Bits: Is British Airways getting rid of the Club Europe table?, last day for 30% Hyatt ‘buy points’ bonus

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News in brief:

Is British Airways getting rid of the Club Europe console?

On Wednesday we wrote about the plans by British Airways to cap Club Europe at seven rows due to the lack of galley space on its new and ‘to be refurbished’ short haul aircraft.

Our article was reposted at Flyertalk and confirmed by other crew members.  In a detailed reply, one crew member made a new revelation:  British Airways is to remove the Club Europe ‘middle seat’ tray tables.

If this crew member is accurate – and the comment was made as part of a detailed post which appears correct in all other details – then this is being done purely to save a very small amount of weight.

I admit that no other European airline has these.  However when I flew SWISS Business Class the other week I was disappointed to see that they didn’t.  I have grown used to being able to put my drink or tray on the console table.  I even remember thinking that BA isn’t always behind the curve on everything ….. a bit of a mistake there clearly.

Removing the console table will also make it very difficult to work on the drop down table and have a drink at the same time.

British Airways removing Club Europe console table

30% bonus when you buy Hyatt points

Until TONIGHT – 23rd February – Hyatt is offering a 30% bonus when you buy World of Hyatt points.  The minimum purchase for the bonus is 5,000 points.

This is obviously worth a look if you need to top up your account.  It may also be worthwhile if considering a stay in a top tier Park Hyatt such as the ones in Paris or Sydney, where buying the points may be cheaper than paying cash.

The new Park Hyatt resort in Mallorca is another location where buying points may make sense.   Prices for cash are still a little scary – rooms from Euro 495 in August, or Euro 550 if you want a cancellable one.  A redemption at 20,000 points per night ($360) would be a good deal.

The Hyatt ‘buy points’ site 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.)

Bits: BA GGL Heathrow Express First upgrades extended, Etihad scraps chauffeur cars on redemptions
When your Hilton Honors points expire, and how to stop it
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  1. And here’s another exclusive scoop for you (not on flyertalk yet as far as I’m aware). BA crew friend of mine just told me that BA/IAG have decided not to fit the new euro aircraft with the extra large overhead lockers it had originally intended in order to make a further cost saving. These being the ones that could store multiple wheelie bags on their thin side and wheels first. Back to normal “not quite big enough to achieve this” lockers and a $30,000 cost saving per aircraft.

    • Lady London says:

      If I can’t carry my normal wheelie plus laptop bag then that’s the end of British Airways for me, in any class.

    • Shouldn’t believe crew rumours, BA will have the newly offered large bins, as soon as airbus is able to fit them, and then the first neo’s delivered will be retrofitted. The XL bins were not an option when first ordered.

  2. I would miss the centre console table but, before they used to have these, I seem to remember using the tray table for the middle seat as extra space for both myself and the occupant of the other seat. At least I won’t be able to tuck something away under the centre console table and forget to take it off the aircraft!

    • The good thing about the middle seat table was you didn’t have to fold it up if the window passenger wanted to get up.

      Other airlines used to have the middle seat table, Lufthansa had them in the seats they got rid of (and gave to bmi) and I’m sure I’ve been on at least another airline with the table. BA seemed to be getting it when others were scrapping theirs.

      I hope BA think again.

      BA sometimes back track from their mistakes. Remember when Club Europe had the width convertible seats? The DEF side originally had the middle seat occupied and only B was left free as it was squashed (while all the other seats were wider). When they changed to middle seat blocking they originally decided they were no longer adjusting the seats to make them wider, but many complaints made them decide otherwise.

      • Lady London says:

        Swiss used to have some sort of arrangement when the middle seat appeared smaller with something on top of it. Haven’t seen that for a long while though.

      • Ron Lichtenstein says:

        I flew on Lufthansa yesterday (Feb 25, 2018), Airbus 321 from FRA to TLV. They still had the centre seat console in Biz.

  3. Completely OT, but this is “bits”.

    Looking for advice from experienced Heathrow T3 users.
    We (Myself, wife and 14 YO daughter) are going to New York for 6 days later in the year. We are booked on the 9AM flight out so an early start requiring an overnight stay. We will be driving up from the South West so will need somewhere to park. I’m wondering what is the best combination of hotel and car park for balance of convenience and cost? The car parks, in particular, are a bit of a nightmare as the reviews are all over the place.

    No points to redeem so it will be straight cash. I do have Accor points but they don’t seem to have rooms available that will accommodate 3 people.

    Not avers to a Travelodge for one night either if it is the best option.

