BA bits: eBay / New Orleans, HighLife auction, flight simulator gift vouchers

News in brief:

British Airways New Orleans auctions now ‘buy it now’

Last week I discussed the eBay auctions that British Airways is running to buy a place on a ‘test’ flight to New Orleans between 24th and 27th February.  This is in advance of the main service which begins later in 2017.

You can check out details of the auctions here.

Most of the auctions are ending today or tomorrow and are currently around £1,500.  At this level I think you are paying a fair price for economy flights for two people plus three nights in a hotel during Mardi Gras and VIP carnival seating.

The ‘buy it now’ pricing, on the other hand, seems a little toppy to put it mildly.  £3,250 for two economy flight tickets (no choice of dates, no Avios or tier points earned) plus three nights in a Hampton Inn does not seem like a bargain to me.  Whether or not you would add any value for the in-flight jazz band that BA is providing is a personal choice …..

If you’re interesting in going, you can follow the eBay action here.


HighLife charity auction

Meanwhile, the British Airways HighLife magazine is running a Christmas charity auction of its own.

Unlike the New Orleans auctions, ALL of the proceeds go to Flying Start for good causes.  Here is a typical lot:

  • two return Club World flights to Las Vegas over New Year Eve
  • tickets to an exclusive New Year’s private casino party
  • tickets to see Lionel Richie live
  • dinner at Mr Chow and Restaurant Guy Savoy

…. which beats an in-flight jazz band and eight hours in economy on a Boeing 787 …..!  The current highest bid for the Vegas item is £1,275.

The most intriguing item is for 150,000 Avios points plus “five space-available upgrades on British Airways flights”. These upgrades would be confirmed or denied 48 hours before departure – the rules imply they would be accepted if seats remained for sale.  You have two years to use the upgrades.  They are not valid on Avios bookings or Sydney flights.

Details of the auctions can be found here.  Please read the small print on each item because it is very strict.  The £2,000 Selfridges gift card, for example, must be spend in one day or you forfeit the balance!


Give a BA flight simulator gift voucher for Christmas

Finally, British Airways is offering a 20% discount on gift vouchers for its flight simulators.

Flights in Boeing 767 simulators are available at £319, reduced from £399 or in a simulated 747 jumbo jet or Boeing 777 for £359, reduced from £449.  All sessions – located near Heathrow – are accompanied by a fully qualified British Airways instructor and no previous flying experience is necessary.

Gift vouchers can be purchased via this page of  Use promo code SANTA for a 20% saving on bookings before 24th December.  Vouchers have a one year validity.

PS.  For readers outside London, a HFP reader recommends this firm in Derbyshire – – who also sell vouchers.

50% bonus when you buy Avios via BA - worth it?
See what you can win at the Head for Points Christmas party next week!
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  1. rotundo says:

    I was interested in the “five space-available upgrades on British Airways flights” item, but looking at the T&Cs, they’re one cabin upgrades, so would require paying for WTP to get CW, with the risk that there won’t be seats available. And it’s already above £3000 so no deal I’m afraid…

    • Agreed. Only really works for people flying CW. Upgrading from Eco would be hard given WTP is usually full.

  2. Genghis says:

    Has anyone tried the BA flight simulator? I went to the one at Westfield a few years ago but this seems on another level…

    • insider says:

      I had a walk around in the flight sim building during a tour which in itself is pretty amazing but didn’t get to go in the sims. I was told that they are pretty amazing in terms of replicating reality. As an example, for the first A380 flight on BA, the pilots had only trained on the sim and not in the actual aircraft, such is the realism.

    • Roger I* says:

      Yes, hugely realistic and my admiration of flight deck people significantly increased.

      Running out of time, I managed to land the sim-737 at LHR 27L before abandoning it! (Yes, I know that BA don;t fly 737s but that was an available option at the time.)

  3. Completely OT: AreClub Finally arrived!!!

  4. I have (free) as part of a human factors stint. These sims are used for pilot training and based at Cranebank. If it’s something you are interested in then you can’t get better than this in the UK IMHO.

  5. BA SIM is an extrordinary experience

  6. Charlie says:

    IHG advent calendar promotion available from today…

    Answer for Xbox One Solo today is 206,000 rewards points.

    • Already entered myself but v kind to show the answer, I suggest we post it idaily nto Robs BITS/Misc article

      • Charlie says:

        Yes I like this idea. Hopefully at least one HfP reader will get an IHG Christmas present.

        • Apparently, you get 500 points for entering on 5 consecutive days, according to LoyaltyLobby.

  7. For those in London, Emirates runs the Aviation Experience, which only charges £90 for a 1-hour flight in a B777 or A380 simulator.

    • But is that a full motion simulator, though? Or one of the static ones like they had/have in some shopping centres?

      • Ahh, that’s a static one unfortunately. Thanks for pointing it out. I almost booked it.

  8. Can someone explain what you do with the calendar as I cannot see how to enter. Going to the website I see a Snowman and thats it.

    • Charlie says:

      Click the snowman in the scene. It should magnify when you click on him. Then enter the draw that appears after.

  9. Clive it is a full simulator, and pilots completing hours on it are completely flight ready.

  10. the real harry says:

    free entry x2 for Friday/ Saturday/ Sunday

    Event Details

    Escape the grey British winter, grab your passport and join us at The Telegraph Travel Show in ExCeL London from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 January 2017.

    Save and book with exclusive show only deals, explore exciting destinations, win holidays, speak to impartial industry experts in the Travel Genius Bar, meet your favourite Telegraph travel writers and discover your trip of a lifetime in our talks theatres, plus gain free entry into The Telegraph Cruise Show and the London Boat Show.

    Whether it’s exploring the hidden depths of the rainforest or sipping cocktails in the bustling back streets of a metropolitan city, The Telegraph Travel Show showcases the best travel deals, holiday ideas and cultural experiences from every corner of the globe.

    Opening Times

    Friday 13 January: 10am – 5pm
    Saturday 14 January: 10am – 5pm
    Sunday 15 January: 10am – 4pm