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Bits: Lloyds response to our fraud claims, BA changing the policy on children in lounges?

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News in brief:

Lloyds response to our card fraud claims

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 Dubai lounge

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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There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

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

Comments (109)

  • Lee says:

    There was me hoping BA would ban children rather than allowing all of them in.

    So they want to lower the quality of the lounge even further.

    We like many others go into a lounge for peace and quiet which is why there are normally no announcements.

    Now they want to increase the number of unruly children running around with no parental control.

    • Andy says:

      I’ve had far more bad lounge experiences involving badly behaved adults than kids. In fact it’s never kids.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      I think you need to work a little harder in life so you can fly private. Until then you cannot control who is in ‘your’ cabin and plane operators need to sell seats. Provided they stump up the cash children have as much right to be there as anyone else.

  • Sam wardill says:

    I’m with you on this Rob. Of course I have children too so I’m also biased. Qantas policy is sensible imho. See https://www.qantas.com/travel/airlines/qantas-club-lounge-access/global/en. For what it’s worth, I’ve never seen many children in a Qantas lounge even at weekends. I guess they might be busier in school holidays. In my experience, the most unruly kids I’ve seen on planes and lounges were ones in paid for (first class) seats

  • Simon Cross says:

    I am with Lee on this and wouldlove to see Business class ban all children under the age of (say) 5. Having paid a premium fare for comfort and tranquility I am furious when a crying infant keeps me awake. Sure some passengers will be upset by this but even they would appreciate it once their family was older and want the tranquility themselves.

    • Genghis says:

      This old chestnut… it’s generally concluded by someone saying that more adults are worse flyers than kids (DYKWIAs etc) and that it’s the parents to blame if they sit there while their kids run riot.

    • Andy says:

      Same point as for lounges. Example: last F flight I was kept up by an unruly GCH complaining to the CSD about his flavourless mushroom soup! Not an infant in sight.

    • Erico1875 says:

      Poor you. Think of the parent trying to deal with the upset baby.

      • Harpo says:

        Interesting how a crying child divides people broadly by “poor kid” or “poor me” responses. I suspect (and hope) the latter doesn’t predominate in the premium cabins, but it would certainly play to a certain stereotype.

    • John says:

      Which airlines offer a “premium fare for comfort and tranquility”?

      • Dwadda says:

        It is why it is called business class so we can work on the flight. I value peace and tranquillity. I don’t mind kids if they are seen and not heard. When I am paying 3k to get to a meeting in New York, I am doing so because I can work during the journey.

        For many readers of HforP this is about making their leisure travel more comfortable at the cheapest price.

        The bulk of BAs revenue comes from businesses travellers for whom any distraction is unwelcome.

        If the kids are flying First then they are entitled to enter Galleries First and likewise Galleries Club. And we all bear with it.

        However it will be mayhem in the lounges if Gold/Silver members flying economy with their kids can bring them all into the lounges. There’s probably over a hundred thousand of us!

        BA PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS. YOU WILL HARM THOSE OF US PAYING REAL MONEY ON BUSINESS.

        Sorry to shout but I wanted BA to read that. If this goes through I’ll switch to AA so I can fly out of T3 and use Cathay’s new first lounge.

        • Adey says:

          Dwadda, it is public transport. If your business absolutely requires you to work during the journey and *you* cannot do that if you can hear kids then I suggest you fly in a private jet, or hire extra staff or wear noise cancelling headphones.

    • Simon says:

      Never has a child kept me awake in a lounge. I’ve had the odd nosy baby but nothing too bad. What I find errors are pompous arses taking loudly on their telephones as if they are the most important people in the lounge. Especially those using a microphone rather than talking into the phone. No one is interested in your line of work. Not what you’ve been doing/are going to do during your business trip.

      • Simon says:

        Noisy not nosy, worse not error, nor not not! Apologies for auto correct!

      • Nick says:

        LOL! So true Simon. I’ve been travelling on business by air for over four decades now and have never had an issue with unruly nad/or noisy children in lounges. However, what you say about the loud pompous arse’s on their phones is so very true!

      • Rashad says:

        So spot on Simon, and it gets worse in T5GF lounges, never mind alcohol that makes party of people travelling together to be loud but listening how someone is trying to endorse their valued opinion on corporate law is just beyond me. It’s not just that, it’s almost these people are making sure that everyone heard them.

  • Malibu Stacey says:

    In my experience more adults are worse flyers than children.

  • Paul Walsh says:

    I think that this is a great idea. They have dedicated kids areas in most lounges, meaning noise shouldn’t be too much of an issue for those striving for a more adult friendly environment.

    Even if they limited it to Friday to Sunday, I’d be happy with that!

  • Francis Jackson says:

    I would have thought the main problem would be adding to congestion and seating issues. For example a GCH (with family and flying ET or WT/+) currently could guest in 1 person and in practice wouldn’t bother (leave kids outside or take in one child is unlikely!).
    The new proposal could lead to a whole family gaining admittance – say partner + 3-4 children.

    To be clear my objection is not related to children per se but space/capacity.

    • Alan says:

      Totally agree re capacity issue – Amex Centurion lounges have had a very generous policy in this regard and have had to revise it due to make overcrowding.

      To take the hotel analogy further, perhaps they could issue GCHs with a limited number of ‘being all my family’ passes per year that could then be used on family holidays, etc?

  • Sean says:

    You say BA want to hear from us can you please provide details as to how and where we can send our views over.
    Not a good idea in my opinion,
    The Lounges are overcrowded as it is, the last thing we need is a business traveller with status bring his wife and then three or four kids. Multiply this three or four times and the lounges will look like a crèche. Might as well go and sit in Starbucks…

    • Crafty says:

      “His wife” or of course, “her husband”?

      • Crafty says:

        Or partner, or whomever they may choose to spend their time with, of course.

        Lots of simple assumptions on here, and what type of people make simple assumptions?

      • Lady London says:

        And “his husband” / “her wife” too, where applicable.

  • TT says:

    Oooooo This is a ” get the popcorn ready, its showtime!” Topic, thx Rob! I am waiting for the” if you dont like others on a plane, take a private jet comment………waiting……

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