BA Tier points changes
Airlines have special abilities, they can apparently move cities by a few miles which is an amazing feat! This has happened in the past with Boston in terms of redemptions, but it is more unusual for tier points earned. For some reason, British Airways have been playing around with some of their cities and amazingly found that the distance between London and Hong Kong had changed. Even more surprising is that Cape Town has also moved.
Here are the new tier point rates:
- London to Cape Town was 160 tier points one way in business class – Now 140 tier point
- London to Cape Town was 230 tier points one way in first class – Now 210 tier points
- London to Hong Kong was 140 tier points one way in business class – Now 160 tier points
- London to Hong Kong was 210 tier points one way in first class – Now 230 tier points
If you are flying to Cape Town, I would have a look at what Manage My Booking says and screenshot it if it shows the higher tier points for Cape Town. Then if you don’t get awarded them, you have a good argument to claim the higher rate.
HT: Head for Points
Good ex-EU fares from £1264
Although not mainly oneworld, there are a few decent fares around.
- Dublin to
- Chicago British Airways £1366
- San Francisco British Airways £1498
- Cancun British Airways £1565
- Orlando British Airways £1555
- Madrid to
- San Francisco American £1391
- Budapest to
- Dubai Qatar £1511
- New York British Airways £1373
440 tier points for £1280
There is an interesting fare with Royal Jordanian and Qatar to Colombo from Rome which comes with a health warning as it does involve booking through an OTA like Last Minute. However, the fare starts at £1290 so for 440 tier points it is a decent return. The first two flights are around 3 hours so you only get a reclining business class seat but should get a bed on the last leg with Qatar. Definitely not for the faint-hearted! I can see availabilities on most days except Mondays and Thursdays
Interesting court case result on business class seats/aircraft swaps
One of the things that annoy many business class travellers is when you book a certain seat type and then it gets swapped to something vastly inferior. This has happened to me many times. When it is a last-minute aircraft swap on the day, I can understand it when it is due to a technical fault or operational issue. But when it happens months or weeks in advance, it is particularly annoying when you have taken the time to choose a particular product.
Most airlines only show their latest seats on their website, which I think is very misleading. For the average traveller who assumes that is the seat they will get, it can be quite a shock when they end up with something completely different. It’s like ordering from a picture menu of a steak in a restaurant but being given a hamburger and told it will be the same price and no refunds.
Some airlines like Emirates and Qatar have multiple seat types that vary wildly. Qatar at least allows you to swap to another QSuite flight if you can find one. Personally, I think airlines should be legally obliged to at least offer a swap.
In New Zealand, a business class traveller took the airline Emirates to court, claiming that the seat he was given bore no resemblance to the seats advertised with mini bars and new entertainment screens. The claimant was flying on Emirates B777-300ER, which features their awful angled lie-flat seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. I would be extremely annoyed if I ended up on these. That’s one of the reasons I rarely fly Emirates business class.
He claimed that the seats advertised in New Zealand are not actually flown to New Zealand at all, which I think is particularly important. Emirates, of course, tried to claim that they are entitled to substitute aircraft which was a stupid argument as this was the aircraft that was usually used on that route! But they then claimed they had to use these seats on the route since it made a loss.
The airline was fined nearly £7000. Now that alone is not going to put a dent in the airline’s bank balance, but if multiple claims were to happen, it would be a different matter.
The Disputes Tribunal referee said:
“This was the result of advertising a service that they were rarely delivering, not due to an occasional or one-off change of aircraft due to operational requirements. The promotional materials were based on an updated/new business class seat and service that is not in place in the older aircraft that Emirates flies to NZ.”
“The Fair Trading Act 1986 prohibits misleading and deceptive conduct in trade. The advertising of a service that Emirates knew would unlikely be delivered is misleading and deceptive.”
I’m sure someone may have tried to claim before in the UK, but whether it was for false advertising rather than non-delivery of the product, I’m not sure. Someone will no doubt try to test the waters in the UK in the future.
Do you think the ruling was correct? Do you think we should have rules in the UK that airlines have to show all their business class seat options so you can be aware of what you could be swapped to? Let us know in the comments below.
Michelle do you think the change in tier points for Hong Kong is related to change in the flying distance and route? My parents live in HK and I’m finally able to go see them without any restrictions when I looked at the current BA daily flight flying to HK they are rerouting from not flying over Russia. The flying time is now over 14 hours!! Clearly the distance between the 2 cities haven’t changed but the flying distance has.
That’s a good point but it’s unusual to take that into account since you’d hope it’s only a temporary thing. Usually it’s based on actual distance rather than flying distance. Though it doesn’t explain Cape Town!
I’ve reread the rules https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/executive-club/collecting-avios/flights
“The amount you collect depends on which airline you fly, how far you fly, the cabin you fly in, the type of ticket you hold and your Executive Club tier.”
Well according to the BA website the way I interpret it is it is based on distance you fly rather than actual distance but as you said I can’t explain South Africa but then I don’t know this route much.
Absolutely the right outcome against Emirates. You cant advertise the superior product when you know you ARE delivering the inferior one. Well done to the traveller that took them on.
Interesting case in NZ. It’s not difficult to provide fleet information so I see no reason why airlines can’t state what aircraft they have and how they are configured.
Took your good idea Michele and went to screen shot my CPT booking for end Sept in Club. Has already been reduced to 280 Tier Points. Hire car booking included so it qualifies for double points – total reduction thus 80 points. Ho hum.
That’s very disappointing. I’d try complaining personally. It was definitely still 160 tier points at the end of January. If you book something on the understanding of a certain number of tier points it’s unacceptable to change it after purchase.
You do fairly warn people that the FCO-CMB ticket requires a third-party booking agent, but I would add to that warning the disgraceful performance of lastminute.com when I had to cancel partly refundable tickets, which they claimed in effect weren’t refundable. I eventually got every penny back through my credit card company, but no thanks to lastminute.com. They are no longer the reputable UK company of their early days, but hide behind opaque addresses overseas. Avoid them at all costs.
Airline swaps, TAP did that to me last year then i found out they never fly the new aircraft to punta cana but advertised it and swapped it a few months before the flights and would not allow us to cancel, we got an unmarked plane with just reclining seats like premium economy no tv or the normal amenities for business class. The just stopped reply to my emails but I have sent my complaint to the CAA but no response thus far.
That’s a terrible aircraft swap. No wonder you have complained!
Can I have a bit of guidance, please, on how to actually find the bargain flights. Inspired by AMS-BOM at £1410 I followed the link to the Swiss website.
On my date, 7 months away, the outward flight alone shows at €4940! And only Business Flex can be booked at €5370.
I’m flexible on dates so is it as simple/tedious as checking each of my 30 or 40 possible departures?
Or is there a faster way?
Google flights is the easiest way to find dates. You can get a graph of dates or use the calendar.