Bits: the facts on EC261 when downgraded, Etihad sale launched, good Miles & More hotel offer

News in brief:

Recent court judgement on how you receive compensation when downgraded

I ran an article about EC261 downgrade compensation on Wednesday.  I said in that piece that some parts of the regulations were unclear.

Reader Coby sent me a link to this court judgement from July 2016.  It clarifies three points once and for all:

compensation is based on the cost of that journey and not your entire ticket cost.  This means that, for a return ticket, compensation for a downgrade on the outbound is based on 50% of the cost of your return ticket.

compensation for multi-segment tickets should be based on the pro-rata cost of that leg based on distance flown.  This means that if you were downgraded on the Dublin to Heathrow leg of a Dublin – Heathrow – Bangkok ticket, your compensation would be based on roughly 5% of the cost of your ticket.

taxes and charges which are fixed irrespective of class of travel should be excluded from any refund calculation

These are logical outcomes and make the situation clearer when you are submitting a downgrade claim.

Full details of the amount of compensation due for a downgrade is in my article from Wednesday here.

PS.  If you are seriously interested in EC261, my friend Jeremias edited this legal textbook on all aspects of the regulations.

Etihad sale

Etihad sale now on

Our coverage of the Middle East airlines has been quite ‘Qatar heavy’ recently because of their aggressive sales.  That will change over the next couple of months, however, as I will soon have the tough task of doing a (self funded) ‘back to back’ comparison of Etihad A380 First Class vs Emirates A380 First Class!  I haven’t flow Emirates First Class for eight years so it will be good to give it another go.

I rate the Business Class Studio on the Etihad A380 very highly – it is probably my favourite business class product in the sky (read my review here), just edging out Qatar Airways.

Etihad has just launched a new sale.  £325 in Economy to Abu Dhabi is as good as you get, and Dubai is a £40 taxi ride away – or a very cheap bus ride.  Johannesburg at £2,435 and Perth at £2,599 are OK in business class.  Forget the £2,799 Sydney fare though and go with Malaysia’s £1,500 deal.

Full sale details can be found here.

Miles & More

1,000 bonus Miles & More miles when you credit hotels stays to Lufthansa

Most hotel loyalty programmes give you the option of taking airline miles INSTEAD of points.  These deals are often not very attractive, but if you are at a chain where you rarely stay it can make more sense than taking some points you will never use.

For example, if you do NOT take IHG Rewards Club points and elect to earn Avios instead, this is what you get:

  • Earn 500 Avios per qualifying stay at participating InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, located outside of the USA, Canada, Mexico, Latin America and Caribbean (bad deal)
  • Earn 2 Avios per $1 spent at InterContinental Hotels and Resorts located in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Latin America, Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts and Hotel Indigo (could be attractive)
  • Earn 1 Avios per $1 spent at Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites & Staybridge Suites (bad deal)

Compared to the generous points opportunities with the Accelerate promotion, plus the fact that points count towards status, taking miles is rarely good value.

However ….

Until 28th February, Miles & More is offering 1,000 bonus miles when you credit a hotel stay to the programme instead of taking hotel points.

(With Hilton, this would mean switching to ‘points and miles’ and choosing Miles & More for the miles element.)

This could be attractive.  I tend to value Miles & More miles at 1p when used for premium class redemptions.  This means that you’d be getting £10 of additional value, and that is on top of the value of your base miles.

This deal only makes sense if you already have some Miles & More miles – you won’t earn enough from this deal to get to a premium class redemption on its own.  It is definitely tempting though, and if I end up having a cash Hilton stay in the next 5 weeks I will definitely be taking advantage.

Full details of the offer are here.

For clarity, this offer does NOT include making transfers of existing hotels points to Miles & More.  It only works for points from new stays.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

BA launches 'part pay with Avios' special offer - but is it worth it?
Bits: important Accor promo update, Accor / Iberia transfer rate changed?
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Comments

  1. the_real_a says:

    How does the APD work if you are downgraded as follows?

    Ticket is LHR to AMS to BKK (All in Business)
    But you are downgraded LHR (economy) to AMS to BKK (Business)

    Do you pay UK passenger duty as an economy or business rate?

    • the real harry1 says:

      good question – obviously you should get some money back

      O/T bit chipper as just did another Ukraine booking saving £5, you have to fiddle around a bit but not difficult 🙂

      plus actually got my wife to organise summer flights about 3 months earlier than last year!

      #2 OUT to our place in the sun was under £90 HBO (no redemptions available) on 25th August (Friday) – mustn’t grumble lol

      • The mouse slips every time doesn’t it?
        Just completed mattress run 1/2 for Accelerate. Even though I’m ‘doubling up’, can’t decide if it’s worth the chew on

    • Interesting…. I’d always assumed that APD on premium economy tickets was charged at economy rates. It isn’t – it’s charged at the business rate, or at least that’s how BA is charging it on a dummy booking.

      That aside, in your example you should at least be refunded the difference. After all you traveled in economy, the airline would presumably report it as such and pay the tax at that rate so it’s entirely reasonable that they pass it onto the customer at that rate. The judgment on the 2016 case, so far as I can work out, appears to imply that as it is not a charge levied by the airline but an associated cost “that is not an intrinsic part of that flight” that’s all you could expect back on the APD, not 75% of the business rate.

      • There are only 2 APD rates – economy and everything else.

      • You’re not allowed to split APD per flight like that – it’s your final destination and if any of it is in anything other than economy that counts (see my fuller post below for more details)

    • Sadly you’re not due anything back. You’ve still got the long-haul flight in business, and that is what determines your APD liability. They actually specifically address this in the APD regs…

      3.1.5 Passengers on connecting flights
      A passenger who has a ticket is not a chargeable passenger on the second or subsequent flight of his journey if that flight and the previous flight are connected. Different criteria govern whether the second or subsequent flight on a journey may be treated as connected, depending on whether that flight is to a domestic or international destination. These rules can be found in section 4.

      Where a passenger travels in the lowest class of travel on a flight from a UK airport that subsequently connects (see provisions outlined above and in section 4) to a flight where they are not in the lowest class of travel, then the standard rate of APD will apply.

      For example:

      Where a passenger takes and connects to duty is payable at
      Economy class flight to Paris ‘Business’ class flight to New York Standard rate (Band B)
      (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/excise-notice-550-air-passenger-duty/excise-notice-550-air-passenger-duty)

      If you break your journey in AMS then it should reprice it though – certainly a quick Matrix search reveals LHR-AMS-(>24h stopover)-BKK – £26

  2. Lady London says:

    Comparing Etihad A380 First Class with Emirates First Class? Is that called ‘ taking one for the team’

  3. I was about to book LHR to SYD with Malaysia direct for just under 2k each which I thought was a good price, so was very pleased to read your Expedia offer, now booked with 2 nights in a five star hotel for £1680 each!
    Thanks

  4. Require job