BA sale

Is British Airways running down Flight Pass?

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After making a fresh attempt to breath some life into Flight Pass last year, it looks like British Airways may be running it down.

Flight Pass is no longer available for sale for use beyond 31st December.  All 12 month passes have been withdrawn – we need to see if 9 month passes are withdrawn on 1st April.  OptionTown, which runs the scheme for BA, is not responding to queries.

If you don’t know about Flight Pass, via this OptionTown linkyou can buy route passes for economy travel on flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and City.

There are a huge number of pricing permutations based on how many people would share your pass, how many tickets you want, what expiry date you are willing to accept and how close to the date of travel you want to book.  You can buy a pass for one route or for an entire country.

For example, you can buy 12 one-way flights from Heathrow to Newcastle for £605so £50 each.  This includes taxes.  You must use them within 3 months AND must book 90 days in advance.  At the other extreme, 12 one-way tickets bookable up to 4 hours in advance will cost you £131 per seat.

Given the huge number of pricing options, it is impossible to say if this offers decent savings or not but I know many frequent air commuters use it.  Note that you can only book return flights with Flight Pass which means that it is less flexible than you may think – you may be able to book your outbound with just four hours notice but you need to lock in the return at the same time (changeable for a fee).

You have last seat availability.   If there are still seats for sale, irrespective of the price, you can book them – as long as you are inside the booking window of your Flight Pass.  There are no blackout dates or minimum stays.

All of this is irrelevant, of course, if the product is now on its last legs.

EDIT: Comments below suggest that OptionTown has run the product down before, and then kicked it back to life, so it may not be the end …..

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Comments

  1. AriseSirGenghis says:

    OT: If I book 4 Hilton nights (advanced non refundable purchase rate) using the Amex £50 off £250 spend, would it work? Thanks in advance.

    • It isn’t meant to work, but provided that the hotels charge your card before the offer expiry (you can call them to ask if they don’t), it has worked in the past.

  2. Arielle Albon says:

    It’s a real shame about the Flight Pass, it is a really useful product for maintaining a consistent cost. I hope that IAG/BA consider implementing something similar with BAEC or Avios.

  3. Genghis says:

    OT. Any recommendations for a solid 4-5* hotel in Seoul for 2 nights? I’ve not yet done my planning but we don’t want to be too far from good restaurants (and if you have any tips for Korean restaurants (inc BBQ), please let me know). I have the usual Hilton, IHG (and will have another AMB cert), SPG/Marriott and MR currencies. Thanks in advance.

    • Relaxo says:

      Conrad Seoul is great if you dont mind being in the business district. Easy 1 hr bus ride from airport; great riverside views; didnt get charged for 10am checkin (useful for redeye flights); massive gym; grand breakfast. Not much around in terms of sighseeing but easy enough to get a taxi /subway into more central areas. There is an area about 20 mins walk away with loads of restaurants.

    • We’ve booked Plaza Seoul, easy to get to, close to restaurants and as Marriott gold we get lounge access and breakfast.

    • My wife suggests Samwon Garden and Siksinhot for BBQ, it’s a little pricey, but in reality most restaurants will do you good food. Often restaurants specialise in one type of Korean food. Be prepared for the staff to be concerned that it’s too spicy for you, there is an assumption that westerners can’t handle spicy food.

      My favourite food in Korea is probably korean fried chicken and beer ordered to the park by the Han River though!

      Conrad Seoul is quite nice from what I saw, only been for a drink however.

      • For traditional approach you can stay at a Hanok Hotel, perhaps one is available on hotels.com

      • Michael Jennings says:

        It’s a city containing a great deal of good food. Choosing randomly is mostly fine.

    • johnny_c-l says:

      I’ve stayed at the IC Grand Parnas and really liked it. It’s a solid hotel, but location is a little further out than you may be wanting.

      • Jeremy says:

        Would also recommend the IC Grand Parnas if you need to be in Gangnam (for work), was there two weeks ago. I think it’s a bit far from the rest of the city otherwise.

    • Cate ⛱️ says:

      The Seoul Courtyard (Marriot) has been mentioned positively on HfP a few times.

    • Pangolin says:

      Courtyard Namdaemun has an excellent location and is right next to the street markets where food is served. They have an EL (Gold/Plat access) and the staff were great during my 5-night stay there last spring.

      The rates were a lot more reasonable than the true 5-star places but this is Asia and I felt the service levels were definitely 5-star in any case. Bear in mind that Seoul is an expensive city these days and you can put it in a similar bracket to Tokyo, HK and Singapore.

      • Genghis says:

        Thanks all. Taking everything into consideration I went for the Courtyard. Great value (£100 a night on hotels.com, used Tesco voucher as better than 25k Marriotts a night) with a cracking location and EL access. Fantastic.

