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Bits: DragonPass lounge luxury in Dubai, going to the BAEC event tonight?, new BA safety video

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News in brief:

Using DragonPass at the DIH Ahlan First Class lounge in Dubai

Reader Greg dropped me a note to highlight a great deal he found in Dubai.  The new Concourse D, used by British Airways and most other long-haul airlines not called Emirates, has a lot of lounges, including the DIH Ahlan First Class Lounge.

As the name suggests, the DIH Ahlan First Class Lounge is aimed at First Class passengers on airlines who do not have their own Dubai lounge.  Air France and Singapore Airlines use it for their First Class customers.  For some odd reason, it also accepts the DragonPass lounge card – but not Priority Pass or Lounge Club.

This is not your typical 3rd party lounge as you imagine, being aimed at First Class passengers.  It has a la carte restaurant dining, it has free-flow Moet & Chandon champagne and it has (reportedly) an amazing whisky collection.  If you are into aviation you will also be obsessed by the 6-screen FlightRadar24 display.

A full review of the lounge can be found here (external link).

If you don’t have DragonPass via your Barclays current account, this HFP article shows ways of buying a one-off DragonPass access voucher cheaply.

Are you going to the British Airways Executive Club event tonight?

For the last couple of years, British Airways Executive Club has been running ‘After Hours Club’ social events.  They come with a hefty price tag (£65 per person in this case, which does not include unlimited drinks).

Anika and I have decided to find out if they are worth the money or not.  If you are there tonight (we are down at Ham Yard, see below) do say Hi.  Look out for our report – what happens at a BAEC social event, will not stay at a BAEC social event …..

New British Airways safety video released

British Airways has launched a new version of its Flying Start safety video, if the current version has started to drive you mad.  This one features David Walliams, Joanna Lumley, Jourdan Dunn (no, don’t know either), Sir Michael Caine, Naomie Harris and Olivia Colman.

The ‘directors cut’ is below at almost 6 minutes long.  The actual version being shown is shorter than the current version and there is a version for short-haul flights which has been cut even more – cabin crew had made it known that the existing video was so long that it was disrupting their pre-flight routines.

The good news is that donations to Flying Start increased by 20% when the first version was introduced.



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  1. OT. I was asking yesterday about seat selection on American Airlines basic economy tickets with BA status and as a result of the comments (and what AA told me on twitter) I came to the conclusion that, I’d have to pay. It was showing if I tried to book on that the standard seats would cost me £9 which was still cheaper than flying BA metal that day.

    However, I decided to book on as that would allow me to use 2,000 avios to get £20 off, effectively getting the seats for 1p per avios or so I thought.

    After paying for the flight, it then directed me to to chose a seat. The standard seats were now showing up as £36 each but it allowed me to choose any of the main cabin extra or preferred seats for free! Seems like a bit a result 🙂

    • marcw says:

      Good to know… I assume the free MCE is due to OW status? I think MCE is the best way to cross the atlantic in economy.

      • I wouldn’t rely on it happening, especially as I would have to pay for a standard seat, but it’s a decent glitch.

        I think what they’d charge for MCE normally is pretty much what I paid for the flights

      • MCE was free to choose (including exit rows) on AA when I did this as BA Silver back in 2014. We were booked on BA code on AA metal. We put a rollon out as a footrest in front of our seats, although people did like to gather in this area when queuing for the toilet.

        • Is that one of the exit row ones rather than the main main cabin seats? That’s what I’ve initially chosen

        • marcw says:

          That´s normally the case… but Lumma booked a “Basic” fare, which “””strictly””” does not allow free seat selection, even as a OWE.

        • For what it’s worth, I don’t seem to have and checked luggage allowance, which I should be entitled to, but I’ll take carry on for a long weekend in September and have a MCE exit row seat any time

    • Hi Lumma, we booked AA flights just before they introduced basic economy, our seats appear to have been pre-allocated (they are rubbish but they are short flights), and we would have to pay to change them.

      My worry is that we need to take a wheelie case each on board and the basic economy fare now seems to only allow a tiny piece of hand luggage, so I am really hoping that our tickets are not classed as this! There was only one economy option when we booked them last October. We are flying DCA-MIA-GCM then CGM-CLT-BOS so don’t want to have to pay a fortune to check all our bags in.

      • I believe if you booked before they were introduced you should just have regular economy tickets, but I’m sure there’s people on this site who know about this more than I do

      • Anna, surely your tickets will be grandfathered based on the rules when you bought them? You can’t have basic economy tickets if basic economy didn’t exist when you bought them!

        • I would hope so but I can’t find a fare class specified on our booking which makes me a bit nervous.

        • Anna, what happens when you go into manage my booking or whatever it is called on AA? Do you have your AA booking reference? You should be able to choose print a ticket/receipt from there which shows the fare basis.

        • I have ticket numbers but there is no letter with them which would denote fare class as far as I can tell.

        • On my confirmation email it says fare code O – however on the AA fare code chart there is no mention of hand baggage, only tier points and the like.

        • Aha! You have to find the code for basic economy, which is “B” and it says next to this that you can only have one small personal item. I am therefore hoping that all other fare codes allow the full amount of hand baggage!

  2. You clearly need to get more sleep, no wonder you are so ratty (as my mother used to say). LOL.

  3. Optimus Prime says:

    OT – when booking a BA award ticket at T-355, what time are the tickets available? 0:00 GMT hence 1:00 BST?

