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Bits: 10% Diamond Club discount on British Airways flights, Heathrow minicab misbehaviour

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News in brief:

10% Diamond Club discount for British Airways flights ends

If you have one of the old bmi Diamond Club credit cards, you probably remember receiving a letter in March 2015 telling you about changes to the earning rates.

There was also a mention in that letter saying that the 10% Diamond Club discount on British Airways flights was going end in 15 months.  You probably skimmed over that at the time, but those 15 months have now passed.  As of 31st May, the link to the 10% discount link on is dead.

Heathrow planning to curb ‘anti social’ minicab behaviour

There has, apparently, been a substantial rise in ‘anti-social’ behaviour by minicab drivers at Heathrow in recent months.  There has been a customer switch from black cabs to Uber and its equivalents, not just on cost grounds but also for comfort.  This has led to more and more minicab drivers waiting near the airport for a job.

This would all be fine except that the lack of toilet facilities, parking facilities and waste bins has led to issues for local residents.  They were, apparently, finding the occasional present from a minicab driver in their garden.

During June, Heathrow is opening a special facility for minicab drivers called the Authorised Vehicle Area.  It will have portable toilets, rubbish bins and drinks vending machines.

(There is already a Taxi Feeder Park at Heathrow which has its own wi-fi equipped canteen and washing facilities.  Minicab drivers won’t get anything this good.)

This facility will not be free.  Heathrow is, however, pushing Uber and its competitors to not allow any driver who is not in the Authorised Vehicle Area to accept a pick-up.  This is likely to lead to a surcharge being added to Uber bills at Heathrow to cover the cost of entering the waiting area.

More details can be found on the Heathrow website.

Comments (74)

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  • Martin says:

    Now that the discount is gone, are we allowed to talk about the fact that it was open to anyone with the link, not just bmi plus cardholders as it was meant to be? 🙂

    • Ben_mw says:

      ….or the fact that it sometimes gave a lot more than 10%? (and sometimes less)!

      • harry says:

        Middle name ‘Lucky’? It never worked for me – despite being a genuine DC cardholder. Always more expensive than the main site on our European route – and I don’t mean HBO, but standard fare.

      • Jovanna says:

        Yes, very sad to lose this.

    • Aeronaut says:

      Ok, so enquiring minds are now curious about what other special discount links are out there that cannot be talked about… !

      • harry says:

        6 lounge passes (Dragonpass) for £13.50?

        • Ian says:


          • Rob says:

            This is such a convoluted route which involves moving our bank current account that is really isn’t worth it 🙂

          • harry says:

            Just a cost-free spare current a/c… they don’t ask you to switch from your main a/c

            Actually for £13.50 it’s also pretty good insurance for the 1 month you stay subscribed – I’m rolling ours around Xmas out & back flights

        • Ben E says:

          Ok but only if you use them within a month, right?

      • harry says:

        Free exit seat instead of paying £18?

        • Roberto says:


        • harry says:

          Check in online T-24hrs but don’t print boarding passes or save to pdf. At the airport use the self-serve check in machines to print your boarding passes & you will be given the chance to change seats incl to exit rows (if any availability remains). Perhaps more useful for HBOs where you would not otherwise be given the chance to switch seats FOC eg to sit next to your friend/ colleague/ spouse/ child over 11YO.

          • Fenny says:

            So it only works when nobody else has snaffled the exit rows a couple of hours before the flight?

          • Alan says:

            Indeed, you’re still and the mercy of what seats are available but at least you aren’t charged for them even when HBO (for now at least!)

    • Susan says:

      I only discovered it worked for all BMI card holders about three months ago – had never tried it because my card was a free one. Moral dilemma – to use a discount one knew one wasn’t eligible for but which made a BA flight as cheap as Easyjet and therefore bookable or to ignore the discount and book Easyjet.

  • Nick M says:

    Very OT (sorry!)

    I want to book RFS flights for 2 adults & an infant but there only looks to be 2 avios seats left… Is there a way to combine all 3 seats on one booking if doing a mix of reward/cash?

    Also on a seperate point, I tried using the ITA matrix to see all available flights on a particular day… I know that RyanAir fly the route but they didn’t show on the list – have I input something wrong into the search criteria?

    • harry says:

      You buy them separately then ring BA and ask them to link your bookings

      • Nick M says:

        Would it be possible to book our daughter as the cash ticket as I assume this would be cheaper vs no difference with RFS?

