Bits: the future of Marriott Rewards and SPG revealed tonight, €11 BA fares, 787 engine issues get worse

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News in brief:

The future of Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest is revealed tonight

At 4.30pm EST (9.30pm in the UK) on Monday, Marriott will be hosting an event to reveal the replacement loyalty scheme for Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest.

It seems that the new scheme will be introduced from August, presumably with some sort of transition period.  Everything needs to be in place for 1st January so that members know what they need to do to earn or retain their status.

There are plenty of rumours swirling around, almost all of which are unsubstantiated so I won’t bother you with them!

We WILL get clarity on the new elite tiers and what will be required to achieve them

We SHOULD get clarity on whether key aspects of the old programmes, such as Marriott Travel Packages, will be retained

We are UNLIKELY to get any clarity on whether, in the UK, American Express will remain a partner – the future of the Starwood American Express credit card, the free Starwood Gold card for Amex Platinum members and the fate of Membership Rewards points transfers to SPG and therefore Marriott Rewards will remain unknown at this stage

More on Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on how much clarity is available before I go to bed tonight!

Marriott Starwood new programme launched

British Airways now offering €11 one-way fares!

I don’t know if this is a PR stunt or not – although they have picked an odd route if it is – but British Airways is during the Summer, mainly in August, offering €11 one-way fares from Luxembourg to Heathrow.

You can’t get there for €11 –  the cheapest one way outbound fare is £54 and the €11 return disappears if you don’t book your trip as 2 x one-ways – but it is an interesting example of aggressive BA pricing.

Luxembourg, by the way, is very pleasant for a one-night stay.

British Airways Luxembourg

The problems deepen for Rolls-Royce Boeing 787 engines

We have written previously about the serious issues with the Rolls-Royce engines fitted to the Boeing 787.

This has caused severe issues for many airlines including Virgin Atlantic and British Airways.  Virgin has been worse hit and has ended up leasing some ex-airberlin A330 aircraft which will operate out of Manchester.

The situation is getting worse.  New regulations to be issued jointly by the EU and US this week are expected to say:

aircraft flying one variant of this engine must always be within 140 minutes of a suitable emergency runway – which is not always the case when, for example, crossing the Atlantic towards South America

the engines must undergo a full inspection – which means taking the aircraft out of service – after every 80 flights, compared to after every 200 flights at present

Bloomberg has more information here.

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  1. CountryKerry says:

    OT: Sunday times travel magazine has come out – after I explicitly told them two weeks ago I didn’t want it 🙁
    The direct debit appears as ‘Debit Finance’. Worth a look in case you’ve got it. It took about 50 minutes to get through to them so I assume a few people are in the same boat!

    • I had a letter last week telling me they had set up a new direct debit. I immediately cancelled said direct debit and called them saying they had no right to set up a new direct debit 8 mths after I cancelled the last one. He said ‘but you are still receiving the magazines’. My reply was that was an error on STTM’s part and not mine. He confirmed it would now be cancelled. Here’s hoping anyway.

    • I do wish they would stop sending me the TLS. I feel so guilty when I don’t read it.

  2. Hi all, O/T, but I’ve tried and failed to find the information elsewhere!

    I’m looking at redeeming some Avios to fly Cathay Pacific to the Philippines, using the BA website – I’d be in first to Hong Kong, but then business afterwards, as it’s a 3 class plane. Will I be able to visit the first class lounges in Hong Kong airport while I wait for my onward flight in business? This affects how long I want to have between flights!

    Also, if I need to make a change to my booking, can I still do that within 24 hours with no fee? Would it be the usual £35 (per leg?) after 24 hours?

    Advice greatly appreciated!

    • If you arrive on a OneWorld F flight and have another OneWorld flight same day then you can use Cathay F lounges before your connection.

      If you overnight in HK then fly on to Philippines next day then you’ll be CX Business lounges.

      If you are BA Gold or OneWorld emerald you can use the F lounges anyway.

      Don’t know about cancellation within 24 hours for redemptions but you will be charged the lower of £35 and actual taxes. Taxes for CX J single fares seem to be about £28 at the moment so that’s your cancellation cost.

      • (I should probably have made clear that £28 taxes assumes a separate ticket onward from HKG; re-reading the query suggests maybe it is a through ticket from London-HKG-Philippines).

        • Brilliant, thanks Stu, and I guessed that! I will probably be getting a through ticket, as long is one is available. I don’t mind paying the insane Heathrow departure taxes this time, I’ll get to try out all the terminal 3 lounges!

          I might give BA Galleries a miss though!

        • Cathay F is amazing, we flew that from Tokyo Haneda to Hong Kong a few weeks ago. This was a long haul aircraft with an allegedly “reduced” regional service as only 4 hour flight but was still truly excellent – miles ahead of BA First in every way. Im sure the proper long haul would be absolutely superb and there’s every chance it would ruin you for ever more.

          The CX lounges at HKG are great too but they are still just airport lounges – I wouldn’t aim to spend more than 3-4 hours there I don’t think.

    • ankomonkey says:

      I’ve been told on this site’s comments that Avios redemptions on partner airlines cannot be cancelled within 24 hours.

      • Iberia Plus redemptions on anyone except BA and Iberia cannot be cancelled.

        No problem cancelling redemptions made via or as long as you pay the £35 fee.

        • Do I need to pay the £35 if it’s less than 24 hours after making the booking?

          Thanks everyone!

  3. Roger I* says:

    OT: The US Travel Association’s annual sale of various travel deals is on, a day at a time – hotel and car rental points, theme park days etc.

    I was interested in today’s offer of multiples of Hilton points at 0.5 US cents. I had bought items in previous years. At first only AmEx payments were allowed. There was a workaround mentioned here to allow ‘aliens’ to buy. Now MC and Visa payments are allowed.

    However, address checking has been tightened up. Only US and Canadian states/provinces appear in the dropdown box, and there is a critical change: ZIP/post codes must match the cardholder’s address. I tried UK MC, Visa and AmEx cards and all were rejected.

    There still three or so weeks to go. Does anybody know how to adjust details to benefit from the offers?

    • Roger I* says:

      BTW today’s Hilton offer is sold out. The IHG offer from 11 April is still available, though much less interesting IMO.

  4. I’m sure Rob will cover this in more detail

    Details on the Marriott/Starwood rewards programmes

  5. How on earth have RR got into this position? At worst it could bankrupt them but Certainly is going to cripple new engine sales.

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