Qatar Business Class

Bits: BA messes with its iPhone app, Eastern launches Teesside to London City, BA and Qatar plan Australia JV

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News in brief:

Has BA now messed up its iPhone app too?

Before Christmas we covered the new British Airways iPad app.

We celebrated the achievements of the BA IT team as the British Airways iPad app received its 1,000th one-star review.  Since virtually no-one had given it two, three, four or five stars, the overall average from ALL reviewers was just 1.1 out of 5.

Take a look (click to enlarge):

British Airways iPad app

Things have not improved since then.   The overall average for the iPad app has now dropped to 1.0 out of 5, which is as low as it is feasibly possible to go.  Once the developers ran out of friends to give it 5 stars, the drop from 1.1 to 1.0 was inevitable.

If you’re wondering what the team has been doing since then, the answer is that it has turned its hand to the iPhone app.  To be honest, I always thought it was OK except for the pointless need to log in again every few seconds.  If you have not updated the BA iPhone app yet, you may want to leave it as it is.  The home screen, previously a classy affair (especially for Gold members) is now white and with print size aimed at the short sighted.

Here is some feedback from the last few hours:

British Airways iphone app

Eastern Airways launches Teesside (Durham) to London City

Eastern Airways unveiled a raft of new routes from Teesside International (the old Durham Tees Valley) Airport yesterday.

Impressively, it includes two daily flights to London City Airport.  Given the recent failure of Eastern to run an Aberdeen – Newcastle – London City service, this is a brave move.

Other new routes from Teesside are Belfast City, Cardiff, Dublin, Southampton and the Isle of Man.  The existing services to Aberdeen and, in Summer, Jersey will remain.

Cardiff flights will begin on 10th February, Belfast City, Dublin and Southampton on 9th March, London City on 27th April and the Isle of Man on 30th May.

Eastern Airways is a Flybe franchise partner and these new services need to be booked via, although they may not be loaded yet.

You can find out more on the Eastern Airways website here.  Our recent review of the lounge at Teesside International is here if you are now planning a trip.

Eastern Airways launches new Teesside routes

British Airways and Qatar Airways plan Australian joint venture

British Airways and Qatar Airways have submitted a request to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission to form a joint venture on nine routes to Australia from the UK.

Sydney is NOT included – I think both airlines know that such a request would be thrown out as damaging to competition.  Instead, it will cover the following routes:

  • Adelaide – Manchester
  • Adelaide – London
  • Canberra – London
  • Melbourne – London
  • Melbourne – Edinburgh
  • Melbourne – Manchester
  • Perth – London
  • Perth – Edinburgh
  • Perth – Manchester

What is a little odd about this joint venture is that British Airways brings virtually nothing to the party EXCEPT for its brand.  Apart from the BA flight to Doha, every other flight in the joint venture will be operated by Qatar Airways.

At present, anyone looking to travel from London to Adelaide would be routed on British Airways to Sydney and then onto a Qantas codeshare.  British Airways believes it can make more money by filtering passengers onto a Qatar Airways flight in Doha.  As this is a joint venture, rather than just a codeshare, British Airways should make more money.

There would be very little obvious difference if the joint venture was approved.  There may be some retiming of flights so that connection times in Doha are minimised.  British Airways Executive Club status members would receive a tier bonus on the Qatar Airways service from Doha, which is not currently offered.  Apart from that ….. little changes.

This doesn’t mean that approval for the joint venture is a given, of course, since it reduces competition into the four Australian cities.  It may also raise questions over the future of the British Airways Sydney service, with many potential passengers planning to connect onwards now siphoned off via Doha instead.

You can find out more on the ACCC website here.

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  1. Oliver Smith says:

    This is a really terrible article. Look at the iPhone comments and only one negative relates to the actual update (which is purely a change to layout and colours of the home screen). All the other comments relate to the fact other things are wrong with it.

    So surely you should be saying, “looks like BA is starting to sort out the iPhone”. Seems to me to be some classic BA bashing from Rob.

