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Bits: new BA strike dates, Qatar Airways 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 ba.com.

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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There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

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Comments (83)

  • Pol says:

    Great, so not only do I have to worry about being downgraded on my upcoming JNB flights on 8/3 due to 2×241 booking, I now also have to worry if my flight will run at all! It will be my first time flying CW with BA, after years of VS flights in upper, really hope it exceeds my expectations (hopefully not to difficult, after reading here and on FT they’re not very high!)

  • Louise says:

    OT – Amex travel offer up today, any recommendations for a U.K hotel break in the south? I’ve priced up some EU city break flights but seem to come out more expensive than booking direct

  • Phil says:

    OT but my domestic booking on ba.com is now showing as Club Europe!

    • Mike says:

      Were you originally booked into X and now U ?

    • Walty says:

      Same here – originally showing ‘U’ economy. Now showing ‘U’ Club Europe but does not allow me to select seats in the first 5 rows.

      • Phil says:

        Same for me. Looks as though you can’t book flights in the class for March until tomorrow. Might be that some changes are yet ironed out. I am in a party of two, one of whom is currently assigned the middle seat which presumably will not actually be there. I’m assuming this will change…

        • Stu_N says:

          Things seem to be moving around for me too. I got a MyFlights alert on a redemption booking in August late afternoon. That was X domestics(economy redemption) either side of a F/J redemption (z/u classes). MyFlights says domestics cancelled, but I have 2 domestics with same flight numbers showing in MMB. In the app they are showing as Club Europe but won’t let me select seats. I’m getting an error on the desktop site on the seat selector for entire booking. Interestingly it’s an evening flight to LHR and onward following morning, all on the same booking ref.

          Other one is a cash booking in J/I/I/J in December (JFK) also showing as CE for domestic in app and desktop – it’s showing me a seat map but can’t select seats.

          I’ll give it a few days and get on the phone if it’s not settled down.

          • Stu_N says:

            It’s all over the shop. Back in Euro Traveller for my X domestics, got 4 seats on a 2 person booking on the cash ones.

            Should step away from the computer really….

    • CV3V says:

      Booking now showing as Club Europe, and rows 2 to 5 available for seat selection on a 2 x 2 layout.
      Entire Row 1 blocked out, assume for Golds.

  • Noggins says:

    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!

    • Kathryn says:

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

      • Noggins says:

        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.

        • Kathryn says:

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

  • Noggins says:

    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

    • Kinkell says:

      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

      • Noggins says:

        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….

        • John says:

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

          • Noggins says:

            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…

          • Noggins says:

            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..)

  • Stuart says:

    OT Amex Gold > Platinum upgrade offer

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

    • Genghis says:

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

      • Stuart says:

        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.

        • Rob says:

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

          • Stuart says:

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

  • 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?

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