BA Sale

Bits: BA brings in long-haul Qatar Airways planes for 787 cover, new BA Aberdeen lounge opening

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BA news in brief:

British Airways applies to wet lease three Qatar Airways A330 aircraft

As cover for its troublesome Boeing 787-9 fleet, British Airways has applied to the CAA for permission to wet lease three Qatar Airways long-haul aircraft for the period of 1st June to 30th September.  (A ‘wet lease’ is where the aircraft comes with crew.)

There is no guarantee that the request will be granted.  My understanding is that BA has to show that there are no comparable aircraft available for wet lease within the EU.  Clearly BA pilots and cabin crew would only want the airline to use significantly lower-paid Qatar-based crew in exceptional circumstances.

The three aircraft involved are Airbus A330.

It is not clear what BA is getting.  Here is the ‘Our Fleet’ page of the Qatar Airways website but if you believe that then you will see that no A330 aircraft have fully flat Business Class seats.  That is not true.  In reality, most (all?) now have a fully flat seat in a 2 x 2 x 2 forward facing formation.

What IS certain is that there is no Premium Economy on these aircraft so anyone who has booked World Traveller Plus will have to accept a downgrade, a refund or a different flight.  As these aircraft will be used on flights departing in as little as three weeks, customers will struggle to find a replacement at a sensible price.

It is not clear at present which routes will use these aircraft.  As the Business Class cabin is small (5 rows) I doubt it will be a straight swap for routes currently flying the Boeing 787-9.  One option could be that the new aircraft go to Gatwick and are used on leisure routes, freeing up aircraft for use at Heathrow.

There is a little more information on FlightGlobal here.

British Airways leases Qatar Airways A330

The new British Airways lounge in Aberdeen opens soon

Reports on Flyertalk suggest that the new British Airways lounge in Aberdeen will open at some point next week.

Aberdeen has been without a dedicated BA lounge since the old facility closed in August.

This is good news for British Airways Silver card holders who were not allowed to use the third-party Northern Lights lounge.

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  1. Andrew says:

    OT BITS.

    I’m looking at an Expedia package for an IHG trip. The hotel is one with a “resort fee”. I know I won’t earn IHG points on the room through Expedia, but should I earn points on the resort fee?

    • HAM76 says:

      If the rate doesn‘t qualify, you don‘t get any points on extra spend either.

  2. I think it will be unlikely to see the Qatar 330’s flying for BA, BA apply for CAA permission at the stage where they invite Qatar to make an offer.

    Just like the recent short haul wet leases, they applied to the CAA for Qatar, then never used them, likely due to price. Qatar don’t seem to be as desperate so not offering such cheap prices.

    Still possible though!

    • Lumma says:

      I thought they were used for short haul?

      • They were used to cover the strikes, not the recent extra LGW slots, despite putting in a CAA application.

  3. Stewart says:

    OT – trying to add a Radisson/Carlson account to my MR account to transfer some points across, and getting a ‘can’t add account at this time, try later or call’ message. Anyone had success adding a Radisson account recently? ie is it actually a temporary fault, or am I going to have to call anyway?


    • I had this problem a year ago and had to call them. They sorted it OK – something to do with the membership no. not tallying with their records IIRC.

  4. thehornets says:

    O/T: 500 free Marriott Rewards points for a tweet.

    Is back and folloes exactly the same process as used for the recent NFL promo:

    1) if you have not done so, connect your Marriott account to your social media accounts (and get some free points)

    2) Tweet a photo of an autograph hotel including the following:
    #MembersGetIt #ExactlyLikeNothingElse @autographhotels @MarriottRewards

    This should work one time and you should get an automated response quite quickly confirming your 500 points. You may also be able to retweet someone else’s for the same result.


    • Jonny says:

      thanks for the tip

    • Steven says:

      I looked on google for this as it wasn’t showing as an option on my Marriott Rewards page, it linked to Chripify who would connect Marriott to my social media. I read the terms which said:
      “This application will be able to:
      Read Tweets from your timeline.
      See who you follow, and follow new people.
      Update your profile.
      Post Tweets for you.
      Access your direct messages.
      See your email address.”

      I prefer my privacy… Is there another way to get the points?

      • Pangolin says:

        For this kind of thing I created a Twitter account that I don’t use for anything else apart from promos, etc.

    • Thanks very much – worked for me right away!

  5. Arnold says:


    IHG have changed the style of the Ambassador voucher, IIRC last year’s didn’t include my name. Is this a ploy to block the resale market?

