Bits: £1,000 business class AA fares from Paris, InterContinental London O2 down to 45,000 points

News in brief:

Excellent American Airlines fares from Paris to North America

It is pure coincidence that I am reviewing the Cathay Pacific lounge at Paris today and then this offer pops up as well!

American Airlines is selling business class flights to most of North America from Paris for £1,000 to £1,100 return.

Hawaii (Honolulu) from Paris is £1,107 but the fare also works fine for Paris to New York and pretty much everywhere else in the US served by AA.

Tickets must be booked by Tuesday 3rd May but travel dates are wide open.  You cannot route back via London so you will be flying American Airlines transatlantic direct from Paris or on the British Airways run OpenSkies service.  Stopovers will add €600 so I would forget about that.

You need to be careful about seating with AA so look at which planes are being used and then use one of the seating websites such as SeatPlans to make sure you are getting a fully flat seat.  Remember that AA flights earn Avios and British Airways Executive Club tier points.

You can book on the AA website or Expedia – see which throws up the best routings.

You must book 28 days before departure and stay away a Saturday night.

InterContinental London O2

InterContinental O2 reduced to just 45,000 IHG Rewards Club points

The InterContinental O2 in London, which has only been open for four months, has been reduced in price from 50,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night to just 45,000 points.

I am hoping this does not reflect trading and the optimistic view that a 400+ room luxury hotel would work in North Greenwich.  I looked at pricing for a random weekday in August and saw rooms at £156 compared to £450 for InterContinental Park Lane.

At this price it is an EXCELLENT value redemption.  This is not just in comparison to Park Lane (60,000 points) but in comparison to the many pathetic Holiday Inn Express etc options in London which can be 35,000 points or more!

I am still hoping that IHG can arrange a review night here as I am keep to get a full tour.

If you have a reward night at the O2 booked, remember that you can cancel and rebook it to save 5,000 points as long as reward rooms are still showing.

The InterContinental O2 website is here if you want to find out more or book a reward night.

(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.)

Bits: Use Newquay's lounge for £10, £25 off SWISS to Geneva, South African Airways sale
My review of the Cathay Pacific (and BA) lounge at Paris Charles de Gaulle
About Head for Points

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  1. zsalya says:

    AA have a bewildering variety of Business Class seating, from great to undesirable.
    How reliable is the link between waht SeatGuru predicts and what one files?
    Presumably if ‘planes go technical then they will often switch?

  2. Wow £800 in Y to HNL, but £1097 in J – don’t need to book, but it’s a great deal.

  3. James A says:

    See flyer talk for ways to route to MAN on the return and add cheaper (£200) stopovers!

    Straight returns MAN – USA are circa £13xx at the mo

  4. Stated at the IC for an event I was speaking at recently so I didn’t see the price paid for the.

    Had a nice room upgrade thanks to spite elite. The bar on the top floor is great but very busy when I arrived. The breakfast was very good but it was circa £25 if I remember.

    • Imbruce says:

      I am staying at The Crowne Plaza,Stephenson Quater in Newcastle breakfast is £9:00 if you book at check in or the day before, £16:00 on the morning you are having breakfast.
      I am not sure If that applies to the IC 02 as well?

  5. Charlie says:

    There’s a recent Intercontinetal review here. The impression I was left with was that they were struggling to fill the rooms.

    • At £34 for two drinks and two macarons I can understand why it’s not busy. I don’t mind paying a premium for dining/drinking in an exclusive environment but from the way the report is written they haven’t been sitting slurping cocktails or vintage malts.

  6. I’ve also started at the IC O2. Nice hotel, good size and well specced rooms (with a desk!), and nice bars at both the top floor and lower down (level 3?).

    Only issues were some missing prices for the minibar and dreadful service at breakfast, but at least there was a great buffet selection.

    Car park was virtually empty, even on an event night, so that might work well for visitors to the O2 if costs aren’t too extreme.

  7. zsalya says:

    In order to see whether adjoining days are cheaper in Business (rather than just Economy) it seems one needs to select a non-UK version of their website such as Germany.

  8. I’m here at the moment to complete Accelerate. Upgrade on check-in (2 categories) which, as I am only a Gold IHG, suggests not too busy. Nothing on at the O2 last night however.

    Very nice hotel, lovely rooms with a great view and ridiculous value for £140 per night, booked on the day.

  9. WOW, Rob how do you find out about these fares like this?

    • Matt W says:

      They email him?

      That fare sounds pricey compared to the recent OZ ones, but I am a newbie.

