News in brief
Virgin Atlantic scraps CombiFare
In a surprise move, Virgin Flying Club scrapped CombiFare this week. This was odd because CombiFare was the sort of unique product which Virgin likes to use to show it is more flexible than the competition.
As I wrote recently, British Airways has even been exploring the idea of launching exactly the same thing.
CombiFares allowed you to book a flight with one leg booked using Flying Club miles and the other leg booked for cash. The key, though, is that the cash element was 50% of the equivalent return ticket, not the extortionate cost of a one-way ticket.
Let’s assume a return flight to San Francisco was £800 in Economy and that you can only find a reward seat one way. Virgin would let you book one leg with miles and the other leg for £400 (in reality they adjust for taxes on each leg). On BA you would be stuffed in such a scenario, because the cost of a one-way cash ticket is charged at a premium price.
I would be interested to know why Virgin dropped this. I was told that it is due to a new ticketing system which will make it impossible to make ‘half and half’ bookings going forward.
Thanks to Jay for this.
Barclaycard relaxes application criteria for the Hilton HHonors credit card
Following up my article on Tuesday on why I think the Hilton HHonors credit card is a fantastic ‘first card’ for anyone starting off collecting miles and points, it now seems that Barclaycard has improved the eligibility criteria for the card.
You are NOT now blocked from getting this card if you hold any other cards from Barclays.
This rule caused a lot of problems when it was introduced, especially as Barclays issued both the Hilton and IHG Rewards Club cards at the time. This meant that you could not apply for both which probably annoyed both firms. Whether or not this had anything to do with IHG moving their card to Creation Financial Services is not known.
If you have been put off from applying for the Hilton card because you have a Barclaycard or the old IHG Rewards Club card, you now now apply without any problems. The website has also been changed to remove references to multiple applications.
Avios dining programme delayed
Finally, if you were wondering what happened to the new ‘earn Avios from eating at your local restaurants’ service I covered recently, it has been delayed by a month.