Bits: BA sets the lawyers on data breach complainants, have you spent your 90,000 Iberia Avios?, Flying Blue flash sale

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News in brief:

British Airways sending legal letters to data breach complainants

A Head for Points reader sent me an interesting letter he had received after writing to British Airways to request compensation for the recent data breach.

Instead of responding directly, British Airways passed his complaint to DWF, a Manchester law firm.  He received a firm legal letter from an Andrew Harris at DWF which whilst totally correct in what it said was – to my mind – designed to scare the complainant off from pursuing any claim.

Since Harris is:

“Accomplished in significant shareholder disputes and other corporate litigation” (2011), –one of the best commercial litigators outside London” (2012) and –the standout choice for shareholder disputes” (2013).”

…. according to the “Legal 500”, it is likely that it will have cost British Airways £1,000 in legal fees to get Harris to write the fairly long letter sent to the reader telling him that he can’t have anything …..

Iberia 90,000 Avios promotion

Have you spent your 90,000 Iberia Plus Avios?

The craziest frequent flyer deal of this year – or possibly any recent year – was the offer that BA’s sister airline ran in June.  You can read our coverage here.

Iberia offered 9,000 Avios for every flight you booked over a four day period.  Importantly, the 9,000 Avios credited immediately and you would not be penalised for not flying the flights.

You were capped at 90,000 Avios per account, which most people were able to achieve for £250 or less.  Frequent flyers bought literally every seat that Iberia was offering over the next 12 months for under €25!

There was one snag.  The Avios would expire on 1st December if not spent.  And 1st December is almost here ….

Many people transferred their Avios out of Iberia Plus into British Airways.  Iberia initially resisted this but a joint approach between HFP and The Mail on Sunday got this reversed.

If your 90,000 Avios are still in Iberia Plus and unspent you have a few choices.  I don’t really want to give advice on what to do – you need to take your own view.  Either:

Move your Avios from Iberia Plus to British Airways Executive Club.  You may need to open a new account via the Aer Lingus website to do this, using as a middle man (IB to, to BA) as direct Iberia to BA transfers tend to hit IT issues. I would imagine that Iberia cannot reclaim your Avios from British Airways Executive Club.  Or can they ….?

Redeem them via Iberia Plus for a flight on Iberia.  There are some exceptional bargains, such as New York for just 68,000 Avios and £175 in tax in Business Class from Madrid.  You don’t get such low taxes booking Iberia flights via  Learn more about redeeming Avios on Iberia here.

Redeem them via Iberia Plus for a flight on BA.  You will pay the same taxes and charges as you do via

Redeem them via Iberia Plus for a oneworld partner flight.  You must be VERY careful here as oneworld partner flights booked using Iberia Plus miles are non-refundable and non-changeable.

Redeem them via Iberia Plus for a hotel booking.  This is not a bad deal – whilst your hotel stay will not qualify for status benefits or hotel loyalty points, your 90,000 Avios will get you around £500 of hotel rooms which means you will be doubling the £250 or less you paid for the Avios in the first place.

I genuinely have no idea what will happen on 2nd December to anyone who keeps their miles in Iberia Plus (I am pretty sure they will be removed) or who has moved them to BA.  The only way to be certain you won’t have any trouble is to redeem them via Iberia Plus in the next two weeks.

Flying Blue redemption sale

Flying Blue launches a flash redemption sale

Flying Blue has launched a three day redemption sale across KLM and Air France.

Details are here.  You need to book by Friday for travel between 1st January and 31st March.

It is fairly restricted with the stand-out deal being Toronto at 70,000 miles return.  Some of the short-haul details are also interesting, eg Edinburgh to Amsterdam for 8,000 miles return, although in general the savings only bring Flying Blue in line with standard Avios off-peak pricing.

(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. Mentioned in comments yesterday but perhaps more relevant here – had a phone call from Creation cancelling my IHG card. They told me it was in a list from Mastercard as one that was compromised. Will take a week for new card to arrive. Abroad just now and have other options but pretty annoying.

    I see other legal firm ( taking a different view as to culpability!

