Bits: Lloyds response to our fraud claims, BA changing the policy on children in lounges?

News in brief:

Lloyds response to our card fraud claims on the Lloyds Avios Rewards card

Our article yesterday on card fraud on the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card got traction, being picked up by Radio 4’s ‘You and Yours’, The Telegraph (read their article here), The Register (read their article here) and thisismoney.co.uk (read their article here) among others.

Thank you to the readers who responded to media enquiries.

For completeness, this is the statement that Lloyds issued yesterday:

“A very small number of Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards American Express credit card customers have been affected by recent fraudulent activity. This has affected less than one percent of customers who hold these cards and we have introduced additional controls to provide further protection.  These controls have been successful in ensuring that fraudulent transactions are identified and declined.  We apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused. Impacted customers will receive a full refund of monies that have been taken fraudulently.”

British Airways Dubai lounge

British Airways considering changing their policy on children in lounges

BA runs an ‘invite only’ panel of regular flyers where it occasionally asks for suggestions on topics of interest.

The latest topic is, without a doubt, going to inflame passions both ways:

BA is looking at the idea of allowing Gold members (and above) permission to bring in all of their children into BA lounges.  Before this is decided, BA want to hear from you about what impact this may / may not have on your experiences.”

One of the options below is whether this policy should be restricted to Galleries Club and not to Galleries First, ie Gold card holders would need to ‘downgrade’ to the Galleries Club lounge in order to bring in their children.

I am for this idea, for what it’s worth.  Not because I have kids of my own – we are usually in premium cabins anyway and so I can get them in regardless of status – but because it addresses a big problem for BA.

In general, most frequent flyers are more concerned about their privileges when flying with their family.  I have pushed Avios on numerous occasions to consider increasing the number of guaranteed Club World seats to four per flight, not two, because BA’s core middle and senior level professional corporate customers are highly likely to have family.  Regular flyers who cannot find Avios availability to fly their family on holiday in the same premium cabins they fly themselves for work are unlikely to be happy.

Some of the smaller hotel chains have addressed this with ‘guaranteed at booking’ suite upgrades for top customers.  They know that you are less bothered about a suite upgrade on a quick overnight business stay but very bothered about a suite upgrade on a weekend away with your partner.  Allowing elites to lock in the upgrade a couple of times a year when booking is a very powerful tool.

The dynamics are different for airlines, but anything that makes it easier for BA’s most valuable customers to feel equally valued when travelling with their family is likely to go down well.

If it really got messy over the summer, one solution would be to allocate one of two Galleries Club lounges in Terminal 5A as the family lounge and block children entirely from the other one ……

PS.  The picture above is the Concorde Bar in the new-ish BA Dubai lounge

British Airways to start boarding passengers by group from 12th December
Bits: £119 Park Plaza London deal, Virgin Clubhouse in LA joins Priority Pass
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Comments

  1. Well interesting this, I raised this recently when travelling with my wife and two kids. However, I have managed to get my children in on a few occasions thanks to sympathetic staff at the lounges. Now, I see that some of you are against kids in lounges. Now I know from when I have taken mine in, they have not been perfect lounge customers, poor manners, crumbs everywhere,, eating with mouth open, nose picking before reaching for snacks and cookies, shouting, running around, cheek, staring competitions, strange smells and god.knows what they did in the toilets!
    Anyway, I am with the against crowd, I can put up with all the problems only when they are my kids. Anyway, last week, my wife got her silver card, I have gold, we’re in now and that is all thanks to the good advice on here and FT. See you in the lounge!

  2. Flyerstarter says:

    I’m all for allowing children into the lounge, having been in the situation many times where I’m not able to use my gold card benefits when traveling with my wife and toddler despite my years of commitment to BA is disappointing. I very infrequently guest someone into the lounge, could these “non uses” be banked for family use later on? I also understand that not all children are well behaved (even my threenager sometimes), so I’d like to see firm warnings from lounge staff and removal if children are a nuisance – I think that’s fair.

  3. Well I am in the USA now and my Lloyd’s Amex is not being taken anywhere. No problem with the Mastercard element but I would have preferred the points….

  4. BA must have dropped the Future Labs confidentiality clause.

  5. * Outside applying for the basic card.
    This may also change the tactics or holding cards in different families to refer back and forth as they are not needed as you can get the bonus in a difference currency….

  6. Derek Scott says:

    My only concern with the Child access point, is that the Galleries Lounges are already reaching capacity often.

    They no longer feel exclusive or a perk, as they are becoming an annex of the main terminal areas, with the only differences being the snacks and drinks for free. They are no longer the areas of peace and tranquility they were once sold as

  7. James Hunt-Davies says:

    Interested to hear more about this!

    I know two families from work on Silver status who have two young children (all under 6) and they have been allowed access to the lounges when travelling on summer holidays.

    We are going to be travelling to Cancun in August next year (departing Gatwick) and I’m on silver status and we will have a 5 & 1 year old. When booking our reward flights, the call centre agent said that officially its a no that they can’t come up but generally are accepted by the staff on the day.

    Has anyone else got any experience of this?

  8. It’s pot luck. They are more generous in access to galleries club via silver access, but are sniffy about gold. I was flying recently with family and as Gold we could check in using T5 first but not use the dedicated security lane or access Galleries First. I am gold, my wife was guest and ironically my 8 yr old shares similar qualifying year to me so is herself silver. Still wouldn’t let us in and had to walk around to the Galleris club. I appreciate its sometimes busy but I think for a minor (who clearly travels a lot too!) they could have been flexible. In Italy on return flight they were incredulous at check in that my daughter had status of her own – but can’t be unusual. Think this would be a very good thing – travelling for busy I want to treat and use BA perks with all my family.

  9. As I can only bring one child (or wife and leave the boys sat outside the lounge) it is a treat for the boy in question. They fly often enough to dismiss the Galleries Lounge but First or the Concorde room – that is a treat.

    I would like to see a little flexibility though, how about I can get my wife and a child into the lounge while other child and I go shop or what ever people do in an airport.