Bits: Sao Paulo in Business £1300, free Luxury Travel Fair tickets

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Some news in brief:

Good business class fares to Sao Paulo from Amsterdam

British Airways and SWISS are matching a KLM sale fare out of Amsterdam of roughly £1,300 (€1,800) to Sao Paulo in Business.

On Swiss, the earliest date I could find is 28th November and you can fly throughout Spring 2016.  It is NOT available on all days but allows you to toggle between dates easily.  SWISS is a Star Alliance member so you will earn miles in Miles & More or any of the other Star schemes.

BA has this fare from Amsterdam from late September.  Some of the BA options are on BA flights whilst, on other days, you are routed onto the TAM service from London or the Iberia service from Madrid.  These also earns Avios and BA tier points.  The Iberia business class service is worth a go if you’ve never done it, especially if travelling solo due to the seat configuration.  You can pull up all of these routings on

If you are not bothered about the miles, the SWISS route is tempting (photo of their single ‘by the window’ seat below) – unless you are planning to hop off in London on the way back.

Swiss Business

Free Luxury Travel Fair tickets

The Luxury Travel Fair is back at Olympia in London from 5th-8th November.

To be honest, this is not a hugely exciting event although they do seem to have improved the quality of the guest speakers this year (Michael Portillo, Bill Bryson).  It is essentially just a lot of high-end hotels and travel agents in booths – you don’t, for example, get airlines bringing along their latest business class seats to try out.

The last time I went was especially poor, with torrential rain and a fire at South Kensington tube station making for a particularly wet and depressing journey!

Until 11th September, you can order free tickets via their website using code LT4E in return for a £2.50 handling fee.  If you live nearby then it is worth popping in on the basis.  I don’t recommend it at the standard price of £14.50 in advance or £19.50 on the door.

My thoughts after flying Air Canada's Boeing 767 business class
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  1. Although it is not stated, I’m assuming the BA tickets are ex-EU? Any idea from where specifically?

  2. There is another new avios suitcase badge… For 25 avios.

  3. Beware the legroom in the SWISS seat – looks good as a seat with desk area both sides, however the foot cubby is tiny! I’d go for one of the offset seats myself if travelling with them again.

    • Sorry, I’m not following you?

      These are offset, it is on alternative rows:

      I found these seats perfect when I flew them as a single traveler.

      • Not quite – the one I was on was more like this:

        _X_ X_X_ X_
        X_X _X_X _X
        _X_ X_X_ X_
        X_X _X_X _X

        I picked the ones on the left side but think the offset ones on the right would be better.

        See review with photos and seatplan at

        • I liked better the K side with seat closest to eindow as it was more private. Cannot remember if those are the odd or even rows.

        • Yes, I only did the side pictured. But they are all offset.
          I didn’t see any difference in foot space between the left (2/1) and the right (1/1).
          On the fights I was on, not a lot to see from the window, and I’d seen my origin and destination airport countless times. So I preferred the left – for far more personal space for items.

          • Interesting – I picked that seat (the Captain Kirk one!) in both directions so didn’t see the other spaces, but the reviews I’ve read and photos I’ve seen seem to suggest better space on the once on the right of the plane. As per the 2nd link I posted the foot space definitely was restrictive (for me at least, obviously we’re all different :D) when trying to lie on my back or turn over in bed.

            Within Star Alliance I’ve found SQ to have much more spacious seats/legroom in that regard.

      • Also – this one has a photo of the small foot cubby at the bottom.

        Obviously diff folk will find things different, but I’m 6ft and have size 12 ft so and found it pretty cramped.

    • It’s the same seats used in the bmi midhaul product that BA still uses on the Club World A321’s. On that basis I agree that there is not much leg space when the seats recline. I loved the space on a day flight but would rather have BA’s regular club world if planning to recline.

  4. … About 30 3v / pay cards right now at Tesco Bishopsgate…

    • No doubt they’ll be gone when I get there but thanks for the heads up, I never thought of looking in Tesco Metro stores before 😉

    • Thanks ee… managed to get the remaining cards just now. Only 18 were left on the shelf. Customer Services had to process 2/4 at a time. Apparently someone (you?) bought a load of these cards this morning

  5. Not sure if it’s been mentioned here but the current Virgin Red promotion is 30% off Virgin Trains East Coast (last month was 20%, the 20% west coast offer is still ongoing).

