Bits: why BA changed the Club World bedding, pigeons in the BA lounge, 50% ‘buy Avios’ bonus

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Some slightly trivial news in brief!

New PR shot of the improved Club World bedding

I was sent a new PR photo of the improved ‘The White Company’ Club World bedding which is soon to be rolled out on the JFK route – see below.

It does, you have to admit, look good and an improvement on what has gone before.  It will be 2018 before it rolls out on the rest of the network, however, which is odd.  I can understand why they may want to trial the new food service before committing to all of the new serving trolleys etc, but surely bedding is bedding?

However …. spot the difference.  Here is the new photo:

New British Airways Club World White Company bedding

…. and here is the original one supplied earlier in the year:

It seems … allegedy … that the original design failed a safety test.  Apparently the navy colour was too close to the colour of the carpets in the Club World cabins.  This meant that it was deemed a trip hazard, so the whole project was sent back to the drawing board.

Pigeons in the Terminal 5 First lounge

Meanwhile, the pigeon problem on the Terminal 5 Galleries First lounge terrace continues! Here are a few shots sent in by a reader:



Should you buy Avios with a 50% bonus?

A few people have contacted me this week about a targeted 50% ‘buy Avios’ bonus that is being emailed to some Executive Club members.

( has also been emailing a weaker 35% bonus offer, which I would dismiss out of hand.)

There are a few permutations, with the most generous being a 50% bonus on any purchase.

Here are a few price points:

5,000 Avios – was £95 (1.9p), now 7,500 Avios for £95 (1.26p)

10,000 Avios – was £175 (1.8p), now 15,000 Avios for £175 (1.16p)

20,000 Avios – was £335 (1.7p), now 30,000 Avios for £335 (1.12p)

50,000 Avios – was £815 (1.6p), now 75,000 Avios for £815 (1.09p)

100,000 Avios – was £1,615 (1.6p), now 150,000 Avios for £1,615 (1.07p)

The cheapest price is therefore 1.07p per Avios point.

Is this a good deal?  Well, it is fair to say that you won’t lose money at this level.  I have a spreadsheet showing the last few million Avios I redeemed and my average value is 1.15p per point, based on what I would have personally paid for the same flights.

It would be crazy to pay 1.07p per Avios if you were going to redeem them for 1.15p.  Avios points are obviously not as flexible as cash and are issued by The Central Bank of IAG which, frankly, has an inflationary track record to rival many third world countries.  (And even in countries of high inflation, you can usually spend your cash whenever you want – unlike an Avios point.)

Personally, I would be targetting somewhere closer to 0.66p before I would be a speculative buyer – but that is based WHOLLY on my personal circumstances.

This is my long ‘what is an Avios point worth?’ article (click here) which takes a more scientific view based on different ways you may spend your points.  These valuations tend to come out at nearer 1.5p in the best cases.  On this basis, paying 1.07p – with no more effort required than picking up your credit card – may work you.

If you are only topping off an account with the last few thousand you need for a redemption, the price per point doesn’t really matter anyway.  Many people are offered a version of this deal which gives the 50% bonus however few points you buy, even the minimum of 1,000.

Before you buy, though, think about the options.  Could you or your partner take out an American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card instead?  The card is free for the first year and you’ll get 20,000 Amex points (= 20,000 Avios) when you spend £2,000 within 90 days.  That is a better deal than spending around £250 buying points under this deal.  If you’ve got a BA Amex and a Gold or Platinum, how about the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card?  The 10,000 points you get for signing up convert to 10,000 Avios and you only need to spend £1,000.  (The Starwood Amex has a representative APR of 36.2% variable including the annual fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit.)

The deadline to buy is 29th September.  If you want to see if you are targeted, the ‘buy Avios’ page is here.

(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. Pigeons in Galleries First is quite funny till you consider the following:

    Could easily ruin a holiday!

  2. O/T, but kind of on-topic too. I’ve been trying to figure this out – if I already hold an Amex Platinum, can I get the sign-up 20,000 MR points bonus for the Amex Preferred Rewards Gold, or should I be thinking about starting to cancel one, wait six months, sign up for the other, then rinse and repeat?

    • If you are the main cardholder of a charge card that earns MR points, then you have to cancel and wait 6+ months before you can get a signup bonus for any other charge card that earns MR points (in the same country at least). This question seems to get asked nearly daily.

  3. where2travel says:

    I’ve not been on the terrace for a while, how long have those deckchairs and the fake grass been there?

  4. OT posted late yesterday but may have been missed. Lots of mentions of downgrades on the BA 2 for 1 voucher. Anyone ever been upgraded? My return from Rio with my wife has been bumped to first. Amazing surprise. Especially as my silver status is about to expire!

  5. OT, my 1,000 avios arrived in my BAEC account today!

  6. 1000 free marriott points by replying to marriot rewards on twitter to there NFL question with 360 foot .
    My points posted within 10 mins
    Need to link your twitter acc first to marriott!%23top

  7. Derek Scott says:

    All these changes are all well and good, but for me, BA needs to get one of the basics sorted… On Time Performance. I’ve had about 10 flights this year so far, and every single one has been delayed by at least 20 mins, and upwards of 2 hours. Most of them, were in BA’s control. They don’t seem to follow their own mantra of expecting everyone to be at the gate on time, and their boarding process is slow, especially on full flights. I still don’t understand why they don’t load from the front and back, to get economy loading quicker.

    I timed a EDI-LHR 767 flight boarding and it took over 30 minutes. It could have been reduced significantly by parallel boarding.

    For me, On Time Performance improvements are more important than how comfortable a duvet is.
    Whilst some delays will be down to ATC, maybe this will underline BA’s reliance on LHR is detrimental, and to restart looking at Regional Long Haul again?

  8. Ramon Philippe says:

    Pigeon Update

    Was caught in Friday whilst I was in the lounge, and asked to leave by the dragons for not having a gold card.

  9. That was a risk letting the pigeon alight on his shoe! Might have had a white sheen to it afterwards…..

  10. I’d take the 50% deal hands down but never get any BAEC offers.

  11. Thanks for the all the info shared here! I already own a BA amex card and whe applying to the Preferred Rewards Gold amex card it says I ‘may’ not be entitled to the bonus points on the first two months… I really wanted to make use of this offer. Anyone knows of that is really the case? Also I looked everywhere and can’t find anything preventing cancellation during the first year ( dont want to pay anual fees for two amex cards)… Help appreciated!

    • You’ll be fine, it’s only cards with the same rewards ‘currency’ that have an issue – BA and PRG are different, so no issue.

      • Thanks a lot Alan! And apologies everyone for the many typos, I was writing on the phone and in a rush..

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