Bits: good Amex / Nespresso deal, Vueling sale, BA flights to Tehran resumed

News in brief:

Amex / Nespresso deal

Three people dropped me a note about a new American Express promotion which, to be honest, I saw on my account but dismissed without investigation.  Two readers rated the deal highly, one thought it stunk!

Details of this deal should be under the ‘Offers’ section on your American Express online account. Check under each card you hold.  It should be there for one of them.

This is the deal – you order a specific coffee machine (link removed as broken overnight) which sells at £129 but you pay just £39.  However, you must order 400 Nespresso coffee capsules at the same time which cost you a minimum of 29p each.

Nespresso products are rarely heavily reduced so this is a decent deal in terms of value for money.  Whether you want to commit to buying 400 capsules upfront – especially as you may not be familiar with most of the flavours – is a different question.


Major Vueling sale

Vueling is the little known sister of British Airways and Iberia.  International Airlines Group, the parent of BA and Iberia, took full control of the Spanish low cost carrier in 2013 and since then it has expanded rapidly to serve over 160 airports across Europe.

You can redeem Avios points for flights on Vueling as long as you transfer them to Iberia Plus first.  This is good news for travellers outside London who have a wider range of regional Avios redemption options.

From the UK, Vueling flies to (some services seasonal):

Birmingham – Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga

Cardiff – Alicante, Barcelona, Majorca, Malaga

Edinburgh – Alicante, Barcelona, Paris, Rome

Leeds Bradford – Barcelona

Liverpool – Barcelona

London Gatwick – Asturius, Barcelona, Bilbao, Florence, Paris, Rome, Santiago de Compostela

London Heathrow (T3) – La Coruna, Barcelona

London Luton – Amsterdam, Barcelona

Manchester – Alicante, Barcelona, Rome

Newcastle – Barcelona

Until 13th September, Vueling has a major sale with 1 million seats at €29.99 one way.   This could be a decent option for a cheap Autumn break in Spain.  Details of the sale are here.


British Airways resumes flights to Tehran

British Airways flights to Tehran resumed last week, opening up an interesting range of new tourist options for more intrepid readers.

The service will operate six days per week with a four class Boeing 777.

British Airways’ only Farsi-speaking captain, Kami Johnson, explains the appeal of Iran for first time visitors in this video:

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  1. OT – If a Mercure hotel has a lounge – will I get a free breakfast as an Accorhotels Platinum member? On this site Rob says yes. And when I called the hotel directly they said I will need to pay for the breakfast.

  2. Just booked my first 2 for 1 tickets (2 Adults) for New York flying out on Boxing day On the Dreamliner with the New First class cabin thanks to Head for points .

    Im going to use my points from IHG to stay at the intercontinental in Times Square over New Year any ideas for getting some good hotel deals would be much appreciated. Is annoying that the IHG card is holding back my free Night award to my card anniversary date im looking for Hotel dates for the 26/27/28/29/30 Dec 2016

    Ive seen the W downtown for £280 for 2 nights and 1400 airmiles so far…

    • Lee, congrats on getting F using your 241, ESP flying out of JFK??? The F lounge there is Amazing. Truly enjoyable. We upgraded from J to F coming bk from JFK on the Dreamliner. Fab experience all round. Hotels don’t know, we did Airbnb, chap with a garden near times sq. another great experience. Perfect for summer but not winter!

      • thanks polly , We are flying in and out out of Newark as the new Dreamliner 787-9 doesnt seem to fly to JFK but We cant have it all we choose to have the New First class cabin rather than fly 747 or 777 to JFK ,

        Whats the best lounge to use at Newark ?

    • Did F from JFK also, really enjoyed the experience – Get there early if you want to experience it all! However don’t get there too early as the First security and Concorde room doesn’t open until a certain time before the flights, we had to ‘slum’ it in the regular queues and the First Lounge for an hour or so until the Concorde room opened up.

      We also stayed at the Intercontinental Times square using points (IHG Spire/ambassador) and although I cannot fault the location for a first time NY visitor, I wouldn’t stay again due to the fact I felt that they didn’t like the fact I used points (no mention of status, no upgrade, no real perks etc) and then had an uncomfortable call from the front desk following my feedback from the check in experience. Personally felt that I’d be more suited to a Hilton property, where I feel the tend to look after Diamond guests a little better.

    • I really don’t rate the IC TS at all – and wouldn’t stay again. That said room rates are high over new year so doubtless you are getting good value. I can see why a first time visitor might try the IC TS for location (very touristy which can be a good thing) but if you have been a few more times I’d try the IC Barclay or Indigo Lower east side. Or the Conrad if you have HH points. I mainly paid cash at the IC TS and am an ambassador – got no perks either aside from 4pm check-out which was very useful. I cashed in the IHG visa free night as well – no issues. Rob has said many times here that the IC TS is a “bed factory” and he is spot on.

      • Currently in the IC TS. Agree, it’s fine for location. Used points and Ambassador weekend voucher for all of our 5 nights. Very pleasant check in, all staff wished us a pleasant stay and no attitude regarding the fact it was all on points etc. Upgraded to sky view room on 32floor , view up 8th Ave. Got welcome fruit platter, chocs, water, papers and late checkout. Suited us fine, but if we come to NY again, would probably try somewhere else.

  3. Jonathan Brown says:

    Whats happened to the amex referral for a starwood card, has it disappeared?

    My wife wants to refer me (but cant find the link )

  4. Completely O/T, but La Compagnie have just announced the ‘suspension’ of LTN-EWR effective 25Sept.

  5. Looked at the Nespresso offer. On their website is a better deal, buy 150 capsules and the machine is £69.

    • Don’t even have to but the 150 capsules to get the £69 price – if you buy the 150 capsules you get the Aeroccino free

      Discover the Nespresso Pixie coffee machine at the special price of £69, for a limited time only.
      Plus, enjoy a FREE Aeroccino Milk Frother when you order 150 or more Grand Cru capsules.

  6. Do they still serve Nespresso in First? It used to be Capriccio.

  7. OTT what time are reward seats loaded, is it midnight?

  8. Hi all,

    I may have found something interesting. Via below link one can earn 3500 M&M miles for each best western stay. Worthy of a mattress run?

    • Unless you value M&M miles at much more than 1p each, which I think is unwise, a mattress run wouldn’t be viable. Given that it’s a return of about £35, however, it would certainly be worth putting a few stays through Best Western, if the hotels are worth staying at anyway.

    • Looks interesting, thanks.

  9. Some of the ones near me are £35/£45 range.

  10. Glad to see the direct route to IKA resumed. As someone who goes every summer getting there has been a mission with some long stopovers in the old DOH airport. Was booked on BA this summer but missed out as they postponed the start date. Had a comical return journey via ATH. Next time eh.

    Can’t speak highly enough of Iran. A different country to what is displayed in the media with the friendliest people around.