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BA news: Cruise118 Avios winner, half-term British Airways family treats

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We have a winner of our Cruise118 competition!

Thank you to everyone who entered our recent Cruise118 competition.

Congratulations to Ruth H, who was the lucky winner of 100,000 Avios!

If you or a family member are thinking about a cruise, remember that you can earn 3 Avios for every £1 spent with Cruise118.

There are some great February offers available at the moment when you book with Cruise118 including:

  • Up to $700 onboard spending included with Celebrity Cruises (that’s a hell of a lot of cocktails…)
  • Kids sail from just £99pp with Royal Caribbean
  • Save 10% with Silversea
  • All-inclusive drinks with MSC Cruises

Cruise118 also has a price-match promise – if you find a cheaper price elsewhere, they’ll match it, which means you can always maximise your Avios earning potential when booking a cruise. Use this link to the Cruise118 website to see how many Avios you’ll earn with any itinerary.

Ruth has been contacted so if there are any other Ruth H’s out there reading, I’m afraid it wasn’t you this time!  Thanks again for taking part and make sure you check out our new Qatar Airways competition to win two Business Class flights.

Earn Avios with Cruise118

British Airways running a new family promotion for half term

If you travelling through Heathrow (from 14th to 17th February) or Gatwick (from 14th to 21st February) with children, you may be able to take part in a new ‘I love to travel’ feature.

The check-in desks will be handing out blank cards headlined ‘I love to travel because …..’.  Your children will be encouraged to fill them in and hand them to the cabin crew upon boarding.

Assuming that flight conditions allow, the Captain or First Officer will read out as many of the cards as possible over the PA system during the flight.  Children who have their cards read out will, if possible, be invited to the flight deck on landing for a photo opportunity with the pilots.

Here’s one which I saw on Twitter yesterday although I have some doubts about its authenticity:

British Airways launches a great deal to ….. Shanghai!

Who wouldn’t want to travel to Shanghai at the moment?!

British Airways is keen to send you, albeit it doesn’t actually have any flights operating.  Don’t let that put you off though.

You can currently book British Airways flights from Madrid or Barcelona to Shanghai for just £1,100.  This is a great deal, especially as you will pick up (amongst other things you might pick up) 360 Executive Club tier points for the trip.

This fare is available virtually every day from 1st April which is when flights are due to resume.  Here is a typical fare at €1,270 (£1,094):

British Airways Shanghai deal

You can book on ba.com here.

PS.  If you missed it, take a look at our recent article on the top 10 reasons to apply for the FREE British Airways American Express credit card.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Comments (187)

  • Shoestring says:

    as regards the mockery of Dr Shoestring, all I can do is point out the latest stats – people seem to be looking at the same numbers and drawing exactly the opposite conclusions to myself
    https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200211-sitrep-22-ncov.pdf?sfvrsn=fb6d49b1_2

    43103 cases, 1018 deaths
    chance of getting Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) – 43103/ 8.5 billion = 0.000506%
    chance of dying if you catch it – 1018/ 43103 = 2.36%

    we can probably go further and say the number of cases is feasibly twice as high, because the viral infection can be mild and unreported – so your chances of getting it could be twice as high as the % above

    otoh, this would mean that your chances of dying if you catch it are 1% or so

    • Callum says:

      Yet another ignorant use of statistics.

      1. That is NOT the odds of catching the virus, that is the chance you’ve already caught the virus. Cases are still rising (and if everyone took your absurd cavalier attitude they would currently be skyrocketing).

      2. A 3% death rate certainly is concerning – I wouldn’t do ANYTHING that had a 3% chance of killing me…

      3. Averaging the odds across the entire globe is ridiculously misleading and pointless. The odds of catching the virus in China are infinitely higher than catching it in Greenland.

      I’m not mocking you – I’m simply pointing out you have no idea what you’re talking about. If you were replying to scaremongers I’d completely get it – but you’re not. The general advice from responsible media, health authorities and the WHO is correct and proportional. By all means tell people walking around London with pointless face masks that they’re fools, but stop with the “pussycat virus” nonsense.

      • Peter K says:

        The chance of catching the virus is virtually zero when you consider all the potential planets out there!

