Qatar Business Class

Bits: new BA strike dates, Qatar relaxes baggage rules – will BA follow?

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News in brief:

New British Airways strike announced

Another wave of mixed fleet cabin crew strikes have been announced for next week.

Certain cabin crew will walk out from Friday 3rd March to Thursday 9th March.

Disruption will be minimised by merging certain flights and using charter aircraft for others.  BA is promising that everyone will be able to fly on the day they are booked if not on the exact flight.

Services from Gatwick and London City are not affected.

Updates will be announced on this page of

British Airways 350 2

Qatar Airways relaxes baggage rules …. will BA follow?

Last year, the oneworld airline alliance – of which British Airways is a core member – relaxed a rule which obliged members to check through baggage when flights were booked on separate tickets but both airlines were oneworld members.

British Airways went a step further.  It now refuses to check through luggage between its own flights when they are on separate tickets.

Let’s assume you book an Avios flight from London to Bangkok but pay cash for a connecting BA flight from Manchester to London.  As these will be on separate tickets, you will need to reclaim your baggage in Heathrow and check it in again.  This creates pointless additional stress for the passenger.

Cathay Pacific recently gave in to passenger pressure and decided that it would check through bags when both flights were operated by Cathay.  Qatar Airways has now gone a step further.  From 1st March, it will reportedly return to checking through bags between itself and other oneworld airlines.

It won’t work in the other direction though.  If you are flying Bangkok to Doha on Qatar and Qatar to London on BA, on separate tickets, Qatar will ensure your bags travel with you on the outbound.  On your return, BA will not do so, forcing you to collect your bags in Doha, clear customs, pay for a Qatari visa (if you did not arrange a free one in advance), head up to departures and check in again.

How long can BA hold out with its ‘customer unfriendly’ policy?

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  1. My experience two weeks ago of returning to LHR from Tokyo via Doha and Pisa (separate BA ticket from Pisa to LHR) was that QR were happy to check baggage all the way through to LHR. Our bags were the first two to appear at LHR too!

    • Hi, do you just show them the other booking when you checked in at Tokyo?

      • Yes, Kathryn, all they seemed to need was the BA ticket number, lifted from my phone, and the computer did the rest. It seemed happy to print out the multiple destination luggage label. Of course, I was expecting a ‘computer says no’ response!
        There was one small wrinkle at Pisa. We were met at the foot of the aircraft steps by a QR staffer who explained that as Pisa had no suitable luggage transfer facility we would have to collect the bags and re-deposit them (no new luggage receipts). This took about 10 minutes and then we were into the excellent lounge. This definitely appeared to be an airport issue and not a BA/One World complication.

        • Cool, thanks. My flight back is actually to TXL, so hopefully they’ll have the facilities 🙂

  2. Anyone had any recent strike day experience of First out of LHR? We are (hoping) to be using a 241 to IAD on Friday.
    Further, although our MMB appears fully complete for both flights I am told our return ticket ‘has yet to be issued’. Calls to the helpline over the last 10 days have yet to resolve things but I’ve been reassured that ‘they might be behind issuing tickets’. When should I start to get really concerned?! (return flight is not until 24/3

    • I would have thought they should be issued by now. Have BA taken the money for the return? I’m waiting for the return info/ money to appear for a 241 open jaw and complete ticket details. The flights are all there on MMB, just not the final e-receipt. Our flight is months away, so not as anxious as you. I would be on to CS, logging names ,dates,times , documenting assurances etc. Enjoy the F experience and hope it’s not marred by strike action

      • Thanks. I believe the complication is that several weeks back I changed the return flight from BWI to IAD and moved the seats from CW to F. I guess that gave rise to a small increase in charges from those already paid but it is that difference that they have not, apparently, taken due to their not having kept the four digit cc security code. That has been re-provided several times now. They tell me that 48 hours before departure they are allowed to call the ticket issuing team to chase the ticket….

        • Did you speak with YouFirst about it or is it too soon for that?

          • Ah! Not our first experience in F but wasn’t aware of YouFirst… Have called them and they say ‘don’t worry, all in hand’.
            Further more they say that it is not a mixed fleet flight on Friday so it will be ‘full service as usual’.
            Well, I guess we’ll see.
            Thanks, John

        • RussellH says:

          > due to their not having kept the four digit cc security code.

