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Bits: Virgin launches codeshare to Mexico City, BA launches new Split service, new Edinburgh Airport hotel opens

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News in brief:

Virgin Atlantic launches codeshare with Aeromexico

Virgin Atlantic has launched a codeshare deal to and around Mexico, in association with Aeromexico.

This is what it means to you:

You can book flights between Heathrow and Mexico City on virginatlantic.com – these will be Aeromexico flights carrying a VS flight number

You can fly beyond Mexico City to other domestic destinations on Aeromexico flights carrying a VS flight number

There will also be options to route via the United States.

There is no news yet on whether you will earn Virgin Flying Club miles and tier points on these flights, although it would be very surprising if you couldn’t.  Redemptions are also likely to be available.

Details of the Aeromexico codeshare are on this page of the Virgin Atlantic website.  As Aeromexico flights depart from Terminal 4, you won’t have the opportunity to visit the Virgin Clubhouse lounge in Terminal 3.

Virgin Atlantic Aeromexico codeshare

British Airways launches new Split service from London City

British Airways has announced a new route from London City Airport to Split for Summer 2019.

Services will run from 21st June to 6th September, departing on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

BA also announced two additional Greek flights for next Summer – an extra Friday flight to Skiathos and a Tuesday service to Mykonos.

Flights are bookable on ba.com.  This is a good opportunity to snap up Avios reward availability to Split which in many cases will already have been exhausted on the existing Heathrow services.

New Hampton by Hilton opens at Edinburgh Airport

A new Hampton by Hilton hotel opened at Edinburgh Airport this week.

The 240 room property is not, technically, at the airport but is apparently a very short walk – the official distance is 0.1 miles!  I am generally positive about Hampton by Hilton properties which tend to have attractive modern designs and come with free breakfast.

You can find out more on the hotel website here.  Rooms in January are around £70 or around 20,000 Hilton Honors points.

A Moxy (Marriott’s budget brand) hotel is also scheduled to open early in 2019.

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Comments

  1. OT- Can I use two different FF number (two different airlines) for a RT airline booking?
    Assume I can change FF number after taking outbound flight (which will use one airline) and before/at check-in for inbound flight (for a different/second airline).

    • Best to retroclaim after the flight has been flown as these frequent flyer numbers sometimes stick and cannot be amended and miles end up posting where you didn’t want them to go.

      • Lady London says:

        +1/ What @pablo said.
        The trick is to make sure you keep any FF number at all, off your booking if you are going to retro-claim. It seems impossible to get the miles back off an airline if they;ve already been credited to an airline you didn’t want to credit them to. This means making sure the FF number is not automatically added when you make the booking, not when you check in, not when you go to the lounge, not at the gate etc.

        I once lost a very nice chunk of Lufthansa Business Class miles by trying to get too clever flipping numbers at checkin, at the gate etc. In the end I got nothing credited anywhere as both programs could point to the other program’s number being on that ticket at some time!. I learned you have to keep all FF numbers off the booking until you are ready to claim them to the programme you want..

    • I’ve done it before without issue (BA FF used outbound, AA FF used return)… they made a mess of it but corrected it (and then I learnt the mess they made was actually a loophole some people had used for years!… missed that trick!)

      • Just realised I said I’d “done it without issue”, and then said “they made a mess of it” haha – you get the picture though!

  2. BlueHorizonuk says:

    OT – The recent ex-LON Swiss/Lufthansa companion sale. Was booked into First on Swiss from Shanghai back to London and was told this morning that Swiss have closed the F cabin and had converted it to a staff rest area.

    Was offered rebooking into First on Lufthansa where there was no A availability anymore so was rebooked into F (although not sure if this makes any difference as all the programs treat A and F the same for earnings).

    • That’s a decent result, I actually prefer LH F because of the food, although overnight perhaps less in it.

      • BlueHorizonuk says:

        Its the daytime flight from Shanghai so hopefully not too bad.

        • Lady London says:

          Nice one BlueHorizonuk. I’d regard that as a win. Assuming Lufty have finally got rid of the old slopey seats (or that they never appeared in Lufty First Class!)

  3. The DoubleTree North Queensferry is another Hilton choice for the airport.

    You can leave your car for free and get a bus directly from there to the Airport.I

    Had a suite with views of the bridges, really nice place with helpful staff.

    • Yes it’s a nice hotel although the bus is something like £7 each and you have to climb down and up to cross the bridge…

  4. BA, Lufthansa and perhaps other airlines apply GDS surcharge on tickets sold through travel agents. http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/311220/ba-iberia-raise-gds-charge

  5. Looks like the GDS fee, as noted elsewhere (odd that Amex is not using NDC to avoid this) or a fat booking fee, or they are not actually you HBO tickets.

