Bits: BA taking 4 ex-Singapore A380’s?, Virgin Trains discounts, classic video footage

News in brief:

British Airways to take 4 A380’s from Singapore Airlines?

A couple of weeks I wrote about the amazing new First Class Suites being fitted to the new A380 aircraft being received by Singapore Airlines.

These new planes are replacements for the first batch of A380 aircraft taken by Singapore Airlines, which were on a lease which has now expired.  The current version of the A380 is lighter and has more fuel efficient engines and it made sense to switch over to newer aircraft.

The German leasing company is now trying to find a new home for these older planes, and it has named British Airways as one of the parties ‘in discussions’.

This is likely to be an exceptionally good deal for BA.  There is currently no second hand market, at all, for the A380.  Malaysia Airlines tried to sell its fleet but ended up deciding to turn them into 700-seat ‘all economy’ aircraft to serve the Hajj pilgrimage market to Saudi Arabia.  Any deal which is more profitable than stripping the aircraft – the engines could be used for spares and cost over $40m each – is likely to be taken.

The talk is of a six year lease for the planes.  If we ask nicely, perhaps BA will leave the Singapore Airlines First Class Suites installed ….

British Airways A380

Virgin Trains discounts

We’ve mentioned the Virgin Red app before.  It is a smartphone app which brings together various different Virgin Group companies (Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Money, Virgin Active, Virgin Trains etc), offering discounts and competitions.

This week it is offering 30% off Virgin West Coast and East Coast train tickets.  All Virgin Red members can take advantage, it seems, although you can only make one booking at this price.  The discount is valid against any First or standard class Advance ticket.  There are no date restrictions.

Virgin Trains West Coast has also given us advance notice of a big Black Friday sale running from Thursday 23rd November to Monday 27th November. This will offer a 50% discount, but only for travel between Monday 18th December 2017 to Sunday 14th January 2018.

PS.  Virgin Red always offers a 20% discount on West Coast tickets to new members.  If you have redeemed this offer before, uninstall the app and sign up again using new credentials.  You will see the 20% discount link back on the app home screen.  I did this for my trip to Manchester this week.

Take the train and the plane …..

A reader sent me a link to this fantastic You Tube video clip which shows a world so far gone it is hard to believe that it happened during my own lifetime.

La Flèche d’Argent was a mixed transport service that combines plane and trains to travel from Paris to London.  A Parisian could take the train from Gare du Nord to Le Touquet, then board a British Caledonian plane to Gatwick.  The surprising bit, as you see in the video, is that the plane literally pulls up next to the train and it is a 30-second walk between one and the other!

SAVE THE DATE: Head for Points Christmas Party, Tuesday 12th December
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Comments

  1. Scallder says:

    OT – about a week ago my wife’s Lloyds Avios Amex card was used fraudulently by someone over in New York for a few different things so we called Lloyds to talk about this and get the card cancelled and a replacement sent out. Logged into her account yesterday to find that my supplementary Amex was also used fraudulently earlier this week, also in New York. As my card has been sitting in a drawer at home and my wife’s has been in her purse the whole time, certainly haven’t been nicked and cloned or anything like that.

    When speaking to Lloyds last night, they said that they were currently getting thousands of calls a day as they were seeing a lot of fraud on specifically the Amex cards people had, with the vast majority of the activity being contactless transactions in the US (the one on my card was for $100 at a drug store).

    Therefore it might be worth checking your accounts in you have those cards (or perhaps others) and haven’t done so recently just to make sure nothing dodgy going on. The guy we spoke to said that clearly there had been some issue somewhere but given the large quantity of it going on, it was clearly an issue somewhere else and not with us – slightly happy but obviously also concerning there’s a significant issue somewhere else in the system! Certainly explains why it took 25 minutes to get through to their fraud team…

    • Yes, I also had two cases of fraud on my Lloyds Amex in the US. Taken off no problem but annoying.

    • the_real_a says:

      Wow – I also have had my llyods AMEX used fraudulently a few weeks ago for Just Eat. The worrying thing for me is that it was hardly used. The only online transaction was on google to buy some apps with a few other chip and pin transactions. If any of my cards was to be cloned i would not expect it to be my LLyods AMEX!