      • You won’t be seeing a fare like that to Oz again in a hurry – as I said at the time, it was the cheapest I had ever seen.

  10. Are there any $90 points + cash rates still available anywhere at IHG to buy points or are they phased out now?

    • Not sure …. may have been a trial. Search reward nights in big cities and you can quickly scan 50 hotels in about 30 secs.

      • Checked quite a few options and it seems to have been replaced by 15,000 for $100 which is 0.676 cents per point so a slight improvement still on the $90 for 10,000. Thanks for the search tip;)

  11. Billy Buzzjet says:

    Always thought doing a tier point run was sort of crazy BUT £1,097 for a R/T to HNL netting me 41,430 Avios and 760 tier points AND to tick Hawaii off my list has got me thinking !! Thanks for the heads up .

    • I wouldn’t touch it. The planes used for the routing are horrible. Example the return fro HNL is an old 757 with limited recline. Redeye gets one drinks service then lights out. No food offered at all.

      • Billy Buzzjet says:

        Andy. I hear that! oh boy do those old 757’s suck but the DFW – HNL is a flat bed 767 so what a treat.

      • If you price up a first class ticket to HNL with BA you’ll be flying recliner LAX to HNL.
        I don’t think anyone flies Hnl to west coast with a lie flat. Maybe delta for insane prices.

        Also you can easily make the route worth 980 TP’s with a change in JFK and lie flat all the way to LAX if you pick the right aircraft. 1120 TP’s if you go recliner lax-Hnl. It’s very close to economy pricing.

        An absolute bargain.

  12. Thanks so much for the heads up about the AA deal. Been looking for a good CDG – PDX deal in business for ages and got one for £1100. :)

  13. Nick_C says:

    Problem with AA out of Paris is they don’t offer a great hard product on most routes.

    You can tell from the AA site whether or not the flight has true flat beds on the transatlantic sector. If it does, it will be a 1-2-1 seating configuration.

    I’m planning a trip to Hawaii within in the next year, and £1100 for J sounds great. However, only the 767 to JFK and the A330 to PHL have flat beds. The 330 is superb, but going to Hawaii from the UK via Paris and the East Coast means three stops and at least one overnight. The fastest outbound route from Paris to Hawaii with an £1100 fare is 23 hours via DFW. But this is on the old 772 with a 2-3-2 angled seat in J.

    If I was going to start from CDG, I’d chose the most comfortable planes. CDG-PHL-DFW-HNL gives you flat beds for the two long sectors, and a 12.5 hour overnight in DFW, but the total journey would be 35 hours. On the plus side, you would get at least 24,580 Avios and 820 Tier Points!

    Personally, I’d rather pay BA £1536 to fly LHR-LAX-HNL on American in J. 21 hours outbound with a same day arrival. Although £1734 for F is even more tempting! 23986 Avios and 560 tier points in J or 34870 Avios and 700 TPs in F.

    Dates I was looking at on BA was out 12/10 back 2/11
    BA curr

    • Kevin H says:

      @ Nick_C
      I’d be happy to pay £1,536 LHR-LAX-HNL in J on AA/BA too – but sadly it’s a one-way fare and you need to double it for the rt

      • Nick_C says:

        Oops! You’re right. OK, to save £2K, its well worth taking another 24 hours, going via Paris, and collecting all those tier points!

        Thanks for pointing that out.

    • I assume that F price is also one way, but you can get out on BA in F for £2400 in August. £2200 if you have a BMI discount link.

      Only downside with the BMI is that you have to go via BA which means that you can’t do another stopover in JFK to max out the tier points. If you stop in JFK you get 1260 tier points for the return, which in terms of starting somewhere sensible, and ending up in a nice place with minimal disruption along the way is imho the best tier point run I have ever seen (coming from someone who did 2 back to back HEL-HNL with a nested HNL-STT runs)

  14. Nick_C says:

    OT, but thinking about Hawaii, my current thoughts are to go in June next year using a 241 Amex voucher on BA from LHR to LAX, and buy a domestic first ticket from the West Coast to the Islands on Hawaian or Alaskan. I’ve got about 150,000 Avios.

    I’ve never flown Club on BA, only Business on AA/US Airways. From what I’ve seen and read about BA, is it worth using my redemption to fly in Club? I’ve used BA PE several times, and found it very comfortable, The high density seating, climbing over other passengers, and having no personal storage in Club sounds awful.

    I was thinking about booking PE (assuming its available) and trying to change the return flight to First if anything comes up.

    Opinions most welcome.