    • Yes

      • Optimus Prime says:

        Thanks. Is the USA phone number the best one to try first?

        • Scallder says:

          I did Australia recently and they were very good, and got through so no waiting…

        • Optimus Prime says:

          Thanks, Scallder.

        • In early June, I called the USA number at 12.50 am to book a return leg to a 241 and was cut off at 1am as the call centre closed for the evening. I then called the Japan number and spoke to someone in India. They were knowledgeable and obliging and even called me back a few days later to add the LHR-MAN leg of the return.

  4. O/T – Paid for BA CW seat selection 3A on 788, but they changed plane to 789 (not operating first class though). I was moved to 13K (so still direct aisle access)

    Am I able to claim back my seat selection cost?

    • Definitely – but of course you will then lose your 13K, so you need to decide if you want to ….

      • I was actually on the plane just before take off when I typed that, so I just stayed in the seat.

        The in flight entertainment system was out of action across the entire plane for the whole 11 hour LHR-ICN flight. Cabin crew announced that all passengers would be individually contacted by customer service reps to remedy the situation.

    • which flight is this? I’m checking my Seoul/Narita flights daily just to try and stay ahead of any changes.

      • This was on the Seoul flight, Monday the 2nd. It seems alternate days, one day is 788 and the next day is 789. Only found out at check-in time.

        My wife is flying it on Thursday, so I think she will have the 788.

  5. Octopus says:

    O/T Normally how soon after meeting the £7k spend requirement is the Lloyd’s upgrade voucher issued?

    • Andrew-a says:

      I received mine within a couple of weeks of hitting the spend. I used it last week to book an open jaw return and the lady at Avios kindly transferred enough points out of my BA account at the time of booking. Very good service actually.

    • Mzungu says:

      I think mine was about 2 weeks as well, but I didn’t receive the letter for about another month. Worth checking your Avios account frequently – that seems to be the first sign of it.

    • It gets issued on your next statement date, but they can apply it to your account manually if you need it urgently.

  6. Simon says:

    I’ve been enjoying using my DragonPass at the Air Canada lounge at Frankfurt Terminal One. It doesn’t take Priority Pass, the only lounge that does is a pretty dire land side lounge. There are no signs in the lounge I could see about accepting DragonPass but it appears on the DragonPass App.

    When I asked at reception they said they only take certain types of DragonPass, not sure what the criteria is, I got mine via the Groupon offer just before Christmas.

  7. Kevin says:

    Ham Yard is lovely and has one of London’s nicest cinemas. Never been bowling there though so quite jealous.

  8. steve says:

    Could someone please confirm how many zeros you need to add in front of the Starwood account number for setting up an account for Amex MR points transfer?

    • Stu N says:

      Four, I think. If that gives an error message try five. Linking seems to take 24h and points showed in SPG 24 hours after that. Balance seems to refresh around lunchtime UK time.

  9. Nick_C says:

    O/T. Just check my BAEC account, and a mysterious “Special Promotion” of 500 Avios posted on 29 June. I treat all my Avios as currency, and log all qualifying transactions, but I’ve no idea what this is for. Has anyone else had it? (The only thing missing is the Aer Lingus sign up bonus, but that was 18 months ago!)

    • I’ve got the same thing. No idea what it’s for, I did sign up for a Aer Lingus thing, but surely that would have went to instead.

      If you look at the transactions on a computer and not on mobile it says “special promotion – avios e store”

    • I got 500 as well, no idea why.

    • Could it be IHG hotels flight offer if you had your earnings preferences set to avios? On the same day I got 1500 IHG points having opted for the points.

  10. the real harry1 says:

    O/T this might help anybody here with the cancelled Tel Aviv flights, I feel a tad guilty as I highlighted it and some people bought tickets: [HT onobond FT]

    ‘After 2 emails to Omega without replies, I ried to phone them. Contrary to the day when every flight was cancelled, I had a hard time getting someone to talk to. After many calls ( actually 12 attempts) with 2 busy line signals, 3 disconnects before anyone answered, and 7 disconnects after giving my name and Omega booking reference and/or BA booking reference, I called Amex to request a charge-back. No need for any documentation, they thought this was the correct step to take, especially since the time limit when re-imbursement should have been cleared was promised 3-5 working days, and 14 already passed.

    The voucher problem was of course nothing to discuss with Amex, but they promised to let Omega know I waited for re-imbursement, and if not cleared fast enough, they could cut Omega out from using Amex in the future. In the mean time I called BA GGL, not for the money, as that definitely was on Omegas business, neither for the voucher, as BA had informed TAs to offer this compensation to pax with cancelled flights. Instead, I wanted to say how the whole situation was tarnishing the BA brand, as some of the TAs neither paid back nor sent any vouchers. I have never done business with Omega before,and do not see them as a future partner in my travel, but did not plan to jump the BA ship for this incident.

    3 hours later Amex called and said they now had the correct amount credited to my account. The next morning an email response from BA with a personal voucher, with original ticket # as reference, valid for 12 months, with no restrictions on needing to book before end of use, fully usable on website, thus no need to do business with Omega again. They made this as some sort of exception, but did not elaborate if done to others as well.’

  11. Fascinating stuff, and on a global scale.

    i tried to log into Iberia this morning and it didn’t work, so i tried again and it did. Was such a drama.

    • the real harry1 says:

      it’s going crazy out there in the IB FF blogosphere

      a/cs getting blocked!

      IB asking people who opened up 5 a/cs to get 450,000 points asked to prove ID with passport!

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