    • Hi I got a text from Lloyds s over the weekend asking if I was trying to pay for something in Albertson? As I’d never heard of the place I texted back no. Checked my account and there were six transactions all in New York State I didn’t recognise. Two in Office Depot, one in Babiesrus. Called Lloyds and all removed no problem but it did make me wonder how the card had been cloned, I really use it infrequently. Having read the comment above I’ll stop wondering!

      • Me too, I had to ring them last night as I had a fraudulent transaction appear in my pending transactions. They need to wait until it clears to refund it. Apparently there were a few more attempts that were declined.
        It does look like there has been a serious breach of security somewhere.

    • Same here with my Lloyd’s Amex.

      I was wondering if it was a PayPal issue, as that’s the card I have registered there?

    • I have the Lloyds Amex and mine was also used fraudulently in the USA last week! Very annoying as I’m out of the UK in Japan and Australia for a month and was planning to use it a lot!

      Seems very odd. I wonder what’s going on.

      I also have the MBNA Emirates card and have had fraudulent activity on that 5 (yes 5!) times in the last 18 months. Every few months have to cut them all up again!

    • Same here. My Lloyds Amex was used fraudulently to pay some car parking charges in the US. I think there is a huge data breach here with Lloyds – just hope they only lost card numbers and not all of our personal information. I spent two hours on the phone with Lloyds this week trying to sort it, they were blaming Amex for it, until I said I’d call Amex directly and ask, then they changed their mind.

    • Same for me – queued for 45 mins on Saturday afternoon to speak to the fraud team after my card was declined – there was an attempted US transaction on there. And spoke to a colleague this week with the Lloyds Avios Amex whose card had also stopped working.

      There’s clearly been a massive leak somewhere…

      • Lloyds Amex – four transactions in California, last weekend, before I spotted and got the card cancelled. No issue with the MasterCard…

        • In my case it was Lloyds MasterCard which was used for fraud transactions. 6 attempts and also for luxury shopping bags purchase through online. I have cancelled the card. Looks like a major data breach from Lloyds side and they are staying silent which is suprising, no communication to customer to be vigilant. It’s been doing it’s rounds for last 2 weeks at least.

    • Yep, happened to me too when I noticed a fraudulent transaction mid October. It was spent on the mastercard though. Funny thing was despite reporting to customer service they insisted that I contact the retailer. Must be a newbie.

    • Thanks for the heads up – have checked and thankfully no issues, but will be interesting to hear what has happened, clearly something pretty major!

      • Exactly the same thing happened to both me and my partner this week with the Amex card! Mine was used in a California petrol station last Tuesday and then two days later she had her card (separate accounts) used in Chicago!! I think it must be a data breach.

    • Mark Smith says:

      I also had my Lloyd’s Amex used fraudulently, in my case at a garage in Liverpool.
      I was really impressed by the speed with which Lloyd’s picked it up, notified me and dealt with it.

    • Oh! Matron! says:

      Whilst I;d been in Boston the weekend before (Uber charges, mainly), my Amex had also stopped working. Spent 1.2 hours in Lloyds Kingston.

      No fraudulent charges on mine, but it was cancelled anyway.

    • Have to say me too! 2 days ago $105 at Staples in the US (California) as a contactless transaction on the AMEX. I’ve never put this card onto Paypal so can’t be them, suspect leak from lloyds/amex themselves due to the number of issues.

      They did mention on the phone also to me that they’ve seen loads of these over the past week.

    • New Card says:

      Me too! Mine in Bakersfield, California. Foot Locker, Kohl’s…

    • +1 to the Lloyds Amex fraud. I had a transaction from Office Depot in California – a contactless payment of USD 105 (didn’t even know that a contactless payment could even be for so much). Appears to be a huge data breach here! Called the Lloyds Fraud team and they are credited the transaction. Amex has been blocked and will be re-issued. MC not affected apparently.

