Bits: poor BA Amex sign-up deal via ba.com, IAG’s NIKI deal collapses, Carlisle Lake District Airport reopens

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News in brief:

ba.com offering unreasonably poor BAPP Amex sign-up bonus

For a while, ba.com has been promoting British Airways American Express cards to random visitors during the booking process.  Whilst this is a perfectly logical time to try to catch a new customer, the sign-up offer is deliberately poor.

Take a look at this (click to enlarge):

BA is offering you £50 and 6,000 Avios for signing up for the Premium Plus card during the flight booking process.

The problem is that the current public offer is 25,000 Avios as you can see here.

If you value an Avios at 1p, you are getting a sign-up package worth £110 via the ba.com offer compared with £250 via the usual offer.  The only difference is that you do not have to spend £3,000 to receive the bonus if you take the ba.com deal – but if you can’t spend £3,000 in three months then you shouldn’t be getting this card, as it means you are unlikely to trigger the 2-4-1 voucher.

Whilst BA is free to offer whatever deal it likes through whatever channel it likes, what does it say about an airline that is basically trying to fleece people who have just spent money with them?  And what will the customer think when he finds out?

IAG bid to buy NIKI collapses

IAG’s plan to buy Austrian airline NIKI falls through

What everyone assumed was a ‘done deal’ – for BA’s parent IAG to acquire the Austrian low cost carrier NIKI from the wreckage of Air Berlin – has fallen through.

The original deal collapsed after the German courts allowed the insolvency process to be moved to Austria.  This gave other bidders a period to revise their offers, and Niki Lauda – ex racing driver and the original founder of NIKI – was successful in the second process.

You can read a full report on Reuters here.

Carlisle Lake District Airport reopens

Carlisle Lake District Airport to reopen

Stobart Group, owners of Southend Airport, announced yesterday that they are reopening Carlisle Lake District Airport to commercial flights for the first time since 1993.

Flights will begin on 3rd June.

Exact routes are not yet known but the airport talks of connecting “major tourism and business hubs including London, Dublin and Belfast”.  It doesn’t say which London airport but logically it would be Southend given that Stobart Group also owns that.

Stobart Air currently operates some flights under a Flybe franchise deal so it is possible that this may be used here, meaning that the flights will be bookable with, and will earn, Avios.  Stobart also operates some flights for Aer Lingus so it is possible that brand may be used for Dublin.

The airport is located six miles east of Carlisle and 20 miles north east of the National Park.  It is currently used by a number of general aviation flying schools and an aircraft maintenance facility.

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Comments

  1. Alexander says:

    OT – anyone know why the referral bonus from basic BA to BAPP has gone down from 9k to 4k?

    • The rules have changed so that the bonus now depends on the card referred from rather than the card referred to.
      e.g. if I refer from Platinum to BA blue I get 18,000 at present but I wonder how sustainable this is.

  2. O/T: Re: BAPP — Took out BA free card Nov 2016, hit 10k April 2017 after which I upgraded to BAPP and 241 voucher triggered (but no 6k bonus some people have reported). Account shows that I need to spend 10k by Nov 2018 to get another voucher – so it looks like card membership anniversary is being counted as Nov (ie free card anniversary) rather than BAPP anniversary (April) — is this correct?

  3. “Carlisle Lake District” does not feel right to me at all, since it’s not really that close to the Lakes, but if it means I get better connections then I’m all for it. Booking Carlisle to Dublin and then being able to use my Avios on Aer Lingus sounds great.

    • Really? 20 Miles is pretty close in my book and by far the closest airport to the Lake District

    • Great that CAX is re-opening to commercial traffic. It’s a long time since Air Ecosse operated SD360’s LHR-CAX-DND with Home Secretary/local MP Willie Whitelaw a regular passenger!

  4. OT: very basic question – when applying for a new amex do I include a supp card when asked if I have another Amex. I’ve only just got a supp card for the first time!

  5. Completely OT and more following from yesterday’s article, how likely is it that Amex will release their new Hilton card to UK consumers?

    • Nil, until Barclays gives up or loses the licence.

      And even if it does, as it would be ‘interchange fee capped’ I doubt Amex could make the maths work. Apparently the final appeal on this is due within 3 weeks.

  6. O/T on cards
    For the platinum upgrade from Gold, does anyone know if this involves a further credit check?
    Given the rumour mill I’m looking at bringing forward an upgrade for some planned referrals, but are in the middle of getting a mortgage so want to avoid any hits on the credit record.

    • Don’t take this as gospel, but

      I recently (last couple of months) did the Gold to Platinum upgrade, and there is no note on my credit report of any additional search/check.

      • Andrew S says:

        Was a hard search for me, but my credit file shows it as one continuing card rather than closing and opening a new card.

  7. Dominic says:

    OT

    My curve card arrived yesterday and just getting going with it.

    You can withdraw £200 cash a month and not be charged but do any of the business customers who have had this a while know if that’s £200 a month per card or £200 total amongst your credit cards? FAQs not that clear. Thanks.

  8. OT as bits – I was thinking of using my Hilton voucher for the DoubleTree Madrid – Prado. Has anyone been there and would you recommend Madrid in general?

    I am also gold but i notice there is limited scope for upgrade – just wondering if the rooms are decent enough anyway that this is not an issue.

    • Nothing can add on the hotel. Don’t rely on my view alone but personally I found Madrid a bit sterile. It will probably appeal to you more if you like palaces and museums/galleries, but personally I’m more drawn to unique sights and a dramatic setting so I would rate it behind Barcelona, Lisbon, Rome, Stockholm for example. My favourite thing in Madrid was probably wandering the backstreets as a shortcut back to our hotel.

