News: Virgin Atlantic to upgrade the eldest passenger, save 20% on PremiAir, IHG’s credit cards get an app

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News in brief:

Virgin Atlantic to upgrade elderly passengers this Christmas

Following a social media story which went viral, about a Virgin Atlantic passenger who gave up his Upper Class seat for an 88-year old passenger in Economy, Virgin has decided to run a special campaign over Christmas.

Between today and 1st January, Virgin Atlantic will offer an upgrade to the eldest customer on each of its flights.  This doesn’t automatically include the rest of the family group, although I am sure the airline will be accommodating where it can.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Save 20% on PremiAir at Manchester

Save up to 20% on Manchester Airport’s PremiAir VIP terminal

PremiAir, the new private terminal at Manchester Airport, is offering a special short-term discount.

You will receive a 20% discount if you book for a flight in January.

You will receive a 10% discount if you book for a flight between February and June.

A 20% saving takes the service down to as little as £40 (£80 if you want to use lounge) which makes it well worth considering.  My very positive review of PremiAir is here.

You need to book via this link to receive the discount.

Creation credit card app

IHG’s credit cards finally get an app

If you have either of the IHG Rewards Club credit cards – and I am a big fan of the £99 per year Premium Mastercard – you finally have an app.  See the image above.

You will find it in your local app store, under the name ‘Creation’ which is the company – part of BNP Paribas – which issues the card.

Feedback so far seems to be good, even though this is only the first version.

Here is our review of the IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard.  You pay a £99 fee but you get 20,000 points as a sign-up bonus, 2 points per £1 on your spending – and they count towards status, Platinum Elite status and a voucher for a free night at any IHG property for spending £10,000 per year.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. I’m upgrading my phone for Xmas (don’t worry, Shoestring, it’s only to an iPhone 6 with a Tesco contract!), so am looking forward to downloading the IHG app tomorrow!

    • Shoestring says:

      my middle son (the one with his mother’s brains so pretty brainy!) got it right: iPhones are very overpriced for what you get

      so he has a Samsung whereas my daughter had to get an iPhone like her mates, that’s loadsamoney I won’t be getting back soon but then it’s only 3 years until she goes off to university!

      • I think Apple has created the simplest, most elegant, easiest to use OS for the iPhone. Yes Samsung hardware is cheaper etc but for the amount of time most people spend on their iPhone, your daughter will get this repaid for the thousands of hours she will spend on it!!

        • Shoestring says:

          I’m not denying iPhones are great/ elegant/ possibly the best out there – just expensive!

          can I get away with no upgrade for my daughter over the next 3 years? That would be my pennypinching dream

          somehow I doubt it

          • You can and should get away without an upgrade. We managed that with our youngest. Had to get the screen replaced x 2 but that’s about it….

      • an iphone looked after will have a decent resale value in 3 years time. a samsung a lot less. plus the iOS is much nice to use on an iphone although everyone has different opinions…

        • Mr(s) Entitled says:

          Sure about that? iPhone in 3yrs won’t have a battery worthy of the name. A Samsung can have a new one inserted for a few pound. That greatly impacts the price Having sold both an iPhone and a Samsung to Cex in the past few weeks I’d equate the iPhone to an electric car. Great experience, buckle in when you come to sell.

          Writing on my OnePlus which is excellent!

          • You can change the battery in an iPhone for roughly £7 (from eBay for example). It’s not that difficult and keeps it going I find. I usually do that when I upgrade my own, change the battery in the current one and it becomes a hand me down for one of the kids, otherwise known as ‘their upgrade’!

          • i can only speak from experience but i have sold 8 iphones over the years. always got a decent return on them such that when i upgrade to the new/next model i dont pay that much extra than what i received. of course, can only speak from experience…

          • Lady London says:

            OnePlus great phones. Also really really pleased with my Xiaomi Pocophone. Incredible spec for the price. Xiaomi has also auto-updated the OS repeatedly. Would like to see these 2 manufacturers less shut out of the UK market.

            PS my other phone is a high end Samsung and I really don’t think OnePlus / Xiaomi are far off that plus not paying the 30% Samsung surcharge. Is the surcharge on the i-Phone 100%? You’re right though, due to the power of branding you’ll always be able to resell i-anything.