    • Interesting to hear of this! My Lloyds AmEx got stopped. I called them and the customer rep started nattering something about “big customer data breach with AmEx” and also something about PayPal. I tried to press him for more details but he sounded either clueless or evasive. Getting a new card this week. (He asked whether I had been making some small 15-pence transactions but I had no idea, as I couldnt’ see them on the statement yet). K.

    • Yeah, my Lloyds Amex was stopped too last week.
      Thankfully, no fraudulent transactions on my account.

      • +1 for fraud on the Lloyds Amex – was used in India last month for about two weeks buying various mobile phone credits until they flagged it up by text and it was stopped and refunded. But then on Sunday got a spam text from supposedly Lloyds saying my account had been used for International payment but thankfully called them using the number on the back of their card rather than the number in the text so rapidly realised it was spam.

    • Whoa this seems like a widespread issue. I thought the two fraudulent transactions on my Lloyds Amex was because I’d recently booked holiday stuff (flights/tours) on Bolivian and Vietnamese websites and thought maybe some of the sites weren’t secured. At the end of October my card was used twice on the same day – one for a transaction with Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and another at a grocery store in Anaheim, CA.

      • I thought that as well as I had just made a booking on the Indian train web-site but then realised that I had used my Lloyds mastercard for that but it was my Lloyds Amex that was used for the fraud.

    • Me too! On a brand new card which had ever been used.

      • Oh dear!! I am another one! I called Lloyds exactly a week ago to report 2 unknown purchases in New York and they told me there were actually 2 more in pending. All been contact less payments. The frustrating thing was that I made a hotel booking payment in between they declined it and asked me to confirm first, but in the meantime they did not catch all these contactless payments in New York. I though it might be something with my card stored in Lyft app, but it looks like it is a very serious data breach now.

        • My BA Amex was used fraudently 7 times in California earlier this week: FedEx, Target, T-Mobile for £800. Got a refund two days later. Impressed by Amex quick response to this annoying situation.

    • Yikes, came here to check an article and I see I’m not alone… I actually contacted Rob about this a few months ago. Think it was in September when my Lloyds Amex (Avios) was cloned. They did it again a month or two before that… I think towards the end of July? First time it was to buy luxury shoes from a German brand’s website, then the second time to buy car tyres. Lloyds were pathetic as ever in trying to help. They had no clue this is something bigger than just a card cloning – I never take my Lloyds Amex out of the wallet. I’ve barely used it! Can’t wait for them to lose the Amex contract. They’re just a bunch of muppets.

      • Its certainly not a case of card cloning in the sense that someone is copying a card you have handed over, my card has never been used and never left the house!

        Attempted fraud took place in USA. I did think someone had cracked the amex code for generating card numbers and then getting lucky with card numbers that were active, but some of the comments say the fraud was taking place using contactless, so dunno. More like a big data breach – i guess in about 6 months time Lloyds will admit it.

        The reason my amex card was new and hadn’t been used was that it was a replacement for an old card that had also been stopped!!!!

        • the real harry1 says:

          but it could have absolutely nothing to do with Lloyds, ie the data breach could be elsewhere – we’ve had Lloyds and Amex themselves named here (separate entities) – the breach is probably at a third party

        • trh1 – yeah not saying the breach is at Lloyds, could no doubt be from elsewhere, until reading the comments today i thought might be an issue at Royal Mail, but its clear there is a problem and Lloyds should be asking cardholders to be more vigilant and check their accounts regularly. My Lloyds cards are only used for overseas travel, so i don’t regularly look at my statement.

      • Another case here, mainly on a supp card which has not been used for at least a year I think so certainly not cloning.

    • I’ve had 4 transactions also in California on my Lloyds AmEx and none on the MasterCard in the last week. All small amounts (i.e sub $30).

      The odd part was that I was in the US last week but in Florida – made working out which transactions were fraudulent a little harder…!

      • And another one here. 45 mins on hold and they’ve removed the transactions.

        Lloyds really need to make a statement on this. I really don’t trust them now.

        • Plus one – used my card in Orlando in September and got multiple low value transactions in California 6 weeks after we returned, We assumed the card had been cloned in Orlando but reading this maybe not?

