Bits: BA ‘Upgrade to First’ promo returns, Accor buys onefinestay, triple PPB points on Air Canada

News in brief:

British Airways ‘Upgrade to First’ promotion returns

British Airways has brought back its regular ‘Upgrade To First’ promotion.  This allows anyone purchasing a flexible or semi-flexible Club World ticket in J, C, D or R classes (this excludes the cheapest I-class fares) to receive a one-way upgrade to First at the time of booking.

This deal only applies to full fare tickets.  If your employer has a negotiated deal then you can not take part.

American Airlines flights can be upgraded if booked as a BA codeshare.  You need to book via a travel agent or by telephone, not online.  The number of seats available for upgrade is restricted.

You must book by 14th June for outbound travel by 28th August.  All travel must be completed by 8th September.

The following routes are excluded: Bermuda, Chengdu, Bangkok, Seoul, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Full details can be found at here.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

British Airways First Class seat

Accor acquires onefinestay

French hotel group Accor, owner of the Sofitel, Novotel, Ibis, Pullman etc hotel brands, bought ‘posh Airbnb’ company onefinestay yesterday.

Based in London, onefinestay lets “leisure and business guests stay in hand-picked distinctive private homes with made-to-measure, personal service from a personal welcome on arrival to a team on call 24/7”.  It currently has 2,600 properties under management in  London, New York, Paris, Los Angeles and Rome.

Accor paid £117m for the company and has committed a further £50m to speed up its expansion.

This may well be a good long-term investment for Accor.  Marriott, whose $14bn revised bid for Starwood is now looking excessive, may be wondering if this wouldn’t have been a better bet.

Whilst there are no plans to test out onefinestay on HFP at the moment, there will be some coverage of Airbnb on Head for Points soon.  Anika is currently out in LA and I challenged her – as someone who has never done anything like this before – to download the app and give it a go.

Air Canada

Triple PartnerPlusBenefit BenefitPoints with Air Canada flights in April

PartnerPlusBenefit is the Star Alliance equivalent of the British Airways ‘On Business’ programme for small companies in the UK and Ireland.  I wrote a full introduction to the scheme here.

If you fly with any of the 11 Star Alliance airlines who take part – Air Canada, LOT, Lufthansa, germanwings, Eurowings, Austrian, ANA, SWISS, Brussels Airlines, United and TAP Portugal  – you would be crazy not to sign up your business, large or small.

If you are heading to Canada before 31st July, you will earn triple BenefitPoints on all Air Canada or Air Canada rouge (the AC leisure arm) operated flights from the UK and Ireland to Canada.  This applies to all bookings in International Business Class, Premium Economy and Premium rouge.

You need to pre-register for this offer via the ‘Special Promotions’ page of your PartnerPlusBenefit account.

If you want to join PartnerPlusBenefit, details are in this HFP article.  There is a sign-up bonus available which is good for 3 x one-way Heathrow Express tickets or various other benefits.

Time to make final plans to hit your IHG 'Accelerate' targets
Earn Avios with IN-STORE and online purchases at Harvey Nichols this month
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  1. Hfp reader says:

    Hate to start with an OT question, but when checking in for a recent BA flight in world traveller I was offered an upgrade to world traveller plus for 140 pounds one way at check in. I would like upgrade an upcoming flight to world traveller plus, the BA website is currently asking me to pay 350 pounds one way for this upgrade. Does anyone know whether this is likely to go down to 140 quid again if I wait until check-in? Anyone know how popular the world traveller plus cabin is? Is it worth waiting or is the cabin likely to be full?

    • Check out the AUP/POUG threads on the BA forum on flyertalk

    • Luck of the draw on the day, depending on how full WTP is and when you check in. £350 is the price to be sure!

    • My theory is if they are still offering you POUGs at the last minute, there’s a chance you could get a free upgrade anyway.

  2. David H says:

    Challenge Anika!

  3. A bit cheeky but can the upgrade to first be used on the ex-London leg of an ex-Europe fare? (i.e. upgrade LHR-HKG on an AMS-HKG ticket)

  4. Would be interesting to know how many of these are bought. The fare classes are quite expensive and as a leisure passengers certainly not something I am going to do.not for a seat in CW+

    • I know of someone who did buy one of these. They needed to book LHR-KUL for a last minute unplanned trip with three days’ notice. Assuming you want to fly J, at three days out on an ex-UK flight, only D class is made available, so a free upgrade is a no brainier.

