Bits: 2400 Avios with £60 LEGO spend is back!, BA changes rules on ‘Plus’ short-haul fares

News in brief:

2,400 Avios with £60 LEGO spend (or 1,200 Avios with £30 of LEGO)

It’s back – another Lego deal from Tesco Direct!

Until Monday night, you will receive 1,000 Clubcard points (worth 2,400 Avios or 2,500 Virgin Flying Club) when you spend £60 on the plastic stuff.  Smaller order will attract 500 Clubcard points (1,200 Avios or 1,250 Virgin miles) for spending £30.

You should still take a close look at this deal if you have kids or are expecting to give any presents to a child soon!  LEGO makes a great gift or can easily be resold on eBay.

Full details, and a few interesting sets to consider which are also reduced in price, are in this Shopper Points article (click).  The home page for the £60 deal on Tesco Direct is here and the home page for the £30 deal is here.

‘Click and Collect’ delivery to your local Tesco store will be free as you are spending £30.  The deal runs until Monday night.

Love Clubcard, don’t collect Avios?  You should be reading our sister site, Shopper Points (, which covers the latest Clubcard and Nectar offers without any distracting frequent flyer talk!  Why not check it out now?

LEGO Star Wars

British Airways changes the rules on its ‘Plus’ short-haul fares

When British Airways revised its short haul fare structure this year, it was genuinely an enhancement.

I explained the new structure in detail here.

The old ‘hand baggage only’ fare became ‘Saver’.  The old ‘with checked bag’ fare became ‘Plus’ – but with the added benefit of totally free flight changes on the day of departure and no change fees for other amendments.  The old ‘fully flex’ ticket became ‘Plus Flex’.

BA has now started to roll back the features of these new fares.

As of last Friday, ‘Plus’ fares can no longer be changed for free except on the day of departure.  Changes made in advance will now incur a change fee, usually £35 out of the UK, as well as the difference in fare.

‘Plus’ tickets bought before last Friday are exempt and can be changed for just the fare difference.

Full details of the terms and conditions of each fare class can be found on 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.)

Bits: Finnair to increase Edinburgh and Dublin, Starwood and Hilton Autumn promos revealed
My review of airberlin short-haul from Palma to Innsbruck - my best Avios redemption!
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  1. An OT question…

    My wife wants to go somewhere near London for one night for her birthday in November with something for us to do without kids (a spa or gin distillery were her two ideas!).

    She does not want to be in London but wants a nice hotel – can anyone think of anything IHG or SPG which would meet the bill? Failing that, any paid for hotels that people really like?


    • Bombay Sapphire Gin distillery is close to Overton, Hampshire at Laverstock Mill. Not sure about a hotel nearby but I’m told the distillery is a good visit

    • You could try the Holiday Inn (IHG) in Stratford upon Avon and then visit The Cotswold Distillery at Shipston upon Stour. Or if looking for a spa hotel you could try one of the nearby Macdonald spa hotels – see Today’s HFP article and register your wife for club membership in advance and hope she gets a birthday voucher!

      Closer to London, you could try the Hilton at Syon Park (can probably get Hilton status match from SPG or IHG) and then visit Sipsmith distillery in Chiswick.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Stretching the definition of ‘near’ perhaps, but one of the nearest SPG hotels is the Sheraton Grand in Edinburgh. It has a good spa, some club rooms directly facing the castle and Edinburgh is a great place for a gin lover.

    • Simon Rothenberg says:

      Thanks all for suggestions so far – Cotswold distillery was not one I had considered, but they are fully booked in the afternoon of her birthday, which is a shame. Have reached out to them to see if they can make any space…

      The Bombay Sapphire seems like a good bet, and they have a special tour and tasting session – just need to find a hotel nearby… I have Hilton gold too, but was hoping to use points and have no Hilton points currently (and they say romance is dead….) Or failing that, a nice pub with rooms where we can continue our G&T adventure!

      • The Aviator hotel in Farnborough is fab, and half an hour from the Bombay Sapphire distillery. Stylish rooms, very nice restaurant and bar (with great breakfast), and offers very good deals if you pick the right dates.

