Bits: Bigger BA Holidays discounts in the BA sale, Etihad Guest devalues

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News in brief:

Extra BA sale discounts on holidays

Last week British Airways launched its latest World Sale with discounts on long-haul and short-haul flights in all classes as well as special deals on BA Holidays packages.

Until 12th September BA is running a further promotion with BA Holidays packages with savings of up to £100.

The savings are as follows:

Flight and Hotel:

extra £50 off with a minimum spend of £1250

extra £100 off with a minimum spend of £2500

Flight and Car:

extra £25 off with a minimum spend of £600

extra £50 off with a minimum spend of £1250

extra £100 off with a minimum spend of £2500

Unlike ‘flight only’, you can secure a BA Holidays package with a deposit as low as £150 per booking, not per person, with the balance only due five weeks before departure.

The BA Sale runs until 26th September but the special promotion ends at midnight 12th September.

Full details of the BA Sale are in this Head for Points article. The link to book is here.

BA Sale

Etihad Guest devalues, but details sketchy

If you are a member of Etihad Guest, you will have received an email this week about changes (ie primarily a devaluation) to the scheme benefits.

There appear to be no other details in the public domain at the moment beyond what was in that email.  Looking at the key points:

BAD NEWS – when you are promoted to a new tier, your membership will now last just one calendar year.  In the past, you would get all of the current membership year plus the next one or two years, depending on which level you reached.

GOOD NEWS – Gold members can now use the Business Class Lounges in Abu Dhabi when flying Etihad.  Gold members previously had to use a third party lounge.

GOOD NEWS – you will now earn more miles on fully flexible business and First Class tickets on Etihad

BAD NEWS – the cost of upgrading with Etihad Guest  miles will increase

GOOD AND BAD NEWS – the cost of redemptions will change, with some routes increasing and others decreasing

BAD NEWS – there will be a $50 increase in the carrier surcharge on some business and First Class redemptions.  This is per leg, so a flight from London to Bangkok via Abu Dhabi could potentially see a $200 rise in ‘taxes and charges’ – and these are already pretty chunky.

Etihad Guest stopped being great value at the time of the last devaluation a couple of years ago.  Because I rate their A380 business and First Class products so highly, it will probably still remain acceptable value as an occasional splurge (via an Amex Membership Rewards transfer) for myself.

That said, I can imagine that the cost of flying my whole family somewhere with a connection in Abu Dhabi is going to look pretty scary both in terms of miles and charges.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. Hingeless says:

    I find the best use of Etihad miles for me is on domestic Virgin Australia flights, eg Sydney to cairns for 13,900 in business each way. Its better value than using BA, QF, or VA miles.

  2. Have just burnt through a few million miles over the past couple years on EY and American and booked a couple more before the last devaluation.

    With these changes, happy I have only enough for 1 more trip. Many other airlines have more acceptable use of miles and taxes/cash with decent hard and soft products.

    With all the cuts, Etihad is gouging its customers for the mistakes of its previous management.

  3. O/T but BA related. Mrs H off to JFK from Edi via LHR in CW. This was booked last October prior to the introduction of CE on the connection. Tried on the phone to BA to get the connection changed from ET to CE but they said as it was booked through Avios using a Lloyds upgrade voucher we would have to take it up with them. They said no seats left. Mrs H now on the delayed 8am flight in ET and at least 3 empty seats in CE. Also she was refused entry to BA lounge as “your Business Class ticket doesn’t count until you get to Heathrow ” they weren’t interested that it was on a through ticket. Not the best customer service

    • the real harry1 says:

      agent got it wrong (unless the lounge was full):

      ‘Connecting between oneworld marketed and operated flights:
      First and Business Class customers connecting on the same day of travel, or before 6am the following day, can access the lounge when travelling between an international long haul (a oneworld international long haul flight is defined as an international flight marketed and operated by any oneworld carrier with a scheduled flight time longer than 5 hours) and an international short haul or domestic flight (and vice-versa).
      Lounge access will be determined on the international long haul ticketed flight (either First of Business Class) regardless of the ticketed class of travel on the international short haul or domestic flight.
      You must be prepared to show your boarding pass or itinerary showing travel in First or Business class on the international long haul flight, in order to access the lounge before your international short haul or domestic flight. ‘

      BA’s rules are similar, ie connection Economy 1st leg to Business/ First second leg (on the same day) means you get 2x lounge access

      • Does the booking have to be on the same Reference or could you have two separate, but connecting bookings, i.e. return economy flights to Heathrow then another return trip in business and first abroad (but on a different ref)?

        • the real harry1 says:

          does not need to be same PNR

        • I’m no expert as London based but to ‘connect’ implies to change planes on the same ticket.