      • Tempted to agree. Something about it doesn’t grip me.

        • That confirms the general impression I was getting from looking at tripadvisor… might need to rethink…

        • but Rob – you’re a Dubai type of guy. Thats says it all.

      • There’s nothing sterile about Chueca 🙂 I *love* Madrid – far more than Barcelona for example. We’re giving Seville a go in a few weeks – booked when CE fares were cheaper than Euro Traveller with a bag.

    • If you go, remember that BOTH BA and Iberia run long-haul planes with flat beds on some Madrid flights. A great excuse to book yourself into Business Class.

      Remember too that Iberia Plus has better reward availability on Iberia than ba.com.

      • thanks Rob – that was one of the reasons I was considering Madrid in the first place as you’d mentioned it in an article a while back

        • Only been once but I found it very pleasant. I love Valencia and Barcelona too. It’s not difficult to do all three in one trip if you have the time, and I’d highly recommend it for the contrasts.

    • This just shows what a subjective subject travel is. I REALLY like Madrid and probably prefer it to Barcelona. There are great palaces and museums etc. but it’s also really vibrant in my opinion. Great restaurants, excellent night-life – also really easy to get around. I think Madrilenos are much friendlier than their compatriots (for now) in Barcelona. I always think Barcelona is just overwhelmed with tourists – you don’t get that sense in Madrid. But it’s entirely subjective – I don’t think Madrid though is a great city for points redemptions although there is an Indigo and an IC. I think the Indigo is better located. I last stayed at the Urso Hotel which is SLH and got free breakfast due to the status I got in their loyalty program after finding out about it on here. One of the many times I’ve had cause to thank HfP.

      • I too really like Madrid. Not a sights place as such but good food and drinks. When the weather is nice, sitting outside having a cafe con leche in the morning and a cerveza or two in the afternoon and evening is excellent.

        • I see we are of the same mind Genghis :-).

        • have to admit that does sound pretty good!

        • i tend to judge my holidays (and locations) not by the attractions but by how good the atmosphere and food was. In Madrid Mercado De San Miguel, or the top floor food court at El Corte Ingles (!), in Bangkok the madness of the food court in Siam Paragon. I dont get much of a sun tan on holiday.

      • RussellH says:

        We are going to Madrid in March. Again, having read HFP we have booked a BA Hols package rather than using points. My partner paid the deposit on her BA Amex and got 1500 extra Avios, there are another 700 due as a bonus for me, and I shall get nearly 1100 SPG for paying the balance with that card. And we shall get enough tier points to push me into Bronze just before my year ends.

        We have been once before – our best memory is sitting in the park feeding the ridiculously friendly squirrels.

      • We loved Madrid. Enjoyed exploring the city, chilling in the park, the food amd drinks. The Segway tour was great fun too!

        Personally I prefer it to Barcelona.

        We’re going to Valencia in early March. Really looking forward to it!

    • Pangolin says:

      Even though I can see why others might not put Madrid top of their list, why not just go and decide for yourself?

      There are plenty of times in the year when it is an awful lot nicer to be strolling around in Madrid than it is to be stuck in the UK, and early spring or late autumn is definitely one of those times.

    • Been to Madrid 4 times, Barcelona 3 times. Barcelona has some stunning architecture but is overrun by tourists and not always the best of food.

      In Madrid every trip has been really enjoyable, hotels are better value and the food options are great. There are a few must visit tapas venues to try, on last trip i found Platea for first time, another great venue added to list. Also at Madrid airport the lounges are pretty good, quite quiet, the paid for lounge is surprisingly good.

      • by best of food i mean there are a load of tourist traps. BCN is famed for its modern cuisine.

  9. Andrew S says:

    The one with the annual fee of £25/year (not the Everyday version) is tiered currently until the end of Jan:

    £30 for first
    £35 each for second and third
    £40 each for 4th – 6th referral
    £220 max total
    Prior to this promotion it was £25 each (max £125)

    • Andrew S says:

      Just double checked and prior to the promotion Amex raised the referral bonus from £25 to £30 each (max £150)

      • Thanks Andrew. Just been looking at referrals from platinum too and discovered that we cannot refer the new AECC.

  10. A couple of question on AMEX Cards

    1. Can you refer yourself
    2. Do you still get the referral bonus even the 6 months haven’t elapsed since last cancellation.

    Thanks

    • Pangolin says:

      1. No
      2. No

    • 1. Some say that they have and have received the bonus, but if you do not you will still get the card so cannot apply again.
      2. No

      • So just to be clear, if I refer my other half for Amex Platinum, he won’t get any points as he cancelled his 4 months ago and I understand that part but I won’t get any points for referring him either via my SPG Amex?

  11. OT – Booked a Ex AMS to Vegas on BA via LHR due to a £280 saving compared to flying directly from LHR. This is 1. a Multiple codeshare flight (AA, IB) and it also has overnight/Change of airport layovers in london (Which suits me, living in london!)

    2 questions.

    1. Are the change of airport layovers as straight forward as Id expect. You get off one plane in LTN.. reclaim your baggage and then turn up the next day at LHR and recheck in your baggage and off you go. (and vice versa on the way home…except you dont fly to AMS as you already have your baggage!)

    2. The booking (which I had to do on AmericanAirlines website seems to have given me duplicate bookings on my BA account.. two seperate booking references too, but for the same london to vegas flight. Does this make sense if its got both AA and IB codes? Flyertalk discussions I checked seemed to think so. Anyone have experience of this?

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