          • Shoestring says:

            Facetime saves us a few £££s 🙂

            not sure I would want my wife looking at my ugly mug whenever I called her!

          • You can’t make a decent battery for £7 let alone sell one for that

          • @Chrisasaurus the battery specialist lol………..I’ve yet to have a duff one yet, some have lasted better than the originals. You’re obviously an ‘Android’ know it all!

          • Having had iPhones since the beginning, and selling after 2-3y each time, I stand by that – they hold a reasonable value (even in the case of a broken screen, as my OH’s 7 had when we sold it).

            I bought an X 64GB for A$1,599 a couple of years ago, and they’re selling (completed, sold listings) $600-$900 right now, I’d be happy enough with that.

        • If you bought a iphone X 64GB 2 years ago for £999 it’s worth about £300 right now if it’s in mint condition once you pay ebay/paypal fees and postage. Savage depreciation.

          There was a time where if you bought an iphone new with a 20-30% discount (carphone warehouse/apple amex offers for example, this year you could have done 30% potentially at harrods with amex) then you could flip it a year later for very little loss.

          The iphone X “changed everything” in terms of that.

          Even iphone XS, 3 months ago they were £999, you could pick one up from very brand new for £579 in November.

          • I bought an X 64GB for A$1,599 a couple of years ago, and they’re selling for $600-$900 right now, which I can handle tbh.

          • Percentage wise, compare that to the phones I had pre-iPhone, which would be maybe £250 to buy, and sell for about £25 18 months later, as they were nearly always free on a 12-18m contract. iPhones are expensive upfront, so the resale holds, to a point.

      • And the most right bit of all is that android so much better than clunky There’s a good reason why iPhones has been going downhill for years and it’s not price.iOS.

        • I use a Samsung 8plus, and have now gone on to a sim only contract. Hope to keep it for several years. I use it for everything. The photography is superb too.

    • Not sure there’s really that much in it. I dislike Apple because they’ve sold the world this belief that they’re somehow a lifestyle. When it comes to Steve Jobs I’m firmly in the Mr Robot view of what he was, and what Apple are. I prefer Android because it’s not Apple.
      Lady London – do you take comfort from every bit of data on your Xiaomi being shared directly with Beijing 🙂

      • Lady London says:

        Yup. And same for my Huawei modems. And just missed out on Huawei laptop data being forwarded to Beijing as well.

        I suppose its no worse than the personal data hoovers up constantly without consent. Despite the legislation.

        • Lady London says:

          *personal data Google hoovers up

          • I have always had the latest iPhone and sold them on eBay for silly money with £1 fees, except this year.
            I could not see the difference between my sons XR and my Xs max, there was hardly any difference so I got the 11 and I can’t believe how good it is. The 11 pro max would not be much better in my experience and was 50% more, no brainer for me.
            I didn’t sell my Xs max and gave it to my daughter but my x max sold for £660 after a year, my daughters 8 plus sold for 350, it cost £575 a year earlier.

        • Disagree about Google. They were in compliance with GDPR since way before there was a GDPR. I doubt there’s any large company that made even 10% of the effort to be on the good side re: privacy (see Incognito mode on browser and apps, Google Takeout, ability to turn off any kind of tracking etc). The French case is a clear attempt of a cash grab against a politically “safe” target (and won’t stand to appeal). Note that the fine was announced 1 day before the French agency lost the authority to do so.
          There are big problems with Google, but privacy and GDPR compliance ain’t it.

          • Lady London says:

            Erm…. just take a look at the default settings in chrome and on all google products someday.
            Whenever Google changes anything or introduces anything new, beware all default settings will be set to grab everything.
            They’ve improved with GDPR, But they still make it darn difficult to stop them shopping your data all over the place. I’m relatively on the ball, but what they’ve got away with (and keep getting away with) is shocking.

            they’re not the only ones, but they’ve led the way for others. Them and Facebook. Luckily I’ve never been on Facebook other than under an incognito.

