BA sale

Bits: 1000 Avios with Airbnb, double Avios Kaligo offer, new Stansted Express trains

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News in brief:

Get 1000 Avios with your first Airbnb stay

Back in June British Airways partnered with Airbnb to offer Avios with your Airbnb bookings, with 3 Avios earned per £1/€1/$1 spent.

It also had an introductory offer of 500 Avios with your first booking.

There is now a new promotion that doubles the introductory offer to 1000 Avios for your first booking.

The promotion is not appearing on the official Airbnb page on the British Airways website, although it is showing on the Executive Club offers page when you log in.

To get the offer you MUST book via the link on ba.com. You will not receive any Avios if you go via the standard Airbnb home page.

You can also get £25 off your first Airbnb booking by using Anika’s refer a friend link which is here.  There is a minimum spend of £55.  I don’t know if you can do this and earn Avios at the same time, but the £25 discount is a better deal if you can’t.

Get double Avios with Kaligo

Kaligo.com is running a double Avios promotion on ALL hotel stays booked this month for stays from now until the end of June 2020.

This means that you can collect between 10 and 40 Avios per £1 spent on every hotel booking, depending on the category of hotel. You can see the special promotion page on the Kaligo.com website here.

Obviously you would be waiving your usual hotel benefits if you have status since you are booking via a third party.  You also wouldn’t be earning any hotel loyalty points as these would be non-qualifying stays.  However, for independent hotels or stays at chains where you have no status or do not collect their points, this could be a very lucrative offer and give your Avios balance a big boost.

PS.  Before you book, remember that Rocketmiles – a very similar business to Kaligo.com – is currently offering 5,000 miles in MANY programmes to new customers with their first stay.  Click for our article.  The clever thing to do is to credit the stay to Heathrow Rewards which gives you the possibility to transfer out to a variety of airline partners – including Avios and Virgin Flying Club – and potentially get a conversion bonus at a later date.  Rob is testing out this offer tonight so there will be an update on it next week.

New Stansted Express trains

New Stansted Express trains on the way

Last year, Abellio Greater Anglia signalled it would be removing First Class from Stansted Express with the arrival of its new rolling stock. It is part of a fleet-wide investment that sees it replacing every single train in its network.

(As someone who lived in Norwich for four years I can only say it is high time. The old trains were very, very old fashioned and I once spent the two hour journey between London and Norwich in a train where the heating had entirely broken!)

The new trains are now arriving – test running started on 25th October – and, bar the scrapping of First Class, represent a clear improvement. You can see a reader photo sent in above.  Stansted Express and the London-Norwich routes will receive the same rolling stock, although Norwich will have a first class carriage.

The new Stansted Express trains are longer at 12 walk-through carriages, with low floor boarding, free WiFi, power and USB sockets. It also looks like they have LCD information screens.

Whether or not the trains will be a success will probably depend on two things:  the amount of luggage storage availability as well as the comfort of the seats. Lots of recent train introductions including the new GWR trains have been criticised for seats that are too firm.

If you are a regular Heathrow Express user, remember that new trains are also on the way on that route.  We met with Heathrow Express on Monday and they told us that the new rolling stock will not now be introduced until March.  Whilst the incoming trains are newer and are being refurbished, Heathrow Express admitted that, as they were not built to order, it will be difficult to retain the current high standard of interiors.  First Class is also dropping to 2-1 from 1-1.

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Comments

  1. Michael says:

    OT: My 3000 odd pending Avios points in BAEC from purchases through their portal have disappeared. I’m getting the message “You currently have no pending transactions.” Likely to be I.T glitch or something else?

    • I’ve been having an absolute nightmare with BAEC lately. Nothing is crediting as it should. I have around 48,000 missing points from Avios hotels back in August.

      • Agree that the BA e-store is a bit of a nightmare (I’ve had numerous points “removed” long after I’d earned them!), but avios from hotel stays can take 120 days to post so it depends when in August you completed your stays.

        • For some reason my previous post didn’t post. There is a message on the portal to say that currently it takes longer than normal to process and they are working on fixing it. I have a transaction awarded and not posted since last Wednesday.

