Bits: 30% off and double Virgin miles with East Coast trains, new Singapore flights to Oz & NZ, Best Western sale

News in brief:

Double Flying Club miles on East Coast trains

Virgin Flying Club is offering double miles – 4 per £1 spent – when you book train tickets on Virgin East Coast via the official website.

You need to book by 31st March for travel up to 90 days beyond that.  All ticket types are valid – Advance ticket purchases will see the miles credited immediately whilst refundable tickets will not receive the miles until after the validity of the ticket has expired.

Only your first booking made during the promotional period will receive double miles.

You can also receive 30% off Advance and First Advance East Coast tickets booked before 13th March.  You must book via this page and use code FLYINGCLUB30.

Singapore Airlines

New Singapore Airlines services to New Zealand and Australia

For any HFP readers looking to visit Australasia, Singapore Airlines has announced a new services taking in Canberra and Wellington.  Launching on 21st September, and operating four times a week, the flight will route Singapore – Canberra – Wellington.  Tickets will also be available purely for the Canberra to Wellington leg.

Singapore Airlines is a member of Star Alliance which makes it a redemption option for anyone holding Lufthansa, United, Turkish etc miles.  Detailed timings can be found on the Singapore Airlines website.

Best Western Rewards

Best Western Winter sale still running

Finally, Best Western emailed me to remind readers of their Winter Sale.  The company is offering discounts of up to 50% on its UK hotels – and you stay at any point until the end of the year.

The last day to book on the Best Western website is 31st March.

I took a look at the recent overhaul of Best Western Rewards here if you are not up to speed with the major changes that came in on 1st January.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Supercard announces full launch in the Summer - how does it compare with Curve?
From Doha to Ras Al Khaimah ......
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  1. flibbly says:

    Besides double miles, Virgin East Coast is also offering 100 miles for linking your East Coast account to your Virgin Atlantic account. I did so after receiving an email yesterday.

  2. I’ve transferred some SPG points to Krisflyer in order to book a flight home (was aiming for the A350), but it’s taking forever for the miles to post. I’ve booked alternative flights on BA as a backup Incase I can’t get the SQ flights by the time they eventually post :/

  3. For anyone not reading the comments on the Qatar article today but wanting to go to NZ – they’ve launched Doha-Auckland and there’s fantastic availability in Business for Avios redemptions :)

    • Matthew says:

      It’s with the old Biz seats though….but still another option to NZ is welcome. Couldn’t get it to price on BA last night – the usual error message appearing at the top when selecting the flight.

      • Indeed, although new planes promised soon (not that Qatar can always be believed on that front!)

        I’m seeing pricing errors too, also even seat selection is causing errors on today!

        • Matthew says:

          Yeah – the BA site very frustrating! The DOH-AKL flight is about 16hrs long too IIRC – crikey!

  4. Hi, after inputting the code I’ve booked 2 advance singles and got through to the payment page but no mention of 30% off. Any ideas?

    • James67 says:

      The seats are discounted but in some odd way it seems. Booked First Advance single KGX-EDB yesterday without a code and using a railcard for two. Best I could get was £85. Today best I could get had fell to £70 so a saving of under 20%. However, many more seats on more trains available today at £85 that were around £115 yesterday, so those are definitely cheaper too but still not by a full 30%. Personally I’m disappointed as I have many upcoming trips where First will now likely be crammed full between this and thd earlier sale.

      • James67,

        I think the reason is that advance tickets booked online through Virgin Trains East Coast usually have a discount applied even without a code (seems to vary from about 2% to 10%, depending on the ticket), and the 30% off includes that original discount. So you won’t see 30% difference unless comparing with an offline booking.

        • James67 says:

          You’re right, that would explain it. I recall booking such tickets at the station before and paying a little more.

