Bits: 80 tier points for £160 on BA to Barcelona, airport fire fighter training, new hidden disability rules

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News in brief:

Attractive British Airways Gatwick to Barcelona fare for 80 tier points

Iberia is currently selling return Business Class flights on BA from London Gatwick to Barcelona for just €182 (£160) return.

You will be on a British Airways flight but with an Iberia flight number.

You can book at this price for travel up to 19th March.  You do NOT need to stay a Saturday night.

It earns 80 tier points return so, at £2 per point, is good value for anyone looking to ensure they requalify or hit a new status level.  And, of course, there are far worse places to go than Barcelona on a tier point run!

Other Spanish cities are also bookable, but will generally cost between €200 and €250 return in Business Class.

You need to book on to get this price and you need to select the Gatwick service.  You cannot book on even though you will be flying on BA.  Don’t log in to book because you need to add your Executive Club number during the process.

Airport fire fighter training in action!

If you follow our Instagram feed you will know that I had a tour of Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam yesterday.

I will do a separate article about the KLM-owned engine refurbishment business because I think you’ll find it interesting.  However, I also wanted to share the short video below.

I got to watch the airport fire brigade practicing on their training aircraft.  As you can see below, it was impressive.  Because Schiphol is so big, it needs to have three fire stations due to the requirement to be able to reach any part of the site within three minutes.  There are 150 full time firefighters employed to provide 24/7 coverage across the sites.

If you are reading this on mobile the video may not show. See it on YouTube here.

New CAA guidance to airlines on hidden disabilities

The Civil Aviation Authority issued new instructions to UK airlines yesterday on how they should treat passengers with ‘hidden disabilities’, including the deaf and blind.

The new guidance requires airlines to:

Have a clear and accessible pre-notification system in place allowing passengers to request special assistance at the point of booking

Share information about a passenger’s assistance needs within their own organisation and with the airport and ground handling agents 

Ensure a passenger with a hidden disability is seated with a travelling companion at no extra cost

Invest in quality training for staff so hidden disabilities can be identified and passengers assisted accordingly

Ensure passengers with hidden disabilities are looked after in the event of flight delays and cancellations

If you want to know more, the full CAA guidance can be found here.

(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.)

ARCC: a way to keep your Amex MR points alive when cancelling Gold or Platinum
British Airways increasing RFS fees on short-haul African routes (+ list of where BA flies)
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  1. OT
    Can you still upgrade from Gold To Plat, albeit no bonus?

  2. Michael says:


    I took advantage of the recent Iberia 9k avios per flight promo to enjoy a wknd in Barcelona.

    However I had my new iPhone stolen IN my (5*) hotel.

    Turned out to be the most expensive weekend away I’ve ever had!!!! 🙁

    • No insurance? schoolboy mistake.

      • Other schoolboy mistakes:
        1) Buying an iPhone
        2) Leaving a phone in a hotel room

        • Some of my schoolboy mistakes
          Left camera on United business flight IAH-LHR. Gone
          Left camera at dining table on cruise ship. Gone
          Left camera on Ryan air flight to Knock . Handed in and waiting at airport for collection.

          In my defence all the above mistakes were alcohol induced.

      • RakishDriver says:

        Would amex plat cover this?

        • Mrs xcalx dropped phone in washbasin Amex plat offered to replace with reconditioned, when explained the phone was only a few weeks old they refunded cost of new. Great service. Holiday claim

      • Dimitri says:

        Very unlucky. I always tend to leave very expensive electronics unattended when I travel first or business in airplanes or trains and never had an issue. Stupidly assume that people don’t need to steal in these cabins. I hope I have not just jinxed it though!

    • Brighton Belle says:

      Curious.. metal key room entry or swipe card? I slightly had more faith in the electronic keys

    • “Anyone flying to BCN”?!

    • Mrs W’s colleague had his watch stolen in W Barcelona. Manchester City team were also staying there. True story.

    • You know there are safes in the hotel?

    • Big Dave says:

      BEWARE anyone going to Lourdes,

      in 1992 I had some bubble-gum stolen from my hand luggage I left in the room while visiting the town – schoolboy mistake indeed as it was a school trip and I suspect my room mate and not the hotel staff

    • Michael says:

      Thanks for all the responses.
      I should have been more clear…..My phone was taken OUT OF MY POCKET in the hotel lift or as I exited and walked to the bar. I think you tend to let your guard down when in a hotel compared to when you’re out sightseeing. Very little can be done to prevent this type of theft other than locking away your valuables even when you’re with them (or holding onto them tightly), BCN is the number one pick-pocket destination in Europe if not the world.
      I had travel insurance but not phone specific insurance so I’m able to claim some money back, not all, due to single item limited.

      • Mine has survived 20 hours so far and is on the table next to me in the Hilton Diagonal BCN lounge 🙂

        • Michael says:

          Don’t take your eyes off it Rob, not for a second!
          Otherwise enjoy yourself 🙂

  3. Supermarek says:

    Or you can select outbound Friday 16.30 and inbound with stopover in MAD on Sunday for £172 which will net you 120TP? Maybe less but definitely extra TP for a tenner and MAD loung is choice

    • TGLoyalty says:

      100. Domestic Spanish are 20TP

    • Fatdickie says:

      Im a newbie to this but quite fancied the
      LGW-MAD-BCN and then return for 140 points ( which would gain Silver)
      But How do you book it?
      I went to, put in the dates and LGW to BCN, but it just gives me the promo fare on BA for £160
      How do I book a split journey via MAD on Iberia? Is there an option for stops?

