Nutmeg Avios

Bits: Amex Plat ending Royal Academy partnership, My Flights is back!, Homebase drops Nectar

News in brief:

American Express ending Royal Academy partnership

For the last year or so, it has been possible to get free access to exhibitions at the Royal Academy in London with your American Express Platinum card.  It also allowed you to access the private bar and restaurant in The Keepers House before 4pm when it opens to the public.

According to the Platinum website, this partnership ends on 30th June.  If you were planning to catch the Summer Exhibition for free you will need to get along in the next three weeks.

If you do go to the Summer Exhibition, you can buy the sculpture below which I photographed last night at the preview party.

Looks familiar?  This is a version of Slipstream, which Richard Wilson designed for the forecourt of Heathrow Terminal 2.  There are 12 for sale at the bargain basement price of £26,400 each, of which 30% goes to support the Royal Academy.


My Flights is saved!

Last week the exceptionally useful My Flights app went off the air after Amadeus blocked access to its flight data.

(If you’ve never head of My Flights, read this HFP article here and then download it instantly.)

The great news is that My Flights is back!  Author Chris has reached a deal with Amadeus to turn the data tap back on temporarily and the two are now trying to agree a long-term deal.  It isn’t yet clear if this will involve money changing hands – and so a fee for the app or for certain features – but it is good news anyway.  And, frankly, once this app has saved your bacon for the first time over an equipment swap, time change or seat change, you’ll be more than happy to pay a few pounds for it.
Nectar thumbnail

Homebase drops Nectar

Finally, if you didn’t see this on our Facebook or Twitter feed yesterday, Homebase is dumping Nectar following its recent takeover. 

The full story is on Shopper Points here.  This is another big blow and I think the obvious way out now is for Sainsburys (which now owns Argos, remember) to buy the company and to start making proper use of its data.

My review of the Eurostar lounge at London St Pancras
FINAL WEEK: Get 10,000 or 25,000 Avios sign-up bonus with the British Airways Amex cards
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  1. Genghis says:

    Great news about My Flights

  2. Hingeless says:

    Great news re My Flights – Well done Chris

    Ii would be willing to pay for this app if it secured it in the long term!

  3. Ian H says:

    Fantastic news about My Flights. It’s one if the few apps I really value so more than happy to pay for it Chris. Just tell us how!

    Regarding nectar, I’ve stopped bothering to carry the card now. Benefits are almost worthless and too much hassle.

    • 20k Nectar sign-up bonus on their Amex isn’t too bad though (if you’ve gone through the other sign-up bonuses already as I have!).

      Maybe Amex will come up with some better non-London benefits now, although I’m not holding my breath!

  4. Susan says:

    Very pleased that such a highly valued app is available again – but would humbly beg that we have an android version soon too 😉

    • Having recently had an aircraft change, would love an app like this, just tried to find it for my Android……………..Any chance soon.

      • Unfortunately not yet (I don’t think he can justify the development time/costs). As a workaround he has got a website version that will email you if any changes. Support from Chris in the case of any problems is nothing short of superb!

    • Susan – You can try downloading the TripCase app which is available for Android and alerts you to wear and equipment changes etc. It has been developed by Sabre but successfully monitors bookings made with airlines that use both the Sabre and Amadeus booking platforms. I prefer user interface and simplicity of MyFlights on my Apple iPad but also use Tripcase on my Android cellphone.

    • Lady London says:

      +1. The Applers of this world seem to be overlooking that Android now far outsells anything in the Apple universe.

      • Without putting words into Chris’s mouth, I’m sure that if there was a revenue stream which would justify the time (or the expense if he outsourced it) he would do it. The current app was originally a hobby project and still has no income stream.

  5. Susan says:

    Great shame about the RA/Amex loss.

  6. Philip says:

    Sainsbury’s don’t actually own the Home Retail Group (Argos) yet. The transaction hasn’t completed and HRG had already previously sold Homebase to Australian retail group Farmer’s (back in January).
    Sainsbury’s previously owned Homebase (sold it a decade ago for nearly £1bn) and so I suspect didn’t see any value in buying it back, even for access to its data.

    • harry says:

      Raffles means Nectar & doing a Dunnhumby

    • Andy S says:

      Hopefully once sainsburys own argos, you will be able to collect points in store – ive never understood why you can redeem but not collect!

