James Hillier is to leave British Airways Executive Club

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James Hillier, the man whose signature has probably adorned over one billion British Airways Executive Club emails over the years, is leaving the company this month.

A lot of people don’t believe that James exists.  After all, his name has appeared on BAEC emails for so long that it started to feel unlikely that one person wouldn’t have changed job in that time.

James Hillier leaving British Airways

James is real, however, and I met him last year at a BAEC event.  He was a really nice guy, but to protect his identify he didn’t want to be photographed!  His LinkedIn profile is similarly blank, but if you search his name on social media it is linked to so many BA rants that I don’t blame him.  Being the ‘face’ of the Executive Club is probably not always a good thing.

James has been at BA for just short of 30 years and has spent 22 years working on Executive Club.  I wish him well for the future.

He will apparently be replaced by Niall Rooney, who currently has the intriguing job title of ‘Interim Head of Ground Experience’.

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  1. Waddle says:

    OT Amex referrals.
    How long do points for referrals take to post? I decided to take the plunge and do a self-referral from my BAPP to a Platinum. I did pause my application and pick it up again from an email reminder a week later but in my experience that doesn’t prevent the application from being registered as ‘referred’.

    • In my experience the points arrive in your account the day the new card arrives in the post

      • Michael says:

        I thought the person you refer had to make their first purchase before you get the points – or have i got that very wrong?

        • No purchase necessary in my experience. Unless you are thinking about a specific targetted offer as opposed to the usual referral bonuses.

    • Doug M says:

      I find it varies a bit. But I have points already from a referral from which I’m told the card has not yet arrived. Previously it’s a few days after card received.

      • My last 3 lots of referral points have appeared the day the card has arrived (the latest one being today) – it’s quite spooky as the post is anything but reliable!

  2. illuminatus says:

    OT – 1) Do PriorityPass lounges check the passengers boarding pass? I do not think it has ever happened to me, but I am considering issuing a new Supplementary card to my Platinum in my dad’s name, but want my wife to continue using the PriorityPass card that comes with it.

    2) If I move from HSBC Premier card to HSBC WE card, do I still get the sign-up bonus?


    • they do check most of the time IME, but not always. I wouldn’t count on it.

    • Get the Plat supplementary card made out to Surname only if it matches you dad and wife. No need for initials or title, priority card will come printed exactly the same as the plat card.

    • As PP’s have your full name on, at least mine does, I think even the slowest lounge check-in person may twig that one.

    • I’ve found they almost always scan the boarding pass and then the Priority Pass.

      • Bonglim says:

        It may be besides the point, but why would they (the lounge) care.
        I agree that it is not right overall.
        And I suspect it will be against their terms and conditions.

        But I imagine for every occasion a ‘mistake’ is made and the let in Mr Bloggs on Mrs Simms PP card, that the lounge still gets paid.

    • Qwerty Bertie says:

      Answer re: HSBC. Yes, if upgrading card you get the same bonuses as if applying for the W.E. from scratch. However, in my case it took several weeks for them to actually make the upgrade happen, and that resulted in generous compensation.

  3. Leafwarbler says:

    Another OT, this time with added arrrrgh!

    BA have just replaced our inbound 787-9 flight with an Air Belgium operated 343. Any advice from anyone? It’s only a 7 hour flight; should we just suck it up?


    • Michael says:

      What is the class of travel?

      • Leafwarbler says:


        • Michael says:

          I’ve not flown them but the seats look better if anything, most seats have direct aisle access. You’ll still get the same food and amenities. Crew and IFE will be different.

    • ChrisC says:

      there are threads on the BA board on flyer talk about options available so head over there and have a look

  4. Thomas Howard says:

    Will the STN EK flights be added to the Qantas codeshare (for Avios earning)?

    • Good question. You would expect so, but don’t know either way.

      • memesweeper says:

        they are not currently codeshared with Qantas, only LGW and LHR from London.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Not sure how you’d book it, Qantas only recognises LGW/LHR when booking online? STN doesn’t come up as an option.

      • Virtually none of the Emirates Qantas codeshares can be booked via Qantas because the site only recognises certain airports. Need to use Expedia, Amex Travel etc.

