British Airways Two-For-One experience. WOW!

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by Steven Schwartz, Jun 2, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    My wife and I each got the BA Visa in the first 100,000 mile offering. Seemed like a no-brainer. In addition, I'm fortunate to be able to use credit cards to pay for many of the expenses in my dental practice so the $30,000 spend for the annual 2-4-1 voucher is no problem at all.

    When I got the card, there was no question what the first trip was going to be - a return trip to Israel after almost 20 years. Cost was 195,000 miles in First Class (130,000 in Business) but 200,000 of those miles came as a gift from BA. Got my voucher and waited for the 11 month mark for the flights to become available. I booked the moment I could but in reality, one of the advantages of BA is good availability, especially in First - so we did not have to "jump" on the tickets but after years of playing these games, that's just my style!

    We returned Tuesday and were very pleased and impressed. We have flown BA First and Business before and it is a wonderful product. This trip,. three of the four legs were in the renovated new First Class cabin. Departed JFK, landed at Heathrow and had plenty of time in the First Class lounge for a shower and clothing change. Then spent some time in the spa and had a 20 minutes massage in one of their massage chairs (where can I get one??!!). Fully recharged, we rested until time to board the next flight to Tel Aviv. On return, the first flight was in the old First - still comfortable and the biggest difference was the small video screen. Flight back to JFK and the trip was over.

    Service was all top notch. Good I had a limo waiting to drive us home because it's hard to say no to great wines and top-level scotch! People hate travel but this experience was like staying at a fine hotel - you can look forward to that as much as the city you are touring!

    Yes, I had to pay about $1500 total in fees but that, to me, was less than the cost of one coach ticket. As someone else pointed out, if you were told there was no fee for you but a companion ticket in First would cost $1500 - well, who would say no?! We already have a voucher on my wife's account and will use it for flights to a Baltic cruise next June. And as long as BA keeps offering this, doesn't dramatically alter their redemption schedule and maintains their good availability - they've got me! Yes, doesn't really work for some locations since it has to be BA metal and some of their redemptions are very, very high. But for Europe and the Middle East, the 2-4-1 is a great deal for me whether we choose Business or First (fees too high to use for Coach).
     
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  2. jmrich1432
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    jmrich1432 Silver Member

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    How was the rest of the trip? Sounds like you got a great award! Congrats!
     
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  3. Million Mile Secrets

    Million Mile Secrets Silver Member

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    Glad you like the experience. We LOVED the new BA cabins! In fact, the new BA first cabin is the banner picture on my blog. :cool:

    I'm looking forward to using another 2-4-1 to visit London during the Olympics next year, and am waiting for the booking window to open.
     
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  4. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Between 1984 and 1992, I was in Israel 5 times between regular trips and organizations I was involved with. The tuitions, wedding and, well, life got in the way so this was the first trip in 19 years! It was incredible. We were there for two weeks. The first 9 days, I did not see one thing I had ever seen before. And when we finally went to stops we HAD seen, they were pretty much all different! Israel is a remarkable country and it is now back in our travel rotation.

    Funny thing - had a married couple this morning in for dental check-ups. At their last check-up, they mentioned they were going to Egypt and I told them about this trip. As bad luck would have it, they were in Cairo when all hell broke loose and had to be evacuated early. But when I mentioned my trip to Israel, he told me he was too nervous to go there! Cairo yes but Israel no! I know there are people who feel that way but it is far, far from reality.
     
  5. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    Great experience, I can't wait to earn my 2-4-1 and use it on BA's new first. Did you get a chance to take any pictures?
     
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  6. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Just posted another thread, comical, about people who do and don't belong in First Class. I figured if I started taking pictures, my cover would definitely be blown but there are plenty available on the internet and even on the BA website. All I can say is they are all accurate - it's beautiful.
     
