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News: Virgin Atlantic upgrades, 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.)

Comments (214)

  • gareth says:

    OT IHG- Anyone had issues getting the subsequent stats on the 4x promo to post the correct points? Mine are just posting normal plus status. Think I should raise a missing points query?

  • Liz says:

    IHG Dec statement has reset to zero so time to start spending for Spire Elite again!

  • Chas says:

    First impressions of the app seem remarkably good, especially given the 1* review and knowing what their website is like. However, you still can’t see your statements electronically without disabling paper statements which really infuriates me.

    • Alex Sm says:

      It is now a norm to disable paper statements as first (or second) thing after opening any bank account! Greta rule

      • TGLoyalty says:

        I honestly don’t see the value in receiving paper statements? If I need a paper copy I can print one out.

        • Benilyn says:

          Some places don’t accept print outs as proof of identity, they want originals. That’s the only benefit I see I guess.

        • Riccatti says:

          It is all fun and games until you need a printed and posted statement.

        • the_real_a says:

          Oh – I maintain an account with a few hundred pounds just for this purpose (to receive paper statements). I am sick to death of having to run around proving my identify. As others have said, many providers insist on “original” statements.

        • Chas says:

          I like to be able to make some handwritten notes on the front of my statements, for example to total up the various “Curve HMRC” payments and split them between Corporation Tax, Personal Tax, VAT etc, or for a whole variety of other reasons. It also makes it much easier to quickly scan multiple statements on a variety of different cards and different user accounts. I appreciate it doesn’t work for everyone, but for me the first thing I do is switch on paper statements.

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    So, given Crestion have chosen to go the Creation branded route, does this allow a single Creation card to me managed? IHG and Marriott cards (and in theory legacy Asda etc) cards all need their own login on the website so is this app just for you favourite card?

  • HL says:

    Forget the app – could we just please get Apple Pay compatibility?

  • Methuselah says:

    Excellent idea, Virgin! Shame you’re not running it year-round.

  • Following the other day’s “alert” over Revolut payments….

    It seems that Rev have singled out me to “recode” transaction. Nothing has changed on my wife’s cards and her Revolut!

    So Virgin, Lloyds and IHG payments were for “financial merchandise” and then – Virgin and Lloyds at least – changed on 17th Dec (anniversary of Wright Brothers’ flights!) to “Cash Advance”. Creation don’t seem to mention the MCC code on their web site.

    Virgin have charged a cash advance fee, IHG don’t seem to have (but maybe it will appear on the full statement) and I just don’t know what is happening with IHG!

    I don’t think I have done anything really dodgy, like dealing with Brighton, with my Revolt – but I must have put around 40k through it in the past 6 months.

    It’s a weird thing that they have just changed merchants codes on me, and not on my wife. And not mentioned anything!

    So it may, or may not, happen to you!

    • Andrew says:

      What ‘alert’ was this? Can you point me to the article/date this was mentioned under?

    • Anna says:

      Surely it’s the underlying card which decides the transaction code? There are none showing on my Revolut app. I contacted Creation a few months ago about the daily/weekly limits and they seemed fine with the use of Curve and Revolut within those limits. (I didn’t ask directly but they could obviously see the transactions and told me I could only go up to £200 p/day with them).

      • ash says:

        I knew we can use monese through the post office but has anyone found any way to manufacture spend through starling, mono, tandem or auqa? Sure I heard something about going though google pay? or paypal?

        kindly email me ?

        [email protected]

        • Lady London says:

          Or you could just follow that flying pig over there?

          Oh, and I will just give you the code to access the account that’s taken me 7 years to build.. And others will do the same.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          You tell us what routes you know first then we will tell you ours!
          Love your comment Lady London!

        • Ashish says:

          I have shared, these monese combine with the post office. If you need further details email me…
          This is the site the shares – I think this should continue.

          Any credit card we can pay off with Amex?

      • John says:

        I would have thought Revolut’s merchant bank that it uses to process CC topups would decide the code

  • Nick_C says:

    A lot of retired people are much better off than younger people, and (we) can afford to buy premium tickets.

    No Mortgage, NICs, train fares to work, business dress, lunches out. Free prescriptions and WFA. I’m sick of wingeing pensioners with a sense of entitlement.

    Airlines should stick to upgrading their most loyal passengers.

    • Gari Baldi says:

      Nick_c, but more of us and we are living longer, so business and politicians pay attention to us. Get used to it, if you are lucky one day we might admit you to our club 🙃

      • mutley says:

        Don’t feed the troll Gari

        • Doug M says:

          Why describe it as trolling. Dispute the points made, don’t throw random insults, unless Nick_C has you beat 🙂

          • mutley says:

            Normally I wouldn’t bother but in the spirit of Christmas and Good Will to all men (and women) I will bite.
            I was assuming Nicks comment was tongue in cheek, but if it was for real, then it was ridiculous.Respect for the elderly should be a given, I applaud Virgin for their initiative.

          • John says:

            Respect for anybody should be earned.

    • Rob says:

      BA and Virgin don’t upgrade their most loyal passengers!

      • Alex Sm says:

        They do very random upgrades – I was once upgraded at the gate on a cheap ticket but was never upgraded – though highly expected to – on Y class tickets and fuller flights. Do I need to ask every time at the airport for a possible complimentary upgrade? Like some Indian tourists do at hotels: “Can I have a better room?”

      • Nick_C says:

        I stand corrected!

        I thought if Economy was oversold and they needed to move some pax from PE to CW, they would do it by status?