    • ..and another one – Jeez! My card was used twice in a USA sports goods store about 3 weeks ago. I’d only had the card for about a month. Again it was the Amex, they replaced the Amex card, said that the MC was not compromised.

      Interestingly, the transactions showed as “magnetic stripe” on the Lloyds app – all my uses had been chip and pin or contactless, so it seems that someone has copied the mag stripe.

      Oh, and this was flagged by Lloyds, they left a message on my answerphone to call a number which I couldn’t identify, so I Googled it: about half the posts suggested it was a fraudulent number! So I called the main number, they confirmed that the call was valid, and put me through to the fraud department – after a very long wait!

      • My heads up was also from Lloyds, as when I tried to log on to my account after returning from the US I was locked out and told to call the fraud department number.

        They had locked the card after 2 attempted fraudulent transactions amongst some others I’d legitimately made on my trip.

        Strangely, they knew which ones were the dodgy ones and which ones were really me.

    • +1 last month in October, used at Autozone US and all showing as Contactless. I did suspect a more widespread breach given contactless could only occur with card present – and no pushback from Lloyds whether the card was still in my possession

    • flyforfun says:

      I had fraud on my Lloyds card last year, and in the US, California and just outside San Fransisco from memory. They attempted 2 transactions. I think the first was successful but on the 2nd one, LLoyds sent me an auto generated text asking did I make a transaction in the USA. Texted back no and transaction was not allowed. Called and found that the first transaction had then been removed by Lloyds from my account as fraudulent one as well. I was impressed with the automation and response from the team.

      Several years ago I had my AAdvantage card (run by RBS at the time) cloned at Heathrow as I left to go to Australia fro work for a couple of weeks. My partner spotted the spend on the bill that came in while I was away but RBS were downright rude in dealing with him when he was trying to extract information on who I should call and while he was flagging the issue (he was a supplementary card holder) . Really poor response when I called during the middle of the night from Australia to try and sort things out. They tried to make out that I was lying about buying jewelry and petrol, even though I was in Australia at the time. Eventually I got everything wiped off, but I never used the card again. As a result I had 3000 miles that they never clawed back from me. A minor win!

    • Hopefully everyone get a new card before shop small!

    • CountryKerry says:

      Same here.

      £600 in various shops, Foot Locker etc…

      Lloyds are useless.

  2. Hingeless says:

    “If we ask nicely, perhaps BA will leave the Singapore Airlines First Class Suites installed …”

    I would be happier if the SG crew and F&B came with the A380 !!

    • Even sadder is the fact that we are hopeful BA may decide to upgrade to a product Singapore Airlines decided to dispense with.

      Doe that make BA 2 generations behind the curve or 3 ?

      • Well to be fair, I’d say that the first class suites would be an upgrade for most airlines.

        But, yes, BA is 2 generations behind the curve when it comes to business class.

  3. Experian Credit Score:
    Just managed to take a look at my credit score is too low!
    870/999

    It says I have too many applications in a short span as well not very long relationship for account stability. If you were to keep churning CCs, how do you have a long relationship!?

    Any general pointers to help improve credit score (other than to slow down churning!) is highly appreciated!

    • Don’t miss any payments, maintain 40% or less credit utilised – but equally don’t have a ridiculous number of cards open either, reduce overall debt level, don’t withdraw cash on CC. Register to vote at your current address. Check that there aren’t any mistake debts on the file that either aren’t yours or are actually paid off. Other than that it’s somewhat an art rather than a skill + remember that for some lenders your credit can be too good! they don’t want every single customer to pay off without any interest at all.

    • the real harry1 says:

      keep 1 card open permanently?

      tip – canceling a card is negative for a couple of months – but you may need to do this to free up potential credit relative to income

      • Top tip.

        There’s a good reason why I keep my BoS Visa Card and First Direct Visa Cards opened in May 1990 and December 1991 ticking over.

        Likewise with all the fuss about switching current accounts – I’ve got my “switcher” accounts with two direct debits that my salary goes into that I change every year (goodbye Coop, hello Clydesdale and £250 last week). Then my three BoS current accounts that I’ve had since I was 18 years old that I FP my salary into on payday once a month.