  6. OT: I’m thinking of getting the Premium BA Amex to get the 2-4-1 voucher. I would probably use the card to buy 100k Avios which would bring me to 1600GBP spend. Does that count as BA spend (ie 3x avios) ? The idea is to fly west coast return in F — I already have enough for 1 way, but thinking it’s actually a good value deal with the sign-up bonus and the voucher.

    Also, any idea if there will be another bonused Avios sale in the year? Might wait for that…

  7. Crafty says:

    OT: Very odd one, and interesting in current privacy climate. I’ve just been on Radisson Rewards live chat. I wrote a follow up question in the box, but didn’t submit it immediately as I wanted to wait until the agent finished her previous answer. But the agent then responded to my follow up question – before I’d even asked it! This demonstrates that they have visibility of what you are typing into the box, as you are writing it – in advance of your having submitted it. So be careful what you say! Surveillance economy indeed…

  8. O/T

    Anyone flown Hainan airlines before? do they accumulate Tier points for BAEC?

  9. Ammar says:

    OT – I have £200 pounds of Heathrow Reward Vouchers ( i converted my points last year during a promo), not got a chance to pop down to Heathrow before they expire in June, so have recruited a family member who is travelling to use them instead – will they be ok in the shop to use all these vouchers without me being physically present? Any experience, looking to make this process as smooth as possible, so if any shops are easier to deal with eg Dixons Travel vs Tiffanys let me know…thanks

  10. Ammar says:

    Also as a reference point – I am sure many are aware but I booked a bonus points package to try hit one of my last IHG accelerate targets last month to hit the overall bonus but booked a Bonus points package rather than a YOUR RATE BONUS POINTS PACKAGE so missed out on 15k IHG points!
    Hope this helps others during the current accelerate……
    Never the less, i have complained to IHG but not hopeful for an outcome, what is more annoying is the CP Beijing i booked via the app (part of my accelerate) did not have any YOUR RATE BONUS PACKAGE, only bonus points package!

    • I had the same problem last year, exchanged a few emails with IHG and 4 months later all points (both target and achievement) reached my account. I caught them on wording – in my case target headline was saying YOUR RATE BONUS PACKAGE, but when you clicked on target detail, there was no mention of your rate bonus package at all, just saying bonus package rate…good luck

  11. OT, and this might just be my own incompetence, but i can’t seem to search the BA website for flights between Hong Kong and Tokyo. The idea would be to redeem Avios against a Cathay or JAL flight, which i understood was possible via BA, but the website has just come back with error messages for over a week. Is this something that needs to be done over the phone?

    • Stu N says:

      You need to make sure you’re looking for award flights using the “standard Avios search” option. The reward flight finder tool only shows BA metal.

      Also I found I occasionally got more results looking at HKG-NRT and HKG-HND airport codes separately, compared to HKG-TYO as a generic city code.

      CX J is fabulous – worth trying to make sure you get a long haul aircraft with flat beds rather than a regional one with angle-flats. Apparently if the flight has F and PE its long haul, it not regional.

      CX F is easily the best flight I have taken in every respect – if you have the Avios and can find availability I would totally recommend it.

      • Excellent, thanks.

        • JamesB says:

          I do not know your big picture but if you are looking at multi-city around Asia to include TYO you should consider X-TYO-Y in JAL business using Alaska MP if you have a means of getting the miles.

    • As Stu says, if you can get CX F availability go for it, did HKG to LHR in F and still the best flight i have ever done. The level of service was embarrassingly good, 2 crew for 6 passengers, and the CSM as cover if needed! They apologised for the ice cream being frozen too hard, and made up a basket of snacks whilst the ice cream softened – imagine that on BA. They also apologised for not topping up my champagne glass for the caviar, and did i want another serving of caviar. I actually emailed CX to say what a great flight i had, they responded by pretty much saying ‘yeah, its supposed to be good, its first class’.

      CX in J is also very good, good service and a really good seat.

      • Stu N says:

        I really want to do proper CX F long haul after HND-HKG. I’d defer our annual 2-4-1 by 6-12 months to make it happen.

        The “regional” version was a slimmed down version of long haul. For this our cabin director apologised but that was wholly unnecessary. This limited service meant no caviar, sleep suit or amenity kit but one coped.

        They still fitted in a welcome drink (super vintage champagne), full Kaiseki (Japanese tasting menu with matched drinks) and some fine digestifs. An excellent use of 30k Avios and about £100.

        If you don’t have the Avios or it’s not available J is still very, very good but actually I would probably pay full price for Avios to redeem this.

    • Curious says:

      JAL are great too. Fab cabin crew

      • I second that JAL are great too!!
        I love CX F, but last month I flew long haul JAL F for the first time, and it was the best F experience I ever had.

        The quality of the food and drink, the presentation of the food, the service were just outstanding! + free WiFi

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