Bits: Luxury Travel Diary auctions, new BA strikes, new Finnair long haul routes

News in brief:

Luxury Travel Diary auctions

The Luxury Travel Diary site dropped me a line about another wave of its auctions closing soon.

Most of the items offered tend to go for far less than the standard retail price.  Interesting options closing in the next 48 hours include five nights in Koh Lanta, Thailand, two nights at a boutique hotel in Paris and three nights in a riad in Marrakech.  Not everything will work for you, either in terms of location, length or dates, but you’ll probably find something of interest if you poke around.

BA A380

New BA strike dates announced

A further six days of strike action by British Airways ‘mixed fleet’ crew has been announced.  The dates are:

  • 5th – 7th February
  • 9th – 11th February

The impact from the earlier strikes has been minimal, with flights on popular routes merged and a few charter planes brought in.  BA claims that everyone will get to where they are going on the day they are booked.

Remember that City and Gatwick flights are not impacted at all.  At present it is not possible to use the strike as an excuse to change or refund any non-refundable tickets you may hold for those dates.  This page of has up to date strike information.

Finnair A350

New Finnair long haul routes announced

We like to cover Finnair on Head for Points because, as a oneworld member, you can earn and spend Avios points on its flights.

It also has an excellent business class product on its new A350 aircraft (I reviewed it here) and often has excellent low fares from London, Manchester and Edinburgh via Helsinki.

With four A350-900 aircraft arriving this year, the airline has announced four new leisure routes to operate over Winter 2017.  These are:

Goa – twice weekly from 29th November

Havana – twice weekly from 1st December

Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic) – weekly from 30th November

Puerta Vallarta (Mexico) – weekly from 19th November

As Helsinki to Goa is under 4,000 miles, it will be 120,000 Avios in Business Class.  This compare to 150,000 Avios with BA on a peak date from London to, say, Delhi as that is over 4,000 miles.  You still need to get to Helsinki of course!

(Finnair to Dubai is also interesting for a similar reason. I should do another article on that.)

If any good fare sales emerge I will cover them as they tend to be a good way to pick up British Airways tier points in style.  You can find out more about Finnair on their site 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.)

It's back: Get up to 10,000 Avios for investing in an ISA with Nutmeg
BOOK FROM 2pm-ish: 129 new IHG PointBreaks hotels at just 5,000 points
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. rams1981 says:

    OT @genghis booked the return from Jo’burg yesterday at midnight. Called this morning, cancelled flight and added it to my 2 for 1. I swear the taxes were less on the re-booking. @Yuff’s method works 🙂

    I was wanted the seats could go between cancelling and booking but you’d have to be really unlucky for that to happen I’d have thought.

    • And seats reappeared in the inventory immediately for rebooking?

    • Thanks @rams1981. Good to know the method works. So cancellation and rebooking (onto the 241) all done on the phone? I shall be using it in a couple of weeks’ time. Was there any F availability at t-355 (obviously not guaranteed)? I want to clear out my MIL’s account and so want just the right number of avios in the HHA for the purchase.

      • rams1981 says:

        @genghis. All done on the phone with the same agent. I didn’t check for first availability as my research showed the earlier flight (A380) was the better plane to use and that never has first available from what I’ve seen.

        • rams1981 says:

          and just to follow up the agent told me the taxes would be £380.40 compared to £470 I paid to do it as a one way last night, interesting.

        • But a return taxes price is not necessarily equal to the two single legs? Did you do a bag a fag packet comparison to the return taxes price online?

        • rams1981 says:

          no I didn’t. I imagined it was something like that i.e. 2 singles more expensive than a return

  2. OT but it appears all but confirmed now that Club Carlson EMEA 2 for 1 and 4 for 2 rates are now a thing of the past. No notice given either.

    • Bugger! I was looking at some of those for a trip in the next couple of months, but hadn’t finalised my leave plans.

    • Apparently this has been confirmed to a flyertalker from CC CS 🙁 madness
      it’s still on the landing page when you type 2for1 or 4for2. arghhh

  3. OT //
    Does anybody have any tips for One-Way car rental in the US? – lots of the companies to do not state their one-way fees, only that a fee is payable.

    I’m looking to pick up a car in Nashville, and drop it back in Atlanta 3 days later.

    Do offer one-way rental?

    • Try Alamo UK or Holiday Autos .

      Got to watch out that you have the correct insurances as US customers often have coverage through credit card or their car insurance. Booking with a UK company means these are included

      • nate1309 says:

        I used Avis via BAEC to go one way San Francisco to San Diego in September. Prices were competitive and came with free additional driver.

    • We do one way USA hires all the time now for our road trips – we use Avios to book Avis- prices are better if you call them and ask for a further 5% discount – there will be a one way fee as you are going from state to state but it shouldn’t be too much – we are hiring a car from Atlanta to Washington DC later in the year and the one way fee is £89. Our Route 66 trip from Chicago to LA wanted $1000 surcharge – for long distance hires you need to break up the hires into smaller distances – we have split our trip in to two for 2 x $300 surcharges. We now Book only a C or D car and hope for an upgrade by flashing the Platinum credit card and Avis Preferred card – worked last year as we were upgraded 3 levels.

  4. OT (Bits) – I mentioned yesterday, but anyone happen to know the rough timescale for Clubcard points posting after Tesco Current Account debit card transactions?

  5. Are all these AY flights from HEL or London?

    I rather fancy earning avios/TPs on the HAV route! Waited a long time for that one… 🙂

  6. Kilburnflyer says:

    *BA Strikes in February*

    Has anyone with affected flights been contact by British Airways yet?

    I am due to fly back from AMS-LHR on Sunday (5th Feb) but nothing has come up in manage my booking yet and no notice on the homepage regarding strike as of yet.

    • I’ve not heard anything yet buddy; keep tweeting them as I’m flying LHR – ORD on the 5th for an extremely important meeting on the 6th, and it’s a confirmed MF crew.

      Tempted to call the travel agent and rebook if I’m honest as they’ve not published their contingency plan as yet.

      • Now midday and still no update on my flights either on 5FEB. ARN-LHR-SFO.

        • Kilburnflyer says:

          Cool, thanks for the feedback guys. Will let you know here as soon as I hear anything

        • BA have now updated the web holding page on the strikes:

          [from BA]
          We can confirm the following details:

          All flights to and from London Gatwick will operate as normal
          All flights to and from London City will operate as normal
          All long haul flights to and from London Heathrow will operate as normal
          The vast majority of short haul flights to and from London Heathrow will operate as normal

          As part of our contingency plan, we will be merging a very small number of short haul flights to and from Heathrow.

          This will mean some customers will travel slightly earlier or later in the day than their original booking.

          Customers affected are being contacted with the options available for them.

        • Damn, on LHR-EDI return trip on the 2nd weekend affected – can almost guarantee they’ll start shuffling and merging them round!

        • the real harry1 says:

          How’s the skiing?!!! 🙂