        But, let’s say the death rate was 1%, would you get on a 747 if they said 4 people would die every flight. Or a A320 if 2 people would die every flight?

        • Shoestring says:

          but you missed the first bit – using your plane analogy…

          1. there’s a 0.000506% chance that when you get on a plane, 1% of the people on that plane will die

          2. which means there’s a 0.00000506% that by flying you will die

      • Shoestring says:

        not really, because you’re forgetting there’s (1) an effective containment strategy in place and (2) warm weather fast approaching in the northern hemisphere, which will stop pussycat virus in its tracks – and (3) the likelihood of an effective vaccine in place within 9 months

        so (maybe) total deaths rises to 2000-5000 by the time it all plays out – but virtually all of them will be in China or people who have connected with China

        making the risk of dying from pussycat virus incredibly small, something like 0.000005%

        • Shoestring says:

          and the risk of dying from it in non-China as close to zero as you can get

          • Callum says:

            Very well. If this is all just a big wind up because he gets kicks out of tricking people into a false sense of security, I guess I’ll just leave him to it. Hopefully people don’t fall for it (like I did!) but I guess that’s natural selection if those people act on it!

          • Lady London says:

            Ta Shoestring.

        • Callum says:

          I give up, you cant argue with stupid.

          It’s a shame because you’re generally very useful/knowledgeable on here. Perhaps stick with what you know instead of pretending you’re remotely competent in science or statistics…

          • Linda Dufresne says:

            So how will we know who’s right on this, and when?

          • Spurs Debs says:

            I’m gutted just had email my cruise around Japan for 21/4 has been cancelled due to the virus. Celebrity cruises have pulled their Asia cruises for foreseeable future.

            I think there’s a lot we aren’t being told!
            Now Got to decide wether to cancel my flights to Tokyo and go somewhere else.

          • Callum says:

            Who’s right about what? Whether this is a “pussycat virus” or not?

            If you don’t know that my position – that it isn’t – is correct by now then I don’t see how you ever will. Over 1000 dead – case closed.

            It’s important to note that I haven’t once argued that this is a major global pandemic etc. My sole position has been that it isn’t trivial like Harry is unhealthily obsessed with claiming with his gross misuse of irrelevant statistics (though I’m glad he’s seemingly stopped comparing it to pneumonia now – perhaps he actually looked up what pneumonia is!).

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Pneumonia is exactly what the virus can cause … perhaps not Harry that needs to look up what it is.

            2% chance of dying after contracting it is based off official no of deaths and those infected. Highly likely many more were infected in December before it was known what it was and just shrugged off as a cold.

            But you’re probably right on the stats because if you were to consider the deaths as a percentage of those with underlying conditions it’s going to be far higher chance than 2% and if you’re are perfectly heathy it’s far lower.

            I think what Harry is quite rightly saying is your chance of coming in contact with someone with it are remote and if you are otherwise perfectly heathy then you’re highly unlikely to come to any long term harm.

            I’m sure theres nothing we aren’t being told but rather cruises are being cancelled because it’s a confined space and there are many people cancelling their reservations making it both economically and medically a bad idea.

          • Lady London says:

            @Callum I think you and Harry are actually saying the same thing. Don’t let the British habit of making light of something serious fool you. “Pussycat virus” is a term that’s been repeated – and repeated – within that “making light even though we all know it’s serious” British thing.

            So there’s more layers here. Reacting to the first layer is being suckered a bit. Too too easy because it’s fun to repeat the term “pussycat virus” when it has such a great wind-up effect.
            Harry knows the virus is serious, but not widespread, which is exactly what you’re saying.
            He understands why his wife doesn’t want to go anywhere near any possibility of a virus even infiniteismally small and nowhere near.

            How do I know this? Because we all know Harry was almost killed by freak complications of falling over a cat something like 2 years ago. This is still haunting him – prompting things like his recent arranging of his financial affairs so his wife and kids are will be ok if another ‘cat’ gets him.

            Every time he says ‘pussycat virus’ he’s standing up to the devil. Yes it winds you and a few others up too, but that’s another layer. It’s quite easy to wind people up who tend to take things literally for whatever reason. But Harry’s no fool and his neutral evaluation is probably not as far from yours as you think.

