BA news: Cruise118 Avios winner, half-term British Airways family treats, a great BA deal to ….. Shanghai!

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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 here.

(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.)

Avios-earning at Travelex is now back after the cyber attack
Virgin news: the new A350 Upper Class tray table, 50% bonus buying Flying Club miles, Government to take equity in Flybe?

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  1. Doubt this was targeted, and given the email was sent at 19.11 on 10 February, many will have missed the potentially somewhat useful fact that from “Monday 10 February to Sunday 1 March, every time you scan your Clubcard app in-store, you’ll earn double the Clubcard points. It’s a great chance to collect extra points on your usual shop, so get scanning!”

    This isn’t the Tesco Pay+ app with a linked payment card, just the bog standard digital version of the plastic card/key fob.

    Given lack of Avios conversion bonus or even competition with uninspiring prize, this might be Tesco’s big Avios collecting moment for 2020.

    The Man From Boots was probably always unlikely to bring back the old (ie 3 or 4 years ago) style promotions, admittedly.

  2. For some reason Shanghai was very quiet just over two weeks ago when we transited. Loved Vietnam and it was such a shame to have to extend the stay at the IC DaNang by two days so as to have 14 days clear coming to Singapore. I always try to avoid same day changes, seven hours is enough time to lounge hop. Qantas first because Qatar wasn’t open, that will be next.

  3. BA amex offer. What are the chances of 3K bonus avios being clawed back if I need to cancel flex ticket?

    • 100% unless you cancel the amex card before you cancel the flight.

    • I’d say very likely. I got an £88 refund for a cancelled BA flight several months after the event and 3 x avios were deducted at the same time!

    • Thanks both. Will try book some firmer travel in that case.

  4. OT: Does anyone have any recent experience of the red channel at LHR customs? Electronics at Singapore we’re very good value, we are under £630 each so would only be 2.5% if we got pinged.

    • what about the 20% VAT ? Is that not payable too ?

      Chances are, now you have it in your mind, that you will be sweating like Prince Andrew at an 18th birthday party and will get

      Pay your taxes.

      • Lady London says:

        Occasionally if youve just gone through the red channel and declared they will not actually charge you. Honesty is the best policy. You will get charged both duty (if it applies to your team type) and VAT if you do get charged though.

        • Lady London says:

          team type –> item type

          • Lady London says:

            Before @ken questions me (as he did about Ryanair overbooking when I’ve had their gate agents at STN tell me they’ve had to deal with families with crying kiddies who were offloaded due to overbooking on Bank Holiday weekends), taking the red channel and declaring purchased items honestly that I am importing and yet having charges waived, his has happened to me 3 times across LHR and LGW.

          • Ryanair don’t overbook (like any airline the flight might be full and they need to deny boarding because operational needs, e.g. Transporting crew). And they even fly to dozens of big cities (and main airports!) that BA do not fly to.

          • Lady London says:

            Sorry @J. Did the passenger that booked a ticket, that turned up to the gate on time get on the plane?

            If not then it doesn’t matter what it’s called or why, Ryanair o v e r b o o k e d by any common understanding of the term.

            Gate agents also said “oh yes Ryanair does overbook and we have to deal with it” each time when I had opened with “At least Ryanair doesn’t overbook”.

            Think it may be something that only happens at peak periods though.

        • Thanks LL.

      • VAT and other duties are only payable above £630, below that it’s a flat 2.5%. At least that’s what I think it is?

    • For £600 thats like £20 in charges lol

    • We have it pretty easy here – my OH has family in Bermuda and you can be taxed there on pretty much anything you take in if you can’t prove it’s within strict limits and for personal use. Residents have to get receipts for valuable items like cameras before they leave the island, otherwise the authorities assume they have been purchased abroad and will impose import duty. Some years ago we took a bottle of duty free whisky for OH’s uncle, under strict instruction to say it was for us to drink there and not a gift for anyone!