      • Your understanding seems to be solid… Sainsburys pays Argos when you redeem, but Argos doesn’t pay Sainsburys when you buy things…

  7. Billyk says:

    Dunnhumby? Please explain

  8. James Alexander says:

    Excellent news on MyFlights !!!
    It has saved my bookings several times – I’d be happy to buy this App!
    Well done Chris Schofield!!!

    • Andy S says:

      if he were to write an android version I’d happily pay for it!

      • Andy S says:

        it would also be nice if it supported more airlines, eg KLM bookings don’t seem to be recognised

        • Raffles says:

          Or Virgin. It has to be an airline that uses Amadeus. That said, if he gets a commercial deal with Amadeus then Sabre may potentially look at it as well.

        • Andy S says:

          I tried the tripcase app which is meant to support sabre or amadeus, but it didn’t accept numbers in the 6-character code ! Is there a third system out there ?

  9. Metatone says:

    Shame about the RA. Only used it a couple of times, but it was a pleasant benefit.

  10. OT but any ideas for the best transfer to make for under 100 MR points. Any partner of worth requires multiples of 100.

  11. Capecam says:

    Just signed up for myflights, interestingly amadeus / myflights is not recognizing the QR R class discounted business class bookings as being business class. They show as economy, although the booking code and seating is correct. A glitch somewhere – otherwise a great app

    • Frankie says:

      Hi. There is no glitch in myFlights it’s in Amadeus. I’ve already asked Chris about this a few weeks ago and he replied immediately to tell me that Amadeus is not get updated to recognise the R class as business. myFlights is just reading data from Amadeus so until Amadeus is correct…. Great to have myFlights back. Great job Chris

      • SAS told me last year that Amadeus requires 18 months notice (!) of changes to fare classes in order to implement them properly!

    • sohan says:

      I booked business class on swiss a few weeks ago, on the amex plat travel website. Didn’t notice til departure that my p class booking was being labelled as “economy”. Phoned Amex and they confirmed was indeed business class but the system wrongly tags it…

      btw swiss business was amazing on a short haul from Zurich to Athens – proper lie-flat seats, great IFE with large screens, and of course amazing food and champagne. Wondering how many routes they do this on as I may need to book future holidays via Zurich… 🙂 Other business class short haul cabins just don’t compare.

  12. James A says:

    Wonder if the suddenly flurry of negative reviews for checkmytrip helped? 🙂

  13. Re Amex – interesting article in this month’s Fortune magazine:

  14. Scallder says:

    Certainly off topic, but the BBC showed the first part (of three) of a series called City in the Sky looking at the aviation industry. Quite interesting viewing and perhaps of some interest to others here!

    • Agree, quite enjoyed it – watched it in-flight too, which only seemed appreciate! Am guessing LHR tied up with ITV documentary, hence lots from other locations. Some good behind the scenes stuff, eg with DXB luggage system.

  15. harry says:

    O/T benefits of booking T-355 – maybe Raffles could do an article sometime?

    So I got 4 tickets out to our place in Europe, 2 days ago, timing: May half term next year, T-355. On the day my RFS redemptions were worth 1.5p/ Avios vs cash – today, 2 days later – they are worth 2p/ Avios vs cash price of ticklets. People like us don’t have that much choice on dates as dates are dictated by school hols. So tickets are selling & prices have already gone up. Avios redemption availability still looks good though of course I have knocked off the 4 seats available on 1 particular flight timing.

    I’m sure other posters go to far more exotic and long distance destinations eg Maldives, Australia etc & get up @ midnight to secure the old T-355 redemption. Must be a few anecdotes in it?

    But we don’t often see it mentioned on HFP – is it worth an article – with examples of savings by getting in early? Probably a lot of people never even thought about T-355?

    Plus the old heart palpitations when you don’t know if you’re going to get a flight back lol

    • Get up at midnight? What time do you go to bed?!

      • harry says:

        Unfortunately I have to get up @ 6am so in the absence of a siesta…

        • James67 says:

          Good morning Harry…further to your comment I have now narrowed down your secretive place in Europe to most likely being someplace in Spain!

      • Genghis says:

        For the early bird to catch the worm, he needs to go to bed early!