Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • Thegasman 202 posts

    The seat next to him is being blocked by the system to keep it free from lowly Rust & Blue status passengers. It’s called theoretical seating.

    Essentially Gold (& silver if possible) will have the adjacent seat kept empty until passenger loads require them to be used. A Gold could sit themselves next to another Gold though.

    Row 1 is also held back for Gold passengers.

    The solution in your case is for you to pick an empty pair first & then your companion moves next to you which will nullify the block.

    in reply to: Starting my Amex journey
    Thegasman 202 posts

    As has been mentioned already, the end of prorata refunds will bump up the cost of maxing out SUB’s as a couple so may be better to stagger this over a couple of years so you’re each only holding cards that you can get value from at that moment.

    Amex are also tightening up on their lending criteria so may not approve you for 3 cards in a short period so would be wise to consider if BAPP or Plat suits you best as 2nd card. The positive news is with the fee hikes & churning rules in place they do seem prepared to offer bigger SUB’s for the BAPP & Plat fairly frequently so I would hang fire till there’s a good offer before applying (the spend targets have increased for SUB’s though so worth planning any big ticket purchases to coincide).

    One final note of caution, Amex also seem to be clamping down on multiple cross referrals so you may only be able to refer each other for 1 or 2 cards each so worth doing from a card that offers higher referral reward like Plat & BAPP (again there are semi regular promotions).

    in reply to: Seating issue with infant (Silver status)
    Thegasman 202 posts

    If BA operate like Virgin then bassinet seats are blocked out but not definitively allocated until circa 24 hours pre departure. We were told they are allocated to passengers with the youngest infant. As it happened we were thankfully fine with a 6 month old in upper class to CPT last year.

    There is only 1 bassinet in Virgins 787 upper class cabin so may not be as much of an issue in BA’s WTP where I think there are at least 3. Also worth considering how old your son will be as our daughter was right at the limit size wise to fit in the bassinet. By 8-9 months it would have been completely useless.

    in reply to: Bringing guests into the lounge
    Thegasman 202 posts

    Yes, that’ll be fine if they’re flying same day on another BA flight.

    It’ll be galleries club lounge for all of you.

    in reply to: Possible norovirus/food poisoning pre flight
    Thegasman 202 posts

    BA won’t fly you if you have D&V. Get a doctor to declare you as not fit to fly, contact BA & they’ll rebook you for free when fit (which will be resolution of symptoms + 48 hours). I’m speaking from personal & close family experience on separate occasions in last couple of years.

    Additional accommodation costs will be on you/your insurance.

    Please don’t fly when symptomatic, it’s incredibly unfair on anyone else using your seat/bathroom for next few days.

    Thegasman 202 posts

    Agents have no discretion, if you’ve asked outright for retention bonus & been denied then the answer will still be no the 57th time.

    Thegasman 202 posts

    The flight vouchers *inclusive of fees* would sound mighty appealing to me. £1k value in the fee element alone. I’d want the PE vs Upper fee difference and points difference also refunded, though.

    Otherwise you’re essentially being offered equivalent to a premium trip for free, not an upper trip.

    100k flying points would be a hard pass.

    You’d only be downgraded for the LHR-JFK leg so you’d be getting more than the equivalent of a free Premium trip. A day leg to NYC in PE is in reality a very minor downgrade, I’d count loss of Clubhouse access a bigger penalty than the difference in onboard experience. Add in the arbitrage potential of getting CPT or LAX in return for NYC & I’d have been hitting reply to accept the voucher immediately.

    in reply to: Lounge access if AA Platinum Pro
    Thegasman 202 posts

    As a OW Emerald you will have access to Galleries First even if flying economy.

    Do you want to credit the flight to BAEC? Changing FF number to AA Plat Pro will get you extra luggage allowance, group 1 boarding & free seat selection at any time including Row 1.

    If leaving BA number on booking you’ll have to show proof of OW Emerald to get in lounge & they may swap FF numbers on the booking without realising/telling you so check.

    Worth knowing Galleries First isn’t actually the First Class passenger’s lounge so don’t expect anything too fancy.

    in reply to: Heathrow EV parking – is there any?
    Thegasman 202 posts

    Loads of fast chargers in close proximity to LHR. Make sure you charge up before parking or you’ve got >50 miles of range to get you to a charger on your return. Lots of meet & greet options offer charging but read the small print & reviews & you’ll see it’s not guaranteed or reliable so save yourself the hassle. My etron loses no discernible charge when parked for 10-14 days.

    in reply to: Gold elite newbie
    Thegasman 202 posts

    If I was comparing to airline status then I’d say Bonvoy Gold is roughly BA Bronze. You need to be Platinum to get any meaningful benefits or better treatment. The talk of upgrades subject to availability is meaningless in my experience & late checkout very much only if it causes the hotel absolutely no inconvenience. Sorry!