  2. OT, WH Smith – Just bought 6 x £15 M+S gift cards and all tracked with the £5 statement credit.

  3. Has anyone tried to claim back airport taxes on the unused Iberia tickets bought under this promotion? Not that is wasn’t the crazyest bargain anyway but it’s always nice to bring the price further down.. 🙂

  4. I accidentally moved 20000 avios from iberia to BA yesterday, trying to use the cobine my avios feature on iberia as did not work. Iberia did not let me bring them to ba as it said transfers are only allowed to iberia.
    What’s the workaround? I tried making an aerlingus account, but it kees saying ‘The country code in your phone number has to match your country of residence.’

    • Rupert S says:

      Did the same I had a household account and couldn’t move the miles back.

      I then removed everyone from my account and it was no longer a household account and I could move the miles back. (It took around an hour or two for the systems to update.)

      • Trying to move Avios from my Iberia account to BA, spoke to someone at Iberia just now she said it’s not possible, any ideas on how to achieve it. Rob suggested setting up an account via Aire Lingus but then how can you transfer the points from your Iberia account as the only transfer facility on their site is to transfer the points to another Iberia member.

        • Riaz Shah says:

          It is possible, You can do it by calling them on on the site. Note Rupert’s message above – you have to get rid of household account members first.

  5. OT – does anyone have any experience booking AA redemptions (HAV-MIA) through BAEC?

    Flying to Havana then back from Miami next week – trying to book a connecting flight using avios from HAV-MIA with no joy

    Availability showing on BA and AA websites – BA site says there’s a problem and to call

    Just spoke to BAEC on the phone who said they as a company aren’t booking any flights to or from Havana?

    Is this correct?

    Does anyone have any advice on how to get this route booked using avios?

    Many thanks

    • Do a search online using BA – the flights come up when I do a search. Just use ‘HAV’ where it says ‘FROM’ and it will automatically search for Havana.

      • Sorry, I have just re-read your post correctly. Did you try calling back to speak to a different operator?

        • No I haven’t, but I will do, if I can get through…getting a bit twitchy as flying out tomorrow

    • Many airlines interpret the Trump administration’s sanctions as saying you can’t fly from Cuba to the US unless you can make the OFAC declaration – which you can’t if you are going for tourism purposes – but AA’s website is unclear on this point. So it may be that they won’t allow you to fly, which is why you can’t book.

    • So I created an aer lingus account with the hope of transferring avios from baec to and redeeming there, but the HAV-MIA flights aren’t showing up there

      Could book on VS but a tad steep at 17500 VS miles + $40 each way compared to cash fares

      Tried to HUACA with BAEC but disconnected after an hour on hold

      I can’t think of any ways of garnering enough AAdvantage miles quickly enough

      I might try Amex MR to delta skymiles and redeem on DL there…stress levels undoubtedly rising.

      If any members of the HfP community have any tips I’d be very grateful!

      • I don’t understand why you’ve left it so late, but if you really can’t fly direct from Havana to the US the only option seems to go via another island. Fairly close is Grand Cayman; Cayman Airways flies to/from Havana and to Miami (check their website for their schedule) but obviously it would be cash fares.

        • Or you can quite often get AA award flights to Miami from GCM at short notice, so you’d just need to pay cash from HAV to GCM.

        • If they’re going to pay cash they can just buy the HAV-MIA flight….

          I’m not sure if redemptions have ever worked – it’s always failed when I’ve tried. Quite possibly because AA require you to agree that you’re flying to Cuba legally before purchase, something BA obviously isn’t set up for.

          My advice is just pay cash. It looks like it’s only $130 or so most days I looked at – redeeming 7500 Avios to save $90 ($40 are taxes) isn’t a spectacular bargain anyway.

          As to the question of leaving it so late – I book late flights all the time. I find rigid plans rather dull and much prefer spontaneity. Many of my best adventures have happened because I didn’t book the flights I initially planned to!

  6. O/T Just received a new Platinum card – does the fee start from the activation date of the card or when I first applied? I haven’t activated the card yet. Looking at hitting the target spend quickly (starting in a couple of weeks) but minimising the pro-rota fee.

  7. And what happens if you close your IB account. Can you apply for a new one later?

  8. BlueLabel says:

    OT as bits: IHG seems to have loaded the credit card free night voucher nights for Kimpton Fitzroy London now. Used mine for a cheeky Xmas break

    • Yes, another reader had a LOT of trouble with this – including getting emails from the hotel itself where it specifically said it was telling credit card voucher holders to take a running jump – but he kept pushing back and may have been the person responsible for getting this fixed.