  5. Matthew says:

    I have a Singapore Airlines booking for later this year on the A350 and its a quite a sweetspot on their redemption chart. AMS to CHC (or AKL) is just 68,000 Krisflyer miles one-way in Business. That price includes the online discount of 15%. So we’ve planned a RFS to AMS the night before, a stop in the new AMS Hilton then catch the A350 in the morning to SIN and B777 onwards to CHC. Can’t wait :-)

    • Fantastic trip – nice redemption! My all time best redemption is still LHR-SIN-AKL return in SQ Suites using MR points moved via my Amex ICC Dollar card. Ended up with no-one else in Suites class on SIN-AKL!! Really like SQ biz though, only thing I find annoying is their hard 3-year expiry policy with their miles, I’ve got a chunk sitting there courtesy of the Economist that I need to make sure I don’t lose!

      • Thanks Alan. I used the Amex ICC card too to boost my Krisflyer miles balance which was the only way I could have enough miles to book for 3 of us plus an infant! They only released 2 biz seats at the saver level so one each-way had to be standard pricing. Its a major hol so didn’t want to risk waitlisting. The rtn leg is CHC-SIN-LHR albeit a few more miles but no APD issues. It is also worth noting, that if you book a standard single award out of NZ then you will not be charged YQ. This was quite welcome when booking the third seat as the total surcharges came to about £18 :-)

        Suites sound amazing – I bet you had a great time! Sadly didn’t have enough miles for that!

    • Aye that was my plan, either Perth – sin – ams or KUL-sin-ams, are as you say, a sweet spot.

      • Oh and if I can’t get that (because saver awards are booked up by the time my miles post) I will instead fly Perth – sin – hkg (with the Hong Kong leg in suites class) and fly home from honkers on BA (or cathay/Virgin, haven’t fully decided, just booked BA so I have something confirmed).

  6. There is a red cross that says “Flying Club 30% off” on some services. However the price is identical to the price when doing a mock booking not using the 30% off code. Very naughty.

    • Aeronaut says:

      Is this perhaps some sort of cookie/session issue? i.e. the 30% off has stuck, but just isn’t labelled as such?

    • Prices are definitely 30% cheaper where you see the red cross, I just booked 2 advanced journeys. Try the dummy booking using private browsing/incognito mode to rule out cookie/session stickyness.

  7. ComeFlyWithMe123 says:

    O/T – For those of you that have used the Lloyds Avios upgrade voucher, the T & C’s state:

    6. Upgrade vouchers can be used to upgrade either 2 one way flights for 2 people travelling at the same time and to the same destination or 1 return journey booked on a British Airways main line service. British Airways codeshare flights are excluded. Flights from London City airport are excluded.

    Does this mean BA Metal only? and if your flight involves a connection (e.g DUB – LHR – NYC), does it only upgrade 1 flight (dub to lhr OR lhr to nyc) and not both?


    • Yes, BA metal only. UK connections will be included (and the whole outbound leg will just count as one leg), but I’m not sure about international connections like the one you’ve suggested.

  8. Apologies for being very off topic.

    I am on BA33 to KUL on Sunday, looking on at the seatmap the aircraft type has changed from a 789 to a 78C, and the seat layout has changed from 2CW cabins to one large CW cabin. Expertflyer now shows an error when trying to check for First cabin Anyone know for sure what a 78C is?! Past comment on FT thought it was a 788.

    • 788’s don’t have First do they?

      • Nope, although my seat is in CW. CW seat numbering still starts at Row 6 and a bassinet is still shown in row 10, suggesting a bulkhead is still there, altough it has disappeared from the seat map (showed before). So although they have changed the seat map, and the aircraft type reference, it still looks like a 789 (although Expertflyer reports an error when trying to check the First cabin). No changes on the (excellent) My Flights app.

  9. James67 says:

    For anybody in Thailand or Singapore around Songkran who wants to try a380, SQ are deploying theirs on the 2hr flight between BKK and SIN. Redemptions presumably available across all *A schemes for all classes including suites.

    • For anyone in Thailand during Songkran, be prepared to get soaked everyday by all the locals. Take your kids water blaster with you :-)

      • Genghis says:

        I wasn’t aware that that’s what happens on Thai NY. Googled some pics and it looks awesome :)

        • James67 says:

          Awesome is right, should be on everybodies bucket list. Pattaya was amazing, Beach Road all the way along to and through Jomtien runs like a river. No place is safe, CVs comment is an understatement, in Pattaya I was drenched for three days!

