Bits: Bremen scrapped, bonus Heathrow Rewards points, Aer Lingus to Newquay (and Vegas?)

News in brief:

British Airways drops Bremen

SUN-AIR of Scandinavia, a British Airways franchise partner, has announced that it is dropping its BA-branded flights from London City to Bremen and Manchester to Bremen from 25th February.

In a cynical but economically sensible move, SUN-AIR / BA has managed to avoid paying €250 in EU compensation to every passenger.  Cancellations made 14+ days in advance do not qualify for compensation, and this move was made exactly 14 days in advance.

Customers impacted can rebook to Hamburg or Hannover.  Manchester passengers will find this especially galling as they must now fly Manchester – London – Hamburg / Hannover – train to Bremen which will add at least four hours to their travel time.

Refunds are also available but cheap replacement flights will be difficult to find at short notice.

Sun-Air

New Heathrow Rewards fashion promotion

Heathrow Rewards is offering bonus points on fashion purchases at the airport between now and 14th April.

This applies to purchases at Accessorize, Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Harrods, Hermes, Hugo Boss, Jack Wills, John Lewis, Kurt Geiger, Lacoste, Michael Kors, Mulberry, Paul Smith, Prada, Reiss, Smythson, Sunglass Hut, Thomas Pink, Ted Baker, Valentino and Zara.   It specifically excludes Harrods Signature stores and Louis Vuitton.

The bonus is awarded as follows:

500 points when you spend £125 – £199.99
1,000 points when you spend £200 – £299.99
1,500 points when you spend £300 – £399.99
2,000 points when you spend £400 or more

Registration is not required.

This offer should double up with the ‘3,000 points for joining and spending £150 in one day’ promotion AND the current ‘50% bonus when you convert your points to Avios’ offer.  The standard conversion rate to Avios is 1:1.  You can also convert to Virgin, Lufthansa, Emirates and Etihad.

Aer Lingus new business class

Aer Lingus boosts Newquay – and promises Las Vegas

Aer Lingus, BA’s sister airline, is expanding its service from Newquay to Dublin to seven flights per week for Summer 2017.  This will allow passengers to connect more easily to North American long-haul services.

Whilst this can be booked on Avios, the high taxes quoted via avios.com (£98.10, plus 8000 to 9000 Avios depending on date) may make a cash booking on aerlingus.com more attractive.

The Aer Lingus CEO, Stephen Kavanagh, has also announced plans to fly from Dublin to Las Vegas.  No start date has been announced and the airline has not decided whether to run it as a Winter-only route or year-round.

This would be a welcome Avios redemption, offering very low taxes and the impressive new Aer Lingus business class seat pictured above.

(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.)

Bits: BA launches new USA Club World 'flight and hotel' deals; new Finnair deals
My review of the Element Frankfurt Airport Hotel
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Comments

  1. Sandgrounder says:

    Ryanair have dropped Bremen from Manchester too, but it is still pretty cheap from STN. On the Tuesday after the BA cancellation you can still get a same day return for £26. Not quite as convenient of course, and with the early morning departure from deepest darkest Essex you might need to take a taxi.

  2. Bear in mind that to avoid compensation, BA must inform you of the change more than 14 days out, not just cancel it and change your booking.
    They must also reroute you to BRE under EU261, whatever the notice period, not just offer you HAM, but they seem to try pretty hard to duck this responsibility in similar situations.

  3. the real harry1 says:

    We’ve got real hopes for Newquay which is undergoing fast expansion in passenger numbers, albeit from a low base. http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/newquay-britains-fastest-growing-airport-departure-tax-axed-domestic-uk-routes-a7561936.html
    ‘Remarkably, the number of domestic routes from Newquay offered this summer exceeds the total of UK services from Heathrow and Gatwick combined.’

    Yeah, right – but still not that helpful if you are trying to connect with LHR flights…you never know, though. An awful lot of people want to avoid the 4-5 hrs road trip down to Cornwall in peak holiday time & those planes need to get back up to London…fingers crossed :)

    The bit about Newquay being easier to get to from Plymouth than Exeter airport is just silly – there would only be a couple of minutes in it so not really a consideration. But the £5 levy did annoy Ryanair, who used it as an excuse to drop certain routes a few years ago, I think they just planned to use the planes elsewhere – but might be tempted back on a couple of routes I’d have thought.