      • I can’t complain. I cancelled a flight and they owed me 60,000 points which didn’t reappear in my account. After seven weeks of chasing they apologized profusely and gave me 60,000. At the end of the month my refund appeared as well 🙂

        • Shush! These kind of glitches are best kept a secret.😀

          • Also it seems that now BA portal has serious issues. I couldn’t get a click through to load the retailer page (tried various browsers). Went through Aer Club in the end as BJ suggested below and it worked fine.

    • Peter K says:

      I gave up with this BA’s portal after a Hilton stay did not post (when a Hilton stay immediately before did) and BA refused to pay out.
      Why use something that gives you nothing despite meeting it’s terms. Rather than give them the commission and earn nothing I’d rather they didn’t get the commission and I still got nothing. (Our better, use Rob’s link).

      • That may have more to do with Hilton than BA

        • Lady London says:

          +1. Hilton never used to pay out as promised on Voldesite either. That felt so dishonourable of Hilton that I stuck with IHG for over 2 more years and avoided booking Hilton even when convenaient for work. It wasnt just me there were lots of comments from others that Hilton simply hadnt honoured and in thèse cases Voldesites give up readily and still posted Hilton despote such consistent bad feedback (DFDS was another case in point.)

          Currently Hilton Volde is offering 1% if you’re HHonors or 4% if not. I have no idéa if they currently pay out as I dont bother. After that history i prefer to support affiliate links.

    • Use the avios aerclub version. I’ve only had two failures in recent years and no claw back at all.

    • Michael says:

      Thanks for the replies, that’s good to know. It’s not a significant amount of Avios but I’ll chase it up with BAEC and see what they say.

      • Spaghetti Town says:

        T*C*B is much more reliable. It’s not very often something from there doesn’t post

        • For hotel bookings my experience in the past has been with not to be namedportal has been 90% decline rate and then it’s the fight to get them reinstated. I stopped using it and go via BA now as never had one declined by them.

          • Spaghetti Town says:

            Only used it twice for hotel bookings and had both posted. I was due about 600 avios from a Marriot booking from BAEC portal which I never got so it was bye bye to them

        • ankomonkey says:

          I’ve had issues with Accor and them telling ‘that site’ that I didn’t stay. I even sent ‘that site’ my statement showing the points earned from the stay. They said Accor were refusing to pay so they couldn’t pay me.

    • Rooster says:

      They post when you get the confirmation email but not within the 3 days claimed more like 10 working days for me

    • Just for reference, if you want to support HfP by clicking through one of their links (esp if Voldeportal etc. don’t have any sort of offering at the time), one way of doing this is to click “Privacy, Affiliate and Cookie Policy” in the very bottom LH corner of the site, and you will get a complete list of affiliate links if you scroll about 1/3 of the way down the page – there’s loads more than the few logos on the RHS of the page.
      If you find yourself looking through that list, and there isn’t an affiliate link, the best thing to do, to pay your subscription for the year (which is the very least you can do, to show your appreciation for all the brilliant information you get from this site) is to close the website you want to make a purchase from, then open HfP repeatedly, until an advert for the product you were just looking at appears on the RHS, then click through.
      Last time I made a booking with Melia (which doesn’t have an affiliate link), I looked at the hotel I was interested in, then shut the Melia site down, and reopened HfP several times until lo and behold, an ad for the Gran Melia Victoria popped up on the right hand side, then I clicked through and booked.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Never knew that! Thanks Cat – will scroll through list and use when I can.

        • Or indeed click on “A list of our partners is here” which is at the top of every article 🙂

          • How have I never spotted that! For goodness sake!

          • Rob, perhaps there might be a way to make this more obvious? I didn’t know about the link at the top of each either until I asked you for a particular link.

            I think a lot of readers genuinely want to support the site, so anything that makes it easier to do so …

          • “Rob, perhaps there might be a way to make this more obvious? I didn’t know about the link at the top of each either until I asked you for a particular link.

            I think a lot of readers genuinely want to support the site, so anything that makes it easier to do so …”

            Me too.
            I only found out about clicking on the links to the right of the articles after reading a comment a week ago.

          • A short reminded in a BITS article once a week would not be at all intrusive or over the top and would serve both as a useful reminder to regular readers and a signpost to newbies.