    • the_real_a says:

      The thing to remember is your credit score is liquid, it changes every week depending on a number of factors. There is a definite weight to certain criteria. The biggest in my experience is “consumed” credit as a percentage of total available credit line. The thing to note on this is that 1) “debt” is only updated to reference agencies on your statement creation date, hence if you pay off your credit card mid-cycle it will never be reported 2) Outstanding debt will remain on your credit file until your next statement creation date, so even if you “pay off” your debt the day after your statement it will remain showing as debt on your reference file until the following month. Hence its wise to be creative with your payment days if you are planning to churn a lot.

      The second biggest factor is “total available” credit line (note this is not number of cards). From a reference agency point of view this is relative to payment velocity (not income as income is never reported) which is your demonstrated propensity to pay off debt – i.e. you have a history of paying off 5k or 10k each month. The credit card providers WILL asses this against your income based on their criteria so its not to say credit line Vs income is not important its just saying the reference agency scores use a slightly different criteria.

      Card relationship length and number of cards open are very marginal factors in my experience. I currently have 15 credit cards open.

      • the_real_a says:

        Just to add – im making the assumption you are applying for Reward cards. The big caveat is that for Balance Transfer cards, providers do expect a high % of utilised credit line since this is their target market, so you are likely to be accepted provided your “payment velocity” is demonstrated.

        • Some great advice. I just do what seems sensible based on reading stuff online. Closing unused cards, keeping credit utilisation low (but supposedly too low recently as I had been making intra month payments but now keep a balance at statement date. What I do seems to work. I keep three cards long term and have longstanding bank relationships.

        • That is very helpful, the_real_a, Thanks.
          Yes it is mostly Amex and now bygone MBNA Airline cards!

          Very good points regarding paying off card just before a statement is generated so sees less balance on card.

        • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

          This is entirely incorrect. Utilisation data is shared with other lenders strictly in support of responsible lending. It would not be a permissable use of bureau data to use it for profitability modelling.

        • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

          Disagree also that income is ‘never reported’. Underwriters can get ‘Current Account Turnover’ data that’s a vastly better income proxy than payment velocity.

        • the_real_a says:

          I never said credit utilisation is not reported, i said it was only reported at the point of statement creation and not further updated until the next statement creation date (i.e. its a monthly snapshot).

          Through multiple bank accounts only debt utilisation (i.e. overdraft) has ever been reported. Positive balances or any form of account turnover have never appeared on my credit file. If Experian has this information then they are in serious breach of multiple SARs of mine.

    • In the UK, the “credit score” is completely meaningless since Experian, Equifax and Noddle don’t issue credit cards or mortgages etc.

      Every bank and financial institution calculates its own score and decides what factors are important on their own.

      It’s the data that is important.

      • the_real_a says:

        Very true, but in the theme of “every institution calculates its own score” we will never know what algorithm they use – the scoring is just a guide to help “clean up” an individuals finances as a few basic things can have a big impact on future acceptance.

  4. the real harry1 says:

    O/T talking of Virgin Money: those of us who took out the 8000 Virgin miles ISA when the offer first appeared will be paying the last of the 6x minimum monthly £100 instalments in about 2 weeks time – could be worth diarising to cancel the direct debit after that payment is taken, depending on your intentions – check your payment schedule, YMMV

    the T & Cs were initially simply minimum 6x monthly payments but changed later to add on ‘and keep ISA open minimum 12 months’ or risk losing the 8000 miles, so be aware of what you signed up for if you’re thinking of withdrawing your money from the ISA – you might want to keep in £1 for example, not sure what would happen if charges ate up that £1 or indeed sent the ISA into negative territory?

    • It was 6 monthly payments and keep account open for 6 months. My plan is to withdraw cash just after sixth DD payment (IIRC it takes quite a few days to become available in online acct so may do two tranches) then close down in early Jan.

      • Cancelled my DDM yesterday and will withdraw the £597 in a couple of weeks to spend over Xmas. Hope to repeat again next may. Easy miles.