      Or do I book via Skyscanner / Expedia which are showing the flight that I want
      Do they allow me to enter BAEC ref number?


  4. O/T. Just done 2 Hilton stays and earned 5k M&M miles via the promotion which I am never going to use for a redemption…what are the options for spending these? Thanks

  5. BlueHorizonUK says:

    OT : Just got email from Diners Club welcoming me and saying cards on the way

  6. I can’t find the fare rules for Barcelona, but seems to be a minimum two night stay.

  7. Suggestions please.
    Looking for luxury countryside hotel in the UK. Will use point redemption on any scheme.
    Best places you have stayed at? Thanks

    • When it opens soon, it will be The Langley via Marriott. Nothing super luxe today on points (eg Chewton Glen, Whatley Manor, Lime Wood, FS Hampshire, Cowley Manor etc)

    • Peter K says:

      It’s not on points but I really enjoyed The Lake Country House and Spa at Llangammarch Wells, Brecon Beacons.

  8. OT my gold Amex charge card is being declined quite a lot recently – by Dominos and Selfidges (so can’t use saved offers!) transaction is going through on Amex side and showing as pending but then later refunding. Amex say it’s not an issue on their side and they’re approving the transactions… Anyone else having issues?

  9. Shoestring says:

    O/T Clever/ obvious? solution to Gatwick 2nd runway – @ minimal cost – plus they could easily get 3rd runway as well £8 bn.

  10. Mr(s) Entitled says:


    I recently went to Barcelona and in my 5star hotel room was a free iPhone. Result!

  11. Flew MXP-LHR yesterday (CE) and catering was supplied by Do&Co, easily the best cold plate I’ve had on an European flight. I thought the switch was to happen much later?

    • Do&Co has picked up LHR CE since the recent change.

    • Bonglim says:

      I heard that it was a gradual shift between October and the end of the year. Maybe you just got lucky that your route was changing first.

      I have had only a couple club world trips so far, one to JFK and one to BKK. There was no comparison on the food, with JFK being far superior.
      I suspect/ had not realised that it was because JFK was Do&Co, but that makes perfect sense now.

      I am flying first to Houston in late November, first time in first, hoping the food will be another step up from the JFK flight.
      Also have a flight booked in CW to Cancun next year, but that is from LGW so not Do&Co. :-(.

  12. Richard E says:

    Couldn’t find any flights at that price ? All gone ?

  13. O/T: I’m very nearly at my £50k Curve annual limit. Has anyone had any success in accidentally ‘losing’ their Curve card and it then being replaced with a new one where you can start afresh on another £50k?

    Or is my only option to get a Curve card for my wife and getting a new allowance that way?

    • Shoestring says:

      yes, I think so from memory

      • Nice one, thanks Harry.

        Will give it a go and report back…

        • rams1981 says:

          losing it doesn’t work. Wife best way to go

        • How about upgrading to Black from Blue does that reset the spend?

        • Genghis says:

          Losing doesn’t work. Been there, tried that.
          @Axel that doesn’t work either as I know someone who tried recently.
          Though full change from the “pre-paid” to debit did.

    • Losing it worked for me, but not for Mrs Mc.

      I assume I was the anomaly, although I only tried it following a suggestion by someone in the comments section a few months ago, so I guess that is at least 2 successful resets.

      I am assuming the best (and possibly only option) in future is going to be to sign up to their new card when they launch next month, which will include a monthly/annual fee. If this fee is small enough, I will be looking to upgrade Mrs Mc immediately, and myself once my £50k limit is reached again.

  14. O/T: I’m having a mental blank and could do with your advice. I have to spend my 90000 Iberia points soon and am trying to work out the best way to get myself and the family to Malta. In an ideal world I will book the lot on Iberia but if there is split availability across iberia/Avios/ BA sites am I able to book flights in other family members names without being on the same booking. To complicate the issue further I have a Lloyd’s upgrade voucher which expires soon which I want to use as well. We are 2 adults, 2children and a baby.
    My brain hurts from thinking about this!

    • Shoestring says:

      Just use the IB points

    • I thought they all shared the same availability (in theory?). Also you would need to check if can use avios from your Iberia account or if you would have to move them to BA first (with the associated complications. Are you planning to have the 2 adults in CE and the kids in ET or are there plenty of CE redemption seats?

      • The flights are for next years October half term so am not sure about how many CE seats will be released. Although I would love to put the kids in economy they are still a little too young. If it’s the same availability throughout Iberia/ba/Avios then that answers probably the main issue.
        I was thinking that I could book all of us outbound with Iberia ,myself with the baby and one child with Iberia and then the wife and one child back with the lloyds voucher.
        With the lloyds voucher do I have to be a one if the upgrades if it was from my account?

        • You’ll have to be very fast to bag 4 CE seats for a half term holiday. You’re also further risking them being taken by someone else if you wait to call to use the Lloyds voucher. If you need to use the avios/vouchers for a particular date I would suggest having a couple of back up destinations in mind.

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