  2. BA RFS -can I check my understanding with the variable pricing please?

    I can book a RFS now, and irrespective if what combo of £/Avios I select at point of booking, I can cancel and only pay £1?

    And this could change at any time? So I could potentially book now, but BA then revert back to £35 cancellation fees?


    • Shoestring says:

      completely wrong, you messed up

      it’s 50p 🙂

      for a single leg

      otherwise you are completely right, T&Cs mean BA could go back to £35 any time they like

    • Far and away the best price typically is the one where you pay around £17.50 in fees per flight. The pay nearly nothing prices really devalue Avios, as do the pay more and keep Avios prices. Certainly on the flights I’ve booked it’s been that way, the sweet sport is always the one closest to the old price.

  3. OT and I know this has come up a lot – felt sure that the extra Avios for £4 spend on BAPP didn’t need to be saved to card, but Amex help desk disagree and say they need a screenshot! Have I misremembered? If not, does anyone still have the wording?

    • It was automatically saved to people’s cards by Amex apparently. I don’t have a BA amex currently so don’t know personally.

      • It does show on your list of saved offers.

        • I also have a screenshot of the banner which says that you do not need to save it to account! It’s not showing under my offers, but I did get the initial batch, but nothing since cca 15 Dec.

          • Thanks everyone. Just realised that the banner is still appearing via desktop login (not in app) so I have submitted a screenshot.

        • Not on mine, any more.

          I have a rich history of saving offers, then going back some time later to discover they’ve disappeared from Saved Offers. CS absolutely stonewall me every time, and on more than one occasion I’ve resorted to typing in capitals on live chat. I must start taking screenshots!

  4. John Caribbean says:

    I haven’t recieved my 25000 avios for joining Barclays Premier. Has anyone else not had them? Isn’t something supposed to be emailed out and then a code inputed?
    Barclays CS just told me to contact “Avios or American Express or whoever”

    • I spoke to the Barclays Premier team – they have a ‘relationship manager’ who is there to sort these things! I enquired last week and was told they were inundated – and there would be a delay. However there had been an internal communication that suggested all remaining points would be issued in the week of 23/12/19.
      Sounded very much like a brush off, but will give them the benefit of doubt and see again next week!

    • premierrelationship_bankingteam at

      Sorted it in a couple of days.

    • I didn’t get mine by the 20th, dropped an email to the premier banking email address and got a response on Saturday. On Monday afternoon I got an email with the voucher in. They seem to be quick to sort it if you email them

    • What is this offer, I’m already Barclay Premier, is it only for new sign ups?

  5. Any wine deals out there? My sister left her wine in my house and I gave away 3 bottles as presents 🤣

    • She had bought it via BA so don’t think she will accept supermarket wine as replacement

      • John Caribbean says:

        Virgin wines offer from a post by Rob a few days ago

      • Shoestring says:

        there was a great one on Naked Wines the other day but you missed it! 🙂

        they messed up, it was £3/ bottle for some very quaffable stuff

        otherwise probs Virgin with a new email address

        • Thanks. Maybe I will wait and see if a deal comes along. She won’t be around until new year.

          • Shoestring says:

            I already got told off for drinking too much in No1 🙂

            not sure what more you can do – it was stoptember, stop-ober, stoptember then another stoptember – 4 bloody months – you drink too much just once and it’s like D-I-V-O-R-C-E

          • Lady London says:

            I thought the stripey kitten mitigated that @Shoestring?

          • Shoestring says:

            it’ll keep coming back for about a week! lol

            good job she has her merits

            that stripey kitten will not happen, when you get a cat it’s for 16-17 years and the first one nearly killed me already

  6. OT. Anyone received promised £5 from Curve for using the card?

    • Yep. Received almost straight away

    • Useless Curve as always

      • The way I (ab)use Curve, I’m not going to contact then over the promised fiver that hasn’t arrived. I don’t want a human looking too closely at my transactions. Same goes for several other financial institutions I deal with.

        Merry Christmas to them all, and thanks for all the fish.

        Merry Christmas to everyone on here too, whose cryptic comments often open doors that I might otherwise walk straight past.

        And to Rob and the Team, for a Web site that has truly changed my life!