    In a nutshell, if I could get a 10% rebate through or Expedia etc I’d take that over booking directly with Bonvoy Gold unless I was confident I was on track to get to Platinum/Titanium.

    Thegasman 202 posts

    That’s a long trip & lots of flights/transfers so my advice would be to reduce amount of luggage as much as possible. Every item you take needs to fit on 1 luggage trolley & in the boot of 1 taxi/hire car.

    Bassinet I’d say yes for a single centre holiday but no for yours. Just make sure you only book hotels that can provide one (which is most these days). Is your little one used to sleeping in a pitch black room? If so then I’d highly recommend a bassinet cover. Likewise a sunshade/blackout cover for the stroller so you can try & do naps on the go rather than heading back to accommodation 2-3 times a day.

    Have you thought about what you will do in the evenings when little one asleep? If you don’t have a suite/interconnecting room then make sure you’ve got an iPad/headphones to while away the time between their & your bedtime!

    Prioritise simplicity/ease over cost when considering transfers but remember for taxis you’ll need a baby seat.

    By baby carrier do you mean a sling? If so then get yourself & baby used to it in advance. They are game changers for keeping hands free.

    7 weeks is a long time to take enough formula for especially if not weaning yet. Do you use a brand that’s easily obtainable overseas? It’ll be made with localish milk regardless so may well taste quite different to what they’re used to so probably worth trying to mix brands a bit before you go so they are used to variety.

    In my personal & professional experience kids are very adaptable/resilient but you do need to ensure some routine around sleep & food or it’ll be miserable for everyone.

    Good luck & enjoy. In some ways it’s a great stage to travel as you don’t really have to worry about child centred entertainment all day & they will still fit in a bassinet + it’s cheap/free! It’s a shame little one won’t remember any of it but it’ll great to talk about with them when they’re a bit older.

    in reply to: How best to manage possible (medical) cancellation?
    Thegasman 202 posts

    I’m not an opthalmologist but I do regularly anaesthetise for vitreoretinal surgery.

    My concern here would be that recurrence of the retinal detachment occurs in a not insignificant number of patients. It depends on the original cause of the detachment & other risk factors like gender & being short sighted. If you have a recurrence in Singapore you won’t be covered by your travel insurance. Have you discussed travel with your surgeon?

    If it was me I would be minded to cancel the trip now which would probably be covered by your insurance. If it’s a trip you have to make then, with hindsight, you should have discussed with your surgeon in advance as they can use oil instead of gas which doesn’t have restrictions on pressure changes although needs a further minor procedure to remove the oil in future.

    in reply to: Dubai newbie – hotel advice please!
    Thegasman 202 posts

    For the OP, just be aware that October 1/2 term is very much peak season in Dubai so the deals will be harder to come by & less impressive than some of the July steals quoted here (July being very much lowest of low season).

    in reply to: IHG Diamond status match?
    Thegasman 202 posts

    IHG has traditionally enforced the T&C’s strictly for targeted offers so definitely buyer beware. Best case they cancel & refund the points purchase but I’d expect them to keep your money & leave you with an expensive points purchase that doesn’t count towards status.

    in reply to: BA flights to Rome very expensive?
    Thegasman 202 posts

    What are the other airports?

    Once you add in the cost of getting from them to Rome the difference may not be that grant.

    Few months ago some friends thought booking a flight to Rotterdam was a good idea for a weekend in Amsterdam. Well they did until they realised that with the costs of getting to / from Amsterdam and the xtra time added onto the trip that it was overall cheaper to fly direct to AMS.

    Not sure I’d use this example. I’m very confident that starting at any point in central London (bar Paddington station) I could get to Centraal station in Amsterdam quicker via LCY-RTM than you via LHR-AMS.

    Block time from LHR is 30 mins longer than LCY & less reliable which would give me ample time to get bus to Rotterdam station. In the 20 mins extra I’d have on the train you’d have to walk 5-15 mins to Schipol immigration & deal with the inevitable 10-40minute queue then get to platform.

    Price wise you’re looking at ~€20 vs €6.

    in reply to: Cancellation – Compensation declined
    Thegasman 202 posts

    I’m intrigued as to how BA came to the conclusion it did in your case. The wasted transfer was a consequential loss so shouldn’t be BA’s responsibility unless they wanted to as a gesture of goodwill. Potentially travel insurance would cover this.

    Lunch is a slam dunk under duty of care & you could make an argument about late check out fee (albeit I wouldn’t fancy my chances on this element at CEDR/MCOL).