    As an airport it’s just like Bristol 20 years ago, in that you can just park and walk to the terminal in 5 minutes – but unlike Bristol 20 years ago, has modern facilities whereas Bristol was more of a big shed in a field! So very pleasant & easy to use, though I confess I’ve only dropped off/ picked up passengers.

    • Newquay airport is very small but does all that’s needed. However, it does have a few disruptions to flights, I was delayed by five hours on my first use of Newquay to Gat on Flybe.
      Aer Lingus to DUB is a great addition for positioning ex uk flight connections reducing those terrible uk airport taxes.

    • Newquay would be a good option for me. We live in South Devon but I have family in the St Austell area for a pre-flight overnight stay.

      I remember using NQY back at the turn of the century and you got your luggage directly off the trailer that was towed by a tractor – brilliant? Then they went all modern by making that hole in the wall of the terminal building and having some guy push your luggage through it.

      Adding Aer Lingus to Dublin would be a bonus especially for linking up to USA flights.

      And don’t forge the Spaceport!!

  4. It is the 14 day notice period. Call me cynical, but this is the sort of thing that Vueling does….

  5. I’ve had 3 flights from Manchester to Bremen cancelled, 2 avios and 1 cash booking. It certainly is galling as all 3 of the trips I have booked to travel with BA this year have now been changed or cancelled! I was really looking forward to a Christmas shopping trip to Germany on the Dornier jet with refreshments included, but will now presumably have the inconvenience of flying via Heathrow with BOB.

    If we now re-book, will we have to pay extra avios and/or cash for the Man-Heathrow sector?

    • the real harry1 says:

      no extra Avios (with an onward RFS connection) but you have to pay cash for the taxes/ fees – which can be pretty close to a cheap cash fare so you might not exactly be making much of a saving

      • What I’m asking is – I’ve paid 16,000 avios plus £70 fees for the 2 RFS from Man-Bremen, but now I have to connect via Heathrow, will BA make me pay this again for the Man-Heathrow leg, even though they’ve forced me to make the change? On a short-haul booking via Heathrow you pay for both sectors anyway now, but this originally was a direct flight from Man so only one set of avios/fees were charged.

        Man-Heathrow is around £150 return – BA is the only airline to fly this route so there’s no competition to drive down prices.

        • No they wouldn’t make you pay any extra.
          But the issue is that BA don’t fly Heathrow-Bremen. They will try to fob you off with an alternative of Hannover or Hamburg but they must reroute you to BRE.

          • It doesn’t have to be Bremen – in brief the trip was a Christmas treat for 2 bereaved family members. What I didn’t want was to have to drag them through Heathrow and be charged for an M & S butty on board! Any German city would be acceptable.

      • Yes there is an extra cost – for RFS you now pay Avios and taxes for each leg in the same way as separate bookings. It’s only for longhaul connections where there is no extra Avios cost, but still extra taxes/fees.

  6. Would I be within my rights to request Man-Billund-Dusseldorf as an alternative on Sun Air? This would avoid Heathrow and allow to fly on the Dornier.

    • Probably not. BA issues guidelines to agents and this is not listed as an option.

      • So what do they propose? Are they going to provide train tickets to Bremen?

        • Like I said they’ll probably want to put you to HAJ/HAM and no further. In some circumstances they allow alternatives with a limit of 200mi of BRE but I don’t know exactly when. EU261 is clear they need to reroute you to BRE which I believe is intended to mean on another carrier (via PAR/AMS/BRU) but I think BA will resist this and it will be a fight, shamefully. If nothing else they are dodging they’d be dodging their duty to inform you of your rights, which include the reroute option.

          • Does “comparable transport conditions” just mean they have to fly us there, or would it also cover the fact that on the original flights we would have been provided with food and drink and a certain baggage allowance?

          • See the most recent post for the start of my saga trying to get BA/SUN AIR to rectify this!

  7. I miss the NQY-CWL-MAN flight

  8. Sam wardill says:

    Surely they’ll be stung for some compensation for people with return tickets?

    Regardless this seems like a cynical and unnecessary strategy.