        Make sure you get a room overlooking the runway! Very serene seeing the private jets taking off (and no noise disturbance!).

        • If you go for Aviator this crops up on all the usual groupon/secret escapes etc very often. currently it’s on might be worth a look!

      • “Reached Out”??!!!!

        • Sorry – Had just read 4 emails at work with reached out in and have now disciplined myself…

      • you could buy them at the discounted pricing, if convenient for that particular redemption you may look at.

    • How about the Sofitel a T5? It ticks all your boxes. Spa, sights, nice restaurant. :))

      Then the surprise would be taking your wife home without actually flying anywhere (car crash scenario =(( ).

    • Pennyhill Park Hotel has a fabulous spa – it’s not part of any major chain though. It’s also fairly near to Windsor for a spot of sightseeing, or Ascot if there’s any racing on.

  2. Another OT question… thanks to HfP I’m off to Geneva at the weekend for a night. I’m sure I remember someone mentioning a way of getting free transport into the city from the airport, and was hoping for a few more details. Also, if anyone has any tips for things not to be missed in a one-day stay I’d be happy to hear about them. Cheers all.

    • @Rich
      I’ve just come back from my free night away in Geneva – went out on Sunday, back on Monday. Stayed at the Kempinski.
      Free travel tickets are available in the baggage claim hall before you go through the doors to the hoards of people – there’s a regular train ticket machine, then beside it a rather worn out looking ticket machine. It spits out one ticket per press of the button to let you have up to 80 mins of free travel in Geneva city on public transport.
      The train from the airport to Geneva station is about a 10 minute stroll away, very well signposted, the journey is about 10 minutes, and it’s about a 10 minute wander down rue des Alpes to get to the lake shore from the train station.
      We walked from the Kempsinki along the bay towards & around the Botanical Gardens (think a very small Kew Gardens but free!) then doubled back & went all the way around the bay to the Jet d’Eau which you can walk right underneath, then continue on past there to get the free (on your public transport travel card given at hotel check-in) water bus across the bay from Geneve Plage.

      • barnaby100 says:

        Is that the same for the bus? I am going to IC and seem t remember last time the bus was free both ways but cant remember what I did on the way to the hotel. Once I got there they gave us a travel card and we use that to get back to the airport.

        • we stayed at the IC two weeks ago for 1 nights! Nice place.. remember to reserve your place by the pool the day before !

        • Yes the ticket from the baggage Hall works on buses too – it’s a fantastic system!

    • the_real_a says:

      Its very easy as @mkcol explain. Or just ask at information desk in arrivals and they will point out the machine :)

    • If its a nice day just walk around the lake & the old town. Patek Phillipe Museum is a good indoor option otherwise. For budget, but good Lebanese food you can go to a restaurant called Parfums du Liban. There is not much else to do in the city – It is the most boring city in Europe in my opinon, but theres enough to tie you over for a day.

  3. OT
    I have just received 10,221 IHG points into my IHG account for getting and using the new IHG Mastercard.

    • 11,934 and 40k of accelerate points posted today so a good start to the day.

    • My 20k bonus on the premium card has now posted along with correctly calculated points (2 per GBP, calculated on rounded down whole pound version of each transaction). No IHG stays though so wasn’t too complex to calculate!

      Impressively I got the AwardWallet notification of my jump in points yesterday but statement only issued today. Overall have been impressed with them.

  4. OT
    As this seems to be today’s “anything goes” thread, I have a supercard question.
    I tried to use it to make a purchase on a German website last night but it kept getting “rejected at security check”. Has anyone else had problems using this card online? It really doesn’t seem that super to me!
    (Yes, I was choosing mastercard not visa, and a normal visa card worked fine)

    • I used it only once so far for paying the luggage in EUR on Ryanair and it was absolutely fine.

    • Yes, I’ve twice tried to use it on French websites without success recently, both times failing at the transaction step. On a recent trip to France it worked most (but not all) of the time, I took my IHG MasterCard as backup. Good when it works but not wholly reliable.

    • My card has worked fine, booked a
      Hotel in Munich last week.

