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British Airways announces the routes to be flown by Qatar Airways aircraft

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As we mentioned a few weeks ago, British Airways is leasing A330 aircraft from Qatar Airways in order to cover for its Boeing 787-9 fleet which requires substantial engine repairs.

We now know which routes are being flown by Qatar Airways.  This a wet lease, with Qatar Airways providing both the crew and the aircraft:

BA 157/156 – Heathrow to Kuwait (and return) – 9th June to 1st July

BA 79/80 – Heathrow to Muscat (and return) – 9th June to 21st August

BA 143/142 – Heathrow to Delhi (and return) – 9th June to 21st August

Operationally, this is a bit of a mess as these are two class aircraft:

First Class passengers will be downgraded to Business Class

Some Business Class passengers will be downgraded to Economy

World Traveller Plus passengers will be downgraded to Economy

If you are travelling on any of these services, you have the right to a refund or a rebooking on another BA flight.  This even applies if you are still travelling in the same cabin as your flight now has a different operator.

Seat selection on these flights appears to be free looking at the document sent around yesterday.  If you have paid for seating, you may be allowed a refund.   You are also unable to pre-order meals, or pay for the superior meals if you are in Economy. No Kosher food will be provided – you will get a fruit plate instead.  All meals will be halal.

Compensation payments are substantial:

First Class passengers who are downgraded will also receive, on top of the difference in fare or Avios, a £700 BA voucher or 140,000 Avios PER SECTOR.  That is a ludicrous 280,000 Avios return.

Club World passengers who are downgraded will also receive, on top of the difference in fare or Avios, a £400 BA voucher or 80,000 Avios PER SECTOR.

World Traveller Plus passengers who are downgraded will get NOTHING on top of the fare difference unless they have BA status.  Such passengers will receive 20,000 Avios PER SECTOR.

You will retain the lounge access you would have had before the downgrade, and will earn the Avios and tier points of the original ticket.

It is not clear how this compensation will work alongside any EC261 compensation.  You should be due 75% of the one-way cost of your ticket, including taxes.  However, looking at cases on Flyertalk it seems that BA likes to argue that, where a class of service is removed completely, this is a cancellation and not a downgrade.  You may therefore end up better off if you are downgraded from Business to Economy – since EU261 is clearly due here – than if you were swapped from First to Business or from World Traveller Plus to Economy.

Full details are on ba.com here.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

30,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (93)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • shd says:

    Well haven’t those BA F pax hit the jackpot with this?

    Given a choice between the lottery of BA F and the polish of QR J, I’d book the latter every single time.

    Then BA offer a boatload of Avios compensation for the BA F > QR J “downgrade” as well 🙂

    • Lee says:

      I booked J hopefully will still be J, not flat seats though

      • Phil L says:

        A330 fleet business class seats are flat.

        • Lee says:

          Qatar Airways web states they are 165 angle flat seat

          • Rob says:

            That page is nonsense. For some weird reason Qatar never changed it after the planes were refurbished.

        • Lee says:

          Thanks Rob for reassuring

          • Rob says:

            There are 2, apparently, which are not. Aer Lingus has one of them. Possibly one, max, of BA’s three may not be, although it would be very odd for BA to take it.

    • Rob says:

      Indeed. I would see it as an equal swap, even without Qsuite.

    • BA says:

      BA F on a 789 is not a lottery.

      • shd says:

        Given over half of my poor BA F experiences were *entirely* due to the crew – and I’ve swapped notes with at many friends & colleagues *each* of whom have had their own utterly ‘meh’ experiences in BA F – I can’t say any booking any particular aircraft type would reassure me.

        BA F can be great *if* you get a great crew. It would be really nice if that wasn’t such a lottery.

  • Ali says:

    Doesn’t say specifically, but I presume these are business class seats then?

  • Tom says:

    When you hat tip Inside Flyer could you include a link? Your readers might think this is a handle for a reader rather than the name of another brilliant travel blog..

    • TripRep says:

      Sure it was not intentional, but that did occur to me also.

    • Rob says:

      I keep getting told that it is closing but it seems to struggle on. I am waiting for BCD to ask me to buy it.

      One of the founders, who put his personal losses at $200,000, admitted to me recently that when you only pay people €15 to write an article, which they do, you get crap. I thought he was a little harsh to be honest.

      • JD says:

        1) Suggesting it’s a user handle instead of a website (no link).
        2) Putiing a space in the name of the blog (its “flyertalk” not “flyer talk”)
        3) Spreading rumours that it’s about to fold
        4) Opining that describing the content as “crap” is only a “little harsh”

        That’s quite a hattip there.

        • Rob says:

          I am just repeating what the founder told me last Autumn! We also discussed the closure / sale options at the time. It is not a secret.

          We’re talking about a site where the entire staff of Dutch contributors resigned en masse for reasons I should not repeat for legal reasons and where the UK founding editor and shareholder was, well, for legal reasons let’s just say that he is no longer a shareholder or working there.

          I do not comment on other people’s sites. We are all friends in this business, we respect each others particular areas of expertise (there is always someone smarter than you in most niches), we all see each other on a regular basis at events, we catch up in person when people are in London or I am away, we help each other out with intros or advice. I am over in Washington for a blogger catch-up in a fortnight as it happens.

          I will correct the typo and link though.

        • Tom says:

          Blimey – I didn’t quite expect to touch a raw nerve! 🙂

          Only point being there are plenty of hyperlinks throughout the content and seems good courtesy to offer it if someone is providing good content.. thanks for fixing.

  • Alan says:

    I thought Qatar Airways flights were banned from most of the Middle East? Or is that just for flights starting or ending in Qatar?

