Bits: £750 business class flights to Bangkok, East Coast Rewards to Virgin miles, 12000 Avios for Economist sub

Some news in brief:

£750 business class tickets to Bangkok

I have devoted quiet a bit of coverage recently to exceptionally cheap Qatar Airways flights to Asia from Europe, often sub £800.  There is nothing available at the moment, however.

Turkish Airlines has stepped into the breach!

For trips completed by December 15th, for departures from Copenhagen, Stockholm or Oslo, you can fly to Bangkok in business class for as little as £750 return.

Turkish Airlines is working hard at the moment to keep up with the Middle East ‘big three’.  Their lounges in Istanbul are meant to be excellent and I have heard good things about their onboard service.  Turkish is a member of Star Alliance so you would earn miles in Miles & More, MileagePlus or a similar programme.

Note that the first leg may be on a short-haul plane, albeit that it is only a three hour flight.  You should also check which planes are used on the long-haul leg and exactly what business class seating you should expect.

In my price tests, Stockholm to Bangkok was coming up as £758.  Copenhagen was £897 and Oslo £822.

The best thing to do is have a play around on the Turkish Airlines website here and see what comes up.

These fares are meant to be available for booking until June 21st.

Turkish Airlines 777 seating

East Coast Rewards points can now be converted to Virgin Flying Club miles

Thanks to @SaveECRewards, I am pleased to say that Virgin East Coast is now allowing you to redeem your remaining East Coast Rewards points for Virgin Flying Club miles.

As I wrote recently, I recently redeemed most of my points for two First Class train tickets but had 36 points left over.  I was faced with redeeming these for (36 x 6 =) 216 Nectar points, worth £1.08.

I can now transfer them to Virgin Flying Club where I can hopefully get double the value.

Obviously in my case the extra value is minimal!  If you have larger balances – or, more relevantly, don’t want a Nectar account – Virgin Flying Club now offers a decent alternative to empty out your balance.

More details are on the Virgin East Coast website here.

Virgin East Coast

It’s back – 12,000 Avios with a subscription to The Economist!

Just a few weeks after running an offer for 8,000 Avios, Iberia Plus is offering 12,000 Avios for a new subscription to The Economist.

You CANNOT now cancel a subscription to The Economist for a partial refund.  This makes the offer less good but still not unattractive.

It will cost you £155 for a years subscription which earns you 12,000 Avios points.  If you have the slightest interest in The Economist then this is well worth a look.

Plan B is to order a copy to a random hotel or library in a country with cheaper subscription rates!  This is no longer as good a deal as it was, since countries such as Thailand now only come with 8,000 bonus Avios points.

Full details can be found on the Iberia website here.

You will need to give an Iberia Plus number when you subscribe.  Once your account has been open for 90 days, you will be able to transfer the Avios across to a BA or avios.com account via ‘Combine My Avios’ online.

The subscription deadline is June 30th.

Introducing IHG Business Rewards - the new small business and PA scheme
100 Avios if you persuade a Clubcard-collecting friend of the wonders of avios.com
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Comments

  1. Waribai says:

    Thanks for this tip. Yesterday when I looked, HKG was also working out at similar prices but well into next year so you could travel until February. HKG obviously been ideal for a Virgin return or onward oneworld connections. This was all on ITA matrix though so you need to play around a little

  2. Nick M says:

    If ordering an electronic subscription to a different country, can you still use a UK billing address?

    • Should work fine. Amex does not check billing country anyway so you can put any country down and use your UK card number.

      • Nick M says:

        Excellent, thanks!

        Re: Supercard – I received mine a couple of weeks ago, will try a €10 atm withdrawal in a couple of weeks and see what happens

  3. If anyone wants a Canadian address to subscribe from, my friend will be happy to read the mag for you! I just cancelled my last subscription.

  4. Economist 12,000 Avios – checking the link it seems that 12,000 is offered for all countries, including Thailand (print+digital; 9,000 for print only / digital only). However, the cost for Thailand is USD300 (approx GBP195). Some countries / currencies are more expensive e.g. China is CNY2400 (approx GBP250). However, Malaysia is cheaper at MYR780 (approx GBP140). There may be others.

    • …and I just signed up for the 8,000 offer (guess I must have been the only one!). I’ll see if they will do the decent thing…

    • Graeme says:

      I think people found Canada to be cheapest before.

  5. Off Topic – but has anyone received their Supercard from Travelex yet?? I had a confirmation email from them. Then an email to remind me I hadn’t added any credit cards to my account yet. But still no hard card has arrived in the post…….

    • Stuart Fortune says:

      No card here yet. They are active on Twitter saying the cards are going out now. https://twitter.com/supercarduk/status/603595145791995904

    • Plenty of similar comments already on HFP threads this week. You are not alone.

      • James67 says:

        Saw response from yoj and Mark the other day Leo, thanks. Still waiting for mine and really hoping for it next week before Im away for a month or they will likely cancel it due to my failure to activate. According to MSE they are being sent out in order people successfully registered.

  6. Idrive says:

    Hi! Asia in business is something i am looking at in this very moment but fr January. has anyone recently glown TIrkish business? If i am not mistaken it should have no flat bed. I want another BA from Germany mega deal as last month

    • I flew last month with TK.
      I was expecting flat bed (that’s what I had last time) but last minute plane change meant I got sloping bed (quite uncomfortable) and broken IFE. I contacted customer service and complained .their reply was that they investigated my claim and we’re pleased to inform me that the IFE was now repaired…

  7. The Iberia webpage you linked to regarding the Economist offer states “for new subscribers only”. Does this mean that you cannot get the points if you have EVER had a subscription before? Or does it just refer to current subscriptions? My subscription lapsed in the last few weeks, and this offer may be enough for me to subscribe again, but only if I’m eligible for points.

