Air Belgium to operate Toronto flights for British Airways

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As British Airways continues to struggle with the reliability of Boeing 787 fleet, Air Belgium has been called up to take on additional routes.

At present Air Belgium is operating certain Dubai services for BA.  In April and May it will operate one of the Newark services.  From 9th June to 17th August, Air Belgium will operate one of BA’s two daily flights to Toronto.

Flights BA92 and BA93 will be operated by Air Belgium’s ex-Finnair A340.  There are differences of opinion about this aircraft in Business Class – some people complain that it is worn out, but others like the ex-Finnair seating which is seen as preferable to Club World, as the photo below shows.

Air Belgium flying Toronto flights for British Airways

First Class passengers will be downgraded, although they will retain Concorde Room access and receive First Class Avios and tier points.  No compensation is due except for any fare difference.  Alternatively you can switch to the 2nd daily service.

The same goes for Premium Economy / World Traveller Plus passengers who will be downgraded to Economy / World Traveller or can switch aircraft.

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  1. O/T – on a slightly convoluted BA routing next week:

    DUB-LCY-LHR-MIA (single ticket with 5 hour gap between arriving at LCY and the LHR dep).

    Am flying out on a separate ticket the night before to DUB and staying overnight. Don’t want to take my checked baggage to DUB and then to LCY the next day as will be taking the DLR/Tube to get to LHR and luggage will be a hassle.

    Bearing in mind check-in for LHR-MIA would have opened before I take the LHR-DUB flight the night before, could I check-in bags then? I think I read somewhere this was possible but some agents didn’t know the rules and might refuse check-in luggage overnight at LHR.

    • It’s certainly advertised as something you can do at LGW but not sure at LHR. If not, Left luggage is always an option.. in T5 it’s Excess Baggage Company, Arrivals level (ground floor), UK arrivals end.. 3 – 24 hours £12.50

      • ChrisC says:

        BA does not offer twilight / night before check-in at LHR.

        What some agents get confused about is checking in bags on the SAME day if you have other flights on the same ticket.

        So if your LHR-DUB etc etc MIA were on the same day then they can check them in for just the LHR-MIA flight but you may have to get a supervisor if the desk agent dosen’t know how to do it but it is certainly possible.

        BTW if you have plenty of time before your LHR-DUB I’d put your bags into left Luggage at T3 rather than T5.

    • fivebobbill says:

      Jesus Mikee, you must be saving a fortune to use that route to Miami! I live in Northern Ireland so am fortunate enough to be able to drive to Dublin, but for me, the added hassle of having to transit between LCY and LHR… I’d almost need to be getting the MIA leg for free!
      Safe travels however, and enjoy your trip 🙂

      • £3.10 for tube/dlr off-peak so pretty reasonable price wise. If you are familiar with London underground it’s a pretty easy journey, particularly without any luggage as he’s planning.

        Should crossrail have been live then the journey would have been nicer than the piccadilly line!

      • Thanks, will try left luggage if BA won’t check-in bags the evening before.
        I’m saving a few hundred ££ but I agree it’s extra hassle…..will see if it’s worth it!

        • Honestly it wouldn’t be that difficult to take luggage between LCY and LHR on the tube but I take your point. Depends when you are travelling – outside of rush hour not a problem, particularly as you are planning to take public transport anyway. There are lifts at Canning town. I don’t like the jubilee/piccadilly change but there are escalators etc.

        • ChrisC says:

          The Jubilee / Piccadilly change at Green Park is step free but you need to take the exit route from the Jubilee- so back up to the ticket hall level – then back down to the Piccadilly line. Much easier than the signposted route

        • Personally I’d DLR to West Ham, District to Baron’s Court/Hammersmith then Piccadilly to LHR if trying to get from LCY with luggage

        • Genghis says:

          Yep. I’m a fan of the cross platform change at Hammersmith.

    • You could try the airportr service ( They will collect your luggage in London from 24 hours before your flight and check-in for you. I’ve used it a few times and can’t fault it- it starts around £40 per bag and if you haven’t used them before I can refer you for 25% off.

  2. Frustrating situation where I’m trying to book a hire car with Avis but direct pricing is about 80% more than pricing through the comparison sites… Is there a way around this? Would much rather book direct!

    • Graeme says:

      Have you tried using any AWD codes to bring the price down? Or booking via can often be cheaper.