    Thanks to anyone that can help

    • Could you book a room for 2 then request a roll away bed for your daughter? Prices tend to vary for these from about £20 – £50 (!!) so it may or may not be worth it.

      I’ve found Looking4Parking to have the best park and stay deals the last couple of times we’ve needed to do that.

      • Thanks Anna.

        Don’t think its worth bothering with the Accor hotel.

        Could you tell me which car parking you actually booked (I’m assuming Looking4Parking is just a broker?) and whether you were happy with it.

        Quite interested in Meet & Greet but you do read some horror stories (damaged cars, non-secure car parks etc). People at work have used Purple Parking quite successfully in the past but I notice they went into administration at the end of last year and they are now part Holiday Extras and I don’t know whether their service has suffered as a result.

        • Alan – JustPark has some decent deals for parking at hotels along the Bath Road. The Marriott offers parking on the site, for instance, and it’s no more expensive than Purple Parking or any similar companies. Very easy to reach, especially if you are staying nearby, which I assume you will.

        • Thanks for the advice Brian, I’ll take a look

    • Mark Priest says:

      Sheraton sjyline usually has some good stay and park deals.

      • Thanks Mark and Craig. I’ll take a look at those.

        Was hoping for something with very little “faff” factor as its an early flight out and an overnighter on the way back. Would like to just get off the plane, out the airport and go.

        I really don’t like hanging around for a bus after a long flight. Just want to get on with it! Still, whatever is affordable and good I guess.

    • Craig Strickland says:

      There is a Purple Parking next to the Premier Inn on Bath Road? They class up to 15 as a child and have family rooms.

    • ankomonkey says:

      Premier Inn Bath Road using Purple Parking next door. Park your car the night before you fly, walk to Premier Inn (it’s 1 minute away), sleep, walk back to Purple Parking in the morning and take their bus to the terminal. Since you’re parking with them then you’re eligible to use the transfer bus.

      • So there’s a path between Purple Parking and Premier Inn?
        I know that since Purple Parking went bust at the end of last year, and parts of it were bought by Holiday Extras, Premier Inn have ended their agreement with them. I don’t suppose they have closed the access path between the 2?
        Has anyone used the path since November?

    • Travelodge are Wyndham are they ?
      If so, 2 stays gets you 15k points, enough for a few night in any Wyndham hotel.
      Just as an aside.

  4. Apologies for another OT post…But… I’ve just triggered my companion voucher with the £10k spend on my BA PP card. I now want to downgrade to the free card to recoup 7 months of the fee and also retain a BA amex. What is the best tactic for this? Should I apply for the free card then cancel my BAPP? Or is there a simple downgrade facility that combines the 2 in one transaction? I’m guessing I can’t earn the current 5k avios sign up bonus with the free card?

  5. Has there ever been a chair design that expands economy into business? I’ve seen all sorts of weird and wonderful options, including double decker business class seats.

  6. OT – reg Avis Iberia/BA Black Friday offer. Just off the phone with Avis customer service, the IT issue should be resolved as of this week and points should start showing on the account by mid-March…
    Still missing 20k avios from these offers so will be monitoring closely 🙂

    • HappyHarry says:

      I have given up on Avis tbh.

      I went for a number of promotions and getting the promised Avios was an excruciating tooth-pulling nightmade 🙁

      So now I rent from Hertz instead and everything just works !!!

      • Tel me about it..you want to take a look at my long history of clicks and purchases not showing. Total shambles and excruciating to try and get any sense out of them….sadly, they come across as just not believing you which infuriates me.

      • Agree harry,

        I am still waiting for 10000 emirates skywards points miles for an Avis hire from weeks ago.

      • The thing is, these offers are unbeatable if you need the car… I’ve always got the points in the end even if it wasn’t always easy – although this black friday problem is the worst I’ve had.
        I don’t own a car and rent 30/40 times a year – so I always jump on these deals because I can normally get 3 days for 55£ so pretty much free car if not better. Combined with the 9000 bonus for the long week end offer in November, I will get 14k avios for 55£… so paid to rent even with conservative avios valuation.
        I’d certainly not bother if I didn’t need the car though.

        • Agree they are very profitable. They’re also an easy way to get star alliance points if you’re saving for a redemption or want to keep your pot alive.

  7. Scottydoggiom says:

    The Club Europe product is not that different from normal seats further back . Perhaps if they took out the 3 seats and exchanged them for 2 big seats like the ones from Premium economy from a long haul flight , then perhaps people would want to pay extra for that .

    i realise that this is adding weight and is against what they are wanting to do , but it shouldn’t all be about cost cutting !