          • the real harry1 says:

            but ‘You must be prepared to show your boarding pass or itinerary showing travel in First or Business class on the international long haul flight’ indicates there can be separate documentation/ PNRs

          • Harry is right about the entry rules but it DOES need to be on the same PNR. Genghis is right about the ‘connect’ wording, it has to be a verifiable through booking.

          • Whether the agent notices if you have BPs is another question entirely…

          • I’ve never seen a same PNR requirement – you’re still connecting between two OW flights – if you just show both BPs I’ve never had an issue (this was prior to having status for me although know others without status that have done it more recently)

      • Good visual summary of rules here too:

    • Three empty seats?

      Do BA still keep some free on certain morning flights from EDI for Business Carnet holders for key business contracts, Scottish Government officials and the Royals when at Holyrood?

    • She should have got CE check in, fast track and lounge. Had the same circumstances with booking as your wife exINV on Wednesday. All staff were clued up on the rules though and had no issues, even at the lounge which was Aspire. I recommend your wife save the rules page referred to by Harry for next time if she fails to get CE on any shorthaul or domestic sectors. Might even be worth trying aspire or No1 lounge but I’m not sure if they can allow access under these rules when the airline
      has it’s own lounge. I’ve experienced numerous problems with fast track access at EDU before but so far not in the lounge.

      • Can’t see #1 or Aspire being able to help for BA booking but perhaps even just having the OW lounge access rules bookmarked and showing them it on your phone would help. Generally EDI have been excellent and it’s LHR (on the return leg) where the problems crop up!

    • Erico1975 says:

      Since the new CE Domestic, the cash cost of an Avios Long Haul redemption from EDI has spiralled although the Avios remain the same.
      eg LHR to BOM for 2 one way, off peak 125K Avios, + £691 where as EDI – LHR- BOM 125K Avios+ £884
      A difference of nearly £190!

    • Very disappointing to hear that – EDI lounge never been an issue previously in that situation as access rules are clear re same-day connection to CW flight. Worth lodging a complaint for (hopefully) some Avios…

  4. Thanks Rob for Etihad update, would you say that it’s a best time to book a redemption flight before changes been implemented?

    • Yes – if only because you can cancel and rebook should the cost on your route drop, so you’ve lost nothing except the cancellation fee.

      • 10% Etihad Miles deduction is the penalty for any award seat cancellation + 100AED change fee. The same clause apply for partner airlines. So think twice before cancelling Biz / First class award ticket. I lost a huge junk recently for cancelling Biz class on ANA route to SYD for family of 3 !!!!

        • I booked internal Australian flights using Etihad miles which would have expired otherwise. Plans have changed – does anyone know if can I change the flights (still within Australia and costing the same miles but between different airports) or do they simply redeposit the miles (in which case I think I will lose them as they will instantly expire)?.

  5. I’ve got about 50k miles expiring in December. there is now way of extending the life of the miles is there? Is Malaysia airlines the only one looking when trying to redeem in South East Asia?

    • Etihad miles can be turned into cash via PointsPay, don’t forget. Rate is decent due to collapse of £.

      • That’s a great idea, thanks Rob. And I looked into some items on their shop, which I can then sell via ebay as well. Etihad redemptions are really poor!

  6. the real harry1 says:

    O/T Bristol Airport SEP17 gives you 10% off car parking

    (Bristol Airport official parking often tough to find any discount)

    • +1 and each month it changes i.e. AUG17, JUL17, etc etc.

      When you book over the phone tell them you have a code BEFORE they start looking for availability or it will slip off the radar when it gets to the quote stage.

      The Hampton at Bristol is very nice too.

  7. +1 Just what I need…will book now.
    Helpful as always Harry

    • the real harry1 says:

      should have mentioned I booked parking with DriveFly – I have used them many times now, excellent service though it pays to announce your arrival back in LHR as soon as you land as they take 15-20 mins to get your car from their secure parking compound into the short term multi-storey carpark

  8. Janeyferr says:

    Social chitchat.

    Who will be doing Mail Rail this weekend? I’ll be there Saturday afternoon.

  9. Surprise surprise….10% of Etihad new Amex offer.

  10. Emirates status matched my Etihad Silver to Skywards Silver for those looking at alternative airlines.

  11. Ot – I booked a Malaysian airlines flight from bki to sdk. Operated by maswings. At time of booking it stated 30kg in economy on Malaysian airlines baggage wise. Now on the booking they are stating as its 20kg as its maswings operating it despite mh flight code. Anything I can do. I am ba bronze.

    • the real harry1 says:

      maybe go through the booking process again for the same routing and take a screenshot showing the 30kg allowance – I know the dates are different but if you are careful with your snipping you should be able to omit any screenshot reference to dates

      then with your proof of 30kg, contact Malaysian and explain your case, asking for the extra 10kg

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