          I assume that this is the four figure code on the front of an Amex card?

          Under the PCIDSS rules retailers are not allowed to keep a record of these if they use a merchant aquirer. Depending on their sytems, though, the data should have been storable in an encrypted form, to which no one should ever have access, for a certain length of time. Also, I would expect that after an initial successful card transaction, the system may well be automatically programmed to accept further transactions on that card number and expiry date without the security code.

          But I guess that we are talking about BA’s systems…

          • Yes, that code.
            Of course the ‘system’ is one thing but then you have the people who use the system / interpret the system. Not to mention the training of the people. Plenty of opportunity for balls to be dropped…
            To be fair I’ve never had problems before. But recent experiences of Qatar and Etihad leave me nervous about the gulf (pun intended) in product / delivery that we are going to experience with BA! (assuming tickets are issued and we are not bumped..)

  3. OT Amex Gold > Platinum upgrade offer

    Was the new link for the offer ever posted? Can’t seem to find it…

    • There’s nothing official. Contact Amex and persuade them to cut you a deal

      • The was a post a few weeks back where someone said they had a new link…

        • LaineyLing says:

          I tried to see if Amex would do me a similar offer but was told that there was no deals currently available and that they would be unable to offer me an alternative.

        • There wasn’t – or if someone said they had one, they didn’t post it.

          • It was exactly that – said there was a link, & would post “later” & never did…

  4. LaserBeams says:

    OT – How often do HSBC run the offer that ran a few months ago whereby if you transfer their Elite Mastercard reward points to Avios, there is a 50% bonus?

  5. the real harry1 says:

    O/T Virgin Trains launches celebratory 20th Birthday Seat Sale

    Discounted Standard fares include the below Advance Single tickets*:

    London to Manchester: before £22, now £10
    London to Birmingham: before £8, now £4
    London to Chester: before £16.50, now £10
    London to Glasgow: before £30, now £14

    Discounted First Class fares include the below Advance Single tickets*:

    London to Manchester: before £43, now £28
    London to Birmingham: before £26, now £17
    London to Chester: before £45, now £28
    London to Glasgow: before £55, now £35

    • Thanks for this but only available to book from 9-14 March. Maybe repost in the comments on 8th March.

      Seems to only apply to the 2 cheapest buckets of fares anyway, so no good for most trains in April. For my upcoming yet-to-be-booked trip to Scotland, there’s only one train left from all of 25 March to 10 April that still has first class available in the cheapest and 2nd cheapest buckets

      I also have a nectar voucher for £7.50 off a sainsbury’s shop for any VTWC purchase before 8 March. Worth checking your nectar account.

      • Genghis says:

        Thanks for the heads up John. I need a Virgin trains ticket but will wait for the sale. However, I got 1,000 Nectar points offer so just booked a Haymarket-Waverley…

  6. the real harry1 says:
  7. OT: Any logical reason why the LHR-KUL leg of my LHR-KUL-HKT trip has registered with 0 avios and tier points? In my BAEC it just has 0 without explanation. My partner’s goes as far as to state “Ineligible Flight”. The KUL-HKT leg shows fine (although oddly I am given 5 tier points yet my partner has those taken off her).

    Anything to this or just yet another waste of time on the phone to customer services looming?

    • I presume MH? Don’t some of their lowest fare buckets not pay avios/TPs?

      • BA Avios calculator says “Economy Lowest” should get 1,600 Avios for this leg. Or is there a class lower than the lowest of the low?

        • the real harry1 says:

          in the deepest deep, a deeper deep etc – Milton

          it can always get worse

          • the real harry1 says:

            remembered it
            And in the deepest deep, a deeper deep; threat’ning to devour me opens wide, to which the hell I suffer seems a heaven – John Milton

    • It depends on the fare class. I think N,Q,G and O don’t earn anything.

      • I see. Thanks. I’ve thrown my ticket stubs away now, and the original booking confirmation doesn’t have a letter attached. I suppose I’ll query it and see what the response is. Thanks for your help.

  8. David2910 says:

    Completely OT: anyone know if there’s a lounge at Seville airport? Seems to have shut a couple of years ago, then opened this year (according to FT), but no evidence of it on OW page? Any recent experience? Thanks

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