Bits: Flying Blue joins PointsHound, United ‘buy miles’ bonus, PartnerPlusBenefit Vienna bonus

News in brief:

Flying Blue becomes a PointsHound partner

I get occasional criticism for not covering Flying Blue, the KLM / Air France scheme, more on Head for Points.  For readers outside London, flying long-haul via Amsterdam on KLM is often cheaper and more pleasant than taking British Airways via a Heathrow connection. I am doing my best to correct that.

Hotel booking site PointsHound has just signed up Flying Blue as a partner.  Until 15th June, you will receive 2,500 bonus miles with your first hotel booking via the PointsHound site.

PointsHound is very similar to or Rocketmiles.  You receive a generous pile of airline miles when you book, but your stay will be treated as non-qualifying and you won’t receive hotel points or, usually, status benefits.  Prices can vary from ‘market’ to ‘noticeably higher’ so always compare before booking.

You can also spend Flying Blue miles on a hotel booking with PointsHound.  The Flying Blue home page is here although the 2,500 miles offer is not specifically mentioned.  Flying Blue members who opt in to email marketing were sent details of this offer, however, and it is presumably open to all new PointsHound customers.

Flying Blue

United Airlines ‘buy miles’ bonus

United Airlines has launched another ‘buy miles’ flash sale which ends tomorrow (Saturday).

Your exact bonus is personal but should be 80% or 100%, in line with usual United promotions.

This is unlikely to be a great deal in itself but, as United miles are hard to earn if you live in the UK (the UK credit card usually has no sign up bonus for example) it is a way of topping up an account you want to empty out.  You can check out your personal bonus here.

United 350

Double Partner Plus Benefit points with Austrian

I explained Partner Plus Benefit, the Star Alliance small business loyalty scheme, in this article.

Until the end of June 2016, PPB is offering double points on all flights with Austrian Airlines to Vienna.  This is valid in either business or economy and from either Heathrow or Manchester.

You need to opt in for this offer via the PPB website.  Remember that PPB points are a lot more flexible than British Airways On Business points and can be redeemed for many things, even cash.  If you are self employed or run your own SME, it is worth joining up details in my earlier piece.

American Express removes the minimum income requirement from its cards
Bits: Hilton cutting UK Diamond benefits, super-cheap InterCon London 02 nights, £15 off Lufthansa
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  1. Don’t see any T&Cs for “Earn double BenefitPoints when you fly with Austrian from Heathrow or Manchester to Vienna” at, does this apply to fares to/from VIE or if I buy a ticket, say, FRA-VIE-LHR will this also earn bonus points on the VIE-LHR leg?

  2. Wally1976 says:

    Completely off topic but just wanted to say thanks to Raffles and other contributors to this site as I sit in the Aspire Lounge at T5 sipping my complimentary prosecco awaiting my first ever Avios trip to the Monaco GP (via Nice). All done for peanuts thanks to the advice on here (OK that doesn’t include the grandstand race tickets). Cheers!

  3. Gary M says:

    More Flying Blue coverage would be appreciated. As someone who gave up on BA years ago, it’s much easier,cheaper,convenient for us in Scotland to connect via some hub in Europe. Remembering of course it was not so many years ago that British Airways had reduced for a while to London Airways, offering no domestic flights at all in the UK.

    However the fact HFP is here, covering the UK centric frequent traveler is a huge bonus whatever way you look at it :-)

  4. OT
    We have always shied away from cruises but have now decided to go on an Inner Passage cruise to Alaska probably on Holland America, so the question is how to maximise points earned.
    I see that cruises can be booked through Avios earning 5 points per £, and I have it in my mind that they do not charge extra for paying by card. Has anyone any experience of this please and how their prices compare?

    • I’ve been looking at Alaskan cruises for future trips – you can save cash on cruises with Tesco club card points/partners – you probably know this already but thought I would mention it.

  5. Sitting in No 3 t3 on my DP from x-mas :)

    bad dad left 2 of the kids outside lol (just smuggled them out drinks)

    anyway, data point – checked in yesterday but not willing to pay £18 for exit row

    Important – I did not print the BPs

    I managed to switch seats to an exit row for free on the t3 machine

    mine was an Avios ticket but works on HBOs as well

  6. heh heh

    credit for info to corporate wage slave on Ft though, not sure if we know him by another name on hfp, I just read his conclusions and he was right, it works

    DON’t print the BPs at home or save to dpf

    Raffles knows about it but doesn’t want another smack on the wrists from BA :)

    you could in theory ask the check-in agent to move you (also for free) but you might not get the answer you were looking for, on the machines in terminal you can see availability for yourself

    • I still want to know what he did wrong that led to him getting his wrists slapped the first time round 😉

    • One of the benefits of flying A3 is I can always pick an exit row when checkin opens (4/4), I have status which gets free seat selection but this means calling up as it can’t be done online.

      I’ve had an exit row the last 2 times HBO with BA as well, and the one time I didn’t due to ‘trim’ I had a whole middle to of the 767 to myself.

      • what’s a3 please?

        • Aegean Airlines – good for Star Alliance status matching (even better in the past when they gave gold to all us old bmi Gold cardholders!)