    • I booked vueling flights as part of a package the last time this discount came out and I ended up with checked luggage on the outbound (with free seat selection) and HBO on the return

    • Nick Burch says:

      I rang up the Platinum line to book some multi-city multi-class flights that neither the BA website not the Amex Travel website could cope with. Amex priced it as exactly £25 more than the ITA Matrix said it should be, to the nearest pence. Looks like the phone booking agents at Amex are triggering the GDS fee

  6. Any chance of a decent QR sale fare over next few weeks?

    • Nope. no more chunky, juicy,… sales. Those times are over. However, I am sure they will publicise something as a sale, but in reality, its gonna be just the standard pricing.

    • I spotted Oslo – Sydney with QR yesterday for €2300. This isn’t a bargain but a cheeky sale of even 15% off and I would jump at this

      • Lady London says:

        There are a few % off codes often around for Qatar if you google a bit as well.

        Remember not so long ago 2300 euros was closer to £1400. The fall in the value of the £ is going to make these qute good QR fares look too expensive for UK earners, for awhile yet till Brexit finally settles.

        • Lady London says:

          *Hum. Probably I meant £1600 for that particular calculation when £/Euro was nearer 1.4 or so.

  7. I walked past the Hampton at EDI yesterday. Really is only a flat 10 minutes walk from the terminal. The Moxy – which is adjacent – looks like it it is just about ready too.

  8. OT: Free Creation IHG card night

    Does it have you be used within the year valid date or only booked within that year? IHG site seems to let me book outside the year (haven’t gone as far making the booking, but goes to the last page ok), but just making sure.

  9. OT – can a Lloyd’s voucher be applied retrospectively ? I have reward flights booked for July , was going to use the voucher for something else but my plans have changed . The voucher expires in Jan . If I call them( ( Avios?) , can they apply it retrospectively? Might as well get some points back if I can? Thanks

    • I got them to do this back in October as the website wasn’t functioning.

      They should be able to do it as long as the original booking was made at Avios.com or trough the Avios phone line. Not sure if it was booked by baec.

  10. Shoestring says:

    O/T The Virgin pilots’ strike is off

  11. OT
    Just had a fraudulent charge made to an Amex card caught up in the BA hack, but now cancelled. Amex sent me an email to let me know about the charge not being processed. Is there any point letting them know it was fraud as the card is already cancelled?

    • Decided to give them a call. They have sent the info onto the fraud team and have put a “hard block” on the card. Not sure whether anything significant had been achieved by ringing but thought I’d let people know.

  12. Raving Shoes says:

    Channel 4 right now, programme on new Singapore Airlines offering.

  13. ankomonkey says:

    Trained falcons or owls should be used to tackle problematic drones.

  14. O/T but fairly urgent

    My OH has Amex Platinum and I am a supplementary card holder. We are booked on a Sunday evening BA departure from LGW to MLE in Club World (using Avios and a two for one voucher). I paid the taxes and charges using my BA Amex.

    Can anybody confirm definitively whether I am covered by the Amex Platinum travel insurance for disruption etc, given that I didn’t book using that Amex Platinum card.

    Rob’s article on Amex Plat seems pretty clear to me that it only has to be any Amex you use to pay, not necessarily the Amex Plat, but the policy documents I’ve found all seem to talk about it being booked using “the Card” (i.e. the Amex Plat card). See for instance

    https://www.americanexpress.com/content/dam/amex/uk/staticassets/pdf/card-products/platinum-charge-card/UK_Platinum_Charge_Insurance_Documentation_v1_0.pdf

    Is anybody able to confirm definitely either way?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Look at the definition of “the card”.

      • Thanks Rob.

        “the Card” seems to be defined at Page 3 of the document within the body where it says

        “This Policy Summary contains some important facts about
        the insurance provided with The Platinum® Card from
        American Express (the “Card”).”

        Also at Page 3 it says:

        “The following benefits are dependent on use of the Card:
        • Cancelling, Postponing and Abandoning your Trip;
        • Cutting Short Your Trip;
        • Travel Inconvenience;
        • Personal Belongings, Money and Travel Documents;
        • Purchase Protection;
        • Refund Protection;”

        Am I looking in the wrong place? “the Card” doesn’t seem to be defined differently in the Definitions section, either.

        • It’s pretty clear in Definitions section…

          ““Card” means any card or other Account access device issued to a
          Cardmember (or a Supplementary Cardmember) for the purpose
          of accessing the Account.”

          and

          ““Account” or “Card Account” means your consumer and small
          business cards issued by American Express in the UK, excluding
          corporate cards and any American Express Cards issued by bank
          partners.”

          So your BA Amex is fine.

  15. Thanks Rob.

    “the Card” seems to be defined at Page 3 of the document within the body where it says

    “This Policy Summary contains some important facts about
    the insurance provided with The Platinum® Card from
    American Express (the “Card”).”

    Also at Page 3 it says:

    “The following benefits are dependent on use of the Card:
    • Cancelling, Postponing and Abandoning your Trip;
    • Cutting Short Your Trip;
    • Travel Inconvenience;
    • Personal Belongings, Money and Travel Documents;
    • Purchase Protection;
    • Refund Protection;”

    Am I looking in the wrong place? “the Card” doesn’t seem to be defined differently in the Definitions section, either.

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