James Hillier to leave British Airways

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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. OT: is it possible to transfer my wife’s MR points to my MR account if she closes her account?
    I’m sure I read in a previous article that Amex do do it but don’t make it easy!

  2. OT: Does anyone know if the amex platinum insurance include airline failure (eg the airline going bankrupt, strikes etc.)?

  3. Don’t know too much about Opodo, do you still pick up loyalty air miles?

  4. OT Tesco CC transfer to Uber does the Tesco clubcard holder need to have an Uber account or can the voucher be applied to any Uber account. How long does the transfer take.


  5. OT: Anyone who took out the free HSBC premier credit card (and spent >£1000 in first 30days) been awarded the 10,000 HSBC bonus points yet? Opened mine in mid Jan, but nothing as yet. TIA

    • Allycat says:

      Had the statement this week, just showing the normal points at the moment. I guess the bonus will follow in due course …

  6. Doug M says:

    OT: Credit Card Spend. Do we agree the Platinum is a poor card to spend on once you’ve done the spend for the MR bonus. Better to spend on Gold for 10K MR at £15K, or SPG at 3 Bonvoy per £. Platinum good for benefits and referrals, poor to use? Am I missing something?

    • Michael says:

      I haven’t got the Platinum but it does seem very expensive for the earning rate you get.

      • The Original Nick says:

        Depends if you factor in PP lounge access, all hotel benefits, travel insurance etc etc. And that’s for 2 people.

        • Doug M says:

          Definitely has value. But wanted confirmation it’s a bad card to spend on.

      • You don’t spend on it ….!

        • Doug M says:

          Got it.

        • We only use Plat for holiday bookings to get the insurance. All other spend is dependent on which sign up bonus we’re chasing.

        • Genghis says:

          Remember you just need to use any Amex, not necessary Plat, to get all insurance bens.

        • If I booked flights on an Amex card (not plat) and then took out Plat AFTER I had booked but before I flew, would that be covered on plat insurance for the cancellation/etc/etc?

          (I’m assuming the medical is covered as soon as plat card is activated)

        • Nick Burch says:

          Online travel booking with Amex gets 2x MR points on the plat, so I use mine for that! Then anything with an offer to trigger too 🙂

    • Optimus Prime says:

      Speaking of – when requesting a supplementary for your Amex Plat you’re presented with three choices: Platinum, Gold or Green.

      So if you choose to issue a supplementary Gold – Does this card come with the typical Gold earning rate as in 2 points for every £1 spent directly with airlines or in a foreign currency, etc ?

    • Alex W says:
    • illuminatus says:

      The earning rate on Platinum is indeed poor, so I put all my spending on BA card, but still keep my Platinum for other benefits (lounges, hotel programs, Fine Hotels and Resorts).

      Also, Amex offers on Platinum have saved me about £600 within the last 12 months alone – they were never that generous for me before but last year was great.

      Platinum events on the other hand have been very disappointing lately as virtually no availability.

      • Doug M says:

        Yes, the best offers are on the Plat card for me. I got tickets for the Amex sponsored Q and A with Chris Hughton next Tuesday in Brighton. Really pleased, Chris was a legend at Spurs, met him previously and he’s a good bloke.

  7. Michael says:

    Any update on the new Marriot Bonvoy UK Card?

  8. Are points earned on balance transfers to Virgin Reward + card?

  9. O/T Finally got my Lloyds Avios changes letter. Have until 13/10 to earn another voucher, but I already did this year, so haven’t got another chance there. My card year ends 12/10. Well, it was good while it lasted. This card is going to the bin. Onto the next opportunity! 😄

    • surely it’s still good for 1.25 avios per gbp, and zero fx charges, for another 60 days ?

  10. OT Tesco
    Any updates on the sim card deal, anyone got the CC points. Had a look on the original post but not much added lately.

    • I’m still waiting on my SIM cards coming in the post. I ordered them the day after the article was published

    • I had CS fix issues with one of mine. Take lady said points will be applied with the May statement, not within 28 days as stated in T&C.

    • fivebobbill says:

      2 sim cards arrived today, nothing in the pack regards an “up to 2,000 clubcard bonus”, just the standard blurb of 1 point per £1 top up.
      Can anyone remember does the top-up last one month from purchase? or from first use?
      I only ask as I’m off to the UAE end of April and was gonna burn the sims on voice calls from there (no voip in UAE).
      So don’t want to trigger them too early…

      • I am still waiting even though I got an email on Friday that they’ve been sent 1st class. Anyone knows if any Tesco sim will do? My local Tesco only sells normal Pay as you go sims, so I am wondering if these will work.

        • Mikeact says:

          Rocket packs are regarded as PAYG , you renew or not each month. And you can use your existing Tesco sum.

        • Thanks. I was confused about the fact that it states No Contract SIM on the Tesco page.

      • You may be out of luck

        What can’t I use my Rocket Pack data, minutes and texts on?
        Calls starting 08 and 05 to non-geographic and free device numbers
        Calls to 070 and 076 numbers
        Calls to numbers being used for call-forwarding services, onward-calling services or numbers that pay a revenue share
        Calls to any number starting with these codes 06, 07744, 0845, 079112, 070, 07755, 0870, 079118, 076, 078255, 0871, 079245, 0500, 078730, 077000, 079246, 0505, 07892, 07755, 079879, 0808 and 078930
        Premium rate calls and texts
        Making calls and sending texts while you’re abroad
        Calls and texts to international numbers from the UK
        UK to UK video calls
        Calls to our Customer Care team in the UK
        Calls to voicemail from the UK
        Picture messages (MMS) to UK mobiles

        • Shoestring says:

          not even 0845/ 0870 numbers?!!!

          package sounds a bit ‘thin’ to say the least

        • fivebobbill says:

          Jesus, is there any point even putting it into your phone!
          @xcalx – don’t see anything there about receiving calls abroad tho… 😉

        • Shoestring says:

          OTOH if you can make it work, the points are worth the money regardless of [email protected] Tesco mobile package

          I’m not bothering! Give me inks lol

        • Shoestring – 0845 numbers have generally been replaced by 0345, and these are normally included within allowances.
          I find you can usually simply replace the 0845 with 0345 and the number works.

    • My sim cards arrived today. For those still waiting, and not having used Tesco mobile in the past, you’d be wise to go in store and buy the top up voucher. First one has to be bought in store. Can’t be done online or over the phone which is annoying! You need to buy a top up voucher and then use this to credit your account. You can buy a rocket pack with the credit. Rocket packs last for 1 month if you are intending to make use of the data / texts / minutes

      They don’t make it easy!

  11. OT but BA:

    I keep receiving FB ads from a company called SPG (sic!) Law offering to claim on my behalf for BA Data Breach:

    “BA travellers should complete their claim applications before 6th April 2019 to get the full 100% compensation. Complete your Data Breach claim now, it only takes 2 minutes.”

    I am not entitled to comp anywayt but just wanted to ask whether you can in theory claim for that yet? I remember it was discussed in detail here last year but have the things moved on since then at all? What is the legal ground for these claims in general?

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