Bits: Behind the scenes on the new BA ad, ‘BA 100’ pin auction ending, Macdonald Hotels closes The Club

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News in brief:

‘Behind the scenes’ on the new British Airways 100th anniversary ad

The new celebrity-filled British Airways TV advertisement to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the airline launched last week.

A 3-minute ‘making of / behind the scenes’ video has now been launched on YouTubeYou can see it here – it has been a bit neglected so far with only 30,000 views.

(If you don’t have kids, you might not be aware of the logistics of YouTube these days.  This guy, for example, simply uploads videos of himself playing video games all day and is beloved by my son.  He has 11 million subscribers, would consider anything less than 500,000 views per video to be a failure and earns multi-millions annually.  Think of that as you sit behind your desk today having spent many years in education and training to end up on about 1% of his income!  A 7-year old apparently made £17m – not a typo – from a YouTube channel last year.)

The BA ‘making of’ video is arguably more interesting than the finished ad itself.  Thanks to Stephen for this.

British Airway 100 years pin badge

Last day to bid on our ‘BA 100’ pin for Flying Start

When I was at the oneworld 20th anniversary event last Friday, I was given one of the limited edition ‘BA 100’ pin badges.  You will see these being worn by British Airways staff this year.  Click on the image to enlarge.

As I know these are popular with many people, I decided to sell this one on eBay.  All of the proceeds will go to the British Airways Flying Start appeal.

As a couple of readers pointed out, I made a mistake by not officially listing this as a charity item in order to avoid eBay listing fees.  I will therefore cover this cost myself to ensure 100% of the sale price goes to charity.  I will also gross up the money to adjust for the Gift Aid I can reclaim on the donation.

The eBay auction listing is here and the auction closes at 1.36pm today (8th February).  Good luck.

Bath Spa Hotel

Macdonald Hotels closes The Club

I wouldn’t want to suggest that the Macdonald Hotels loyalty scheme, The Club, had failed to make an impact, but it appears that it closed on 5th December without anyone noticing.

As per this FAQ page of the Macdonald Hotels website, any existing The Club points you have need to be redeemed by 31st March.  It is also not possible to book reward nights for dates after 31st March.

Macdonald Hotels has launched a new scheme called ‘Instant Rewards’.  This is not points driven, but instead offers special incentives to people who book properties such as The Bath Spa Hotel, pictured above, direct via the Macdonald website.

I once had my shoes stolen at The Bath Spa Hotel when I put them out for a shoeshine, but that is a story for another day.  Thanks to Jynette for this.

Virgin's plans for Flybe revealed in the official scheme document - and which brand will be used?
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  1. Re: Stolen shoes when placed outside your room for the shoeshine. Same thing happened to me at the Viceroy Hotel in New York. Maybe it’s a bigger issue than I thought.

  2. The BA 100 ad is also being aired on TV at present, try channels like Quest etc.

    • The BA 100 Advert is almost as bad as their in-flight safety briefing advert. I hope they didn’t spend too much in either. Using so called celebrities is no guarantee of making something good. The Etihad safety briefing is so much better and original, whereas BA’s one is a clear (and bad) rip off. And I really don’t get the 100 Ad. Are they not a world airline? Maybe the ‘making of’ video will be more interesting but I will skip both. I am sure a different agency would help. How about using everyday folk in your ads. Even EasyJet have managed a decent ad with memorable music. Unlike Virgin!

      • Air France has my favourite safety video!

      • I like it, and they aren’t “so called” celebrities – they ARE celebrities.

        • In the same way that you can argue if a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?, you can argue that if I fail to recognise someone, are they a celebrity? …

        • The Lord says:

          I recognised 3 of them. How many of them are ‘celebs’ and how many are ‘normal people’?

        • One of them is poised to sweep a few Baftas and Oscars, while another already did that, and one another was the first British woman in space and was my childhood hero even given the fact I was raised in the Soviet Union. Guys, seriously, you need to be less arrogant…

      • “Everyday folks” has been done to death in banking and supermarket adverts.

        An airline version with everyday crew members has been spoofed as far back as the early 1990s when “Shona Spurtle” was selected to be the face of “Air Scotia” in their in-flight safety video…

        • Oh Dearie Me.

        • I loved that series. Always remembered Alan Cumming galloping down the centre aisle with the sweet basket under his arm; lobbing sweets to pax in all directions before take off. I can’t remember when I first noticed that stopped.

      • I saw the BA safety vid for the first time earlier this week – godallmighty it was awful. I never thought anything could be as bad as that bloody bunny but just for once BA exceeded expectations.

  3. The BA ad is very sleek but like BA generally it ends there.

    Can someone please tell me how thecare gettingbaway with 100 year bullshit! KLM AIanca and Qantas are the oldest airlines still in existence. BA was created from the merger of BEA and BOAC and is younger than me!

    At best links back to 1919 are tenuous but in truth reality has never stopped BA hyperbole in the past.

    • Business Travel News did a rant about this recently. It is a bit like me buying our local cafe and then claiming HFP is 40 years old.

      However it is also a legit marketing wheeze to buy a dormant brand and then say your company is 200 years old. Some watch brands which claim to be centuries old are really 20-30 years old, having brought back a dormant name from the 1800s.

      • Not quite, it’s like you merging and rebranding an existing points blog then claiming the combined group is 40 years old (ignoring the fact there was no internet (or airmiles?) back then!).

        Much more reasonable sounding than buying a random business that has nothing to do with you!

      • I think my least favourite is the “we are moving” posters everytime a brand closes a store down. They just closing the shop down and telling you the nearest.