  9. OT – hence in ‘bits’…

    This issue with Mac/Safari users being jumped to the fifty shades ad is still happening.

    • Yes, will be glad when the advert finally expires!

      • very irritating albeit solved by using chrome.. perhaps Safari users are specifically targeted due to the content of said film :-)

      • 14th

        • It’s pretty disgraceful Rob that you haven’t had it pulled

          Its p!ssing off so many people (who use Macs….they’re pretty ubiquitous by the way) and you seem to care little (soft words alone don’t cut it)

          Are you pursuing the BA model, cash at any cost?

    • I take it does require MacOS Safari to work? No sign of it on Windows Safari.

      But surely Safari comes with an ad-blocker if it that annoying?

      • Indeed an ad-blocker solves this but I would have thought Rob would not want to encourage site visitors to employ a tool that hides a significant element of his revenue stream…

        For that reason I leave mine off normally on this site

  10. Flightdoctor says:

    Heathrow Rewards offering 50% bonus transfer to Avios until the end of March

  11. The Original Nick says:

    O:T, Sorry. I’m flying LHR-AMS in Y on BA. Then I’m connecting on to a QR flight to DOH in J 3 hours later. Can I print my QR boarding pass before I get to LHR and then get BA Galleries Lounge access at LHR using the QR Boarding pass?

  12. Vueling did that on LON – ZRH route. They cancelled the route and rerouted me via BCN with overnight stays on both legs. I took the refund. But as it was a super cheap sales ticket I had to pay 4x times more to rebook with Swiss so I can fly direct.

    Lately it seems to be a regular occurrence with BA and its sister companies. I wonder if other airlines are as bad?

    • Presumably they were going to be paying for the overnight stay?

      • Anna, I guess Vueling should but they conveniently didn’t mention that. And I didn’t fancy extending my journey time from just over an hour to 10hrs.

  13. Richard w says:

    Passengers have an absolute right to re-routing as Article 8 of EU reg 261:2004 when your flight is cancelled. The 14 day period is about entitlement to compensation, and has nothing to do with rights to re-routing, so find the best alternative to BRE for you and ask BA to re-route.

    • Is there any obligation for them to get you there by a particular day/time? I’m currently in dispute with them over yet another cancelled booking where we’ve lost 2 days of our holiday to the Caribbean because they cancelled our return flight, forcing us to change to a flight 2 days earlier.

  14. Article 5 Cancellation

    1. In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall:
    (a) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 8; and
    (b) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 9(1)(a) and 9(2), as well as, in event of re-routing when the reasonably expected time of departure of the new flight is at least the day after the departure as it was planned for the cancelled flight, the assistance specified in Article 9(1)(b) and 9(1)(c); and
    (c) have the right to compensation by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 7, unless:
    (i) they are informed of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure; or
    (ii) they are informed of the cancellation between two weeks and seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more than two hours before the scheduled time of departure and to reach their final destination less than four hours after the scheduled time of arrival; or
    (iii) they are informed of the cancellation less than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach their final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival.

    Interesting on the timing issue as they are effectively turning a short hop from Manchester to Bremen into a slog from Man-Heathrow, then Heathrow-Hamburg, then Hamburg to Bremen by train or bus!

    • Have they actually proposed that to you (the train/bus). I’d be surprised if they have the set up to offer that. I would think that if you can argue successfully they must get you to BRE, they’ll fly you on another carrier. But the argument over your rights is the hard part.

      • the real harry1 says:

        my worry over claiming my missing food & beverage on flights bought before the changes were announced is that BA will be vindictive & cancel my flights, making them more expensive to re-arrange

        sad that I am now bothered about a vindictive & bullying airline when before I sort of trusted them to do the right thing

        BA vs Virgin spring to mind?

        so I will take the flights then claim afterwards

        • That’s bothering me as well. the Sun Air flights still offer free food and drink, whereas if we’re re-routed to Hamburg via Heathrow we’ll be stuck with BOB.

  15. would the air lingus flight to LAS earn avios or tier points?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Don’t earn TP through BA atm though they are looking to rejoin OW but no date set

      you’d get Avios through Aer Club though

  16. Carl Spurling says:

    Blue Air will offer Liverpool to Hamburg amoungst other places this year.