          • Callum says:

            I’m well aware what pneumonia is. Harry frequently compared the number of coronavirus cases to the number of pneumonia cases to make it seem small. A nonsensical comparison.

            What you think he means and what he’s actually writing are two different things… I completely agree with you – in the UK, it’s incredibly unlikely to come into contact with the virus. So unlikely I wouldn’t even think about it. That is COMPLETELY different to incessantly going on about how it’s a “pussycat virus”.

          • Lady London says:

            incessantly=the wind-up

          • Shoestring says:

            @LL – I can now definitely recommend Tideway Pension Advisory Services https://www.finalsalarytransfer.com/s/28/why-choose-tideway

            It was a straight 1% fee with good service. As you mentioned, everything is now inheritable.

          • Lady London says:

            Ta again Shoestring.

            Is that 1% every year after transfer as well? IIRC remember seeing somewhere Fidelity would be the same as well.

            Isn’t Tideway also the name of that massive project that is now underway to create a massive sewer pipe underneath the Thames 🙂 ??!

          • Shoestring says:

            1% is one-off fee, I think that’s fair enough given the risk of them getting sued – I checked around a lot first to see if anybody reputable would do it more cheaply, the answer was a big no – you can get the transfer out service more cheaply but you won’t know much about the IFA and stand to lose a lot if you end up getting ripped off

            however Tideway initially expect you to stay with them (ie using them for wealth mgt) – they would not agree to act as your IFA to transfer out pension unless you agreed to this – and there will be fees for this as well in line with market rates, depends on what you agree to invest in but all-in fees including platform cost, fund cost, wealth mgt cost would typically be about 1.6% pa

            the get out is that there is no obligation to stay with them, I have a gentleman’s agreement to try them for 6 months and will assess after that time

          • Lady London says:

            Ta Shoestring. Had a good look at them and they do look ok. Wealth mgmt address looks like a Prospect Business Centre. I think they’re a very good set of people to work with – time will tell if standards/pricing can be maintained.

            Apparently P.I. policies are now only covering IFA’s in this area only up to £500k (apparently £1.6m would have been more normal previously) which is b***** all. Lots of little IFA’s gone out of business because of it. Looks like Tideway’s average fund taken in is more than that. Tx again they look decent I will call them next week.

          • Shoestring says:

            once transferred, cash in SIPP is fee free (no interest either)

            you can drip feed money into investment @5%/ month, so if effective annual costs are 1.6% pa, after 6 months you’ll have invested 6x 5% = 30%
            fees: first 5%, 1 x 0.8%, second 5% 1x 0.67% etc

            so even if you don’t like the 1.6% pa for active wealth mgt, after 6 months it’s nothing like this, 70% of your pension transfer is is sitting there doing nothing but also fee-free – and the aggregate on the other 30% must be something like under 0.4%

          • Lady London says:

            @Shoestring Ta, losing me a bit on the numbers there but basically it looks like 1% plus current interest rates which is probably minimum market sustainable.

            Presumably you are staying liquid to take advantage of opportunities (otherwise even minimal inflation will erode) and at least unlike DB your fund is now inheritable so all good. Just watch out your fund manager doesn’t start tracking you with other people’s funds once he works out how good you are (like the rest of us here :-))

          • Shoestring says:

            go to https://www.marketwatch.com/investing/bond/tmbmkgb-15y?countrycode=bx
            put in ‘All’ for the chart
            now is a good time as pension transfers are priced via 15 year Gilts
            mine got priced at nearly 50x – which as I don’t plan on being around in 2070 seemed fair enough

          • Lady London says:

            Ta, I think I might have just got into the 31jan-3feb slot with my request. Depends if they have the liberty to give a worse value by selecting a later date. Clearly end of October was the time to ask though! Looked at the macro values – interesting France yield is so low and Oz so high – felt sorry for all the lovely easyJet call centre staff whose economy must really be struggling, with that yield. I will have the courage to open the proposal soon. Then will see what Tideway think. Ta Harry.

  • Callum says:

    Lady London – If you say so. I’m not remotely convinced his inept use of statistics is all a big “wind up act”, but if it is, it’s certainly provoked a reaction!