    • Far better to do the whole thing in CW than PE / F. 13 hours of WTP would not be pleasant and also, given taxes, not as good value for Avios as CW.

      • Nick C says:


        • If your struggling with availability to lax check San Diego. It’s a 747 and if you go upper deck CW is awesome – possibly the best CW in BA, the Lcy jfk baby bus being its chief competitor for an experience.

          • Nick C says:

            Thanks. Currently planning on June 2017 so availability shouldn’t be a problem. San Diego would be an option. I think Alaskan fly out of there. I really want to fly in to the Big Island, then Oahu plus one other, fly out to the Bay Area, and drive back down to LAX

  15. Billy Buzzjet says:

    Mahalo Nick .
    Good point about the flat beds. I also calculated outbound via JFK which would have netted me 900 tier points but was put off by a tight connection time on to the JFK – LAX service, especially when you factor in the immigration delay.

    • Nick_C says:

      Yep. I wouldn’t be happy with a 90 minute connection time.

      Worth noting though that we Aliens travelling under the VWP are allowed to use the APC Kiosks.

      I flew into JFK T8 in December and cleared immigration in about 20 minutes by joining the line for US & Canadian Citizens. There was no signage to say Aliens can use the system, but the web site makes it clear that we can and it works well.

      It works particularly well right now as most visitors don’t know about it, so join the regular queue that was three times as long!

      • Barry cutters says:

        did this in lax on Friday. Saved me well over an hour. The worst time to arrive in to Tom Bradley is 3-4pm so many a380s arriving at the same time really takes its toll . Airfrance, Emirates, Korea, qantas , plus a couple 77w makes a massive line at immigration . Just had my global entry interview well worth £42 plus $100

  16. In the BA/AA sale last Xmas, I booked, through Amex travel, AA business class DUB to USA West coast via an East coast connection. Today’s article made me check something on the flights, and it appears ex DUB now departs two hours later on an inferior plane (not fully lie-flat), and with a different connection. The return has been brought forward 5 hrs (now practically leaving in the middle of the night), again the connection has changed and with a much longer stopover. On top of this my chosen seats for the trans-Atlantic leg have changed so I no longer sit next to my partner (not sure why, if it’s the same flight simply with a schedule change.) Nobody has notified me of this, so at the moment I’m little shocked. I specifically chose these flights/connections to get the best options for business class, so can anyone tell where I stand on this aspect (tough luck?), and with the changing to unsociable flight times and chosen seats?

    • harry says:

      Why not try a little self help before asking? Just get on the phone & see what you can re-arrange.

      • Why not ask, before trying self help?

        I’m still trying to work out the extent of the changes, and TBH, what I’m being shown on AA’s ‘Your Trip’ doesn’t seem to make sense, e.g. on my outbound flight I’m in now in row 5 but this plane only has rows 1-3 as business class according to their seat selector. I posted here as as I was in the middle of reading the comments for this article when I found about the changes. I will be contacting Amex Travel but want to arm myself with all the facts, and know my options, before I do so.

  17. SpeedbirdABZ says:

    I’ve flown a couple of ex-DUB’s on AA over the past year and the schedule/aircraft changes were unbelievable on both trips. The good thing is that they are VERY flexible when you call to change, just ask. I managed to get 2 nights in New York en-route to Hawaii at New Year when the sale fare only allowed a 24 hour stopover. I voluntarily moved off a DUB/JFK 757 as well and they changed me onto their 77W via LHR – best thing I’ve ever done. Brilliant business class on there.

    • Thanks for the tips – I’ve put my issues to Amex Travel for now, so I’ll see what they come back with before contacting AA direct if I need to.

  18. Many thanks for pointing out the May 3 deadline! For once I did not miss out on a sale..

  19. Mark R says:

    I’m relatively new to HFP and would appreciate some advice – managed to book CDG to HNL on AA I and F for £957 which is an absolute bargain. Now trying to sort connections from LHR to CDG and there is a BA flight that lands at CDG at 9.30 leaving an hour connection time for the AA flight departing at 10.30. BA and AA land and depart from the same terminal (2A) but is an hour enough time? I’m assuming BA will check bags and ticket me through from LHR to HNL despite the flights being on different tickets? Many thanks.

    • I consider that too risky to be honest. Even if it worked I would be too nervous about it to enjoy the start of the trip. And if you make it, your bags may not.

      • Mark R says:

        You’re right Raffles – thanks. Why enforce stress at the start of what should otherwise be an amazing trip? Can’t wait now.



    American Airlines £1,000 business class Paris