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Bits: good BA Club World US fares from Leeds Bradford, BA call centres reprieved

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News in brief:

British Airways Club World US deals from Leeds Bradford

(EDIT:  these fares no longer seem to be available)

BA is currently selling some interesting Club World fares from Leeds Bradford!   You can fly to Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and possibly other US cities for £1,500.

You need to book 28 days in advance and stay away for a Saturday night.

Here is a typical deal from January, showing a £1,526 fare:

Leeds Bradford bargains on British Airways

For comparison, the cheapest price on the same dates is:

From Manchester: £3,072

From Newcastle: £3,070

From Heathrow with no domestic connection:  £3,054

All very odd, but an attractive deal if you live within driving distance of Leeds Bradford.  Our review of the Yorkshire Premier lounge at Leeds Bradford, which you’d get to visit, is here.

These deals are all bookable at ba.com here.  Thanks to Sean for this.

British Airways call centres receive a short-term reprieve

As we have mentioned on Head for Points before, the British Airways call centres in Manchester and Newcastle have been ‘under consultation’ for some time over their future.

The decision was due this week.  Staff have been told, however, that it has now been pushed back until the New Year.  The official reason given is that Carolina Martinoli, the new Director of Brand and Customer Experience (the most powerless job in BA, as the previous two occupants – both of whom left quickly – have found), is too new to the role to take an informed decision.

Capita has put an outsourcing offer on the table but it isn’t clear if this involves moving the operation to India, as happened with the BMI call centre.

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Comments (87)

  • Chen W. says:

    BA’s call centre IMHO is hit-and-miss: you sometimes get very helpful people on the line, who sort things out in no time; and other times, just like any other average call centres, pretty average and not so knowledgeable. An example of which is the Amex 2for1 booking I did through the phone yesterday. The first agent (redemption bookings) is pretty average and struggled greatly in dealing with my particular booking requirement (must say it’s a bit of challenge, for 2 adults + 1 infant who turns 2 between outbound and inbound legs, oh and open-jaw with 2for1) but eventually booked me with no major issue. A few hours later I had to call again and speak to another agent (change existing bookings) who is just so knowledgeable and helpful that despite the widely reported system meltdown at the time, he managed to get everything sorted by calling me back once to tell me the system is still down but he’s on it once it’s back up and second time to confirm with me the changed itinerary and rebook me in 3 minutes. It’s the service/people like that keeping me to choose BA over others. Do I mind a surcharge of £15 using their call centre? If the ticket cost is high, and the service level I receive is excellent, I don’t mind at all.

    • Anna says:

      Surely if you were booking an open jaw which can’t be done online you shouldn’t have had to pay the £15?

      • Andrew says:

        Technically the offline fee should only be waived if you’re trying to do something which is normally available online but isn’t working.

        Having said that most of the time the fee’s been waived for me without prompting when making an open jaw 2for1 booking over the phone

  • Harry says:

    To the main subject of Robs post. If you have the time needed it is certainly worth while using Avios to fly to Leeds Bradford from London to connect to the US Club World deal. If you are able to get away with only hand baggage, you can just jump ship in London on the return. Flying in to Leeds from anywhere else or with baggage on the return will mean connecting at both ends, but it may still be worth it.

    • Polly says:

      Harry l agree..its not that far up the motorway or even as you say a quick flight up there. Have just recommended a friends elderly parents buy these flights from lba for a wedding next year in the USA.
      If we were not all booked we would certainly consider it.

  • TigerTanaka says:

    I live in the North East and whilst LBA is not the most convenient airport for me, prices on BA are often way less than NCL so it is always worth checking if you are looking at a LH trip. Also BA do not base a plane overnight at LBA (like they do at NCL/MAN) so the timings are quite different – meaning that LBA can be be a good alternative if you are looking at a 4 hour connection at LHR for your flight back to NCL/MAN.

    Also, you can also normally upgrade LBA-LHR to CE using the BA app for £59 which will get you an additional 30-35 tier points.

    • Rick says:

      Edinburgh can also be good if you’re based in the north-east. A ticket on the 6am ish VTEC train can typically be bought for £16 – in first, with a lovely fry-up and OK-ish coffee. Then the £5 bus to EDI. I do this once a week – even though it takes longer it is more relaxing than paying £15 ish to get to NCL on Northern Trains+metro or the bus+metro, usually standing up – and without complimentary breakfast and coffee. There are more BA flights from EDI, plus LCY/LGW. Also, whilst NCL lounge is nice, with lovely staff, the EDI lounge is arguably better. Plus: if/when new Scottish APD regime kicks in, EDI flights will likely be cheaper. And many (to LHR) already are. Plus, Finnair to HEL for other connection options. I’m not Scottish by the way (or a Geordie!) – I strongly suggest – if you have a couple of spare hours – give the VTEC 1st breakfast and EDI a go!

