BA Sale

Bits: BA reveals the long-haul routes Qatar will fly for it, very good Oman Air sale to Asia and Middle East

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News in brief:

British Airways announces routes to be flown by Qatar Airways

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 here.

Oman Air sale

Oman Air launches generous sale from Paris to Asia and the Middle East

Oman Air has a number of sale bargains out of Paris which look very attractive if you can get over to Charles De Gaulle easily.

These fares are booking via the Oman Air website here until 11th June, for travel before 30th November.  That said, not all routes seem to have the sale prices for the full period between now and November.

Some sample headline prices are (these are in Euros, so deduct 10% to get the £ price):

  • Abu Dhabi €1,054
  • Bahrain €1,394
  • Bengaluru €1,241
  • Bangkok €1,184
  • Dubai €988
  • Guangzhou €1,301
  • Chennai €1,195
  • Kuala Lumpur €1,304
  • Mumbai €1,103
  • Muscat €1,620

It appears from the fare rules that these tickets can be cancelled for a €300 fee.

Remember that all of these services require you to change planes in Muscat.

Oman Air is not in a major alliance but suggests that Etihad Guest is a possible place to credit the miles.

Oman Air generally has a decent reputation although you should do your own research into the exact planes in use on the route you are looking at and the seats in place.  I have never flown them myself.

The Oman Air website is here.  There is a virtual tour of their business class product here but that only seems to cover the A330 aircraft – the Boeing 787 fleet has a different seat.

If you don’t have a credit card with 0% foreign exchange fees, your best option for paying is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers triple points – 3 per £1 – when you book flight tickets in a foreign currency.  This is because the transaction triggers the ‘double points for airline spend’ and the ‘double points for foreign spend’ bonuses.

(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. Derek says:

    Dont know if BA are having to make longer term changes but BA are emailing out tomorrow with notice that they’re Suspending the Calgary route for Winter 18/19.

    Maybe they need the 787-8 for other routes? Or is Calgary not doing well in Winter?

  2. Londonbus says:

    I’ve flown Oman a couple of times in cattle – RUH-MCT-BOM and RUH-MCT. Perfectly good airline, good service. They provide food in cattle which reminds me of BA 20 years ago,

  3. James says:

    Related – Does anyone know if Qatar ever have more than 2 business class seats per flight available for award redemption ?

    Have some Garuda flights out to BKK in Dec returning just before NYE but thinking about binning that return and using some QMiles to get a Qatar flight back& stay a couple of extra months. There are three of us however.

    Having been horribly savaged by the appalling devaluation I want to get them used up too.
    Its either this or perhaps a few BA returns in J to Cairo for 100K QMiles & £300 taxes.


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