  5. Hi – OT – what’s the best site which shows the cheapest monthly views for business class flights across all airlines. Skyscanner doesn’t support this for business class flights and Kayak misses a lot of airlines out. I’m not that au fait with ExpertFlyer either! Thanks.

  6. OT – Has anyone transferred Amex points to Radisson? Won’t let me link the account, always showing error. Thanks!
    Sorry, there has been an error!
    We regret that an error has occurred and we are unable to process your request at this time. Please try to transfer points to a registered participant at another time or call Customer Service on 0800 917 8053 for assistance.

    • That’s what I get too.

    • fivebobbill says:

      It’s a known issue linking new cards with Radisson, I always had to call CS to have them linked.
      Think they said to leave the first 6 digits off (is it 308147?).
      No sure, maybe better calling to be safe…

  7. Lady London says:

    I’d switch to cash. Provided I would still have a use for the saved points. And unless points are ready or low cost for me to earn more to replace.

    • Thanks Lady London, just what I was thinking. I can always use marriott points and I earn them through amex churns really but can take a long time to earn 320k points.

      • Hope you have also signed up for the latest double points promotion and also checked to see if you have a personal one.

  8. OT Can anyone offer me some advice. Daughters boyfriends Norwegian flight for Saturday is cancelled due to Boeing issue. He paid and rebooked another Norwegian flight for Monday night and now they have cancelled that. He didn’t take out any insurance. Staying with a friend so no hotel expenses. Can he rebook himself and claim back from Norwegian – flights are £600 or would they not refund him. He can claim and get refunds for the 2 Norwegian tickets. He has been on hold to norweigan for ages and can get through as yet. Does he have to wait for Norwegian to rebook him. Thanks for any help offered

    • Shoestring says:

      He has to give Norwegian a chance to re-ticket him. Yes, the risk is that they wouldn’t see £600 as reasonable or necessary, so refuse to reimburse on that basis. (They might enjoy advantageous costs on certain competitor airlines, or have capacity themselves that you don’t know about.)

      So his first task has to be to contact Norwegian to get re-ticketed. If they can’t re-ticket him in a reasonable timeframe, then he could go ahead and book something more convenient and seek reimbursement from Norwegian later – with an excellent chance of winning at CEDR if it came to that. (Must be annoying not to get through on the phone, though.)

      • Shoestring says:

        Obvs no compo if it’s a 737 MAX – but he *is* entitled to duty of care until Norwegian re-ticket him, if he is forced to wait a day or so. Could be some free meals in it (no booze).

        Could be a good idea to research flights available then (on the phone to Norwegian) he’d be in a better position to say: no, your offer of a Tuesday flight is unreasonable, how about booking me on this one on Sunday instead xyz?

      • Mikeact says:

        No insurance ? Not for anything ?
        Sounds rather foolish to me.

        • He got through to Norweigan eventually and they told him to rebook himself and then put in a claim and they might pay it. He has now paid out for 3 tickets. At least he is rebooked – will try and help him with the claims/refunds when he gets back. Lesson learned for him not to buy some insurance.

        • Shoestring says:

          Don’t forget not buying insurance can be a sensible choice. In effect, you can be self-insuring, ie saving the insurance costs you would otherwise have paid, possibly putting them into a pool of money for later use.

          Air passengers in Europe are already well-protected by legislation. Which is a free insurance of sorts. Basically, your provider can’t just cancel a ticket and leave you stranded. They must re-ticket you and pay duty of care costs until you make the new journey.

          Hotel, food, drink (not booze), communications.

  9. If anyone if thinking about going to FI at Monaco this year (or Barcelona) , Marriott Moments have now loaded onto the website both races.

    A number of them are for auction (so plenty of time to bid especially for the one watching the race from Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Yacht and Weekend Hospitality Passes ), but there are also a buy it now for 70k point package for race tickets for 2 people . 6 packages are available

    Of course watch out first for flight and hotel ticket prices

    • Did this last year all on points, stayed at the Marriott in nice and flew flybe from Birmingham to south of france…excellent deal given the seats are 500 Euros each in grandstand K

  10. Just noticed boingo is available for signup for those with amex platinum charge card

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Strange Rob hasn’t mentioned it. He congratulated LL on Twitter the other day

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