  • George says:

    If it it possible to use the full width of the computer browser page, with a deeper indent for replies to comments, that would be an improvement too (I think so anyway!).

    • Rob says:

      This is something I am considering. The site was designed at a time when computer screens did not have as high resolutions as they do now. If you a 1548 display it looks a bit lonely now in a way that it didn’t on a 1224.

      As an interim solution to avoiding a full redesign, we could widen out the existing site which would also allow the font size to increase a bit and let us run Google’s preferred 336-wide ads instead of 300-wide.

      I am not against a full redesign but I am wary of moving towards a more ‘magazine’ style theme when actually a straight ‘latest stories first’ approach is actually what regular readers want. My main concern at the moment is whether potential new readers are put off by the current look – frankly the regular readers do not mind because they are bothered about the content first and foremost.

      • JamesB says:

        Current fashions in web page design are a mess as far as I’m concerned. If it’s not broken please don’t fix it. The pastel colours belong to the past though, bolder colours with stronger contrasts such as on Halifax banking or the Hilton app are back in and look good so perhaps with considering. Otherwise I like it as it is, simple and clean.

      • Leo says:

        I have to say Rob the OTs are getting out of hand – see above. This is the Bits article so OTs are appropriate – but if you are planning a bit of a shake up in design etc. maybe time for a re-think on a general forum etc?

        • JamesB says:

          Open forums have been suggested quite frequently when Rob has sought feedback in the past. I was in favour of that too and might still be but I have become more undecided. OTs are only annoying if you let them annoy you I guess. In some ways they seem to have become part of the the fabric of what HFP is and I suspect for a lot of us they create a more informal, relaxed, community-based feel to the whole blog. It would not surprise me if it is this that has partly led to HFP being recognised 0in the travel journalism awards. What’s the alternative, that readers with urgent travel queries or deals to share wait a few days or even weeks for the next relevant article or open forom? By then it would be too late.

        • Leo says:

          Sorry JamesB but I’m veering in the other direction. It would be okay if everyone kept OTs to the BIts thread(s) but they don’t. This has got noticeably worse this year. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be OTs but I think they do/can disrupt threads. Dare I suggest a guide on HfP Etiquette in “New to the Site” tab?

        • JamesB says:

          @Leo, that could work as there are bits articles more days than not I think. People would still post them in main articles though if there are no bits. I don’t know how much advance planning Rob puts into article schedules but maybe scheduling one bits article nearly every day would help. I suspect the schedules are prone to disarray though as more urgent news arises.

        • Polly says:

          I’m with JamesB this one regarding urgent queries. Often quite informative responses make good reading. It shows most of our community don’t mind OT by the positive helpful replies.
          Good news about points for Tesco gift cards…

        • Alan says:

          Widening the page a bit would seem reasonable to me – only about 20% of my screen width being used at present!

          Current system with OT in Bits works fairly well but agree it would be nice to try and keep it to the Bits article. Would also be nice to have a ‘new to HfP’ FAQ page that covered all the standard qns that seem to crop up almost daily (mainly BA 241-related qns!)

          Not keen for a forum – there’s already FT!

      • Worzel says:

        I’m with our Southeast Asia expert also Polly-and pleased that he appears to have arrived back in the UK without being bitten (ahem!) 🙂 .

        Rob’s Benign Dictatorship works well I think-and so it should, for most.

  • Gavin says:

    Personally I value the off topics – I’m sure a few of them prompt articles, even if just in a bits article

  • Sandra Pace says:

    If Club World is booked from Leeds Bradford do you now get access to the lounge in both directions at Heathrow? The last time I flew BA (about 12 months ago) from Leeds Bradford in Club World, because there was, at that time anyway, no actual Club World on the LBA/Heathrow and return flight I was allowed in the lounge with no problem on the outward journey as my onward flight ticket showed Club World but on the return I had to argue with the desk to be allowed into the lounge as the last leg from Heathrow to Leeds only showed an economy flight. They let me in grudgingly after I pointed out to them that my booking was in Club World but there wasn’t actually a Club World flight to fly on from to/from Leeds!

    • Rob says:

      You would now, because it books into Club Europe for the domestic leg. Domestic CE didn’t exist a year ago.

    • Alan says:

      LHR lounges have been notoriously bad on this front – they used to give out compo for those affected if you complained after but hopefully less of an issue with CE connecting flight.

  • Josh Warrell says:

    I’ve just had this “Tesco Clubcard auto tip promotional offer” appear in the VA Flying miles statement does anyone know what this might be?

    • the real harry1 says:

      sounds like 1000 bonus miles when you opt for auto conversion Tesco points —> Virgin miles

  • Anonym says:

    Have these fares been pulled already? Can’t seem to find anything…