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Bits: BA launches Antalya but drops Limoges, congratulations to BA’s IT team, 20% bonus on Etihad transfers

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News in brief:

British Airways launches new route to Antalya

British Airways has announced a new holiday route for Summer 2020 – Antalya in Turkey.

The route will operate from London Gatwick.  There will be up to six flights per week – frequency increases as we get into the Summer – with the first flight departing on 30th April.  It is scheduled to run until 29th October although there is always the possibility that it will become a year-round route if successful.

British Airways already runs a Summer-only service to Dalaman from Gatwick and, of course, there are daily flights to Istanbul from Heathrow.

Tickets are bookable now, for both cash and Avios.  A standard redemption is 17,000 Avios off-peak / 20,000 peak + £35 in Euro Traveller and 34,000 Avios off-peak / 40,000 peak + £50 in Club Europe.  Under the current variable pricing trial, you can choose to pay as little as £1 in tax by using more Avios, although this option is not available if using a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.

I don’t know anything about Antalya, although British Airways says:

“Antalya is often described as the gateway to the Turquoise Coast with some of the most stunning landscapes in Turkey.  The beaches and crystal-clear Mediterranean Sea are perfect for sunbathing, swimming and water sports.  As well as the rolling landscapes and beaches, the region has two-thousand years of history with a range of spectacular temples and Greco-Roman ruins close by, as well as a bustling food and cultural scene.”

The hotel scene looks a bit desperate, to be honest.  The best option appears to be the four star Crowne Plaza – website here and photo below – which is handy for anyone with IHG Rewards Club status or with IHG points to redeem.

PS.  BA giveth and BA taketh away.  This announcement came in parallel with the dropping of Summer services from Gatwick to Gibraltar and Limoges.  The Heathrow service to Gibraltar will continue.

Crowne Plaza Antalya

Congratulations to BA’s IT department

The British Airways IT department generally has very little to celebrate, but it has managed to hit a remarkable milestone this week.

The new British Airways iPad app has just received its 1,000th one-star review.  Since virtually no-one has given it two, three, four or five stars, the overall average from ALL reviewers is just 1.1 out of 5.

It is very difficult to achieve a result like this – even with careful planning you could never be certain that everyone would hate your app so much they would give it just a single star – so the team should be proud of themselves.

Take a look (click to enlarge):

British Airways iPad app

20% bonus on transfers to Etihad Guest

Etihad Guest has launched another of its occasional transfer bonuses.

Details of the transfer bonus are here.  For UK residents, the key transfer partners which will trigger a 20% bonus are:

Le Club AccorHotels

IHG Rewards Club

World of Hyatt

Radisson Rewards (still called Club Carlson by Etihad!)

Marriott Bonvoy

Hilton Honors

Shangri-La Golden Circle

It is important to note who is NOT on the list – American Express Membership Rewards.  You will not get a bonus if you transfer from here.  Note that Etihad Guest is no longer a Heathrow Rewards partner.

It is not clear if HSBC is included.  It has been included in the past and it is not on the list of exclusions.  Etihad says that “Mastercard partners” ARE included …. does this include HSBC Premier Mastercard points?

Transfers must be made by 31st October.  The bonus will be added in a separate transaction within 15 days of the end of the promotion.

You can find out more here.

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Comments

  1. We go to antalya twice a year because it’s great all inclusive for the kids. There aren’t many points hotels that are amazing. We normally stay at the Barut hotels which seem to fare very well on tripadvisor.

  2. Jonathan says:

    I think BA’s iPhone app (I don’t know about Android or tablet computer apps) is one of the few airlines that lets you search for cheapest fares easily, although it does have some draw backs, mainly not being able to change the starting base city (very easily), and only showing the prices for hand luggage only fares, at first glance, it would be good if they showed the total fare price if you wanted checked luggage.

    If other oneworld airlines had this feature on their apps, it would make hunting for things like 560 tier points routes a lot easier!

    • OT: about checked luggage fare, does anyone know how to book luggage for some but not all of the passengers? Say 2 passengers out of 4 having checked luggage, on the same booking? On the website it seems to be all or nothing.

      • Jovanna says:

        If you’re making the initial booking then you’ll have to select HBO for everyone and complete the booking then go back until MMB and add the luggage allowance to those that need it.

        It might be better to call BA and have them assist.

        If you’ve already made the booking then you can add it in MMB to those specific passengers requiring it.

        • Shoestring says:

          would be a bit cheaper to buy 2x HBO + 2x Economy Plus (separate bookings), depending on route saves from £18 to quite a lot more vs adding the checked baggage later

          • We often mix and match. Generally we travel as a family of 3 or 4 but often need one or two checked bags.