      Unless you have the time to start in Europe where, seemingly, R class is made available on some routes – in this case time was of the essence.

  5. question raffles- why are those routes excluded, when only Bermuda has a first cabin?

  6. Looking forward to Anika’s article on Airbnb. I looked at prices in Los Angeles for a forthcoming stay. When you add in the excessively high ‘cleaning’ costs I didn’t find them that competitive compared to hotels.

  7. Matthew says:

    Worth mentioning that I’m still seeing double membership reward points (i.e. 100% bonus points) on Airbnb trips booked on my 18 month old Amex Gold card. Airbnb is closer to hotel rates on the States for the most part, but we swear by it now in Europe for getting much better value than hotels, mostly based on being able to book entire apartments (so getting much more square footage for base hotel prices) or more interesting locations. This is leisure travel though admittedly.

  8. OT one I missed might be of interest;
    Sir Richard Branson sells Virgin America to Alaska Air for £1.8bn

    • Peter K says:

      I’m sure there was an article I read somewhere about this too…oh yes, on HfP yesterday :-)

  9. OT Raffles – I guess you don’t have much control over the ads on HFP but can’t you block this?

    Surely there must be some kind of filter you can invoke?

    • Aren’t the ads from google ad services, ie Google scans your internet browser cookies and then shows ads based on sites previously visited….? No idea what “” is, and I’m not clicking that link to find out, but you might want to try cleaning your browser. And maybe get a virus scanner. And a malware scanner. And validate who’s using your computer.

      • Or cut out the late night babe viewing LOL

      • Genghis says:

        Does Mrs H know your about your other ‘hobby’?

        • heh heh no chance of cookies remaining, I’d just CCleaner’ed it to get the Telegraph back up (see my post a few mins previous).

          To answer Raffles’ question, it was right hand box about a page or so down.

          It might have used my geography, I guess, as I am still on my hols at our place in the sun, 27C today & clear skies, since you ask :)

          • I’ve found the ads to be very bizarre when using a new phone/after using CCleaner – can’t remember exactly what I was targeted for, but it really highlights how targeted adverts can be!

    • Which box was it in? Some of the right hand margin is from Google and some from an outside agency, albeit an agency which mainly works with Mummy and fashion bloggers so is unlikely to have a major interest in Russian ladies ….

  10. Richard says:

    At least from Finland (the upgrade offer is only for travel from UK) we have a different version of the one way free upgrade to first. It’s actually much better and you travel in first both ways.
    Instead of booking business and upgrading to first they have lowered the prices of the lowest First booking code so first is almost the same price as business (except I class which is not included in the UK upgrade offer):
    eg HEL-JFK on BA
    I: 2354e
    R: 2636e
    D: 3019e
    C: 4219e
    J: 4219e
    A: 2749e

    So unless you find/want to book class I (which is not upgradeable in the BA UK offer anyway) it would be better to book A in first instead of club world fare.
    The conditions for the 2749e A fare happen to be the same as for the UK upgrade offer (book by 14th june, complete travel by September etc)

  11. Flew BA First to MEX last week for the first time. Fun, but actually prefer CW cabin (62A). And its UNBELIEVABLE that you still don’t get any extra non-alcoholic drinks in First other than the children’s drinks they serve up in WT.

    • pls explain, how can cw be better than first? interested to hear your thoughts .cheers.

      • Maybe some people prefer facing their travel partner?

      • Seat the same, IFE the same, food basically the same (uses Club Kitchen for snacks anyway, and F passengers need to be escorted there each time), drinks (see pet peeve above). CW exits faster than First which has to wait for WT+ to exit. Much prefer the window boxes and drawer in CW rather than the much smaller and less accessible wardrobe in First. Slippers and PJs in First are fun though.

  12. does the BA upgrade to first offer work with ex-DUB flights?

    • yeap, uk and Ireland departures

    • It won’t work on the cheap ex-dublin fares. It only works on more flexible and much more expensive club world fares. These can sometimes be just as much as buying an A class first fare.

  13. OT just been checking the state school dates for Easter 2017

    looks like 1/4/17-17/4/17 for many

    so T-355 for booking flights out would be about 11th April depending on whether you plan to schmoozy a day or 2 :)

    • I guess some worriers are over-concerned about booking flights out without the certainty of the flight back home! lol :)

  14. Sfo-Lhr in October: Ba is offering me WTP to CW Upgrade for £510. Is it a good price? Can’t find this in the Proactive upgrade thread…