    • Charlieface says:

      Try and (although often excludes CDW if you need it)

    • Can depend on timing. Twice recently Avis was pricing at double others through Expedia at T-3months, so booked fully cancellable in Expedia, then when priced dropped at T-7weeks cancelled and booked Avis. Timing floats a bit but Avis has gotten near enough each time so far.

  3. RussellH says:

    Would anyone have advice on how long it usually takes to transfer from Marriott to United Airlines?
    Just done a top up of my UA a/c.

    Was surprised to see e-Rewards points transfer to UA within a few minutes!

    • Lyn Hall says:

      I think it should be fairly quick, within a day or two, since United has long been Marriott’s “special” airline transfer partner.

    • We did a recent minimum transfer from Marriott to my husband’s Qantas account to keep his Qantas miles active and that took less than two days. It may have transferred quicker but I only checked it after 2 days. I doubt if United would take any longer than that.

  4. OT – Any reason high end hotels do not include tea / coffee facilities in room or is it just to make more money from room service. I’m seriously considering buying a travel kettle as I not happy paying over $20 each morning so I can have a coffee in my room before breakfast. Is this just me but $100 on coffees over the last 5 days has just tipped me over the edge.

    • You need to find another hotel chain. My only experience of a hotel without tea and coffee in the room was a Swiss private hotel in Davos last year, even Premier Inns have it. And I’m including Corinthia, Pan Pacific, Conrad, Fairmont etc 5 star hotels.

    • Go down to breakfast early and have a coffee there before eating?

    • US$20 for a coffee?!? Does this include $15 of tips, handling charges, tray charges, service charges, sales taxes and all other ancillary charges that American establishments levy on customers?

      I’d choose a hotel that doesn’t rip you off tbh…

    • Darren says:

      High end hotels will (should) provide tea and coffee in a room on request, if they won’t then go somewhere else.

    • I think in some countries it’s just not the custom to have tea and coffee making facilities. It didn’t used to be in Spain, for example, though I don’t know about more recently as I tend to book rooms with at least basic kitchens these days. Even when there is tea and coffee there’s never enough milk for my tastes so I always travel with plenty of supplies, including powdered milk!

      Do they still sell those heating devices which you could plug in and pop in your mug of water to heat it up? I haven’t seen one for years but they would take up less space in your luggage than a kettle.

      • Or an alternative might be something like Rommelsbacher RK501 Automatic Travel Hot Plate. Only 500W though so might take a number of minutes

    • Andrew says:

      It’s happening more often. There’s usually free tea & coffee in the lounges or lobby instead, but not ideal for trekking down in your jim jams at 6am.

      For US trips, I’ve bought a small US kettle (my old travel kettle took 20 minutes to boil on 110V).

      Aren’t Amazon Locker’s great!

      • Looks like its the travel kettle on the next trip. $20 was with all the service charges in a Category 8 Marriott. I just want a simple coffee in bed before i venture out for breakfast

      • Love US Hamptons for that reason -always coffee in the lobby…

      • Posh hotels will bring you a coffee machine on request, in general, in the same way that will bring you pretty much anything else you want on request.

      • illuminatus says:

        I specifically look for Nespresso machines while going through hotel reviews and try to avoid staying in any hotel that does not offer that, certainly any 5* star hotel

        • That’s one of the advantages of IHG Platinum / Spire sometimes. Holiday Inns in France usually upgrade to rooms with Nespresso machines. Not in the high end category of course.

  5. ankomonkey says:

    OT: From Virgin Atlantic Flying Club e-mail:

    “From 31 March 2019, Virgin Atlantic will no longer be flying to Dubai.”

    Did we know this was happening?

    • ChrisC says:

      Yes. It was announced last year and has featured several times on HFP and other blogs too

      • ankomonkey says:

        I see. I somehow missed it. Next you’ll be telling me they’re cancelling HKG-SYD and LHR-NRT.

    • Michael says:

      Yep been about for a while. Leaves just two carriers on the London-Dubai route down from 5 only 2 years ago.

      • guesswho2000 says:

        Yep, even QF have switched back to SIN, I guess they reckon they can make more money on connecting pax that way (individual MEL/SYD-SIN and SIN-LHR)

    • Very soft market ATM.

  6. Can anyone tell me from experience the average real time it takes for AMEX rewards to go into Radisson accounts? I know the official line is up to ten days but what is reality? Many thanks.

  7. Charlieface says:

    OT: Anyone had random £5 credits on their Amex recently? Wondering if it’s related to Shop Small, can’t think of anything else.

    • Shoestring says:

      quite a few got reported here, some were guessing late credits from Paypal or SS – no such free fivers here!