          • 👍 BJ

  2. Benilyn says:

    OT: How long does it take to get a Amex Platinum Supp, and then correspondingly the Priority Pass? If you don’t receive your PP in time, is there a work around?

    • Same as it usually takes to get any amex card, 3-4 days. Cards approved before 10am are printed the same day. PP cards usually arrive same day as the platinum card or within a day either side. This is unimportant as you can get the app set up even if the card does not arrive.

  3. O/T…as I understand, due to the recent £1 RFS fee being introduced , if you cancel a RFS booking atm, no matter what fee you paid, you will only be charged £1 therefore getting the remainder refunded? Is there a cutoff date for this? Ie I booked some RFS flights I’d like to cancel and move to a different date, they were booked on this year for flights July 2020. Thanks

    • Sorry… they were booked 6 August this year for travel July 2020

    • Harry T says:

      I think you will pay more than 1£. You can click through the cancellation process and check your refund before confirming cancellation.

      • £1 only. No matter what Avios+Money option you choose.

        • thanks both, i hadn’t realised you would see the amount due back to you before you committed to cancel. to update i will get full refund minus £1.5 so happy with that.

  4. As long as you never miss a legs day at the gym, a seat can never be too firm.

    • Shoestring says:

      both my kids are as fit as (firm buttocks!) – and they find GWR seats pretty uncomfortable (daily commute to school)

      • Lady London says:

        Do thé new GWR trains have the same seats as on thé new Thameslink zones? Those are massively uncomfortable even for short trios.

        • RussellH says:

          Probably not the same seat, but probably the same manufacturer, who I believe (without checking) are Fainsa. Their seats are usually cheaper than anyone elses seats, which is why they get chosen.
          DfT specifications for rail franchises never mention seat comfort, so there is no reasons for TOCs to request better seats.

      • Tell them to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc! My buns of steel can cope with any seat now!

        • Lady London says:

          If its Thameslink even buns of steel will notice.

          OTOH I do recall some interludes you mentioned around your Mont Blanc and other holiday exploits Cat when alcohol might have been consumed Cat and this might help not ‘feel’ those seats more! Honestly the old wooden slatted seats they used to have on buses were much more comfortable!

          • Moi? Sozzled?
            While that is absolutely fair, and I’ve no doubt I’ve benefited from alcohol cushioning many, many times (it’s the only way to survive long haul in cattle class, when I don’t have enough airmiles!), I do take the Thameslink to work most mornings (when I make the train, that is), by which time I’ve usually sobered up…

  5. On Airbnb: I booked a stay back in May and subsequently signed up to the 3 avios/£1 promotion. I asked Airbnb if the offer applied to retrospective bookings so long as you hadn’t yet completed your stay (or paid in full in my case), but was directed instead to BA as they said they couldn’t help.

    Anyone else used the offer and seen it work?

    I am reluctant to pay BA 6p/min or however much it is to hear them point me back in the direction of Airbnb.

  6. Not seen it posted, apologies if duplicate!

    MR -> Marriot bonus

    Transfer before 31 December 2019 and you’ll receive 9 Marriott Bonvoy points for every 4 Membership Rewards points, when you transfer 1,000 or more.1 That’s 50% more than the usual rate. You can use Marriott Bonvoy points at more than 7,000 hotels in 130 countries.

    Please note that your points will be transferred to your Marriott Bonvoy account within five working days and your additional Bonus Points can take up to eight weeks to transfer. Terms and Conditions apply.

    • Wondering if this is targeted as I have not received it and would actually be interested in this one! Anyone have a link? Thx

    • Have the same. Didn’t get the Hilton offer though.

      Interesting. I dropped Marriott and went over to Hilton so I’d have thought I’d been targeted because my Marriott bookings had fallen off. But how would Amex know that?

      • Same… got this Marriott offer this morning but never get the Hilton offer… funnily enough I normally transfer MR points to Hilton, never Marriott…

    • I have chatted with Susan at Amex who confirmed that the offer is available to all customers who have an existing Marriott membership.

    • On a related point, can you transfer Amex MR points directly to a spouse’s Marriott account or must they go to an account in the same name first, then speak to Marriott to combine points?

