Bits: BBC on non-vanishing fuel surcharges, Club World pax to Vancouver can sit in First until March!

Links on Head for Points pay us an affiliate commission. A list of our partners is here.

News in brief:

The BBC covers the mystery of the non-vanishing fuel surcharge

The BBC website moved into interesting frequent flyer territory last week, taking a look at why fuel surcharges still appear to exist – especially with British Airways.

It also ponders why, following a legal challenge in the US, they are now called ‘carrier imposed surcharges’ over there.

It is well worth having a read – click here for the full piece.

Be prepared to roll your eyes as a Lufthansa spokesman claims the charge is now for “costs beyond our control such as air traffic control fees, emissions trading scheme payments and so on.”  Obviously.  Thanks to Mac.

British Airways

No British Airways First Class on Vancouver until March

Due to aircraft changes, British Airways will not be offering First Class on Vancouver services from Thursday until the end of February.

The aircraft, a Boeing 747, will have a First Class cabin but it is one of the few which has not been refurbished as the plane was due to be retired.  The aircraft will fly with the First Class cabin closed or, if demand is high, open the cabin but operate a Club World service.

If you are booked on one of these services with Avios, you will receive a partial refund based on the cost of a Club World redemption.

If you are booked to Vancouver in Club World before the end of February, keep an eye on the seat map!  If BA opens up the First Class cabin, you will able to move your seat reservation.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Exclusive HFP competition: Win 50,000 IHG Rewards Club points!
Get free Accor Gold status and 10% off ibis stays with an ibis Business Card
Click here to join the 13,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. OT – does anyone know if upgrading an Amex gold to platinum using the recent offer (20k points for 1k spend in first 3 months) causes a hit on your credit file? Thanks.

    • I asked AMEX similar question a couple of weeks ago (about downgrading from Gold to Green) I don’t want any new applications or credit searches due to an upcoming mortgage application. A conversion of card type between green,gold and platinum does not require a new application or credit search.

      I must have missed this platinum offer. Was it mentioned on HFP?

      • Thanks Dom. It’s been mentioned on here in the comments a few times (sorry don’t have time to search for it now).

      • It appears to be targetted. It is too risky, especially as I hold a consumer credit licence, for me to write about if people upgrade to Plat and then don’t get the bonus – even if you downgrade, you don’t get a free period of Gold.

      • A quick search of my e-mails I don’t read and I have found an invitation. I’ll have a think about it.

    • Is it as simple as:
      Upgrade and pay £450 fee
      Spend £1000 in 3 months, to get points.
      Cancel/Downgrade and get pro-rata refund of fee?

      Or is there something i’m missing?

      • The snag is that you instantly paying for Amex Gold when you downgrade, no free first year. But apart from that ….

  2. James67 says:

    OT: BA reported to be leasing 6 used a380s. Good to see they have an interest in more of the big jets going forward. Will be interesting to see where they are coming from. MAS have 6 but if they come from them then MAS will need to deploy something else on their twice daily LHR rotation. It is possible they may come from Thai who aldo have 6, have struggled to make the best use of them, and are currently selling assets to reduce their debts. It will also be interesting to see if BA retrofits them, big disappointment if they do since both TG and MAS are better accross all classes than BA.

    • That is IAG voting that LHR never gets a new runway!

      Bit VS A350 order apparently due as well.

      • James67 says:

        I doubt BA ever wanted the new runway anyway, they have probably more to lose from increased competition than they have to gain from more slots. I saw the reports on virgin a350s too, will be interesting to see if tha is a get out deal on their a380s.

        • Shame – speaking as a no-Wing-Airport protester back in the day 🙂 – that nobody had the wit to suggest a wholesale takeover of the main London slot by Gatwick. No need for Boris Island, just turn Gatwick into a world-leading 4 runway airport a la Hong Kong fresh start with no need to do much more than pay off the locals. Far fewer people to annoy with noise; no more than 10-20 minutes extra travelling (for 60% of people) once you put the fast infrastructure in place; almost unlimited potential to expand over the next 500 years.

        • Andrew H says:

          In the last few years there was a Heathrow documentary on TV in which Willie Walsh did say we needed a new LHR runway. Of course when it was suggested recently that BA part pay for it, he was wildly against the runway!

  3. O/T my wife has just checked into her Accor hotel in Germany, she says they won’t accept her Iberia membership card. Given her pathological hatred of loyalty schemes, she has probably tried to use it as a credit card.

    Should her Accor hotel (generally/ any) have accepted an IB number?

    • Get the points onto her Accor Account and transfer them over to Iberia.

    • Accor don’t award Avios so no they wouldn’t have accepted the Iberia card.

      They award accor points that you can convert (or auto convert) to IB avios at your leisure.

      • OK thanks – I’ll email her the Accor a/c no (hers) & get her to get them to apply it after the event

        autoconvert should have made me work it out myself but bit rushed! she dashed back in 30 mins after leaving to change a suitcase lol

  4. XXKNNK 500 clubcard points when you spend £100 @ Tesco Wines

    = £12 off/ 1200 Avios

    • £100 spend a bit much. I got 300 clubcard points + the MR points by getting M&S gift vouchers from Tesco then ordering £100 of booze online the other week

      Had a slight issue when one didn’t get activated, went back the next day, the Tesco manager was very suspicious about me buying £600 of gift cards!

      • Most of us would decline the current Tesco offer, but I just put it up for info.

        My advice is to hold fire for the next ones, the usual 500 points for £60 spend – or possibly 1000 points. We’ve seen better but I doubt that’s likely any time soon.

  5. I recently flew to Toronto where they switched from a 788 to a 789 with the new first. If you had some status you could choose to sit in the new first. It was still Club service.

    However for some reason the blankets were still first class, the thin option was some pashmena grey thing and the thick one was like a duvet for a bed.

    The new first is definitely the best business class seat out there now.

  6. Peter Taysum says:

    Interesting piece on the BBC website.

    Interesting too that they all chose to hedge in the way they did (I doubt it). Options would have been another choice, then with falling oil prices they relinquish the option (at a cost) and buy at the lower price. If they’d done that they could have arbitraged for huge profits and still “justified” fuel surcharges (or “uniform surcharges” (sic) albeit by lying, but we know big companies don’t do that don’t we boys and girls?!)

    I hope no one on HfP would use the example they give to fly to New York as for 100 pounds and the same Avios you’d fly WTP with (very few) Tier Points and Avios (though I guess we’d mostly be ex EU in Club for around 760 and 360 Tier Points and cabin bonus Avios) or Madrid on Iberia…

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.