        • Genghis says:

          Though maybe I shouldn’t have. Just cancelling a booking I had previously made at IC Parnas and it noted, “Thank you for booking direct with IHG®. You are on your way to earning 15389440 points for this stay.” Obviously tracking KRW, not USD. Chances of it paying out? 🙂

  4. Daniel says:

    OT. Are there any sign up bonuses for Heathrow Rewards scheme at the moment?

  5. I’m not sure that lack of availability for 2019 means this is about to be killed. I’m pretty sure that each year this has run, availability for the next calendar year doesn’t open up until quite late on. Optiontown are pretty poor at responding to queries so I wouldn’t take that as a signal either – Rob, have you heard other murmurings about this? I hope it’s not being killed off, I find it very useful for my regular trips.

    • I was just about to say the same. It happens every year for some reason so there’s no reason to panic just yet. Now there’s CE on domestics I really want to see a CE flight pass. What’s more annoying is they rarely update the destinations list (e.g. they still offer LCY-ABZ despite that route no longer being operated by BA).

      It’s worth noting that the 4 hours notice Flight Pass gets 20 tier points rather than 10 with the other fares. Both can be a good deal. You’re effectively getting 10 TP rather than 5 if you take the 90 day option for dirt cheap fares and if you go for the flexible option then you still save money while getting the top rate of economy TP.

      Neither are good value solely for the TP but if you needed to make the trips anyway these will likely save you money. Also you get On Business points on these, just remember to manually add your number to manage my booking.

  6. Hopefully aerlingus will operate out of Bournemouth, its in great need of some decent connections

  7. Louise Allen says:

    I looked at Flight Pass but if I remember correctly, you can’t book in Business and you can’t earn tier points (or avios?) on the flights. So I never signed up to it.

  8. Graham Walsh says:

    OT Anyone else having issues logging into Avios? Error on site said to ring them, guy told me best to use Internet Explorer. Well done, I’m on a Mac!!!

    • JamesB says:

      Are you on the UK site? I’ve had issues with it defaulting to the USA site but when I change location to UK it works fine.

    • Intentionally Blank says:

      Every single time. I have to spawn a private window and use that

      Paul

  9. This is as OT as OT will get… I’ve got £1.50 left on a prepaid mastercard – don’t know what to do to get it off! I can’t top up Amazon as Amazon take a pre-auth of £1, so when it tries to take off £1.50 it fails. Can’t top up 50p as minimum top up on Amazon is £1… Can’t load PayPal account from a card as far as I can see. Any other thoughts?

    • You should be able to use it on Paypal to send £1.50 to someone you know as a ‘Friends and Family’ payment. Paypal no longer charge a fee for using a credit card for this, since January.

      • Good idea, but…

        “This card is not accepted. Please use a different card.”

    • Alex W says:

      150 penny chews.

    • Andrew says:

      Make a £1.50 payment towards a utility/credit card bill?

    • palcsaky says:

      Amazon: buy a 50p gift voucher first and 7 days later when the £1 pre-authorisation drops off buy a £1 voucher

    • Aeronaut says:

      Use it as part payment at a bricks-and-mortar retailer.

  10. OT: Has anyone been successful getting Avios to credit from Viator, after booking via the avios.com partner link?

    They’re meant to credit within 14 days of using your voucher for the activity, it’s been 35 days for one of my bookings and over 14 for the others, and and nothing has shown up. I did chase using the email address listed on avios.com for missing miles but I’ve had absolutely nothing back – not even an automated holding email. I don’t want to give up on them – I’m due around 3000 avios from all the stuff I booked – but there doesn’t seem to be anywhere else to go to chase if there’s no response from the email address.

    • Kathy, I had an issue with a viator voucher not arriving last year. I contacted their customer service via email and they sorted it out really quickly. Have you checked the viator website in case the contact details are different? Also have you raised a case with avios.com?

    • RussellH says:

      FWIW, I used to know several people who worked at Viator; they all seemed supremely competent and had I ever wanted to buy a service from them I would have had no misgivings.

      However, I seem to recall readng that they have recently been bought by Expedia, so no doubt things have changed at he top…

      • I’ve never had a problem with aviator bookings before, I’m just wondering if there’s problems with the tracking software and there’s someone actually manning the [email protected] inbox. Because all four of my bookings haven’t credited the Avios, and you normally get at least a holding email to say they’ll try to get back to you within x days….

  11. OT – Amex Platinum veterans – we’ve hired a car for a trip to France and my OH is the names driver. He is a supplementary card holder on my Smex Platinum account. We didn’t use the Amex to pay for the car hire. Does the Platinum car insurance policy cover us?

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