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Bits: BA GGL Heathrow Express First upgrades extended, Etihad scraps chauffeur cars on redemptions

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News in brief:

Heathrow Express / BA Gold Guest List upgrade deal extended

We were with the Heathrow Express team at the Business Travel Show yesterday.  They confirmed that – whilst has not been updatedthe offer of free First Class upgrades on Heathrow Express for British Airways Gold Guest List members is continuing.

There is nothing to do to take advantage of this offer.  Simply buy a standard class Heathrow Express ticket and sit in one of the First Class carriages.  You need to show your Gold Guest List membership card to the guard.

Note that Heathrow Express staff have recently been retrained and will now only accept BAEC membership cards with the letters GGL in the corner.  For the last year or so they have been allowing anyone with a Gold card to sit in First Class ……

Full details of this deal are on here.   Ignore the expiry date shown online.

Etihad drops its chauffeur service on all reward bookings

Etihad has been unveiling a steady drip drip of cuts to its Business Class service over the last year or so, in what will clearly end up being a failed attempt to improve its financial position.

Some of these decisions have been bordering on the bizarre.  Etihad scrapped free pyjamas in Business Class, but then started letting Economy Class passengers pay for them.  But not Business Class passengers ….

Data caps have been tightened on in-flight internet.  The spa in the Heathrow lounge was closed, but only after free treatments had already been removed for most passengers.  Paid-for lounge access was introduced at its First Class and Business Class facilities.  Baggage limits were recently tweaked – not entirely for the worst, admittedly, but primarily so.

The chauffeur service has been cut four times.  Back in 2016 they removed chauffeur cars on reward tickets booked using miles from partner airlines such as American.  Cars were removed from the cheapest cash Business Saver tickets.  Last year, more importantly, they scrapped the chauffeur service outside the UAE for all passengers.

In the latest development, from 1st April First and Business Class reward tickets will no longer qualify for free chauffeur car trips in the UAE.  Cash tickets, except Business Saver, will continue to count.  This new rule applies irrespective of when you booked your ticket.

Full details are on this page of the Etihad website.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles via UK credit cards

As a reminder, Etihad no longer has its own UK credit card.  However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.  These are:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – 10,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

The Platinum Card from American Express – 30,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

American Express Rewards credit card – up to 5,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile.

Etihad Guest is also a partner with the HSBC Premier Mastercard (0.5 miles per £1 spent, reviewed here) and HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (1 mile per £1 spent, reviewed 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.)

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  1. OT (as in bits): Club Eurostar – I’m guessing it’s more like an airline scheme, each traveller needs to have their own account or would it be possible to enter my number for all passengers to pool the points earned?

  2. O/T – does anyone know how long it takes for the 20,000 MR points to credit after spending the £1000 when upgrading from gold to platinum? The T&C’s state upto 60 days. Anyone had any experience of this?

    Also just a thought – maybe it would be a good idea for this website to have a forum so people (like myself) don’t keep asking the same questions.

    Thanks very much

    • johnny_c-l says:

      They post within a few days of the transaction which takes you over the threshold, along with the normal base point.s

    • I noticed mine yesterday after spending over the weekend

    • Spend today has just taken me well over the £1k mark for my gold to plat upgrade bonus points. 2 weeks after upgrading I’ve still not had a welcome pack or my new card. Been using my gold.

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