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  7. BeachMiles
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    BeachMiles Gold Member

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    I almost have enough spend for my first voucher. Wife and I have over 280,000 miles total. We are considering doing an Amex MR point transfer for another 75,000 miles. 355,000 miles.
    Now we need to pick a destination. After reading you post, we will try to get the new first class product.
     
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  8. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Glad it worked out for you, and it's controversial but I rather agree that the taxes/fees can be worth it. (Though I sure wish I didn't have to pay them, of course!)
     
  9. shaunc

    shaunc Active Member

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    My wife and I each got the 100K bonus the first time around and each spent 30K, earning two 2-4-1 certs. We took our 2 kids business class LAX-LHR for a week then on to Scotland for another week. Total fees were about $3200 for 4 tickets but well worth the money. And with the BA Arrivals Lounge at Heathrow we were able to get showered, massaged, and hit the ground running. Awesome experience.
     
  10. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    My guess is you are planning to go some months in the future and it is likely all their planes will be converted by then.
     
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  11. SFOPeter
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    SFOPeter Silver Member

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    thanks for the trip report!

    my son and i used our first voucher for sfo->mum in F for new years and are looking forward to it. already have the 2nd voucher and am going to book a trip to greece for next summer at the 11 month mark.

    py
     
  12. Andyandy
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    Andyandy Gold Member

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    Hmm. I wonder if the taxes and fees would be categorized by Capital One as a "travel" expense. Might be a good use of Venture Miles. Unless you're leveraging them into Hyatt or Fairmont credit, of course.

    Andyandy
     
  13. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Yes they certainly would be travel expense. I have leveraged mine with many 51250 point for $900 Hyatt redemptions. And booked the Park Hyatt Maldives on points. So they'll help with some of the other extraordinary expenses I'll be incurring there. :)

    To stay on topic for the thread though, I could have flown BA to MLE (IAD-LHR/LGW-MLE) and used a companion certificate but instead am flying DCA-ORD-SFO (stopover) - HKG-SIN / SIN-HKG (23h overnight) -ORD-DCA on one F AAward and then doing a separate SIN-MLE SQ C award.
     
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  14. spaced2
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    spaced2 Silver Member

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    Steven - good to hear your trip went well. i think i remember you posting your plans on FT at some point - i'm leaving tomorrow on a nearly identical redemption and am hoping for at least one of my two 777 runs between lhr and tlv to have new first.

    just wondering - did you and your wife chose the center two seats or each take a window?
     
  15. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    On the 777, we flew together in the center. On the 747, we took 2A and 2K - both windows with nothing between us. I'm not willing to drive to JFK anymore and all the Newark flights are 777 so I probably won't have the chance to do it again, but it was wonderful. That said, it's not like you are sitting up against the window so it is not that easy to see outside anyway.

    No matter what Seatguru says, there is simply not a bad seat in First on either plane. Have a wonderful time.
     
  16. BeachMiles
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    BeachMiles Gold Member

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    Gary, how many miles did the above trip require per person?
     
  17. spaced2
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    spaced2 Silver Member

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    will start a thread on my experience so far, but in short: they denied my partner boarding b/c israel has a 6 month validity requirement for passports on entry and his is up in October. Neither of us were aware and the airline wasn't proactive in letting us know.

    Fine, let him go home and get an extension the next day, right? nope. because we were traveling on the voucher, the airline refused to let him rebook unless he was traveling with me. They also refused to make changes to our reservation because the ticket rules required >24hr notice, so a catch 22 which resulted in: spaced2 experienced a wonderful new first product on both outbound legs...by himself. and will be spending the week in tel aviv...by himself.

    grr.
     
  18. Tivoboy
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    Tivoboy Milepoint Guide

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    In these examples, BA doesn't "have you", CHASE has you. I think in the end this sort of deal doesn't really benefit BA too much at all. I think the HOPE is that people find BA appealing and start booking int'l travel directly with BA for $$ and not miles, but that doesn't seem to be the majority of the users here at least who have leveraged what is most likely one of the best mileage promos and free flying offers
     

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