News & offers: BA applies to lease Qatar A330s, closure watch out, 13,200 Avios The Economist offer

Avios bonus closing watch out

Despite previous statements suggesting that Avios would be transferred over to your existing BA Executive account automatically, some people have been sent emails that say that Avios will open a new BA account for you whether you have an existing BA account or not. The email advises people to transfer their Avios over to their BA existing account by 20 May 2018. I would advise this anyway as during their transfer process there is likely to be a period where you can’t access your Avios. If you do the transfer yourself, the transfer is instant. Also, your balance will not transfer over into your new BA account until the Avios Travel Rewards Programme officially closes.

Any Lloyds Upgrade Vouchers you have will still be valid but won’t show in your new British Airways Executive Club account online. When you want to spend them, you will have to call 0344 49 333 49 (make a note of the number).

BA applies to lease Qatar A330s

Qatar Airways A330 business class review

Qatar A330

As  I reported in this earlier article, Qatar had offered to lease aircraft to BA to help with the B787 engine issues that have caused some recent cancellations. BA has taken them up on the offer and has applied to the CAA to wet lease (i.e. with Qatar crew) three A330s from Qatar Airways from 1 June and 30 September and cites the Trent 1000 engine issue as the reason for the lease on the basis of “exceptional needs”.

Willie Walsh, the Chief Executive of parent company IAG, had said that some of BA’s 787s would be “unavailable” from now until at least July.

Normally I would welcome a wet lease from Qatar but the A330 is my least favourite aircraft in their fleet. I personally found the seats quite narrow and the 2-2-2 layout does not provide much privacy compared with a window seat on BA. On the positive side, the entertainment system is better than many of BA’s older aircraft and Qatar’s crew are usually very efficient. What remains to be seen is whether the usual BA Club World service would be done by Qatar crew or whether Qatar service standards will apply as they did when BA wet-leased aircraft to cover the Mixed fleet strikes last year.

The other major headache will be that there is no premium economy on these aircraft and less business class seats which means some very unhappy customers potentially depending on how BA chose to resolve it. There have been a number of cancellations on some B787 routes in recent weeks with the most frequently affected routes being  Baltimore, Luanda, Newark, Philadelphia, San Jose California, Tokyo Narita and Toronto Pearson. This may or may not give a clue on which routes they may use the aircraft on.

Qatar Airways A330 business class review

Privacy screen in middle seats

You can read my full review of Qatar’s A330 here. 

The Economist – triple Avios up to 13,200 Avios

There is a new offer for The Economist to get triple miles on subscriptions when you subscribe by 31 May 2018. Since the last bonus for buying Avios was at 50% and meant you could buy Avios for 12,000 for £143 it is not really worth bothering with unless you actually want to read The Economist, need Avios quickly or can claim it as a business expense. The usual Avios purchase price is 15,000 Avios for £255.

In order to qualify for the Avios in this offer, you must maintain your subscription for at least one year. This subscription is non-refundable, except if you are a resident in the EU, in which case you may cancel your subscription in the first 14 days and get a refund for any part of your subscription that has not already been delivered for the print element or published for any digital element before you cancelled. Avios will be awarded within 28 days.

The offers are:

  • £145 Print or digital version for 10,200 Avios
  • £179 for both print and digital for 13,200 Avios

The page you need to get more information or to subscribe is here.

9 Comments on "News & offers: BA applies to lease Qatar A330s, closure watch out, 13,200 Avios The Economist offer"

  1. I flew business class on a Qatar A330 at the end of last year from Doha to Warsaw. Not very nice seat at all! Like you I found the seat to be very narrow. I remember there being virtually no storage space as well. I’d rather be in Club World than that!

    • Yes there is little storage space for take off although there are a couple of shelves for during the flight. I thought exactly the same about Club World and it’s not often I think that!

  2. Readers should remember that if they are downgraded due to no premium economy they are entitled too upto 75% reduction under EU Law for each sector affected.

    Hope link posting is okay? If not sorry and please remove

    • Hi Clay. Yes, that’s fine. It is a really useful resource which I always steer people to! As you say there will be EU compensation available but I suspect that BA will offer alternatives such as cancelling or moving your flights to other dates if they have to downgrade.

  3. Hello – I have around 20k pending Avios from the Avios store, mostly Hlton purchases which have always taken FOREVER to get credited, I have screenshots. Should we expect to ever get these Avios?

    • I got an official response from Avios a few weeks ago that said they were now automatically crediting all Hilton stays after 90-120 days after your stay. I recently had a lot of stays credited and a few rejected but still have a number from last year outstanding. I have contacted Avios about this but yet to receive a reply. The issue is with Hilton apparently. How long ago were your stays?

  4. End of Jan & beginning of Feb – so we are into the 120+ day period now, so I will be actively chasing in the coming days. I have a stay coming next week though – do you think I will get the Avios for that? Also have stays in August from… A total pain in the rear trying to claim the Avios on Hilton stays! Also the pending transactions that I had have now simply VANISHED from my account! All I see is the last purchase I made, and other purchases have gone, so I have to deal with this as well 🙁

  5. So I contacted Avios via Twitter, and apparently any pending Avios in the Avios eStore will be transferred to the BA eStore once Avios closes down – even if the merchant doesn’t exist on the BA eStore, eg: Hilton.

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