        • harry says:

          Not an infant, yes for over 11YOs as they are classed as adults

          • rotundo says:

            Nick – if it’s an infant under 2, she won’t get her own seat so you should be able to have the whole booking with RFS… If you can’t do this via the website, it’s worth calling BA.

          • Nick M says:

            Thanks… she will be over 2 so will need a seat…

            I’ve called BA and they confirmed that if I book the RFS flights and then call them they can book and add the revenue ticket to our itinary

          • harry says:

            Linking bookings seems to help with family bookings & keeping everybody together. We had a 4x RFS booking (incl 1x 11YO child) + 1 cash fare @ Easter. I linked them on the phone. The cash fare adult was given a seat with the other 4, even though the 11YO already had 1x adult & 2x young adults sitting with her. Ie it wasn’t necessary for BA to add the extra adult to the group to sit near the child, but BA still did it.

    • bsuije says:

      I don’t think Ryanair or EasyJet show on ITA Matrix. Try combining a search in Matrix with a Skyscanner search.

    • Nick M says:

      Excellent, thanks both!

  • Boi says:

    OT: new super card ready with new T&Cs
    Check the app for those who had old

    • Roberto says:

      Its a mastercard a la curve now with 2.99% cash withdrawal charge whilst overseas and a 1% ( plus a pound ) charge in thr UK..

      Its also blue not white and the sideways design has bit the dust too..

      Not good

      • RichT says:

        Might actually turn out to be a good thing I hung on to Curve!

        At 2.99% per foreign ATM transaction vs £2 flat fee on Curve I’ll be better off with Curve linked to my Virgin Visa, as I rarely bother withdrawing less than £100 in cash abroad (can’t stand having to run around trying to find cash points in foreign countries when I should be exploring!)

        Then Lloyds Amex/Mastercard for all my POS transactions me thinks…

        • Boi says:

          Well, how on earth do they think this is competitive?

          • TimS says:

            At least the Supercard is still fee free to sign up for and fee free for POS & online purchases.

          • TimS says:

            Yes, but that was (supposed to be) the case during the pilot scheme too.

            Supercard was & is marketed as an overseas spending card, not for domestic spend.

          • McSalty says:

            Well their PR says

            “During the pilot, we saw that most of you preferred using Supercard to pay for things, rather than to withdraw money from an ATM. We wanted you to be able to keep spending on your new card without fees and charges*. To do this, we’ve had to add a small 2.99% charge* when you use your Supercard at an ATM”

            Find it hard to believe the first sentence is true!

          • TimS says:

            Why hard to believe?

            I expect that most transactions in the pilot scheme were POS or online and only a minority were ATM.

            There will be a small minority of users who churned ATM cash & a larger minority who occasionally used it for ATM withdrawls but I expect most used the card in the usual way, for POS or online transactions in foreign currency.

      • Alan says:

        Damn – glad I pushed through £10k on my mortgage before this happened!

        Also glad I’ve still got my Number26 card for fee-free ATM withdrawals abroad!

        • Simmo says:

          Interesting! Didn’t realise you could pay a mortgage with Supercard 😮

          I have free overpayments at the moment this could work out well!

          • Alan says:

            Yes, it was thanks to the quirk of some places classing it as a debit card 😛

  • KB says:

    I have the BMI DC plus cards (Amex and visa) and been using them for years. I didn’t realise they have revised the earning rates for these cards. How do I now find out what the earning rates are for my cards?

    • harry says:

      It’s all on their site but afaik the earning rates have not changed recently

  • Ian says:

    Sorry ot.

    Looks like supercard is back.

    New upgraded app in play store saying beta closed, but anyone can now apply.

    Thought beta holders would get an email.

    Good news it appears to still be free although updated t&c’s.

    • Jonathan says:

      iOS app updated too, but doesn’t look like you can currently apply through the main website, simply register interest still.

      • Rob says:


        • Ian says:

          I am wondering if it will show as a debit card now, or just a credit card like curve.

        • Nick Burch says:

          All of the fees look worse than with a Halifax Clarity, which is also a mastercard. The only reason I can think of to have one is to charge foreign purchases to a decent points-earning mastercard or visa, otherwise you’d pay the same or less with a Halifax Clarity!