    Damaged aircraft the day before & departing home base would be very difficult for them to argue extraordinary circumstances, this is the sort of compensation dodging the CAA should be dealing with.

    in reply to: New bar in Terminal 5 Galleries First lounge?
    Thegasman 202 posts

    Nothing to get excited about, it’s been there for a while!

    in reply to: Old 777
    Thegasman 202 posts

    Very unlikely to get CS on a LGW route as their 777’s are not scheduled to be refitted at the moment. You’re essentially relying on a LHR aircraft being subbed in which is rare.

    On the positive side, I prefer the CW layout when travelling as a couple & for sleeping. Doesn’t have the door (gimmick) & the IFE screen is significantly smaller/lower definition but if you’re vaguely fit/healthy/over 5’ 7” then stepping over someone’s legs to get out is not difficult.

    I would 100% recommended paying for seats though, MRU will be predominantly couples rather than solo travellers so the window & middle pairs will be snapped up fast by anyone with status. Realistically what will be left are aisle seats in the middle block of 4 which are rubbish from a privacy perspective plus you’ll be in separate rows to your wife & at the mercy of being stepped/tripped over by a stranger who may be drunk/doddery etc.

    If you hold off booking & monitor availability then don’t whatever you do consider a middle block aisle & middle seat as a pair. Whichever one of you is sat in the middle will then essentially be sharing a double bed with a stranger!

    in reply to: First special occasion
    Thegasman 202 posts

    If the opportunity presents to drop it into conversation with the crew they may try & do something small. My mum got a bottle of LPGS & a card when travelling in First on her 70th birthday, we got a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte & cards in both directions travelling CE with our 5 week old last year. BA centrally will not arrange or sanction any special treatment though & you certainly shouldn’t advertise any gestures you receive in a way that could be linked to specific crew.

    Thegasman 202 posts

    Evening. My platinum card anniversary is November but Wondered if the best strategy is to ask for a retention before October 2 or after? 🤔 thanks

    If you close your account now then Amex are kissing goodbye to up to £650 in annual fees as you get a pro rata refund. After 2nd October you’ll get no refund & they won’t have to cover travel insurance, Harvey Nic’s or dining credits for remainder of membership year. In short they will never have a better justification for bunging you some MR’s than they will this week!

    in reply to: BA paternity status extension issues
    Thegasman 202 posts

    I chased by e-mail 3 times & they sorted 1 week before my run off period as Gold ended on 31st August. I was concerned they may extend me as Silver but I got another year as Gold despite 0TP’s in last year. First e-mail sent on 6th July

    Seems like they may only review these at the end of your TP year.

    Thegasman 202 posts

    Care to add any source or detail?

    Thegasman 202 posts

    I’m slightly confused by your mention of Eurostar & Schiphol Airport. You normally have to present the goods to Customs/agent at your departure point so they can be assured they are leaving the country. Was it at Eurostar at Centraal Station?

    I agrée it seems unreasonable to say France is your point of exit if you can’t actually exit the train there.

    I assume the woman was also going to declare her designer haul to customs in London…

    Thegasman 202 posts

    I loaded Octopus with £5,000 when I wanted to do £500. They refunded the whole lot within 3-4 days. No help to you of course but just my 2 cents that I covered one of your 4-5x mistakes.

    Presumably you made a direct payment (? with a credit card) & they refunded to the original source. That will have cost them nothing & doesn’t raise money laundering suspensions unlike OP’s actions.

    in reply to: Platinum pro rata refund
    Thegasman 202 posts

    Thanks all, that’s super helpful. On a related note – it would actually be my Wife as main cardholder for the card, with me providing a referral link (I have a Platinum Cashback card). For some reason the Amex site says “Your Account is temporarily unable to access the Referral Programme”. I’ve barely referred anyone so can’t really understand why they would restrict this.

    AmEx are clearly doing some work on tightening up the referral & acceptance process focusing on profitability over market share as you’d expect any sensible lender to in the current climate. Lots of people on here have had the same issue as you & it seems like it’s not just related to referral history.

    Clearly not every customer is a profitable customer & some customers’ referrals are better quality than others with a reasonable overlap between those 2 groups. From the detail in your post it seems they have been reasonably accurate in their profiling!

    I’m not trying to be rude, I have historically cycled through the card portfolio with my wife & done some cross (not self) referring. We were both barred from referring for a while but have now realised that our ongoing relationship with Amex will be better by settling on the 1-2 cards that work for us in the medium to longterm. Referral links reappeared after about 6 months. Removing prorata refunds will push even more into this boat.

    The game has evolved, as must we. Just be grateful there are still other avenues to generate substantial numbers of points like Barclays.

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