        Or then there was Tesco when they stopped taking cheques – this was supposedly because they took too long for the cashiers to process – have you ever been beind someone counting out all their change to pay for all their shopping……they should ban cash next! (Actually Bank of Scotland tried that in the mid-90s – they opened branches which didnt allow you to bank cash – you can see where that got them – a bail out by the government and Lloyds!)

        • No Cash cafes are getting more common in London now.

        • the_real_a says:

          Just got stuck behind an older person “helping” the cashier by finding the correct change… for an eternity. Everyone else in the queue waved their phone/card and was walking along within 2 seconds. Yes ban cash 🙂

        • Use the self checkout

      • I didn’t know that! You do learn something new every day.

        Still givent he describe CW as luxury I should not be surprised that they can be economical with the truth about their age!! Not many of want to claim to be older than they are.

    • It is total BS – only s-t-u-p-i-d people would believe BA is 100 yo and would swallow such a statement.

      It is like saying Vueling is 92 years old! Because Vueling merged with Clickair which was Iberia’s brand in BCN (IB transformed IB mainline operations to Clickair back in 2006). And IB is 92 yo.

  4. Shoestring says:

    O/T Another points scheme that is closing soon (end March) is the one at – use them or lose them – I got a very nice £7.99 5-book collection for my 450 points 🙂

    • The Book People are interesting, thank you.

      If you hold a single share in Bloomsbury Publishing, they offer a 35% discount on the RRP for every book of theirs in print.

      Always worth considering should you ever buy a handful of Bloomsbury titles closer to the usual market price.

  5. Froggee says:

    I noticed the club closing. Heading to a MacDonald property today that can only be booked direct so it was doubly annoying!

    • RussellH says:

      I would have expected an e-mail, or something, even though I have no points.
      They used to send me discount vouchers for my birthday, which I was unable to use.

  6. What a colourful history of previous eBay transactions you have Rob 😉

    • If you can go back a few years you will see a pile of Nokia mobile I bought for £10 at Tesco which came with 1,000 Clubcard points each 🙂

      Rest of it is kiddy stuff …

  7. I notice that EBay is full of the BA 100 badges – I guess we won’t be seeing as many Staff wearing them as BA think we will! 🙂

    • Shoestring says:

      What would you do if you got given one and saw HfP’s one had got to £127? 🙂

  8. OT – Finally taken the plunge and applied for SPG Amex and been accepted instantly (it does seem IME that instance acceptance is more likely if you put in a current Amex number, I sometimes can’t be bothered but will always do so in future!)

    Apart from sign up bonus and spend, are there any other ways of earning SPG points?

    • And staying at the hotels, presumably?!

    • I put an existing number in and am waiting to hear, 7 months since I closed it!

      • Shoestring says:

        they were pretty slow last time for us, I got an email about hello to paperless statements after about 7 days but card didn’t arrive for another few days

    • Wish the existing Amex number always did the trick but not had instant acceptance for years with Amex even though normally card just comes through in the post a week later!

    • Kayleigh says:

      Have literally just done the same!
      However I did not get an instant decision 🙁 And I put in my current Amex number – boo!

      • Shoestring says:

        We never get instant approval either, it’s not a significant consideration or disappointment, just part of the application process that you should expect (& if you get the instant OK, great but hardly a big deal either).

        • I don’t know what it is then, but I get instant approval more often than my OH who only has a couple of cards and earns 3 times what I do! Perhaps they know I do most of the household spending lol.

  9. Andrew M says:

    OT. What (preferably UK) Hilton Honors phone number do people here recommend for chasing up points that have not been returned following cancellation of a reward night? And is it generally easily resolved? Thanks.

    • Get Skype, set it to USA and call +1-800-4466677 for free.

      If Diamond, change your postcode to 11111 (put your UK postcode in the “city” field if you must have it somewhere), then call +1-877-4449847, enter 11111 when asked for zip code.

      It can be easy or very difficult, sometimes it will be done on the first call after 1-2 days, sometimes it will take 4-5 calls and 4-5 weeks. If Diamond one possible solution is to “lend” you the points while they conduct their 4-5 week “investigation” as to why the points were not returned automatically.

      • Andrew M says:

        Thanks. Found the international toll-free equivalent (00800 444 66677). “Loaned” me the missing points, even as a lowly Gold (when I said I wanted them to make a booking). They did need to speak to a senior to do so.

  10. Froggee says:

    OT – woo hoo Marriott.

    Having been OCD-like checking my Marriott promotions tab over the last couple of days, this morning I now have a promotion. “Earn double bonus points on eligible paid stays of two or more nights.”

    As good as I could have hoped for given a 13 night stay in April booked.

    Happy days.

  11. OT @Rob: Any news on the new avios-earning credit card that was supposed to be launching this week?

  12. in my experience instant acceptance is more likely if you apply during office hours rather than of of evening.

    • agree with this

      • Have either of you made enough applications to get a meaningful result?

        • between my girlfriend and myself we probably have around 20 applications under our belt over the last 4/5 years…also family members seem to have the same result, ie apply on an evening or the weekend and get the wait message, apply in the weekday day and approved straight away. TBH it makes no difference to me either way as long as it goes through eventually (and so far it always has) but certainly shows its not as automated a process as people seem to think

  13. BA 100 article that a few will appreciate and identify with….

  14. Can some kindly soul remind me if you still receive Marriott elite benefits if you book a Marriott hotel through the amex travel portal? Cheers.

  15. OT – I have had my £150 refunded from curve. Not sure if they initiated it or it was a result of my Amex chargeback..

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