        • Ive just found a way – which I think you are referring to and just had confirmation from the statements. Anyway I can learn or share? Any tips in which to find the cryptic clues! ?

  7. An O/T request for Christmas…

    I’m booking hotels for a USA road-trip with my wife next year. Does anybody have hotel recommendations for any/all of the following (I have IC Ambassador as well as the usual Hilton/Marriott status, and points to use across the boards which would be ideal). We particularly like nice exec lounges for pre-dinner drinks etc.

    We’re looking for recommendations for: New Orleans, Nashville, Chicago, Detroit and Toronto.

    Anything very much appreciated, and merry Christmas!

    • We really enjoyed the Waldorf in New Orleans….The Roosevelt – lovely old building – really lives up the the old world charm that befits Waldorf…..

    • Dave Barron says:

      Had a nice stay on points at the IC Chicago Magnificent Mile a few years ago (great spot for exploring city and a fab view from corner room – massive pool too!). It was a points stay and no status so can’t comment on breakfast / lounge etc. We stayed two nights paying little for the cheapest night!

      In Toronto previously had a nice stay at Hilton on Richmond Street West.

      Detroit has a nice Marriott at the Renaissance Center too with view of city or across river to Windsor in Canada.

      Whatever you do be aware of some steep city centre parking costs so it pays to do research. If passing through then there’s plenty free parking options in terms of Hamptons etc which are cheaper on points too as a budget option where you just need to make a pit stop – many are much cheaper as cash which earns points too. Don’t expect much status recognition from Hilton if just Gold as in my experience many Americans have it though credit cards etc!

    • I stayed in the Kimpton Gray Hotel in Chicago on points last year and got upgraded to a very large room – it was Labour Day weekend though, which I think meant the hotel was quieter than normal. The hotel was very nice, and the staff seemed super eager to help at checkin, although we never really interacted with them after checkin since we ate breakfast in the restaurant in the Hyatt Centric next door as it had much more choice for vegetarians.

  8. Shoestring says:

    well EUR3601 = £3081, so you might have been better off getting your 300K Avios when they cost £2985 as I suggested earlier 🙂

    • Shoestring says:

      got my Black & Decker electric chainsaw assembled earlier & cut a stack of logs

      if I can’t type tomorrow through absent limbs or fingers, you know why

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Reciprocal saw here for those free, pallet fire wood for the burner!

        • Lady London says:

          Aren’t pallets made of treated wood though? Not necessarily a good idea for indoor burning…?

          • Shoestring says:

            stink like hell and soot up the chimney, apart from that – free wood

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            Only the coloured ones. Most are made of pine.
            Burn well,don’t smell at all and the best of all are free.

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            For insurance cover you should always have your chimney swept by HETAS approved sweep.
            We have ours done annually.
            If you don’t & have a fire contributed from the burner, no payout.

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            Treated ones marked MB, I stay clear of those!

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Amazing what subjects get discussed on a flying loyalty point site.
          Anyway, enough about logs for today.

          Hemorrhoid creams – over to you Shoestring & Lady London 😄
          Merry Xmas!

  9. Shoestring says:

    talking about 93 year old aunties etc, I was made to think of our own limited lifespan in October when my 89 year old neighbour went & died on me

    he was perfectly brainy/ lucid and OK apart from a few old person falling over episodes – and still into fishing etc, no senile dementia

    while I was on holiday he fell over again and they thought an observation spell in hospital was needed – where he fell over again, broke his hip & died after the hip replacement operation, I guess it was the shock + maybe infection

    there one minute, gone the next

    • Lady London says:

      This is why people are afraid of going into hospitals in the UK. This looks like filth/ negligence. But how to prove it? Did he have family to try to observe/protect?

      • Shoestring says:

        they’re doing an inquest, he is still not buried after about 9-10 weeks, so I think they’re looking for negligence, my other neighbour was convinced it was bad practice but very hard to prove

        • Lady London says:

          Frightening. It really looks like filth and/or negligence. The hospital will have other cases occurred. Health professionals have access to these stats. I hope someone is ‘on’ this for him. If they’re taking it this seriously, hopefully it’s because there is someone who knows the truth about this hospital and wants to prove it.