    • There are some better examples I could have used, admittedly, but those above made up a nice square block 🙂

      • Ben Johnson says:

        In total, 8 comments about the update. Out of 28 reviews since Wednesday. Clearly some people don’t like it but seems like you’ve picked a position before looking at the information. Like so much in the modern media, this is all about the headline and not about the actual facts.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      People are resistant to change.

      Personally the new look in much better but it obviously hasn’t been implemented everywhere yet. The BA website has been offering to try out the new look for months but it’s pages here and there exactly like the app.

      BA seem to be taking the piece meal approach compared to Virgin big switch over, which gave us a terrible site so I think I’ll live with BA’s flip flopping for now.

      • I feel the new layout is messy and difficult to read, personally a step back. And some glaring bugs in there too, I wonder if they did any user testing before rolling it out?

      • memesweeper says:

        Never mind the layout, have they improved the user experience by keeping me logged in? Apparently not. Made it easier to search for standard or award flights? Nope. Enabled me to manage my booking fully in the app? Missed that opportunity too…. so a change to the *appearance* but no improvement in the *design*. Oh dear.

      • I find the new layout pointlessly spaced out, with less information than the old one. On the app they appear to show your seat twice, which seems redundant too.

  2. OT: I want to upgrade the return leg of a flight from Abu Dhabi to Heathrow from WTP to Club using Avios. How do I work out the amount of Avios required?

    • Difference between a one-way WTP redemption and a one-way Club redemption. Answer depends on whether it is peak or off peak (off peak costs more oddly).

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Use the avios reward flights section in your account, find availability with WT+ & CW then deduct the difference in points.

      • Thank you. I see what you mean – peak is 20000 and off peak is 24000!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Yep plus the difference in taxes, fees and surcharges which is about £50 each when I last looked.

  3. OT: has anyone made a BA Best Price Guarantee claim and any success? Just wondering whether it’s worth the hassle as the hotel schemes are always a real pain and hardly ever return successfully. Many thanks.

    • I have once with success. And based on speaking to someone else, you can expect a better success rate than hotels

      • Shoestring says:

        it’s worth the hassle as BA can’t get out of it the way the hotels do – A BA fare class is enough for them to do a comparison (and you can also do comparisons of a cheaper higher fare class (in the same cabin) available elsewhere vs the flight you bought with BA

        • Thank you both

        • I have multiple times and always a smooth and relatively painless process. Remember to take screenshots exactly as requested by BA I.e. with the final payment amount including CC fees, and err on the side of too many screenshots. In my experience BA are surprisingly responsive.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      I’ve had a very high success rate with Hilton BRG. You can even claim before you book.

  4. KBuffett says:

    I managed to get my Revolut annual limit raised to £500k just after Christmas.

    • Benilyn says:

      Is that a limit you see on the app? I don’t know what my limit is, did you message them for it? And is that a spending limit?

      • KBuffett says:

        No, you can’t see it in the app. My account was restricted twice for moving large amounts of money (£15-30k).
        During my second ‘verification’ process, I showed them my cash balance (I have a big pile from the sale of a company) and argued they need to base it on my cash reserves and not income. I asked them for £500k PA and they agreed.

  5. OT how do I find a timetable of flights from LCY ?
    When I use reward flight finder, some flights for say BCN show up but when searching on BA, they don’t.

  6. Harry T says:

    IHG 4x promotion:
    My 4x base points triggered on my stay at the Amstel earlier this month but hasn’t triggered on my subsequent stay at IC Prague. Does anyone know the fastest way to get the extra points credited to my account? I am IC Ambassador and could email the Ambassador team but was wondering if there was another way that would be better.

    • ThinkSquare says:

      I filled in the missing points form on the website for a missed 4X, and the points were credited within 24 hours.

    • Phone them

      I called about missing accelerate achievement points and they were in my account in seconds.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Perhaps not such a silly question but you did book before the 15th.