    • Rantallion says:

      They’re not banned from Oman as Oman did not join the blockade against Qatar.

  • Pid says:

    OT – I know it has been mentioned before but how do you refer someone from an Amex Plat to BAPP. The referral link takes you to a page that only shows the MR point cards and if you click on show all cards at the bottom of the page it does not mention the referral bonus. Does it still work if you click through or is there another method?

  • Optimus Prime says:

    Wow, £700 or 140,000 Avios? This is proof of the upcoming devaluation, isn’t it? BA selling Avios at 0.5p…

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Avios isn’t a flexible currency, 140k Avios on a balance sheet vs £700 out of the door.

      BA will offer you equally rubbish rates if you try to exchange Avios for cash off flights.

      • Rob says:

        The £700 is a BA gift voucher, not cash.

        0.5p (well, 0.55p) is the internal value of an Avios as is very clear when you use them to discount a flight, pay for seat selection etc, so it is fair to offer this conversion rate. The only surprise is that BA isn’t legging people over by trying to get 1p.

        Amusingly I have 3 CW flights to Abu Dhabi for October that I need to cancel, but it looks very tempting now to hang on and see if something similar comes up. I have booked cheaper alternative redemptions on SWISS but I’d happily ditch that if a compensation offer like this came up ….

  • shd says:

    Let’s imagine a hypothenical site *which we won’t name* where you could – hypothetically – earn money back if you were to click through to retailers when you buy stuff. Of course we’d never do that, we prefer to use affiliate links. Anyway, let’s also imagine this nameless site might let you convert this accrued balance over to Avios.

    If I were to have several £hundred sitting there would it be wise to convert to Avios now?

    I was idly wondering if there might be a conversion bonus at some point. Sounds like it’s more likely the link to Avios will be devalued/shut down completely!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I’d take the cash or exchange for gift vouchers with 10-15% bonus. Found Zeek very interesting.

      For me buying avios at more than 75p is a waste unless you have an immediate use for them.

      • shd says:

        Problem with gift vouchers is they all seem to be for places I don’t really need to buy stuff from.

        If I convert to Avios I can spend them on RFS instead of paying cash for flights, and (at least based on current BAEC redemptions rates and my availability on my routes) save serious quantities of cash.

        • the real harry1 says:

          and they have a nasty habit of confirming payout ready then later retracting/ cancelling certain payout-ready amounts, happened to me more than once. Also outside risk they’ll go bump & take your money with them. If you don’t mind those 2 risks, waiting for 25% bonus not a bad idea, one due soon I’d have thought.

        • Kathy says:

          My goal is to fly business class, and if the £180(ish) in additional cash won’t get me into business class on my budget but an additional 19,000 avios will when added to the pot, then it seems decent value to me.

          Having said that I am also keeping my fingers crossed for a 25% bonus, since I don’t have an immediate need for them.

        • Genghis says:

          I find Zeek good. I cash out to a Zeek voucher (15% bonus) whenever have amounts as payable and then add that to Zeek account. I bought an M&S voucher recently (4% discount), spending on stuff I would normally. If went the avios route it would work out at buying avios at 1.14p ea. Clearly I’m better off buying though other means (if necessary, though no need to).

        • Optimus Prime says:

          +1 for Zeek.

          They also have Uber gift cards. 2% discount and extra £2 today.

        • Alan says:

          Also just started using Zeek. Bought a £100 Sainsbury’s voucher that ended up costing me £100.70 at Zeek (Due to postage charges) but that £100 only cost me £88 due to the bonus.

    • shd says:

      Well, I actually have a 241, but just can’t quite come up with a reason to go someone on redemption, blow a bundle of Avios plus all those £hundreds of bogus charges to fly BA F when (based on 3 out of 4 previous BA F flights) I might just wonder afterwards why on Earth I bothered.

      I would like to try BA CW LCY before they bin it, however. Decisions, decisions….

    • Lady London says:

      Earn and burn is the rule for cash back as well as air miles points avios etc. You are always at risk if you run a stash. As soon as spending on something looks about good enough to you, spend on it. Use up your stash and don’t let it get too big. “A bird in the hand is worth any amount of a virtual currency whose rules you can’t control.”

  • Kevin says:

    I can highly recommend Oman Air. I recently used an Amex deal to get £200 off £1.5k spend to buy Oman Air return in biz from LHR -> KUL.

    I flew in both configurations – 3 class and 2 class. On the outbound, I was given a first class seat as apparently my selected seat was broken. It was a bit surreal – I was literally the only person in the First Cabin! The seat was okay, and really no improvement from the business class seat. This is strictly for the OLDER model that they fly out of LHR (and a few other places). The seat is still comfortable, and the service is good.

    They really shine with their 2 class configuration. These have Apex suites, and are absolutely superb. The chairs are so comfortable, and there is so much privacy in those seats. I would definitely recommend getting a window seat – it’s like being in a little cocoon.

    I flew a day after Muscat’s new terminal opened, so it was a bit chaotic. But I would honestly say that in terms of the hard product, Oman’s business is better than BA’s first.

    • ASEAN Traveller says:

      Completely agree. Have flown Oman Air 4 times in last year KUL to LHR return in J and they are a great (little) airline. Average ticket cost GBP of 1,300 return. Reminds me of how Etihad used to be 10 years ago. New airport terminal is a huge improvement over the old and has now removed the only previous down side to the whole travel experience. Their FF program is not great though.

      • Kevin says:

        I actually thought their FF program was pretty generous. If you have taken 4 flights in J, you would have 80k+ miles and reached the gold tier. When you reach gold, you get two complimentary upgrade vouchers, which is a hell of a lot more than any other airline gives for gold status!

        Just with my one return biz trip, I am already a silver member with 25k miles!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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