          Is it any wonder particularly old people are terrified of going into hospital in the UK?

          • Spurs Debs says:

            The truth is old people are seen as bed blockers and a drain on resources. I could be here till new year telling you horror stories. My own uncle in for 16 weeks with sepsis lost the use of his legs with spinal infection. All they were interested in was kicking him out even tho he couldn’t walk and a host of problems. Hospital kept setting up meetings with family then cancelling last minute, kept phoning my Aunt who is 80 trying to trick her in accepting him home. Had to threaten them with legal action. My friends FIL fell broke his hip 86 they replaced that on day 3 when no family were present asked him if he was ready to go home and could he make a cup of tea, he said yes. Lasted 2 days at home before he fell again and landed back in same hospital.
            My uncle is now in a home which is another nightmare, my friends FIL fell again a few weeks later on a Friday night last January and had to wait 3 hours for ambulance outside on his driveway. They told my friend to move him and put him in a garden chair! .
            I get zero help with my own mum 2 types of dementia took me 6 trips to surgery just to get her a flu jab organised as she’s housebound and I can’t manage to take her outside anymore. Had 6 phone calls telling me what they couldn’t do, in the meantime 3 home visit by GP and 2 by nurses but not one of them could give her flu jab.
            No one doubts NHS at breaking point but the amount of waste is equally appalling.
            Won’t even start on crap I had to deal with with husband and brain tumour.
            But enough of that doom and gloom
            Merry Christmas to all and safe and happy travels on excellent redemption flights or bargain fares for 2020.

          • Lady London says:

            Thank God you are there to speak about it @Spurs Debs.

            Are other countries’ government health services as bad? Are older people (in particular) treated as badly in other countries? Are other countries’ hospitals also bad, but no one talks about it?

            If I could fix one thing for Christmas it would be this.

          • Spurs Debs says:

            It’s hard LL one thing I advise is make sure you all have power of attorneys in place medical and financial. My cousins took my advice as I was able to help them through the process and I set up their parents documents ages ago. The tricks the hospital and social services try and play are horrendous. If you don’t have anyone who knows the system it’s going to be a shock to you dealing with it. You have rights, your relative has rights but you need to know them because you won’t be told!
            The first thing social services want to know is if you own your property and how much money you got.
            The forms they send out are very ambiguous and fortunately I’ve got someone I used to set up family trust who knows her way round these forms. What they don’t tell you is if you sign you are legally held responsible for all charges. This is what they sent to my 80 year old aunt with early onset dementia. Fortunately my cousins don’t sign anything without checking with me first. I’m not an expert at all but I know the system.
            I also would be interested to know how other countries deal with their ageing population because frankly this country should be ashamed of its self.
            I speak as a carer full time for my mum who has two types of dementia plus physical disabilities and who is disabled myself.
            One thing I know about is the nhs/ dwp/ social services systems!

          • Sad to say, but I think we have it relatively good here. In other countries, even in Europe (e.g. Spain) it usually falls to the family (and more often than not, daughters, especially the eldest) to look after ageing parents 24/7 in their final years. Hence the less developed the country (I.e. with less health and social services provision), the more children people tend to have.

    • It is well known that the risk of death following a hip fracture is very high indeed. Surgery is pretty much the only way of reducing this mortality.

      Disappointing to see so much NHS bashing on this forum. There does seem to be disparity in healthcare provision across the nation but on the whole it is a very good healthcare system and one of few worldwide that offer free access at the point of care.

      If you think it’s bad now, wait and see what happens if the Tories have their way and privatise it. Contracts will be handed over to the lowest bidders and profits will always come before the patient.

      It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as I’m sure you’ll be able to find a health insurance policy that gives out some avios alongside your premium.

  10. Still trying to decide if I should keep IHG black after first year…renewal due in Jan, bagged free night already. Now spending on partner’s card and half way to 10K.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Best card on the market if you ask me.

      Plenty of ways to reach 10k spend too

      • I agree that the card has lots of advantages, and use mine as my main UK spend. However, it’s operated by those unmitigated w*****s at Creation, who have less skills, knowledge and interest in providing an adequate service than my cat.

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