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Bits: BA increasing check-in time limit, Qatar discount code, reader wins an awesome prize

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News in brief:

British Airways to extend check-in cut-off

British Airways has announced that, from 30th October, check-in for long-haul flights at Heathrow will close one hour prior to departure.

At present, the cut-off point at which you will be refused is 45 minutes.

The reasoning for this is not clear – it will have a marginal improvement on punctuality although I am not sure that the inconvenience to passengers offsets the gain.  People more cynical than us may think that it is part of a deal with Heathrow to increase shopping revenue as a trade-off for letting BA build the new ‘direct to the lounge avoiding the shops’ security lane for Gold and First Class passengers, opening in April.

Qatar A350

10% off Qatar Airways flights for mobile bookings

Qatar Airways is offering 10% off base fares, excluding the tax element, for anyone booking a flight via their mobile site.

You need to start at this link and then click through to the mobile site.  It is valid for bookings made by 24th October in all classes.

In other Qatar Airways news, I got a reminder this week that flights to Seychelles are due to start on 12th December.  This offers a good Avios option now that British Airways no longer flies the route.


HfP reader wins awesome prize for her Heathrow story

Back in July Rob wrote about a competition to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Heathrow Airport.  As there were about 7,000 prizes to be won, we knew there must have been quite a few HfP readers who won a nice (or random) prize.

I’m definitely jealous of this person’s prize:

Dear Rob

I have been a bit tardy in thanking you for the HR prize I received in their “anniversary write a story” competition.

A ginormous bar of Toblerone – weighing 4.5 kilos.

I though it was a misprint when the email came but the bar is indeed 9 ( or was it 11?) enormous triangles of Toblerone weighing in total 4.5 kilos.

Apparently it was handmade to order. The only problem is managing to break the triangles into edible size portions.

PS.  Shaun was not part of the prize, he lives here.

Comments (83)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Concerto says:

    Do you really think Toblerone is that great, Rob? It’s probably just owned and fabricated these days by one of the giant chemical companies. That’s why I won’t buy a single British chocolate biscuit any more (I believe Tunnock’s Tea Cakes are an exception).
    OT How long does it take for an application for the Hilton credit card to go through and actually receive the card?

    • Chris says:


    • Danny says:

      It’s Anika’s article 🙂

    • Talay says:

      The Hilton cards for my wife and I were fairly swift to arrive though they came with useless credit limits despite my wife having a good Barclaycard limit and history, my having significant business at Barclays, neither of us carrying any debt and normal card limits prior and since in low to middle 5 figures per card.

      It rather makes use of the cards and thus presumably any chance to obtain a higher limit somewhat impossible..

      The bonus night certificates came within a few days of hitting the require spend thresholds but that may have been pure luck in terms of our hitting their monthly “run” etc.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      Easy to mock but I concur and only buy products from small independently owned British companies. Sure, my cave is nearly empty and I am hungry a lot, but it feels good.

    • CV3V says:

      A giant Tunnocks tea cake would be a great prize, would need a spoon to eat it 🙂

    • ro says:

      British chocolate has always been atrocious and a sheer embarrassment.

    • Callum says:

      You won’t buy any British chocolate biscuits because they’re all made by chemical companies? Right…

  • Johnnycl says:

    Mondelez make Toblerone these days, hardly Dow or BASF….and it is quite a fitting prize for an airport competition really. Cool prize, the story must have been pretty interesting for them to award that. I won one of the LHR baggage tags which will come in handy.

    • Nick Burch says:

      I apparently won one of the notebooks. Instead, I received one of the baggage tags, then a few days later a “whoops” email from Heathrow and a promise that they’d send the right gift! Currently wondering what’ll appear in the post this time… 🙂

      • Kathy H says:

        I won one of the notebooks but it hasn’t arrived – anyone got an email address I can use to chase this up please?

    • Concerto says:

      Well it’s Ktaft, and that’s as bad as Dow and BASF. The name is so hated in Europe they had to create a new, utterly pretentious one: Mondelez. Because it looks like a unpronouncable foreign word, which it is, it must impress the Brits.

