News in brief:
Lloyds response to our card fraud claims on the Lloyds Avios Rewards card
Our article yesterday on card fraud on the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card got traction, being picked up by Radio 4’s ‘You and Yours’, The Telegraph (read their article here), The Register (read their article here) and thisismoney.co.uk (read their article here) among others.
Thank you to the readers who responded to media enquiries.
For completeness, this is the statement that Lloyds issued yesterday:
“A very small number of Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards American Express credit card customers have been affected by recent fraudulent activity. This has affected less than one percent of customers who hold these cards and we have introduced additional controls to provide further protection. These controls have been successful in ensuring that fraudulent transactions are identified and declined. We apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused. Impacted customers will receive a full refund of monies that have been taken fraudulently.”
British Airways considering changing their policy on children in lounges
BA runs an ‘invite only’ panel of regular flyers where it occasionally asks for suggestions on topics of interest.
The latest topic is, without a doubt, going to inflame passions both ways:
“BA is looking at the idea of allowing Gold members (and above) permission to bring in all of their children into BA lounges. Before this is decided, BA want to hear from you about what impact this may / may not have on your experiences.”
One of the options below is whether this policy should be restricted to Galleries Club and not to Galleries First, ie Gold card holders would need to ‘downgrade’ to the Galleries Club lounge in order to bring in their children.
I am for this idea, for what it’s worth. Not because I have kids of my own – we are usually in premium cabins anyway and so I can get them in regardless of status – but because it addresses a big problem for BA.
In general, most frequent flyers are more concerned about their privileges when flying with their family. I have pushed Avios on numerous occasions to consider increasing the number of guaranteed Club World seats to four per flight, not two, because BA’s core middle and senior level professional corporate customers are highly likely to have family. Regular flyers who cannot find Avios availability to fly their family on holiday in the same premium cabins they fly themselves for work are unlikely to be happy.
Some of the smaller hotel chains have addressed this with ‘guaranteed at booking’ suite upgrades for top customers. They know that you are less bothered about a suite upgrade on a quick overnight business stay but very bothered about a suite upgrade on a weekend away with your partner. Allowing elites to lock in the upgrade a couple of times a year when booking is a very powerful tool.
The dynamics are different for airlines, but anything that makes it easier for BA’s most valuable customers to feel equally valued when travelling with their family is likely to go down well.
If it really got messy over the summer, one solution would be to allocate one of two Galleries Club lounges in Terminal 5A as the family lounge and block children entirely from the other one ……
PS. The picture above is the Concorde Bar in the new-ish BA Dubai lounge
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