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Bits: new BA CEO starts today, 10% off Etihad economy, Jamie Cullum and I

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News in brief:

New British Airways CEO starts today

Today is the first day in the job for Alex Cruz, the new Chief Executive of British Airways, who replaces Keith Williams.  He is obviously easing himself in gently, starting on a Friday!

Cruz was previously CEO of Vueling, the budget Barcelona-based airline also owned by IAG.  He has done a good job of growing that and we can only hope that his easyJet-style experience with Vueling does not colour his approach to BA.

Alex Cruz Vueling

10% off Etihad economy flights

Etihad has launched its first ever discount code today, offering 10% off economy flights departing from the UK and Ireland.

You need to book on the Etihad website here and use code ETIHAD10.

Flights must be booked by 7th April for travel by 30th June.  As I am writing this before the code is live, it is not clear if it discounts the entire fare or just the non-taxes element.

Jamie 2

Jamie Cullum and I ….

Last night my wife and I were at the new St Regis hotel in Dubai to meet the annoyingly talented Jamie Cullum and see a small, invite-only concert.

This was a stroke of good luck on our part since the event fell during our holiday.  I got the tickets through Starwood Preferred Guest and its SPG Moments ‘redeem for exclusive events’ offers.

I paid just 9,000 SPG points for the tickets.  To put that it context, the sign-up bonus on the UK Starwood credit card is 10,000 points.  It turned out that the tickets also included as much Bollinger champagne as you could physically consume and a wide range of canapes.


A raft of new SPG Moments offers are available for Europe at the moment.  These include:

  • ELO at the O2 in London in the SPG Suite
  • The Harlem Globetrotters at the O2 in London in the SPG Suite
  • Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at the O2 in London in the SPG Suite
  • Visits to Illy in Trieste, plus accommodation
  • Il Divo at the O2 in London in the SPG Suite
  • ‘Dinner in the Sky’ in Athens, plus accommodation
  • Barry Manilow at the O2 in London in the SPG Suite

These can all be booked at the SPG Moments website.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (42)

  • Andrew* says:

    Try to make a transfer and the website will sometimes tell you what your date is…

  • Andrew H says:

    Off topic – does anyone know if there are Regus lounges open in London this weekend? The ones I look at say they’re closed, including the Heathrow T5 lounge.

  • mark2 says:

    I see that we have received 1000 Virgin miles each for registering for auto convert from Tesco, for the third consecutive quarter!

    • Alan says:

      Yay finally received mine too! (first time getting them)

      Off to switch autoconvert off again…

  • Andi says:

    Sorry if this is a bit off topic but had nowhere else relevant to post. Maybe he could pull the charges on changing your allocated seat on BA with the 24 hours before departure??? When did they start charging for that? I can understand charging before the check in period but within it also?

    I’ve just booked the family to Nice in July which presumably wil be a full flight and now been told that I’ll have to book seats both ways to ‘guarantee we sit together’ with my 4 and 3 year olds. That’s an extra £60 each way

    • Rob says:

      Not true. CAA rules force BA to put one parent with the kids.

    • harry says:

      Seconded. We’ve still got an 11YO (= ‘child’) so BA still allocate seating for all of us to sit together – 5 of us incl 4 BA adults (= 12 or over).

      This also works with HBO seats if you link them to your ‘child’.

      • harry says:

        Adds: check-in girl (we had luggage to check in) told us to carry on checking in online 24 hrs in advance as it offers several advantages incl not getting bumped off your flight. I think it could also prove useful ie families sitting together.

  • Neil says:

    Cay you use your SPG points for booking events for someone else ? Or do you have to be there yourself?

    • Rob says:

      For anyone. They email you and ask for guest names. Tickets come to you by email 24 hours in advance.