  8. Yesterday was a positive one. We suggested they should allow transfers to Virgin Atlantic back before they started in February and their MD David Horne agreed that it was a good idea. They said it would take a while to implement and to check back in a few months. What did surprise me is they’re offering the same transfer rate as Nectar.

    The second bit of good news was for the first time ever they started acknowledging complaints on social media about Nectar. Previously the policy has just been to ignore these, presumably in the hope people would give up and go away. As of yesterday evening they were actively telling people that their complaints were being logged and a review of the loyalty schemes will be conducted.

    They did say March next year (their 1 year anniversary) would be likely to be the earliest time any changes would be implemented, perhaps they only signed an initial 1 year contract with Nectar?

    The fact that they’re listening does mean that if you’ve not already then now is a good time to submit your feedback to them about loyalty schemes. http://saveecrewards.co.uk/content/how-help

    • Looks like they’re also paying for comments, Mrs xcalx received an email this morning from rocket research

      Research Campaign – QUOTE 3606
      WHAT: Virgin Trains East Coast Travel (prev. known as East Coast)
      WHO: Men & Women who have travelled on the Virgin Trains East Coast within the last 2 months
      WHERE: Leeds, LS17
      WHEN: Mon 8th or Tues 9th June – Times dependent on answers – 2 hours
      MONEY: £60:00 including compulsory pre-task

      • Interesting. This is all the sort of research they should have done before making changes to the rewards scheme.

        My advice for them was to hold off making changes to the rewards scheme until they had a chance to contact the existing East Coast Rewards members.

    • James67 says:

      Eastcoast, regardless of operator, has historically commited to many and varied promotions either themselves or in conjunction with various partners. I’m guessing they have only done so because it was necessary to generate passenger demand at times. Unfortunately, no such promotions since the takeover unless I’ve missed them. Seems like they are trying to emulate virgintrains with whom 0 failed to come across a single promogion between Glasgow or Carlisle and London in the seven years I used the service. Do you think eastcoast promotions are now gone or do you think they will continue to be a necessity for the new operators? I was also annoyed to go onto the eastcoast site recently to book my cheap three month advance first fares only to find they were all gone because the booking window had opened up to six months, would have been nice if they had publicjsed the fact. Thanks for your good work on behalf of us travellers.

  9. I’ve just transferred my remaining 40 points from the old East Coast scheme to Virgin miles. 240 helps keep my account alive a bit longer (only got 1200+ and they expire in Feb 2016 – not sure what happened to the miles I should have earned back in March from a Newcastle to Doncaster first class ticket as they haven’t appeared)

    • Even though I’m paying using eVouchers purchased back in February (reason: http://saveecrewards.co.uk/rewards-guide/40-topping-up-ec-rewards-balance ) I’ve had Virgin miles post promptly for all VTEC trips made.

      One thing to remember is the two Virgin Trains companies are entirely separate (Virgin only own 10% of the East Coast one) and there isn’t even an effort to appear unified. So if you book an East Coast ticket on the West Coast site virgintrains.co.uk you won’t receive anything.

      If you’re booking on the East Coast site it should display the earned miles after payment on the confirmation screen. It’s probably worth saving a screenshot in case your miles don’t post. If you don’t have confirmation of miles posting you should call web support on 03457 225111.

  10. Turkish – can you work in a 24/48 hour stopover in Istanbul with these prices?

  11. If anyone wants to send me their Economist subscription I will be happy..

  12. James67 says:

    Etihad also has offer with economist but only 2000/2500 EG miles. Anybody ever seen it go higher?

  13. Off topic – Hilton reward cert – I just received mine and it shows expiry date 28 May 2016! I thought it was valid for 6 months. Not that I am complaining.

    Also do you think I can cancel the Hilton card or should I wait till I use the voucher? I am actually also considering if I want to try and hit the £10k spend for Gold.

    Thanks

  14. Don’t know if its my end but I have just received this and the United lounge emails

    • They went at the normal time – I saw them go as it was lunchtime here. There was a Twitter issue yesterday though.

      Running a site like this is basically whack-a-mole brought to life …..!

  15. For anyone else whose Iberia Plus account is frozen so that Avios cannot be transferred, they have sent me this link – https://www.iberia.com/ibcomv3/content/EN/PDF/desbloqueopin.pdf
    It is a form to complete and return with copy of proof of identity. It is unclear where to send it so I sent them back to clasica@iberia.es.
    Just an acknowledgement so far but they are quite slow.

  16. Nick Piggott says:

    Be careful with crediting TK flights to M&M. Just as fast as TK tries to ape the ME3, LH tries to deter people from flying TK by creating the bizarre situation where award miles depend on booking class, but *status* miles are a fixed 25% of distance flown. So no cheap M&M status miles from TK flying.

    • idrive says:

      thanks Nick. In fact I will get a very poor rate from an excellent cash revenue purchase on Swiss. Though, through my creative routing I have spared more than £200. Hopefully all this will work out nicely and fly me again far away!:-)

  17. Lionel says:

    Just an amusing O/T ‘bit’ on a slow Sunday http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/muslim-woman-tahera-ahmed-refused-diet-coke-on-united-airline-flight-because-it-could-be-used-as-a-weapon-in-islamophobic-incident-10287449.html

    Just published a few minutes ago & I’ve a feeling the comments at the bottom are going to get really hot :)