      • Concerto says:

        Sorry, ‘Kraft’

        • Graeme says:

          Can’t you just be happy for them instead of rubbishing their prize? The winner is clearly content from their note to HFP and as Johnnycl says very fitting for the competition. Honestly some folk twist on 21…

  • Simon says:

    My first cynical thought on the check in change was that they don’t trust Heathrow security to get people through into the departure lounge quickly enough to allow a 45 minute window…

    • Simon says:

      Although I appreciate the 35minute compliance check and 45 minute check in cut off for short haul still hold, which undermines my argument.

      • insider says:

        Although aren’t longhaul flights more likely to depart from the B and C gates, which adds a chunk of time (and risk)

    • Worzel says:

      Simon, I am inclined to agree.

      We had a LHR CE flight last month-check in and Fast Track was irritatingly (Grrrr) slow!

      A few days ago at BRS (busy period) all was done in a quarter of the time!


  • Liz says:

    OT Just recently taken out the Tesco Premium Card and waiting for it to arrive – I can’t find anywhere what is included in the qualifying spend and what isn’t. I take it gift card purchases will be excluded? Is there a specific list of what qualifities towards the £5k.

    • Genghis says:

      I don’t see why gift card purchases – especially purchased in store – would be excluded? Just no Clubcard points for the third party GC purchase (currently).

    • Genghis says:

      “Qualifying spend includes any purchase transactions in Tesco Stores UK (excluding Tesco Opticians, Tesco Mobile and Tesco Travel Money), (UK only), Tesco Direct, F&F Clothing, Tesco Wine by the Case and Tesco Petrol Filling Stations (UK only, excludes Esso).”

    • Mr Dee says:

      Gift card purchases are now pointless (In two ways) at Tesco the demise could even be related to the credit card offer being changed.

      • Genghis says:

        I think the purchase of Tesco gift cards is useful for bringing forward spend. However all others I agree are pointless. Why hold value in GCs when you can hold as cash?

        • Genghis says:

          To add, I think as Liz was alluding to, gift cards could be useful for hitting Tesco Premium card target spend.

        • RussellH says:

          I recently bought Book Tokens at Tesco with Gold Amex. The alternative would be to buy books directly with Hilton Visa (2 Hilton pts per £).

          Gold Amex gives me 1 MR pt = 2 Hilton pts, so nothing lost there, plus in this case 150 Clubcard pts = 480 Avios (still qualify at the 800 Avios rate).


          • mark2 says:

            True; the same applies to B&Q who do not accept Amex (there must be others too).
            Also if you receive money off coupons, which I have not for a while, and do not spend much on groceries at Tesco, they can be used to buy gift cards and so get 8% or so discount.
            I am sure that someone will say that you cannot use money off coupons on gift cards but I have always managed it. The POS system allows it so the secret is choice of check out assistant.

  • Matt says:

    If you’ve checked in online before this doesn’t matter – the key thing will be compliance time – right?
    Or does it apply to luggage “check in” so if you are flying with carry on its still effectively 45mins?

    • Raffles says:

      This is desk check in so, yes, if you are on hand baggage it is 45 minutes (which was 35 minutes if you remember).

      • Go says:

        So if you have your ticket printed or in your phone and have hand baggage only is there any time limit if you go straight to security? Does the security gates lock you out if you are outwith the limits?

  • Gavin says:

    Extra time allowed to get to B and C gates, plus I suppose long haul passengers are more likely to check baggage

  • harry says:

    Another world-beating crazy decision from BA. Like ‘conformance’ it’s worse than any other airline, even Ryanair. And it makes BA that much less likely to get you where you’re going, if there’s a screw-up. Yes you can check in online, but you still have to drop your bag an hour ahead or you’ll just be thrown off the plane – as you will if you don’t reach the front of the security line inside 35 minutes of “scheduled” departure. Whereas other airlines have staff specially allocated to help latecomers, BA has stooges sitting at security whose only job is to tell you you’ve missed your flight – even when you obviously haven’t. Ugh.

  • Boi says:

    OT: got an email offering 3000 FC miles for referring people to any of the virgin cards…. not bad but I actually don’t have anyone I can refer at the moment

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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