    • Charlieface says:

      Didn’t do the paypal offer but it does match SS missing credits which I already got manually!

  8. Shoestring says:

    Good bit of info on FT – the IB 9000 offer – he cancelled by phone a flight paid largely but not wholly with the promo Avios (rest were ordinary Avios) – got all the Avios refunded immediately into his IB a/c – quickly transferred them all to BAEC.

    So there’s no automatic instant process to make you lose the promo Avios if you cancel. I guess it’s a manual process, not that we have seen any evidence yet of promo points getting cancelled if you cancel a flight.

  9. Jimbob says:

    OT – anyone else notice Curve starting to clamp down on money recycling?

    • Doug M says:

      In what way?

    • Genghis says:

      What type of money recycling? I was given notice of their terms changes which I’ll have deemed to have accepted in two weeks’ time.

      • Jimbob says:

        Used to be able to top up my isa, savings account and Revolut. But all seem blocked now

        • Genghis says:

          I’m ok

        • Thomas Howard says:

          Are you sure its not the underlying card? I couldn’t top up my II ISA with a IHG card, I called Creation and they said they were declining the transactions as the MCC was associated with bitcoin. I switched to Lloyds and the transaction went straight through.

  10. Darren says:

    I’m looking ot boost my avios balance by a significant amount, 300,000ish as I seem to always earn and burn and leave myself with too small a balance.

    There was a discussion last month about the merits, or otherwise, of this when BA had a bonus offer on of £3k for 300k avios. I was wondering whether to wait for the next BA offer or go via another route (maybe groupon). Is it possible to build that amount instantly with avios purchase other than BA?

    • Shoestring says:

      yes – Iberia!

      dates of bonus Avios promos don’t mirror BA’s

      and IB was slightly cheaper last time

    • IMO earn & burn is the optimum strategy as avios are an inflexible currency and subject to devaluation, which many think may not be far off. If you are going to buy avios at about 1.1p each in a sale you need to exercise caution to ensure that you will get value in return. Given the tax and fees on longhaul this can often be difficult unless you value flexibility, redeem in First, at peak season, in conjunction with a 241 and/or in cerain markets where excelkent cash deals ard as rare as hen’s teeth. Absent those circumstances, a better steategy would be to buy great value avios-earning revenue flights and rebuild your avios balance more gradually at much less than 1ppa. At the moment I’m using the Tesco mobile offer which is at the upper end of what I am prepared to pay per avios ever, most of those I havd collected cost much closer to 0ppa.

      • Darren says:

        I understand the need for caution, but my usage is always with a 241 and I’d prefer First when available as I don’t have status which makes seat selection a bit of a pain. I suppose Amex MR would be a safer bet for redemption options, is this possible as a cash purchase?

        The cushion of a larger balance would make this mad game a little easier.

        • 241, F and no status makes buying avios at 1.1ppa worthwhile. Consider SPG card as opposed to an MR card. However, next time the buy avios offer comes along you could self refer for platinum giving you 9k + 35k +300k avios plus hotel and car status, and tgen cancel the card.

        • 241, F and no status makes buying avios at 1.1ppa worthwhile. Consider SPG card as opposed to an MR card. However, next time the buy avios offer comes along you could self refer for platinum giving you 9k + 35k +300k avios plus hotel and car status, and then cancel the card.

      • Shoestring says:

        Depends how much money you have tied up in Avios/ how much you paid for them/ how this relates to your other assets etc

        Plus how realistic you think it is that a destructive devaluation will come along.

        I guess we have close to 2 million Avios/ Virgin miles now. If somebody offered me £20K for them, I’d take it like a shot. But that offer’s not on the table. And I didn’t pay £20K – I guess at most we paid about £3K, so that’s what I stand to lose in a 100% wipe-out. 100% wipe-out is not too likely, more like 10% tops if a nasty devaluation comes along, so £300 downside. Plus a few travelling dreams shattered!

        My view is that you need a not too hot, not too cold solution on the size of your points stash. If you earn & burn constantly, you’re not too likely to ever get your stash big enough to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. So a quick 300K stash generated as Darren is contemplating is not madness but just a pragmatic way to generate an overnight stash that could save you twice as much very easily, think 2-4-1s etc.

        • In the right hands that would be a steal so you may get some offers…400 cases of cheap but drinkable… 🙂

  11. Seems like Marriott refer a friend is back working

    • More generous than the Hilton variant for at least two stays but does the friend get anything?

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