      I personally think it was confusion over the US credit card voucher (only valid at hotels under 40,000 points) and the UK voucher (valid anywhere).

      • And to confuse things further, there are still some US credit card vouchers that are valid anywhere, although only for the next year or so,

      • There are a few Kimptons in NYC that also refuse the UK voucher.

  9. OT / Marriott

    Trying to make a redemption for a Ritz property in Miami for January. Cost is 60,000 points or $1100 a night.

    Looking to book using points, but the redemption mentions “Advance deposit policy” – We will need a credit card prepayment to reserve your room. To ensure you receive this special rate we will charge your credit credit a prepayment of $357.42 USD when you make your reservation.

    Deposit Instructions:
    Please send cheque or money order to (address of said hotel).

    Anybody know what this is for? Never seen it before…

    • This tends to be an error with the site copying over the rules from a flexible cash booking onto a reward booking. Domes of Elounda had a similar issue.

  10. The Streets says:

    Just received the following email from Iberia… not sure what its getting at in the second paragraph

    Dear Customer,

    We would like to remind you that the Avios you earned in the promotion last June had special terms and conditions, as we pointed out at the time. As such, please note that the promotional Avios obtained during that campaign will no longer be available in your account if you do not redeem them in the Iberia Plus programme before 1 December 2018.

    We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you that the programme does not include the transfer of Avios, as indicated in the general terms and conditions.

    Yours sincerely,
    The Iberia Plus Team

    • I just got the same email as well – no idea what the second paragraph means!

      • It means if you transfer the avios earnt in the promo out then they class that as not “redeemed” in the T&C of the offer.

        They will want them back in December. How exactly it will pan out I am unsure but thats been a given since day 1.

        I assume your account with Iberia will effectivly go overdrawn. How they collect on that debt is anyones guess.

        • Shoestring says:

          it’s not a monetary debt, that’s for sure – the Avios have zero (monetary) value

  11. For those who transferred Avios over to BAEC, to play it safe, perhaps its best to ‘cash out’ and make a decent redemption for the future. You would need to do this with a view to stick with the redemption and take that flight if, on 1st Dec, people report Avios going missing, butnif it turns out to be safe, cancel the redemption and get your Avios re-deposited.

  12. OT:
    I used the Amex Selfridges statement credit today to buy Nespresso capsules.
    3 Amex cards meant I paid £210 for nearly 1,000 capsules. Confirmation emails received immediately.

    • Never been in but the Nespresso shop on Cheapside are on SS this year.

      • BlueHorizonuk says:

        It looks like its the Cafe Nespresso branches included (there are 2 in Central London) and by extension they sell capsules so hopefully this should work and can be used in both branches.

    • Xmas at ours this year – 2 panettones (the Selfridges one is bloody marvellous), some H&H Madeira and Tokaji bought. That should help me cope!

  13. O/T Curve

    Anyone get an email from curve regarding beta amex program?

    Would appear you have to load money from amex:

    “In order to use Amex with Curve you will be asked to top-up a virtual wallet. We ask that you limit your top-up to the amount you are planning on spending. “

    • Correct – that’s how they’ve been outlining the proposed system for a few weeks now in the Curve Community. Hopefully should work OK…

      • I spend up to £300k a year on Amex. Curve had a wobbly before when it was linked to Amex so I can’t see this being viable for me.

  14. I tried to transfer my avios from iberia to BAEC but it does not allow this. It says it only allows from BA to Iberia not the other way around. I have had my iberia account since July.

    How do I take out the avios from iberia?


  15. OT – noticed that when leaving a tip on my Curve card in the USA where the card has already been swiped then the tip doesn’t ever get added. May be a bonus for some people who want to pretend to leave a tip!

  16. has anybody managed to phone up IB and book a redemption on BA to Dublin or AMS ?

    those routes aren’t available online

  17. Thomas Munro says:

    Anyone redeem their points for future hotel stays on the 30th November UK time but without realising that it had just passed over into the early hours 1st Dec Madrid time due to having several problems with the website and logging in etc.
    Surely they shouldn’t of processed my transaction if they were only going to make my account go into negative by the amount of points I was using for the hotel? They are saying there is no way to reverse the negative balance on my account which I find hard to believe?
    Any help greatly appreciated.


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