    Virgin Red is an iOS app (Android in the works apparently). The East Coast discount is in a vault but it is quickly unlocked with points. You can get points by doing the daily quiz, also one lot of points per day for sharing some content via the site (if you don’t want to spam your social media you can email yourself), the weekly competitions and challenge as well as completing your profile and adding a picture also generate points so you can unlock the East Coast offer in a day or two.

    As for Nectar and the Caffe Nero coffee for 50 points promotion, if you’re in a Sainsbury’s with a stack of new nectar cards you can easily make 250 points, make sure you’re in a store where there’s a voucher printer by the checkouts, most large stores have this including at the self service, a few smaller ones do too. Just pick up one of these new cards and make a small purchase (can be under £1) swipe card before payment and a voucher for 250 points should pop out. It claims that its exclusive to your new card but appears to work with any.

    There you go, the best Nectar is going to get! 5 free coffees for spending under £1.

    • carpentr says:

      Sorry to be slow, but how do you get the points onto another card? I have the voucher.

      • Ah, what you do is just go to a self service checkout, scan the Nectar card you want the points on, put some shopping through and then select coupon on checkout. It doesn’t verify the number and puts the points on another card.

        I’m doing some research on ways to get more bonus points on Nectar. I’m not expecting to get much that’d make the scheme worthwhile but I’m trying 😉

  6. OT Bit: an interesting article on loyaltylobby today about a petition to FAA relating to needs for airline standards such as seat width and pitch. This is something I feel strongly about and would like to see something fro EU too. 17 inch seats, 10 across 777s etc are a joke and shouldn’t be allowed imo. Further protection also needed in other areas such as delays and cancellation also needed, much too easy for airlines to fabricate reasons beyond their control.

  7. Off topic. How does anybody deal with BA customer service they’re a nightmare. Booked a return to Washington, D.C. in club world a few weeks ago and decided to upgrade the return leg to first. They’ve taken double the amount of avois (36,000 for 2 people instead of the 18,000 for a 241) and when they tried to take payment it would only take the extra tax not the change fee so it wouldn’t reissue my ticket. The guy said he’d refer it to manual payment processing and refund the avois but it could take a few weeks to reissue my ticket! When logging into my booking though I can see first on the return and it let me select my seats. Should I be worried and chase this? Anyone know how to avoid the overseas call centre, they didn’t have a clue what I was talking about.

    • Hi Pol. Likewise with CS. Have had 3 phone calls over the course of a week to sort out a change of flight due to a time change( flight from SCL to GIG has been changed 3 times and latest offering is not suitable, hence need to change to a later time) I have been reassured all is well, and ‘not to worry’ as BA will sort out, but it’s not quite a high priority for them as trip not until Feb. Nevertheless, one can’t help being a bit anxious when the booking has disappeared from my ‘ manage my booking’, on the BAEC site.Anyone else experienced this?
      Generally, I’ve found CS to be very helpful. So, not exactly an answer to your question, just a general sympathetic moan!

    • Use their Twitter account. There are humans at the other end of your tweet who’ll try to help (possibly because it’s more public).

      • I’ve had a similar issue in the past when I upgraded one leg of my flight to JFK.

        Unfortunately I was told (following 10+ calls) that reissuing manual tickets is done based on how close you are to actually flying. In my case i had to wait 3 months (2 weeks before departure) before my ticket was reissued.

        • What a farce, it doesn’t fill you with confidence when the cs agents don’t seem to have a clue what you’re talking about. They were convinced I was trying to upgrade a paid wt+ fare with avios despite me telling them several times it was a full avios redemption with a 241, surely they could see that on my booking. Lost count of the amount of times I’ve changes a Virgin booking with no problems and new e-ticket issued straight away. First time using BA in many, many years and I don’t think I’ll be in a hurry to use them again.

          • I am having problems too. I want to make a formal complInt and can find no way of doing so. Do BA think they are above complaint? Tried to resolve issue by phone via EC and pretravel without success.Sent message to pretravel cs headed formal complaint. Sonehow it went to post travel who took 6 weeks to write back telling meto call EC or pre travel despite my sainging in complaint thry couldnt help. Ask her about complaints procedure and got very vague answers. She finally agreed to firward my complaint to pre travel, another month has passed and I have heard nothing.

  8. Bits, OT. Not seen it mentioned, Iberia 25% off business redemptions to SDQ and PTY could be other Caribbean and Central America destinations. Found them when looking for MIA-MAD.

  9. OT – Supercard

    FYI Supercard transactions are now showing as “Tuxedo Money” on statements… Hopefully this will save someone else spotting an odd transaction and reporting it as fraud! Oops! I blame it on the fact that it takes a while to show…

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