      Give them a bell, maybe your cards blocked to certain countries, don’t know?? Lloyds Amex kindly did that to me in Malaysia last year.

    • I have given up using supercard online it barely works compared to the Beta, constantly declined online even at retailers that I have previously used for small amounts, completely hopeless trying to diagnose the issue as supercard will blame the credit card and the credit card will not have even had a charge attempted.

      Look at using a different card like the Lloyds Avios cards, the biggest transaction I could get through on supercard was about £60 that is 1 of 2 transactions that went through and about 20 declined (different merchants/cards)

    • I have had a lot of problems using my Supercard that is linked to my IHG MasterCard. Curve always seem to work. I think I found the problem, 99% sure. For some reason You have to select as Supercard being a credit card.

      At the same time, you cannot withdraw cash from Supercard if it’s linked to IHG MasterCard. IHG can see that it’s a cash withdrawal and treats it accordingly. If you’re using Curve, linked to the same IHG, you can take cash out with no problem.

      Can’t explain why, neither can IHG

      • Thanks for the insight guys. Shame you have problems with IHG card, I was going to link SuperCard to that when it arrives. Didn’t think of changing the card it links to, but the one I tried yesterday did work fine in a shop (airport duty free) in Germany a month or so back

      • Yep similar issues with the IHG card, I think its how IHG choose to categorise supercard transactions, not that impressed with IHG card customer service but the points have posted ok.

  5. Again OT but my Sunday Times travel magazine 4,500 points posted today to my BAEC account today. Thanks for the tip.

    • Have had the same 4500 today.

      Genghis will no doubt be relieved to learn that points are now being awarded, having generously “forked-out” for the magazine subscription for his Dad’s Birthday!

      Sent in jest :) .

      • nothing in my a/c yet, slightly worried I might have overdone it

        I was a bit late to the party so maybe it’s that

        • Received mine today also and have just taken out another subscription for my brother for his Christmas present, so the offer is still definitely running!

          Current first issue available is the November issue, out in early October so one month nearer Christmas…

          • However, the Ts and Cs have since changed. It now states, “One offer per member. One award of Avios per household”.

            So a gift to your brother but with avios coming to your Avios/BAEC account may not yield the avios given you need to put in the billing address and you have already received an award to that address.

            Good luck though.

            • Scallder says:

              I will admit I hadn’t bothered reading T&Cs to see if changed…

              I did use my Avios account rather than BAEC for the second one, so hoping it’ll go through ok!

      • :) Has your payment been taken? My DD is due tomorrow so hopefully points will post soon thereafter. Now to look on Tesco for Lego for Xmas presents…

    • Nothing for me yet but I think I signed up a day or so after it was first mentioned here.

  6. On Topic !

    Any business which constantly changes the rules of doing business or promotional accrual / spending too frequently will erode value quicker than butter melting in front of an open fire.

    Whether good or bad, you need to persevere sometimes and tell the bloody beancounters to go stuff an olive as they cannot understand morale and loyalty one iota.

    • Blimey, did you have a bad experience with Lego as a child? :)

      • Talay merely means the erosion of terms on the BA fares

        I think we’ll see a bit of Cruz vs Walsh as they try to show their worth

        might not be very good result for consumers if they ignore the point that the product offering needs to compare well vs competitors

        • The BA person I spoke to yesterday about a complaint attempted to convince me that improvements are coming. Perhaps on the basis that if we take away 10 things and then bring back 2 of them, you have given something 2 improvements. Still 5000 avios softened the blow slightly.

  7. O/T 241 query. Later this week I will be flying back from SFO to LHR using a companion voucher. I will be with my son and my wife will also be using a 241 on the same route 2 hours later flying with my daughter. Both flights are in club world. If at check in there is capacity on my flight for my wife and daughter to fly with us and the staff at the airport agree to switching my daughter and wife onto my flight will there be repurcussions ie terms and conditions of amending avios flights within 24 hours of flying or won’t it matter if done at the airport by check in staff ?