          • Alan says:

            Indeed – I’d tend to use my Lloyds Avios card for POS abroad and Number26 for ATM withdrawls

      • Scallder says:

        Well this will certainly be my go to over Curve for POS abroad now that there’s no MasterCard v Visa exchange rate difference, but will certainly be using my Nationwide Flex Plus card for 0% FX withdrawals abroad now…

    • sprout7 says:

      Just signed up via new Play store ap.Had a quick look at the T’s & C’s and it seems as though there is now a 2.99% fee for ATM withdrawal abroad.

    • Alan says:

      Mastercard now and linked up with Wirecard I see

  • Mike says:

    Uber have changed their pricing from LHR (effective 10th June) which might be connected.
    Based on uberx (standard car):
    The flagfall “Base fare” is hiked to £12 with a minimum fare of £14, but the mileage rate falls to 75p and the minute rate to 8p.
    This now makes uberx incredibly cheap on long runs from the Airport but less competitive on local runs.

    • Roberto says:

      How much am I likely to be charged to uber from lhr to Gatwick at11am on a friday? Ballpark guess is fine.. Thanks

      • UberExec driver says:

        UberX – £49-£61
        UberXL – £72-£91
        UberExec – £116 – £153
        UberLux – £174 – £230

        Surge pricing very rarely occurs at Heathrow Airport. Though as the fare is based on time and distance, expect the fare to be anywhere between range of the fares I’ve quoted. Hopefully, if the M25 is kind on the Friday morning, and it’s a clear run, it should be around nearer lower end. Don’t forget to add £4 parking fee, if you’re being collected from a terminal (as opposed to a hotel).

    • Ian says:

      Hmm was going to use uber to go to / from my Heathrow Airport hotel to the terminal.

      Guess it will now cost more

      • Scallder says:

        Ian – hopefully not. Given these charges apply to rides from Heathrow and the charge occurs for someone waiting at Heathrow, hopefully the trips TO Heathrow will be unaffected. Was planning on doing this from an airport hotel next year to make use of Virgin’s Upper Class wing check in 🙂

      • UberExec driver says:

        Yes, trips TO the airport are unchanged.

        Though you may wish to consider the local bus network, as buses around the Heathrow Airport area are FREE, if your hotel is local.

    • UberExec driver says:

      The minimum fare on UberX will increase to £14, as you mentioned.

      However, for the time being UberExec rates will stay the same (I’m an UberExec driver, btw, so I’ll be the first to know!), where the mininum fare will remain at £10.

      UberLux, as far, as I know, the minimum fare will continue to be £14.

      If you’re doing a short trip to a local hotel in an Uber, best bet is to get an UberExec, as it’ll possibly be the cheapest.

  • Richmond says:

    I saw minicab drivers gathering around Heathrow and I imagine they cause a lot of disruption to local residents. Area near Premier Inn and Thistle at T5 was always full of them, difficult to get through to the hotel car parks.

  • Metty says:

    As one can park in any LHR Long Term Car Park for up to 2 hours, why don’t the Uber guys use that? Maybe because you can only do it once a day. But it’s very useful when I’ve been doing airport runs for friends and you get rather good views….

    • Mike says:

      40 miles, one hour including one snarl up…


      Brings it in line with skyex and batransfer

      Uber have agreed to geofence pick ups to those drivers within the AVA. So even if you lived adjacent to the airport and were parked on your driveway, sat on your own sofa, with access to your own facilities you wouldn’t get any pings for airport jobs.
      Until the AVA the geofence was the long stay parks and a couple of willing businesses (cafe, mcdonald’s, tesco) if drivers were also customers.
      Drivers on other circuits are less likely to hang around the airport for hours, the local ones will be running grannies home from that tesco for £5 and the others will only come to LHR when pick ups are imminent.

      • UberExec driver says:

        Correct, but initially, the other areas will still be in use (Cafe on the Green, Tesco Feltham, McDonald’s, etc.), along with the AVA.

        Until the AVA becomes the ONLY place to receive an airport job, drivers aren’t going to pay £1 an hour out of their own pocket, when they could still, for the time being, park up at the other places mentioned, for free.

        Furthermore, driver’s of other firms, who have a pre-booking, will not use the AVA for the same reason. And neither will I, if I have a pre-booking from another firm I work for, or one of my own client.s.

    • UberExec driver says:

      Simple reason, is that it can often take longer than 2 hours wait to get a job.

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