  5. Does anyone know the MCC for

  6. DorsetFlyer says:

    OT: BA to launch flight from LHR to Newquay for Summer 2020. 5 times weekly.
    Presumably avios seats are now available

    • Ohhh Harry, what have you done!? … and what are you going to do now?

      • Lady London says:

        personally I can’t wait to hear what Harry will do now 🙂

        • Where is he anyway?

          • Lady London says:

            probably he fainted with the excitement and is still ‘out cold’ somewhere.

          • Shoestring says:

            fairly tempting as regards timing & price (£58) – would give me a couple of hrs to get from T5 to T3

            8000 Avios though!

            shame I couldn’t see it earlier and get both flights on 1 PNR, which would probs be the main drawback as we book flights T-355-ish

          • Where are you getting your prices? I’m getting over £100 one way in August and nearly £400 one way in CE! I just get a blank screen if I search other dates.

          • Shoestring says:

            my son & I are heading out to the sun pretty early this year, 11th July, so that would be non-peak I guess or just £58 because nobody else bought a ticket yet

  7. My experience is that Cruise 118 is not particularly competitive for cruises.

    Recently I asked them to quote for an upmarket cruise.
    They gave me 2 options
    1. Generous Avios but very uncompetitive pricing
    2. No Avios but maximum of 10% off the basic price of the cruise less port taxes.

    Two other Cruise agents offered me nearly 12% of the basic price of the cruise less port taxes which I
    Cruise 118 declined to match. I followed through with one of these agents and now have a form deal
    at a price much lower than Cruise 118 were prepared to offer.

    • I’ve had a similar experience. They refused to price match a cruise on Vacations to Go saying they’d lose money on it. They gave me a better price on the cruise that they were advertising but said I couldn’t have the Avios due to the discount. And if I took the 0% interest payment option I couldn’t get any Avios. They were very chatty and helpful so I will look at them again in the future but it’s not quite a straightforward as ‘price match’ and ‘Avios’ on every booking.

  8. Congrats to Ruth H. Come tell us what you’re using them for

  9. lebron 23 says:

    data point – amex self referrals are still working

    • Lady London says:

      Yes but unless you’re in so deep the only thing to do is ‘keep making out like a bandit’ until they stop you, wouldn’t you rather stop now in the hope you might preserve a relationship with Amex in the future?

      • Agree, am not risking it.. prefer to wait til oh has a BAPP then do a referral back to me…long relationship with Amex, can’t risk jeopardising that…

    • Dangerous game!

  10. OT: has anyone managed to successfully avail the IBIS business card in the last week or so? I can’t seem to get beyond the first page and technical support are very slow at replying. I have no status with Accor but have a week long stay at a Pullman soon so I thoight the auto upgrade to Gold would help even if it’s just a room
    Many thanks

    • Lady London says:

      Call Accor UK Customer Services 01224 398802.

    • Lady London says:

      As a fallback an Accor hotel manager told me an Accor hotel manager can sell it to you. Btw: pricing on this one used to vary according to geography I think Asia Pacific was best

      • Thank you Lady London. I have called the customer services line and they are referring it to the tech team but taking ages about it. They also did mention it can be sold by the hotel manager but I would ideally like to have the gold membership before I arrive so that the probability of the perks are more likely instead of delayed after membership!

        • Lady London says:

          You could phone the hotel and ask to buy it over the phone. Good chance you end up speaking to the hotel manager to get it done. And of course you’ll be mentioning your upcoming reservation number won’t you :-).

          Hanging around for Accor Customer Services to fix anything is not a good strategy. They keep their outsourced provider at Customer Services Level 101. Rule of thumb : if it’s not fixed on the phone at the time you call them it won’t be.

  11. OT: referred hubby for green card…after his 1st spend he got 2K MR as referral bonus. What’s that about?
    He has already upgraded it to platinum prior to any spend and the £4K spend progress is showing….

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