        (I wouldn’t expect them to give free upgrades unless a cheaper cabin was oversold.)

        • Alex Sm says:

          Maybe you are right. When I got that upgrade, they gave it to me (Bronze) and another passenger (Silver), but I can’t believe that there was no-one else with status

        • Riccatti says:

          > I thought if Economy was oversold and they needed to move some pax from PE to CW, they would do it by status?

          That is where interesting bit comes in. BA outstations (likely contractors) do it by status. BA Heathrow ops are “unpredictable”, they have their complex passenger scores and rules available.

      • Doug M says:

        I think broadly speaking those selected for upgrade are done so on the basis of potential return. Overselling PE and needing to shift people to CW they’d be looking for more regular E and PE flyers. No point in upgrading a regular CW flyer, they know what they’re getting/missing, upgrade the PE flyer and maybe they get a taste for that lie flat next time they’re booking.
        Most upgrades triggered by overselling, those selected for upgrade is a BA mystery.

        • Lady London says:

          I think I’ve had 4 upgrades on BA and am not a frequent flyer. Two of them I declined and asked them to upgrade someone older or who might look as though they needed it but thanked them for the offer! Defo only caused by a full cabin though not my sweet face!

          If I was a more frequent flyer I don’t think I would have got the upgrade although for very very FF especialky corporately connected on routes where J is regularly full I gather upgrades to First can be pretty reliable.

          • Shoestring says:

            I got upgraded to Business LA to LHR! so that I could sit with my wife! (a work colleague lol)

            I was Silver & I think the main thing to help was arriving at the airport pretty late

          • Shoestring says:

            the company was decent FTSE100 with policy flights over 4hrs in Business – but the only way we could get the week in LA for a ‘marketing conference’ past the boss was agreeing to fly cattle 🙂

    • Sandgrounder says:

      Have some grasped the wrong end of the stick here? I thought Nick_C was quite clear that he is a pensioner, and others in the same situation as him should recognise the advantages of their situation a little more. Or have I got it the wrong way round?

      • Peter K says:

        +1

      • Nick_C says:

        Some people assume that political views are based on selfishness and envy. Mine are not.
        We pensioners are the lucky generation (MIRAS, Student Grants, affordable homes). And the ones who can afford to fly on Virgin Atlantic are hardly going to be on the breadline.

        This is just a cheap publicity stunt from Virgin, and has nothing to do with respect for the elderly.

        The oldest person on the flight might be a little old lady who is quite comfy in her economy seat (and in her retirement) and has chosen not to pay for business class despite being able to afford it.

        • bazza says:

          ” affordable homes” – 1000s in the North.

        • Lady London says:

          You are correct about it being a publicity stunt Nick_C but would suggest your own fortunate circumstances apply to a relatively small segment of all pensioners in Britain. The reality for most is anything from just getting by with a lot of caution and many, many really struggle. We are very fortunate here.

          But yes it is a cheap stunt. Almost as bad as when QF apparently wondered if it would look good if they brought in a policy of always upgrading veterans. Other deserving cases were also brought up, firemen, nurses etc…. Luckily this does not look like happening.

          If I saw a much older person clearly uncomfortable then on an individual basis, I could well quietly offer my seat. But I’d offer diplomatically and be prepared to accept a refusal.

          If were lucky we all get old as another poster said.

          • Shoestring says:

            in the UK, we have to ask ourselves why we have made homes so unaffordable

            in most of the rest of the world, homes are pretty cheap in comparison

            the UK has loads of space to build & as flyers you will know that if you look out of the window, I think from memory something like 97% of land is not developed – so availability & cost of land is not the issue

            I reckon it’s as simple as supply & demand

            improve supply of lower cost housing is therefore the obvious answer – much more complicated in the nitty gritty of policy etc – but that would be the logic to aim for

          • John says:

            Green belt aside, nobody wants to live in the 95% of moorland and farmland, that’s why building more houses simply raises the price of everyone else’s houses, because having more people living closer together increases economic activity and of course some people drop by the wayside.

            Don’t want to get political but much higher property taxes would help (in exchange for equal lowering of other personal taxes, and VAT which we can get rid of if we really leave the EU), but no electable political party will support this.

          • Riccatti says:

            Shoestring, asset inflation caught up with house prices everywhere in Europe.

            In the Mediterranean I can’t understand how people with 600 EUR monthly income can save for 300-400K home, even as a couple (x2 incomes), even on low rate mortgage, even if they get to 1500EUR monthly.

            1500*2*12 = 36,000 couple’s annual income still gives nearer 10x multiplier to house price, whereas 4.5x is assumed to be ‘maximum’ at least for UK banks/building societies.

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            Without getting too political, a simple change in stamp duty so that it is shared 50/50 and not all paid by the buyer would seem fair (I speak as a homeowner who is unlikely to trade up any further so not self interest – in fact the reverse). What other tax is paid by the person who has no money (has desparately scraped enough together for a house and buried their life savings) yet avoided by the person who has sold the asset and so is now cash rich? 2-3% wouldn’t even be noticed by most sellers; – it’s about 6 months appreciation.

    • John says:

      OK, but this pensioner was happily going to his economy class seat.

      My 95-year-old great aunt flies transpac in economy twice a year. My 70+ uncle and aunt fly Australia to UK in economy twice a year then spend 6 hours in a car to shoestring’s neck of the woods…. they could afford to pay for F but don’t want to pay, not really sure why, since their grandchildren’s houses and university are all covered already