  8. OT – apologies, but I can’t seem to find a definitive answer and am sure one of you knows the answer: does one have to pay the resort fee in NYC for reward bookings? Thanks.

  9. Well to be fair we all knew that the difference between economy and biz seating was the blocked out seat in the middle and the little curtain. And to be really fair we all knew they were tongue in cheek biz class seats. I wonder how long it will be before BA stars selling these middle seats as premium economy 🙂

  10. Hi, another question on referral bonus. Can I refer the same person to different AMEX cards (BA Amex and Nectar AMEX) and get the referral bonus for both?

  11. Shouldn’t that be 315 Avios to take into account the 5% bonus?

  12. Getting 4 easter eggs for £3 at Tesco?

  13. rams1981 says:

    OT had email from virgin saying 30% bonus for boost purchases.

    Terms did say for those who were emailed so beware.

  14. OT – Change of aircraft on Qatar Business flights booked in their November sale. Change from 777-300 to A340-600 on DOH-BKK and back. How does 777 compare to a340? Any chance of them changing us to one of the 777 flights without charge? Thanks

    • I don’t think Qatar will change your flights without charge just for a change of aircraft type. I think they’ll only do it if they change times by over two hours or if it results in a missed connection.

      Not an expert on their different aircraft but it looks like both types are 2-2-2. I’m assuming some of the 777s are being taken out to have the Q-Suites put in.

      • It is 2x2x2, not fully flat. Not ideal but you don’t have any grounds to switch. They only have a couple of these planes and they are dumped on low yield Asian routes, usually Colombo,Jakarta etc.

        • Looks like we’re stuck. They won’t change it for free, 600 EUR per passenger to change. Bit of a joke, if this was the schedule when I booked I would have avoided it or not booked at all.

        • @RC, I got one of these from LHR the last time I flew QR. I could not remember if it was angled or full flat but I guess the former given comment from Rob. My flight was fine, nothing I can remember being unhappy about. If your BKK sector is daytime it may even work in your favour, IME angle seats are usually more comfortable in upright or semi-reclined position than full flat seats. Besides, if your flight is some way off they may yet switch it again.

        • Evening sectors on the a340 both ways so would prefer fully flat. If it was scheduled as a340 at the time of booking I would have avoided it after checking the fleet info on their website which says 165-degree recline and chosen one of the 3 other options with marginally longer layovers at the same price. They’re operating 3 or 4 flights a day into BKK around the time we’re going so hoping they’ll be flexible in this case.

        • QR now fly to 5 cities in Thailand so might be worth checking if you can reduce the €600 from one of the others. I imagine Pattaya Utapao might be your best bet and it is only about 3h drive from Bangkok. However the a346 is a big bird and could pop up anyplace so I would not throw much money at changing it. If they can swap it out for a twin engine I imagine they will.

        • They stitched me up with a switch like this once.
          I decided to pay to change flight for a better aircraft as they utterly refused any free change despite them changing what I had agreed to buy.
          I think they offered me a complete refund though but the flight was dirt cheap in the first place so not a good option given I did want to get from.A to B, but I did want to do it in a comfortable seat !

        • Think they ‘only’ wanted about £250 per person to change the flight. €600 I would have lived with the ‘downgrade’ but moaned like crazy…..which would fall on deaf ears at QR.

          Not all business class seats / cabins are created equal and QR should recognise this when switching planes and at least offer a free or hugely reduced fee to switch plus extra QMiles as compensation.
          But then when have QR customer services ever been there for the customer !!

  15. TGLoyalty says:

    Incase you haven’t seen it Double Avios on the stores this weekend

  16. Can’t they just change their name to Ryan Air and be done with it 😉

  17. Siegfried says:


    • Exactly. Reduce the middle seats and save a lot of weight! Have a 2-2 configuration like in the U.S.

  18. Roger Norwich says:

    BA ‘business’ is a joke. I use it a lot as what’s behind it is even worse it is a part of the race to the bottom and is a complete con really compared with what should be provided for the money ie 2 x 2 seating.
    Why oh why did BA hire a guy from a low cost outfit to run it? Doesn’t he realise that we don’t ALL want to travel like animals and be treated like dogs? There are plenty of other people who provide that. Everytime I fly I see more and more demoralised staff and worse and worse service. the only thing that keeps me flying with them is habit. Really its quite shocking.

    Why not ask the ceo himself on [email protected]?

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