          • Sounds like it should be on everybody’s bucket list to avoid, then…

            • Plus Thailand is currently experiencing a drought! Wonder whether that will put the brakes on – most probably not!

            • Lady London says:

              Would you seriously want to get drenched by Thai river water? Are there not safety issues?

  10. OT – Tesco: I just got an email about a “Christmas Savers” scheme, where they’ll give you bonus vouchers if you top-up your clubcard points with cash. Does anyone know if the vouchers that will subsequently be issued (in November) can then be exchanged for avios in the normal way? Is this a cheap way of buying avios? Or would I just be forced to buy all my Christmas presents from Tesco…?

    (and apologies for mentioning Christmas in March!)

    • Did you even look at the T&Cs? :)

      4.Clubcard points are not collected on cash top-ups. Top-up and bonus vouchers cannot be exchanged with Boost partners, converted into Airmiles/BA miles or used in the Clubcard Voucher Exchange, however bonus vouchers can be used for Boost at Tesco.

    • No, the deposited money & the bonus voucher can’t be used for anything other than Tesco shopping.

      It is however easy money.

      What you do is leave your Clubcard account as normal until shortly before the closing date for the Christmas saver scheme & then you change it to opt in to the scheme.
      A few days before the scheme end date, you go to Customer Services and pay in the cash amount you want to “save” and then when the quarter ends, you will be sent your saved money back in the form of Tesco vouchers, plus the appropriate bonus voucher along with your accumulated clubcard vouchers for the period.

      The normal clubcard vouchers can still be used as you normally would (eg Avios conversion) and the other vouchers need to be used in-store.

      – Opt in to Christmas Saver scheme any time between August quarter closing and 18th October.
      – Deposit £200 into Christmas Saver account (in store at CS) on or before 18th October.
      – Receive normal clubcard vouchers in November statement plus £212 of Tesco spend vouchers for use in store or online. Bingo! Easy 6% return on your £200 for lending it to Tesco for a month.
      – Once November statement has been received, opt back out of Christmas Saver scheme until same time next year.

      • Genghis says:

        Good plan

        • 6%? – you might want to annualise the return.

          However – not for me. Too much hassle for the time involved.

          You might end up £12 to the good, good luck :)

          Can you deposit with Amex?

          • The return is a simple 6%.

            I didn’t claim it to be APR. Also, without specifying exact dates you can’t easily annualise it. As I don’t know the date when the November statement would be issued it would be impossible to annualise accurately anyway.

            It is no hassle (other than the 5 mins queueing at CS) if you shop at Tesco anyway. Is 5 mins of your time not worth £12? If you have multiple Clubcard accounts & would be able to use the Tesco spend vouchers instore/online, you can repeat this process for each card for almost zero incremental time expended.

            When 3V cards were available it was almost a licence to print money as the savings deposits were made by Amex & the resulting vouchers could then be used to buy 3Vs and be cashed back out very quickly.

  11. Eastcost 30% offer has now reach maximum use so not valid any more.

  12. I’m booked on the inaugural flight from Canberra to Wellington (leaves 9am CBR-WLG 09.00). As I now live in Wellington (ex-UK), it was an easy decision to make the first trip between the capitals…Currently known as the capital express and not considered to last – but hope it does. Gives us another route back to the UK too.

    • flyforfun says:

      Why aren’t people expecting it to last? The connection between CBR-WLG or the whole thing?

      I didn’t even know Canberra was classed as an international port!!! I seem to know a few ex-Canberra-ites working here in the UK that would appreciate a direct flight instead of schlepping through Sydney or Melbourne. I hate doing it from Brisbane.

  13. the 30% off VTEC does not work. Same price as those on for 5 Apr KGX – LDS: £73

  14. The Virgin East Coast 30% discount was working fine for me yesterday and is still working today as I’ve just booked another journey. Got some 1st class, KX-NCL returns in April/May for £66