Bits: Virgin launching new 1-2-1 Upper Class seating?, new BAEC benefits at Twickenham

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News in brief:

Virgin Atlantic to move to 1-2-1 in Upper Class?

Virgin Atlantic will be receiving the first of its new A350 long-haul aircraft in 2019.

I have long argued that the current Upper Class seat is no longer fit for purpose.  Revolutionary at the time, it never caught on with other airlines apart from Air New Zealand.  The trend in recent years, which I agree with, is a move towards ‘cubby hole’ seats where extra personal space is created by slotting your feet into a gap under the seat in front.

One Mile At A Time reports that Virgin Atlantic has scheduled an A350 flight to Newark for 9th September 2019.  This is a test flight and is not bookable for cash.  The flight comes with an accompanying seat map:

New Virgin Atlantic seat map A350

I am not an expert on how these maps are presented, but One Mile At A Time uses examples to show that this implies one of two things:

a herringbone layout – similar to what Qatar Airways has installed on its 787 and A350 fleet, see below – in what is effectively a \ /\ / format, or

Qatar Airways A350 business class seats

forward facing seats with alternating positions, so your seat faces the storage area of the seat in front, and vice versa, ie the SWISS seat shown below

SWISS business class seat

Hopefully we can get an early opportunity to see the real thing early next year.

British Airways Twickenham

New benefits for British Airways Executive Club members at Twickenham

As we covered a few weeks ago, British Airways has entered into a major sponsorship deal with Twickenham which is seeing large parts of the stadium covered in BA branding.

If you are a Gold Guest List BAEC member, you may also receive a pair of tickets through your letterbox to watch a match from the British Airways box.  Invites have started to go out.

There is a benefit for more lowly BAEC members however.

As you can see here, on the website page for the South Africa match:

Members of the British Airways Executive Club can experience their own dedicated turnstile entrances at Gates A and E. Simply show your Membership Card through the BA App to a steward or a member of the British Airways team to skip the queue. 

There is no mention of status, so presumably even a Blue member can take advantage of this.

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  1. Virgin Australia already has a 1-2-1 config for their domestic A330s, the Super Diamond platform from B/E Aerospace. Presumably this would find its away on the A350.

  2. Bits…

    Just had an email from Amex offering:-

    Spend £15 at WH Smith – £5 Cashback (40,000)
    Spend £40 at Wilko – £10 Cashback (30,000)
    Spend £40 at Superdrug – £10 Cashback (35,000)

    But nothing there. Have they gone already or has the email been sent before the upload?

    • Nadeshka says:

      I had the email and 2 out of 3 on the card just now.
      A supplementary had all 3.
      Also a £5 off £10 paperchase spend, they never used to take amex so this is a welcome development!

      • RussellH says:

        No e-mail from Amex, but WH Smith was on my PRG and the other two on BA Blue yesterday. Signed up for all three.

        But I notice that the **detailed** Ts+Cs (need to click on a link to see them) specifically excludes purchases of Gift Cards and Vouchers.
        Do Amex actually see any details of what you have bought, apart from airline bookings?

    • Had all three of those offers on the card on Monday, yet didn’t receive any email at all. Perhaps they have gone already?

    • johnny_c-l says:

      Same for me, not there when I’m on the Amex website, will try and ask through livechat.

      Good that Paperchase now take Amex, I had always avoided them for that reason.

    • I’ve had 3 x Wilko since Monday but no email!

    • I have just added them on my supplementary BA amex so they are still there…

    • Not there for me either

    • Only Wilko was there for me, but live chat was happy to add the others. They did require evidence I was Sent the email.

    • Dave Barron says:

      If you’ve had an email take a screenshot and discuss with Amex on live chat. Historically after a day or two the offers get added to your card

    • Same email for me, no WH Smith or Superdrug offer online, Amex CS saying the offers have all been used. Suspect IT issues and CS playing loose with the truth.

    • Genghis says:

      Superdrug offer worked on Superdrug GCs yesterday. The Superdrug I went to noted that they had been having trouble activating Amazon GCs. The cashier tried again but no luck. They said it was happening in other stores too. I may try at some other stores buying Amazon GCs with Superdrug GCs to liquidate.

      • Mark Wheeler says:

        This morning the Redditch Superdrug store had trouble activating Amazon but it worked in the end. Also used WH Smith and Wilko or GC and got email for all.

        Only downside is lack of choice of cards, but that will vary between stores.

    • I am having this problem frequently these days. It happened already 3-4 times, got offer on email, immediately checked for the offers but nothing there.

      Plus, if you replace your cards and the offer was saved before the replacement, you would assume it is linked automatically to the new one right? anyone experienced spending/offer not working with new cards?

  3. OT: Amex travel. I have the offer on my Platinum card. I tried to book a car hire but it wasn’t going through so live chat suggested i call the Platinum number. The transaction is now showing as “AMEX PLATINUM & GOLD CARD TRAVEL SVS” as opposed to all others “Amex Travel”. Do you think the car hire will count towards my £600 spent?

  4. OT/Bits – Had Amex (BAPP) email this afternoon with 3 offers for spend by 14/12/2018:
    WH Smith – £5 back on £15 spend limited to first 40k to save to card
    Wilko – £10 back on £40 spend limited to first 30k to save to card
    Superdrug – £10 back on £40 spend limited to first 35k to save to card
    When I clicked and logged in they didn’t appear in my account so had a quick online chat and they were manually added. Not sure if it was too soon from email arriving as I can’t imagine the save limits have been reached yet!

  5. O/T Has anyone signed up to the Emirates family pool? I have some family travelling down to Melbourne who basically don’t need points, so I set them up in my family pool. 2x passengers travelling first class… looking like over 100k emirates points heading my way!!

    Quite annoyingly, it doesnt seem to be the same like BA where you can use both pooled points plus your own points for reward flights. Actually, am I correct that BA allows you to do that? Been a while since I even looked at BA points since leaving London last year. Thanks Y’all

    • BlueHorizonuk says:

      Yes, I am confused as to how this works on Emirates. How do you spend the family points?

      BA takes a percentage of points from everyone in the family membership so everyone contributes.

      • I called up because I wasn’t sure. From what the agent said, based on I want to use it for an upgrade to business one way from Melbourne to London, all the points must be enough to cover that upgrade, you can’t take any out of your own personal Emirates skywards account to top it up.. which sucks!

  6. @ Rob we share the same birthday!

  7. The concept of being able to jump the queues at Twickenham did not turn out to be a reality!

    Seeing the massive queues to get in to Twickenham for the England v New Zealand game yesterday I remembered this article and made my way to the clearly labelled BA Executive Club entrance. Unfortunately the queue was not being used exclusively for BA members – it was as long as all the others and no one was showing BA credentials. Giving the weight of people trying to get into the ground I completely understand why this happened but therefore think BA should remove it as a perk.

  8. Thought the virgin upper class product was best in the air. Never understood the opposition. Unrivaled privacy and don’t feel like you’re sitting on the aisle. And one of the longest legroom offerings in business. What is not to love???

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