Bits: BA trialling improved ‘cash for Avios’ with EU261?, Etihad launches A380 from Paris

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News in brief:

BA trialling improved ‘cash for Avios’ EU261 deals?

A few months I wrote a fairly scathing article about British Airways offering people Avios instead of cash when they claimed EU261 compensation.

I don’t have a problem with the concept, far from it.  The problem was that BA was offering such a pitifully low number of Avios – you were effectively paying 1.33p per point – that it seemed like it was playing on the potential ignorance of the claimant.

Things may be changing.  A reader just sent me details of an “enhanced compensation package” he had been offered for a short-haul EU261 claim.

He can take €250 (£216) in cash or 20,000 Avios points.

At this level I would be on the fence.  My spreadsheet of my last 5 million Avios points redeemed shows I got 1.22p of value based on what I would realistically have paid for the same flights.  Most people do better than this because I have so many points I tend to use them irrespective of the value I get.

This ‘enhanced compensation offer’ means our reader is paying 1.08p per Avios point.   It’s not a no-brainer but, for a lot of people, it will make sense.

This is also likely to prove a sensible move for BA.  It is better to offer a generous Avios package which a lot of people are likely to accept rather than a greedy package which any sensible person would refuse.

Etihad A380

Etihad launches A380 from Paris

You’ll have to wait a couple of weeks from my review of my 2nd trip in the Etihad A380 First Apartment.  If you decide to give it a try – American Airlines miles or Etihad Guest miles are the easiest ways – there is now a new route.

After what was presumably an unsuccessful run on the Abu Dhabi to Mumbai route, Etihad is switching the aircraft onto one of its two daily Abu Dhabi – Paris services instead.  It will allow it to compete better with Qatar Airways which also runs an A380 on the Paris route – you can read my review of Qatar’s A380 First Class here.

Qatar’s A380 First Class redemptions are far easier to get via Paris than via Heathrow.  Reward availability on this new Etihad route will hopefully also be as good.  The Paris service is only currently scheduled for May to October.

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  1. After AA cancelled and rerouted via London my business class seat from Dublin to Chicago AA offered $1,500 iin vouchers or €600 cash. I thought this was a win win deal and made silver the next year using the vouchers . The equivalent of 50,000 avios for me does not appear overly attractive given the high fees if using Avios on many one world airlines. I can’t see making silver on that many avios.

  2. johnny_c-l says:

    OT: Just had an email from Amex offering 20k bonus MR points when applying to upgrade from Gold in the next 4 weeks and spending £1k.

    Link appears to be personalised but will check properly later.

    A good offer but have been working towards the £15k/10k MR Gold so don’t want to lose that and would not keep a Plat open after the bonus as the benefits don’t work for me.

    • Hmmm….
      I am thinking of applying for this upgrade.
      I will wait and see if I get any personalised upgrade offer.

  3. Just out of interest, how does one accrue 5 million Avios? I use everything I can to raise points but rarely get over 250,000 a year?

    • Genghis says:

      I guess running the UK’s best points blog and the referrals that generates helps…

  4. Trying to check in for flight JNB to LHR tomorrow. Booked on 241. Let me check in but won’t let me save boarding pass says I haven’t entered valid passport info for flight. I have, should I be worried about being downgraded? Will my chosen seats be saved?

    • I had the same issue as you on my rtn leg, thankfully still flew in my booked class of CW.

      As you are checked in you should hopefully be ok.

      When I was downgraded on the outward leg I couldn’t even do OLCI….

  5. I mentioned this on the previous article on the subject but as a data point in April 2014 BA offered me 100,000 avios compensation as part of a claim for EU261 compensation. Back then €1200 was around £980 so at >1p per point and given I had plans for a redemption I accepted this.
    Odd that they are now offering less than that.
    Note that this an agreed settlement ahead of a small claims case I had lodged rather than an official EU261 payment .

  6. Surfnode says:

    OT: I have a 2-4-1 voucher expiring at end of August. For various reasons a planned redemption (or rather the time off for that) may be pushed later than that.

    As im travelling from edi, is there any ‘mileage’ in starting the positioning flight to London earlier (mid August say, like some people do with Dub-Lon legs) and then be able to start the long haul leg a few days/weeks later?

    I didn’t manage to redeem last year as one of those quatar deals made more sense (and pushed me into gold territory ;).

    • No, you can’t do this to save your voucher – all outbound travel must be completed by the expiry date.

  7. OT. Just checking if BAGold cabin bonus is 100%, the same as the tier bonus?


    • BA status is irrelevant for the cabin bonus, it depends on which cabin you fly in! Status bonus is indeed 100%.

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