      It took me a couple emails but it was fixed very quickly once she accepted I don’t have to wait 4 weeks.

      Twitter are also usually very quick to sort out issues.

    • Aston100 says:

      I had missing x4 promo points. I used the IHG live chat and it was resolved fairly quickly.

    • Had the same issue, Twitter sorted it within in an hour!

    • Czechoslovakia says:

      Missing bonus points here too. IHG IT at its best again. They use the same IT co. as BA?

  7. Soloflyer1977 says:

    OT: is a curve (via Lloyds Avios card) to Revolut top up, now classified as a cash transaction?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Curve pass on the merchants MCC so yes they would be if Lloyd’s is seeing it as a cash advance, Lloyds just charge interest rather than a fee.

      There was never any need to use curve as Revolut accepted credit cards directly.

      • So if you pay loyds as soon as transaction hits the card charge is small?

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Yeah imagine creation would be similar. However I don’t know if the Lloyds would earn points until I see my statement

    • I topped up on 23rd Jan before I had a chance to read the comments about the Revolut changes.

      I’ve had a £25 charge whacked on by Barclaycard for a top-up that I paid off in the same day. It seems that as Barclaycard charge a cash advance fee, plus interest, there is no way to top-up now without some kind of fee.

      I’ve asked them to waive this fee. Has anyone managed to get them to waive the fee?

      • This has been answered extensively over the last few days comments.

      • fivebobbill says:

        Give them a call Don, they refunded the £75 fee on my Hilton Barclaycard Visa just a few days ago.

  8. OT-IHG Credit Card, how long does it take for the sign up bonus for the Creation card to hit my IHG account?

    • You’ll see the points in your creation account as you as you meet the spend requirements and they are transferred over to IHG around the time of your statement date.

  9. OT: Broken headrest on my LHR-JFK flight yesterday, any past experience of avios being paid with a complaint?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Did the cabin manager not take your details and offer anything straight away?

      Probably get offered 5k perhaps as much as 15k. Do you have pics?

      • No. She apologised and said it’s a 23 year old aircraft and will make a note in the book. She took my seat number but didn’t ask for detaiks. I have pictures. Would be happy with 10k avios.

    • Shoestring says:


      in Business quite generous, headrest not so awful but 5-10K??? in PE/ E rather less

      you could look at the FT thread for this, gives current levels of BA service recovery

  10. So it’s a bit of a slow day. If you fancy a laugh go to FlyerTalk and have a read of the thread about BA A350 not having space for second meal, or maybe it does. But the GSTP guy really getting into it with the FT regulars. At least Rob’s posts over there have never created this sort of to and fro, that I’m aware, maybe he knows differently 🙂

    • TGLoyalty says:

      What I like is that he is picking arguments with cabin crew / BA staff that work on the A350

    • Harry T says:

      Once saw the GTSP guy call someone a wanker in the comments on his own blog.

      • Lady London says:

        I don’t see that blog much but have never seen Gilbert respond rudely unless sorely provoked. He has come up with many useful points of view, does some pretty honest disclosure and provides some interesting sets of articles that other bloggers don’t. For example his ’48 hours in’ series is always worth checking if going to a new city (or even a city you know) in case there’s something you’ve missed.

        Yes some of his headlines and coverage is a little more ‘breathless’ than is the British taste. But give the guy a break. He’s an American married to a Brit and adds more value in an honest way than many bloggers out there.

      • Shoestring says:

        Aussies & Kiwis call people a w***** at the slightest drop of a hat, I heard a mainstream radio jock calling a phone-in listener precisely that in Queensland, it has less sweary impact/ rudeness over there

  11. Brighton Belle says:

    OT Have been using my Diners Club / Cornercard to pay HMRC. Finally the card gets blocked for security. Phone customer services at Diners to find they are closed until Monday. I thought Creation were bad but no customer service at weekends is useless. Jan31 to satisfy our glorious Chancellor is looking ambitious without plan B at Tesco’s Bank

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