          • Thanks, will check about the price. Ideally we’d keep everyone under the same booking, but could reconsider if there are significant savings.

  3. OT: tried to send some money to Brighton on Tuesday using Curve. Tried twice, both showed an error with Amex. However, one of them went through with Curve, and has now been debited on the underlying card (i.e., not pending anymore). Contacted Curve to ask “what gives?” and they’ve told me that indeed was payment was declined, but the other went through. What are my options here? I’ve replied back to them that both payments were declined, but would like some advice on potential avenues to get it sorted out.

    • They’ve now asked for a “decline receipt or any proof of the decline”… Didn’t take a print screen when the payment failed.

      • Riccatti says:

        Chat with AMEX associate, if he confirms declines clearly, specifying amounts.

        Screenshot chat conversation.

        • Thanks 🙂 but, they now magically noticed that the 2 transactions were indeed declined and refunded the payment. Go figure!

    • Which underlying card did you use? Some, like IHG, have a weekly limit so can get declined if that’s been used up. Personally I wouldn’t draw the attention of Curve or Amex to it though and just wait and see if it starts working again.

      • Also – if the payment hasn’t gone through on Amex it will usually arrive back on the underlying card in a day or so.

      • It was an IHG card but it wasn’t do to the limit, it seemed something on Amex side – in my experience when hitting the IHG limit the transaction gets declined by Curve; on this case one transaction went through and another one never even showed up on Curve (or IHG for that matter).
        Didn’t contact Amex, but the Curve representatives seemed completed oblivious what American Express was, they treated it like a regular purchase (even asking for a “decline receipt” like I was making a payment on a POS).
        And yes, normally when payments fail the transaction eventually disappears. What was strange in this case was that it not only did not dissapears but actually went from pending to “confirmed” (or whatever it’s called). And I didn’t really feel like losing £300 (it would wipe out most of the value I’ve ever got with Curve)

  4. OT: has anyone tried cash withdrawals using Curve linked to HSBC World Elite? Is there a fee or not?

  5. OT Re flexplus travel insurance.
    Quite a bit of discussion last week re new terms from Nov 1st for pre existing conditions. I just received a letter offering me the renewal at £132.50. Last years premium was £115.20. This is for COPD (3 inhalers) I will stick with them.

  6. MrHandBaggageOnly says:

    Antalya is a fantastic location for anyone who wants a week or two of sun, sea and good resorts. The airport is decent as well. I haven’t been for a few years but would love to go back, our neighbours were there this year and loved it. Friendly people and great food too.

    It’s good move by BA in my book, as I imagine the gap left by Thomas Cook here is rather large.

  7. youngtraveller says:

    As kids, these day would say that was ‘savage’! But having used the app on the ipad before from what I remember it was the same one as the iphone so it wasn’t created for the iPad and I think it ruined the experience.

  8. Optimus Prime says:
  9. 4hrs 20 min in a a319 is a long time…..

  10. Aston100 says:

    The Antalya Crowne Plaza markets itself as five star.
    It is certainly superior to some of the 4 star CP properties in the UK anyway, but the definition of 5 star isn’t the same between those two countries.

    As others have pointed out, the luxury resorts are not inside the city, but anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour transfer.

    It is an amazingly good value for money destination, especially if you can tear yourself away from the all inclusive resorts and go out and about exploring.

    The airport however is horrid. The staff are cold and humourless and don’t know how to react if a situation that isn’t scripted arises.
    For instances, their brains cannot comprehend how to deal with someone on crutches trying to go through the metal detector. They make that person put their crutches through the xray machine and then expect them to walk unaided through the metal detector!

  11. New Card says:

    OT – My Lloyds card has been converted to the new Mastercard. I recall that the letter I received said I could still earn an Avios Upgrade Voucher this year if I spent £7k by a certain date. How do you know if you have earned one of these? Do they still send the letter out by post telling you like they used to?

    • I’ve never had a letter about the voucher (apart from the “bonus” one I got in February!), I keep a running total of my spend and I’ll be calling BAEC this year to check that it’s appeared in my account.

    • WE have received emails.

    • i called up Lloyds a few days ago to ask if I’d hit the £7k target – the very pleasant person who answered had to go through my statements and manually tot up the total spend (excluding refunds / fees) …

      apparently the voucher will be triggered once the statement is produced after you’ve hit the target … so if you hit the target at the start of a statement month, you have to wait almost a month before getting official confirmation

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