    • Got the 8,000 miles really quickly but they still haven’t debited anything from my bank account…

      • the real harry1 says:

        @ Vivian – that’s not necessarily a good thing – Virgin are pretty good at removing miles that haven’t been earned and ISAs are well-regulated so they’ll probably spot that you haven’t paid

        and they might just start you off paying randomly, so you could straddle 2 tax years and be unable to take out another stocks & shares ISA next year (missing out on more Virgin miles)

        I’m assuming your 6 months would have ended before new tax year 2017/2018? you could possibly contact Virgin Money and get them to take the missing contributions in one payment – you can explain that you want the freedom to open a new ISA next tax year

  5. I’m not sure the virgin trains sale is available for all app users. Dosent shoe up for me, but I do have 30% off virgin balloons offer.

    • Currently showing as two different offers for me:-

      30% one off code for Virgin Trains (West Coast)
      30% one off code for Virgin Trains East Coast

      I also have a permanent offer with my employer that gives me 20% off all Virgin Trains (West Coast) advance fares.

    • I’m also not seeing 30% off trains…

  6. These early A380s have their own unique issues amongst others:

    – No wing twist
    – Specialist hand built wiring that needs to be replaced
    – Overweight

    I think some of the old SQ frames have their own individual certification making maintenance much more difficult/costly. Qantas’ Joyce mentioned he could fly 2x 236 seat 787’s nose to tail and still the CASM would be better than 1x 484 seat A380.

    I’m sure BA would be pushing on the pricing, however, I’m sceptical they would want these even if they’re free!

    • They make sense on shorter routes that BA flies the A380 on as a 747 replacement. Even an overweight A380 will probably do better than a 30 year old Jumbo.

      I am thinking the <3000 mile routes like London-JFK/ IAD/ BOS/ MIA where fuel cost is less of a factor than the 4,000+ mile routes to Asia.

      • Oh! Matron! says:

        As well as a healthy push from the jet stream on the way back.

      • Which means if BA got them they would likely be ring-fenced to shorter routes rather than treated as a single fleet with existing aircraft which currently service some much longer routes including HK and Singapore.

        May make sense for routes such as Boston and Washington – can’t see them being used to JFK though due to the need to maintain frequency, and that BA’s terminal isn’t A380 ready.

        • HK and Sing they need the 777s for cargo (A380s have minimal space below).

          As you say JFK won’t see A380s from BA, need frequency but also taxiways and runways would need to be redeveloped around T7.

          Maybe use them year-round to MIA/JNB. Personally I would prefer A350s both as an accountant and from a passenger comfort perspective with 787s on less heavy routes.

  7. the real harry1 says:

    O/T decent Amex offer on Virgin wines that would appear top be open to all (best pay with Amex)
    https://www.virginwines.co.uk/VB2264?ref=VB2264&media_code=VGN_REC_PART_WB&media=VGN_REC_PART_WB

    decent choice – 12 bottles for £59.88 but you also get a bottle of good Champagne (see link next post) – in itself surely worth £25

    if this is your first Virgin Wines order you get 3000 miles (otherwise 250)

    so you could argue £59.88 minus £25 (Champagne) minus £30 (3000 miles) = £4.88 for 12 bottles of very drinkable wine

  8. O/T – does anyone have any experience of applying for US Global Entry and having the interview in London (if possible?) and what the interview consists of? Thanks

    • We did some articles on this last year if you search, I think the interview is a token gesture thing.

      • We were grilled at MIA last year by a friendly chap in the DHS Office, travel plans and work were the main topics. If you can provide a US postal address you will recieve a Global Entry ID card for the machines good for 5 years from application, where as if you don’t it will only be registered against your current passport, technically valid for the 5 years, but will die with your passport expiry date if that is before the GE expiry date.

    • I had my interview in Puerto Rico a few years ago – very straightforward, more just a chat and demo of how to use the machine. Think I was the first non-US citizen they’d enrolled and the Disclosure Scotland certificate was certainly a novelty for them!