    • Was hoping to see a reply to this…

      • BlueHorizonUK says:

        Nearly 100% certain it wont matter. Check in staff have a lot of power.

        • flights to SFO tend to be oversold and hence the will prioritise existing status holders for upgrades and ‘buy people’ off the flights but you might be lucky!

          • Yep heavy oversold! Flew back on the A380 in September (Sat night landing Sunday morning) and they had sold at least 6 extra people than seats in Club alone given the amount of people they were having to route through LA.

            Also – would advise leaving plenty of time for check in/bag drop. For the A380 they had 4 people working the check in desks across all classes. Just to do bag drop in the Club/Silver line took 50 mins and the normal bag drop queue looked to be over an hour. Was an absolute joke…

    • No, tickets will be under airport control by then so no issues at all. You might even strike it lucky and be moved into a revenue bucket and receive Avios for it (unlikely but possible!)

  8. Full of OTs today. Thanks very much again Raffles for article on obtaining IHG Spire Elite through Virgin transfers (for others see I’d have never known otherwise. With 5 weeks or so in hotels in the Autumn for work, the chance to earn a 100% bonus instead of just a 50% bonus with Platinum was too great a pull (despite the decrease in value of Virgin miles to IHG points with the 1:1 transfer).

  9. I imagine this is Alex at work! As I’m sure these original restructure fares came into effect before he took the helm! Disappointing to take back a great feature! Maybe BA could introduce a perk for SCH/GCH that allows free changes on ‘Plus’ fares.

  10. OT (sorry): SPG have announced their autumn bonus – “You’ll earn double Starpoints® on weekday stays of two or more nights and triple Starpoints on weekends.* Registration begins September 12. Book your stays between September 12 and December 18, 2016.”

    There’s also a daily competition to instant win a free night award, or 1k, k or 10k Starpoints. Overall grand prize (get a new entry every day) of 5 free night awards and 50k Starpoints.

    I won 1k although having done it for my wife she got nothing from the instant win

    • Sorry – should have included the link!

      • OT – is £1290 a good price for Qatar airlines Helsinki to KL business class R. Mixture of A340 and A360 and 777s aircrafts. Pretty new at this but looking for some flight in November that will earn me 560 BA tier points. Will this flight do it for me?

        • That seems to be the best price available on oneworld in November. If you don’t mind waiting a bit then Qatar most probably will do a sale.

          • thanks. need to complete the flights by 8th November, so will hope for a Qatar sale in the next couple of weeks.

  11. Allow me to join in the off topics,
    1 Curve is now available on Android
    2 First time I tried to use my TSB Amex Avios today in a Tesco Extra. Card declined. Called TSB help desk. ‘Not declined by us, you do realise that some retailers will not accept any cards with Avios printed on them’. What ? What a load of absolute B S. I gave up arguing.

    • Well, I think “app” is a bit of an overstatement, but I won’t shoot the messenger! Thanks for the heads-up!

      • Indeed, seems to be just a placeholder – has an appropriately poor rating on the Play Store as a result! Without Amex being accepted I can’t see any point in paying £35 for it?

    • My first time use on the Lloyds card was blocked too, some of the staff at these companies should go through some sort of IQ test before getting a job or at least have an idea how the card payments system works. Maybe a CS agent not knowing how to put you through to the security department that deal with it!

      Still don’t see a loyalty program with Curve that was promised in the summer and I am sure very few have received their refer a friend bonuses that were meant to be given on activation, good luck to them with their Android app!

    • Indeed but the question is why the TSB Amex avios card in the first place? It wouldn’t be a card I would get…

      • Because I was originally thinking I would back it up for overseas spend with Supercard, at 2 Avios per £ ,instead of 1 for UK spend. But then realised that overseas expenditure would probably show at 1 anyway, in which case it will be binned.

    • Depends how much money you were spending. The first charge on my last Amex Plat was £500 at a Tesco. The transaction was declined and when I called up I was told that ‘Tesco is a place fraudsters often shop at’…

  12. Sorry to be off topic but the £20 free Moneycorp card comments are closed. Has anybody received their free £20 yet? I haven’t and I got the card the day the article was published.