      • Transfer them to any other member regardless of address. Just takes a quick call. Used to be instant, more recently it has taken up to an hour for my transfers to complete.

        • Apologies, misread your question.

          • No problem. I think I have found the answer in the small print on the Amex website. Names need to match.

            Will have to call Marriott to transfer once points land.

    • I have this to. Great timing having shifted 50K MR to Marriott in the last week 🙁

      • Harry T says:

        Anyone reckon you can get this deal without being targeted by email? I didn’t get emailed the Hilton offer either so feeling a little neglected.

        • Susan on Amex chat says yes. Take from that what you will, but I am transferring points and expecting the bonus based on the chat, but not having received the email.

        • Someone else said they asked Amex and were told yes, it’s not targeted. I’d ask on chat, and keep the text of the conversation.

          • Yes. Be very clear about this – the agents make it up. They haven’t got a clue about this sort of thing. I would either record the call, ask them to email you in writing that you will get it or insist they make a note in your record and then call back to ask another agent if it was actually done.

            Don’t rely on their call records as the bonus is not due for weeks as per the rules and the tapes may have been wiped by then.

            Ask yourself this – if it’s not targeted, why is it not on the website?

          • Genuine question – do transfer bonuses normally get advertised on the website?

          • It is about 5 years since Amex did an ‘open to all’ bonus so we don’t know. In the dark depths of the early 21st century, yes they were.

          • Thanks – I’ve had the same info from a second chat agent now so I’m going to gamble.

    • Great offer, 80k MR to 180k Marriott = 75k in AA or Alaskan etc. any links?

  7. Just had an email from Amex – bonus points if transfer MR to Marriott –> 4:9 until 31.12.19

    • Harry T says:

      A clever hack would be to transfer MR to Bonvoy and then transfer to Avios to take advantage of the 35% bonus that BA are running! Would make more Avios than a direct transfer from MR. Would obviously rely on the bonus points transferring quickly from Amex.

  8. Heathrow Flyer says:

    LHR Summer schedule changes:

    • LHR-MSY increasing frequency from 5 to 6 per week
    • LHR-NAS-GCM increasing frequency from 4 to 5 per week

    Usual avios seats will be up for grabs.

  9. Benilyn says:

    OT: Amex Platinum supp Gold (first four are complimentary), do they get 2x lounge access too?

  10. OT – good result (finally) from our cancelled LON-LHR leg in August resulting in a 200 mile taxi dash to (just) catch our connecting flight to the Caribbean. Just received an email from BA saying they are refunding the sector not flown and giving us a total of 30,000 avios for the inconvenience.

    • Sorry, that should have been MAN-LHR, slightly more distance to cover!

    • I’m assuming they paid for the taxi too, so a nice result.
      I know it’s harder for families, but if you can keep stress levels down, relax about it, and are not too time limited, disruption oftens ends well.

      • Indeed, we have done quite well out of BA this year, also had 2 x 600 euros for a delay on a separate trip. Yes, they paid the £290 taxi fare! I might be imagining it but BA seem to have become a lot more co-operative since OH hit Bronze…

    • Well done for persevering, Anna!

  11. Lady London says:

    Well if the Stansted Express has been able to get away with the outrageous fares they have been charging for the seriously clapped-out trains they’ve been running, then I can’t see why Heathrow Express which has been the other great ripoff, should be concerned if they have to take refurbished carriages that might be closer to thé pour charriages on most other routes. At least Heathrow Express has adjusted their pricing.

    Btw where’s the luggage space in the above photo of the new trains? Whoever commissioned them seems to have forgotten many people go to airports with luggage. Sôme of which can be suite voluminous. It’s a problèmes now, and that photo looks even worse.

    • maybe i’ve been lucky – but i thought the existing Stansted Express trains were pretty decent ?!

      • Lady London says:

        You’ve been very, very lucky.
        They were just about décent many years back ( but still asdumed only about 4 people per charriage would have luggage).

        I avoid Stansted like the plague but still had to travel there 7-8 times in past 2-3 years. All at différent times of day or week. Got some shockers of charriages – all older than I thought were still running. Hideously broken seats and filth everywhere, on all of them bar 1 and that 1 was barely acceptable.

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