      There’s a decent thread on Flyertalk that has more info. Remember there’s a time limit to pick a date for interview (once you reach that stage) but you can then freely move it about. Also some airports will deal with walk-ups if they’re quiet. I love the system, quicker for me to enter the USA than UK with it!

  9. O/T have quite a few buisness flights booked with vietnam airways – LHR to HAN with internals. any you wise guys know what to do with all the points? not much on their site and unlikely to use any partner airlines as mainly asian. thx sam

  10. Roger I* says:

    Silver Arrow / Golden Arrow / My first flight from Lydd

    Silver Arrow was a useful update to the Golden Arrow. Am I the only one to remember the Golden Arrow? This was a rail service between London and Paris, where IIRC the train carriages went on to the ferry at Folkestone Harbour and were attached to a French engine on arrival in France.

    As a kid, I remember pulling the signal lever at Folkestone Central to allow the Golden Arrow through. The lever was taller than me and needed almost superhuman strength. 😀

    And was that a Silver City plane at the end of the video? My first flight was on the Silver City car ferry plane from Lydd to Le Touquet.. IIRC it was 1,000 feet outbound and 2,000 feet back (or v.v.) and very bumpy.

    Also in the video is a BCal BAC 1-11, the plane that I used many times for quasi-scheduled charters to Zurich and elsewhere before easyJet upset everybody.

    Oh, memories …

  11. O/T – Re 6 x Rioja from Vinoseleccion (HFP – 6 Nov) – anyone actually seen any sign of any wine? – or follow-up emails? Had 3 marketing emails, despite ticking the no emails box, but nothing else about delivery as yet.

    • Nothing yet here. Did 2 orders – one on each of our accounts but only got one email. Normally a nice lady rings to arrange delivery.

      • Just had a reply from vinoseleccion:
        Thank you for your message. I confirm that your order of Bene Placitum Reserva has been received correctly and it is being processed. Delivery date is approx. about 1 week as the wine is completely sold out in UK and needs to be sent from Spain.

  12. the real harry1 says:

    O/T I was just looking at the 2 month Ents NowTV boxes getting sold on Ebay, going like hotcakes for £8.95 & £9.99 (to include passes)

    taking £9.99, Ebay fee is 99p and PayPal fee is 3.4% & 20p (= 54p), let’s say packaging is free but postage [you would be WELL advised to use tracking] for me would be £3.90 2nd class signed for small parcel

    so total costs = £5.43 + loss of £2.51 (Tesco £12.50 – £9.99) —> £7.94, ie this seller has got back £4.06, meaning 1222 Avios have cost £8.44 (0.69p/ point)

    [let’s ignore points from cards/ portals etc]

    Whereas, I only got a few boxes for the passes and have sold the rest (boxes & bits) for £3/ box to Cex, they pay postage, transaction & printing the postage label took 5 mins

    my figures – I got back £3, meaning 1222 Avios have cost £9.50 (0.78p/ point) – but none of the Ebay hassle/ possible cheats/ negative feedback – AND I get to keep the passes 🙂

    good luck to those using the other method, I simply don’t have the time & you can of course sell for more than £9.99, esp if you time it later

    • the_real_a says:

      You can use myhermes or parcel2go to get postage (tracked) for £2.20

      Alternatively, just sell the voucher for the same price and send via ebay message (so no postage costs at all). I have done this numerous times in the past without issue but sure the risk of fraud is there.

    • It’s making my pre-agreed orders with colleagues look great. Mine have been dispatched but not yet received collection confirmation.

      • the real harry1 says:

        those ultra-cheap ones sold out and now the price is up to £12, which looks a bit better

        £12, Ebay fee £1.20, Paypal fee 61p, P&P £2.20 Hermes
        this seller has recovered £7.99, meaning 1222 Avios have cost £4.60 (3.7p/ point)

        that’s what I meant when I said (if I had the time) I could get under 0.4p/ point – I wouldn’t use Hermes but I can get half price stamps so no difference really

        there’s a long-standing seller on both Ents & Cinema @ £12.49, so you you won’t do much better than £12

        I should be able to sell the Sky Store vouchers for £2 after costs, so that improves my own Cex route to £7.5/ 1222 = 0.61p/ point + free passes to keep – which is better than selling the unopened packs for £9.99

    • Thanks for the CEX tip, I may have a few boxes to sell on once I’ve taken the passes out!

