Bits: 10% off 16-25 Railcards, will Monarch go bust today?, a HFP reader wins big!

News in brief:

10% off a 16-25 Railcard until tomorrow

If you are in the right age group or are a full time student of any age, or have one in the family, you can get them a 16-25 Railcard with a 10% discount until the end of the month.

You need to enter code SAVE10OCT on the Railcard website here.  The price will be £27 instead of £30.

Alternatively, you can also redeem Clubcard vouchers.  This Shopper Points article explains how to use Tesco points for Railcards.


Monarch in trouble?

Low cost airline Monarch, now run by the ex-Avios Group CEO Andrew Swaffield, may reach the end of line today if it does not receive a cash injection from its 90% shareholder Greybull Capital.

All airlines have to convince the Civil Aviation Authority on a regular basis that they have the required funds to operate.  Monarch’s license expires tonight and press reports suggest that it does not currently have enough liquidity to meet CAA requirements.

Monarch transitioned from a charter airline into a low cost carrier in recent years and appeared to be making a decent job of it.  Competition is clearly fierce, however, and it may not have had the financial discipline or cost structure needed to compete.

If the airline does collapse it will be interesting to see if it is acquired by IAG – who could merge it into Vueling – or potentially Eurowings which is in the process of buying chunks of airberlin.  I would be surprised if easyJet or Ryanair would be interested given that they already have the assets required to take over the most attractive routes if Monarch disappears.

Monarch is an Avios redemption partner but only when you book via  Details of that relationship are in this article.

Hilton at Play

A HFP reader wins big!

Finally, I was delighted to receive this email from a reader this week:

Hi Rob,

I just thought I’d drop you a note to say that I have heard that I won the Hilton World Tour competition that you mentioned on headforpoints back in June:

[The prize is two tickets to a concert ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD of your choice, with travel and accommodation thrown in!]

I mention it because I undoubtedly wouldn’t have entered had it not been for your site. This is just the sort of competition which usually passes me by, but getting your emails every morning makes it easy to just click the link and enter.  So thanks very much for the service.

End of cheap deals? Qatar Airways and British Airways sign Joint Business Agreement
EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY! 4500 Avios for a £30 subscription to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine
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  1. Rob, you might want to fix this ….
    “may reach the end of line today if it does receive a cash injection”
    …. if it “doesn’t”, surely?

  2. I flaming hope that Monarch doesn’t go under today, my wife and several friends are off to Palma for a spa weekend (Monarch flights) leaving Gatwick tomorrow… :(

  3. The CAA had leased aircraft and crew from United (amongst other airlines) to cover I’m case Monarch did collapse. Those crew positioned into the airport I work at have now been sent home (yesterday morning) which would indicate that the CAA no longer feels there’s a danger of Monarch collapsing.

    • Thanks, Dylan. Much appreciated. Keeping everything crossed!

      • Mmmm, just wondering what your plans are Neil, whilst the wife is away? :) .

        Also, congratulations to the HFP reader-that’s a nice prize!

      • Any more news on this Dylan…? After a quiet news day yesterday, last night the Gruaniad and the MEN reporting that CAA licence discussions had not concluded… :(

    • Thanks, that gives me some more hope that our 0710 to Tenerife on Saturday will actually happen! We have always travelled EJ but the Travel Co swapped to Monarch this year. Fingers still crossed

  4. Cheshire Pete says:

    There’s always railcard discount codes about for all varieties. Over the summer there was a 20% one across the board now expired “SUMMER”. The code “RAILCARD” or “LEAFLET3” gets 10% off seniors, two together, family etc… if you a Student u can get £5 off by getting a code from Just google railcard discount codes and there’s loads out there. It seems big business!

    • Also you can use Tesco Clubcard points I believe (although don’t know if it offers good value to do it this way).

  5. Having secured a couple of Hilton rewards lately and also SPG rewards for the Emirates box would you mind me asking how many points were required for this reward?

  6. There are railcards for the under 26’s, the over 60’s, students, ‘families’ (One or more adults who can at least borrow a child) and ‘couples’ (any two random people travelling together).

    Instead of having a 50% surcharge for middle-aged loners, would it not be more efficient and fair to drop fares for everyone by around 25% and abolish all the discrimatory railcard admin? Or just have a single railcard where anyone can pay x-amount in advance for a y-percent discount for z-amount of time? The conditions attached to current railcards already exclude most high-revenue journeys anyway.

    • On First GReat Western you can get a “Devon & Cornwall” railcard giving significant discounts on travel within these 2 counties for you and up to one other person. Anyone can apply for the card (£10 pa IIRC) but it does just cover local travel. Do other rail companies not do similar things?

    • If you are in the right area (South East) the Network Railcard can get you 1/3rd off as a middle-aged loner!

      • I get one of these each year, 4 trips from Reading to London each year pays back the cost so easily make my money back

    • Only if you ignore the original, and largely ongoing, reasons for having such cards. Principally helping lower economic groups (the young, students and retired), those with mobility problems (the disabled) and those for whom the train would be particularly uneconomic compared to other transport methods (families, groups etc).

      • That doesn’t really stand up for “retired” as a blanket anymore.

        Far better to target retired with income related benefit, and low earning self-employed if that is the motivation.


    This offer is still working fine. I ordered Travelex online and picked up at Heathrow, a couple of orders of $200 for £158 so £1 = $1.27 . 2615 points already in each account. Easy avios or spend the £25 voucher and $1.51 per £1

    • It really should not work on that …. rather sloppy of HR. But if I write it up someone will see it and stop it I’m sure …..

      • I saw it worked for Genghis quite a while ago, so was thinking if it didn’t work not much of a loss on the £/$, but if it did easy Avios. Hoping to exploit again in December when next in Heathrow as the offer is open until 31 December 2016.

        • I actually emailed HR before I bought the currency first time around and was told ‘sure, no problem’.

  8. Completely OT – anyone stayed at the Sheraton Prague Charles Square hotel? I’m looking to take the wife away this time next year – need to fly out with BA from LHR on a Friday about 1pm and fly back about noon on Sunday and wanted an SPG hotel costing less than 28k points for 2 nights or Marriott less than 84k. This seems to fit the bill nicely at only 7k points per night.


    • I’d be interested too… It seems that everywhere I’ve been without her is somewhere she particularly wants to go! Prague was a poker tournament (quite a long time ago!)

  9. OT: Has anyone had any success with the Best Western M&More offer?

    I registered and switched my preferences to Airline Miles/Lufthansa while abroad, followed by half a dozen BW stays, which should be showing about 14k M&M miles by now given posting delays, with more to follow.

    Having returned the BW website is saying that the airline is set to the previous airline, and nothing has posted there either.

    Am I going to be able to resolve this?

    • Having checked date by date, it seems that *one* of my hotels, which had one stay, has tracked as 500 miles to Miles and More (despuite the BW programme profile having a different airline), and the other hotel (4 stays) has tracked nothing.

      Administrative chaos at Best Western?

  10. OT
    For anyone who has not heard, Tesco now stock Amazon and John Lewis/Waitrose gift cards. This is ironic since it seems that we only have 18 more days to get triple points.
    I loaded up this afternoon using the last few days of my Diamond Club card and a £12 off on £80 card.

  11. Simon Schus says:

    Just saw Monarch extended its license with CAA

  12. Simon Schus says:

    …. for now