precisely.

        • But would Amex know I had forced the offer on, if I just told them I had it and it’s now disappeared? Funny it’s gone from the card I used it on, but still there on the one I hadn’t used yet.

        • If it’s an Avios offer on a non-Avios card they would. Personally I take the view that it’s a bonus if it works but not something to go chasing if it doesn’t.

  15. BA Amex clarification. If upgrading from the free BA card to the BA Premium Plus Card I take it you apply for the card online and Amex will know you have free card and transfer the, in my case £9900 of qualifying spend for the companion voucher, over to the Premium Plus Card ? I will then cancel in a few weeks and revert back to the free card.

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