    • CEX route definitely sounds sensible. I made use of a great deal when in Oz – PAYG mobiles came with 3 months free Netflix, I bought multiple phones, activated the Netflix credit and then sold them via CEX. Recouped 75% of the cash and got a couple of years of Netflix sub which lasted me until well after I returned to the UK 😀

      • the real harry1 says:

        if Genghis got £6 for the vouchers, £3 for the box & bits, & £2 (Cinema packs) for the Sky Store credit, he’d be on 1222 Avios for £1.50 = 0.12p/ Avios

        • the real harry1 says:

          shame there wasn’t a £12.50 box with 1-day NowTV Sky Sports day pass

          luckily I know how to generate them for free

          unluckily/ understandably HFP won’t let me push that here, but I could always send you one, eg HUKD ID for PM?

        • Even better 🙂

  13. OT – Amex Platinum

    You probably already know this happens, but it surprised me.
    I’d recently upgraded my Amex Gold, to Platinum to take advantage of the 20k MR points for a minimal spend (plan was to cancel after a month or so), only had the card a few weeks and had received the bonus points, but have a ‘santa’ trip to finland from Cardiff next month, so thought it would be useful to get the free supplementary card to allow the family access to the lounge in Cardiff, just applied now and received an instant 5k point bonus for adding a supplementary. (which was a pleasant surprise as I’d not expected it)

    • I can see there is an option to add
      1. Amex card (green?)
      2. PRGC
      3. Platinum

      Does adding any of them activate this card bonus?

      • Dont know sorry,

        I’d not read any mention of points in addition to the 20k, on any of the forums etc.. thus the surprise.

        I have previously had targeted offers for supp cards on the old gold card, but nothing with this platinum card.

        The supp card i applied for was the first free platinum that they offer.

        There were various free green/gold they offer in addition so it may be worth trying. The points posted immediately, so you would know straight away if it works.

        Let us know, as i’m sure my cat would love a new credit card

        • Yes, 5000 MR points added for getting first supplementary card.

          Not sure this works for PRGC too?
          Anyone tried that yet?

  14. OT – Curve card is now available to everyone.

    • Where did you see this?

      • They have confirmed it hasn’t launched yet.

        • Sorry, it should be available for individual who signed up previously but not qualified for it as it was for business owners only. I got an email with the following:

          Get early access to Curve
          Today we’re excited to announce that we’re releasing Curve to everyone!
          We want you to be involved

          We’ve just launched, so there’s currently a queue for the Curve card. As you’ve previously signed up, we’ve saved a spot with your email [email protected] – download the Curve app now to claim your place and ensure you get a card ahead of the crowd. We’ll start shipping Curve to the UK and selected European countries in batches from mid-December.

        • Didn’t know they’d gone wider with it yet. They were certainly seeking volunteers in their Slack forum. This is to appear as a debit rather than prepaid card so they’re anticipating fewer issues with acceptance.

        • I just signed up using the email address, chose employee and it worked. Now just waiting for the queue…

        • I had my Curve card suspended a couple of months ago but they agreed to reactivate when the new card launches. I emailed them tonight and received an email straight back saying there is no launch date yet. Hopefully it will be soon though.

  15. O/T

    Just a quick q regarding the old extra tesco club card points for buying gift cards.

    How many points do you get now for purchasing say £50 of gift cards and is it worth doing? Or are there any better ways to buy gift cards. As a heavy uber user the tesco points are valuable to me atm.

    Thanks

    • You currently get zero clubcard points for buying gift cards

    • Zilch – apart from usual spend bonus if you’ve got Tesco bank a/c or credit card. Morrison’s have a decent points earning rate for their giftcards – obvs doesn’t help for getting Tesco points but seems to be one of the best way to buy GCs just now. I’ve had a lot of conditional spend coupons with Tesco so planning to buy some there even without the bonus CC points.