Bits: Norwegian launches Buenos Aires, two Avios wine deals ending, Virgin / Waitrose over?

News in brief:

Norwegian launches Buenos Aires from Gatwick

If you follow our Instagram feed, you’ll know that Anika is currently in New York testing out Norwegian’s Premium cabin.  We should get that review up in the next couple of weeks.

If it turns out well, you may be tempted to try out Norwegian’s latest route launch – Buenos Aires. 

The service is due to launch in February 2018.  There will be four flights per week on a new Boeing 787, and the lead-in economy fare is £299 each way.

This will be the second non-US route for Norwegian from Gatwick following the recent announcement that flights to Singapore will begin in late September.  It takes their total number of long-haul routes from London to nine.

Perhaps the British Airways paranoia about Norwegian is not entirely misplaced, although the airline is still losing money (albeit you would expect that as new routes take time to build up) and it remains to be seen how it would survive a return to high oil prices.

Norwegian 787

Two Avios-earning Laithwaites wine deals about to end

Both British Airways Executive Club and avios.com are running generous Avios-earning deals with wine group Laithwaites at the moment.  Both deals end on 30th June so you need to jump in now if you want to take advantage.

The deals are slightly different depending on what freebies you want!

The avios.com deal is here.   You receive:

A 12-bottle wine case, chosen from seven options between £52 and £58

2 Dartington wine tumbers worth £15

1,000 Avios points (250 Avios points if you are an existing Laithwaite’s customer)

Free delivery

The British Airways Executive Club deal is here.  You receive:

A 12-bottle wine case, chosen from seven options between £52 and £58

3 free bottles of rioja worth £36

1,000 Avios points (250 Avios points if you are an existing Laithwaite’s customer)

Free delivery

The only difference is whether you take the free rioja or the free tumblers.  Remember that you’ll need to give a BAEC number if you take the rioja and an avios.com account number if you take the tumblers.

Either way, there is one snag you need to deal with.

By ordering, you are signing yourself up to Laithwaite’s Wine Plan.  Every 8-12 weeks they will automatically send you another 12-bottle wine case.  It is very easy to stop this happening – simply amend your account online or give Laithwaite’s a call to cancel your Wine Plan membership, there is no penalty – but you must trust yourself to remember.

Waitrose Virgin Flying Club miles

Virgin Flying Club / Waitrose deal ended?

The in-store miles earning deal with Waitrose and Virgin Flying Club appears to have ended as mysteriously as it appeared.

There is now no reference to the deal on the Virgin Atlantic website and the old home page for the deal now brings up an error.

It seems a little odd for the promotion to end so quickly, especially as Virgin went to some effort to promote it.  It had only been running for three months.

(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.)

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Comments

  1. Catalan says:

    The position the Waitrose home page once occupied on the Flying Club website now sports Jamie’s Italian, with their 2miles/£1 offer. No comparison!

  2. Also intriguing that Norwegian is planning to build a regional airline within Argentina which this Buenos Aires flight would connect with.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Air_Argentina

    • Very interesting. Flight prices in South America are so high, although avios redemptions are a dream where available. Hopefully this will put some downward pressure on prices

  3. I have still got 1028 Miles pending some from Waitrose purchases as long ago as 05/05.

    • Doug M says:

      Wouldn’t worry too much. Mine have posted reasonably reliably, up to about the 2nd May, so yours on this basis will post quite soon.

    • Glenda says:

      I have been tracking mine and so far they have been paid for all purchases made between 28th March and 4th May so yours should be any day now.

  4. Jovanna says:

    OT (again): How guaranteed is the IHG Ambassador guaranteed 4:00 pm check out? I’m currently at the Intercontinental in Dubai, Festival City, and they would only permit me check out at 2:00 pm on Monday because the hotel is very busy. It will be Eid.

    • 100% guaranteed for a cash booking. Technically it is not guaranteed on a redemption booking but I have never been refused.

      • Jovanna says:

        Yes, a cash booking.

      • Update on my previous whine about Le Grand in Paris on this point. I was told at least 3 times by email that 4pm was only guaranteed on paid stays. I ended up saying okay I’m going to take this up with the AMB team as an Ambassador Spire – not long after they replied saying they would guarantee 4pm check out. That said it was a great redemption – I got about £750 of value from a certificate and 60000 points. They also upgraded me to a Superior room. So I’m a very happy bunny and would go back in a flash although it’s not somewhere I’d probably pay for.

      • Sorry and my view is the T&Cs are clear 4pm should be respected on a points booking.

  5. Whatever happened to the 1000 Tesco CC point wine deals, not seen those in ages??

    • Dave_D says:

      They have mostly offered money off a minimum spend amount instead for the last 12 months. Usually £10 off £75 or £15 off £120. It has been rather disappointing not to earn the additional points instead.

    • Genghis says:

      RIP

      • Tesco told us that there would not be any Clubcard wine promotions in 2017. Basically, and they told us this, they don’t want you as a customer.

        People who buy Tesco wine via Clubcard offers (and we would sell around £50,000-worth over a weekend to HFP readers if there was a 1,500 points offer on, taking a guess at what % of readers use cashback sites) do not go back and buy from Tesco Wine when there is not an offer on.

        • Genghis says:

          True – I’d make use of them in offer periods but not other times and so haven’t bought from there. I just stock up even more from Majestic Calais

          • Barry cutters says:

            Same. -Calais wine superstore next door is good for cheap wine for BBQs and partysand craft beer. Majestic is where I get my good stuff.

        • Fair enough, I’m still getting through my selection from previous years Tesco offers.

          Agree that Majestic are better for really nice stuff.

  6. Doug M says:

    Not surprised about Waitrose/Virgin. How much additional business would it have generated versus just paying an additional benefit to people who were going to shop there anyway. I can imagine it’s a pretty time consuming amount of admin too, dealing with the endless transactions that didn’t track, that sort of thing.

    • Frenske says:

      How many people are going to Tesco for the clubpoints. Quite a few I would imagine. With small product margins a small increase in number of buyers could mean a large increase in profit margins.

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        “With small product margins a small increase in number of buyers could mean a large increase in profit margins.”

        Small margin + small increase in sales = small increase in profit.

        • Genghis says:

          Depends heavily on the fixed cost: variable cost ratio. Take two examples both where margins profit margin is 10%.

          Scenario 1 – fixed cost heavy
          Sales 100
          Fixed costs (70)
          Variable costs (20)
          Profit 10

          Scenario 2 – variable cost heavy
          Sales 100
          Fixed costs (20)
          Variable costs (70)
          Profit 10

          An increase of 20% in sales leads to:

          Scenario 1
          Sales 120
          Fixed costs (70)
          Variable costs (24)
          Profit 26, an increase in profit of 260%

          Scenario 2
          Sales 120
          Fixed costs (20)
          Variable costs (84)
          Profit 16, an increase in profit of 160%

          Now I’m not a retail expert but I would say that Tesco has a relatively high fixed cost base and so a small increase in sales can actually lead to a large increase in profit

          • Genghis says:

            Should read increase in profit of 160% and 60% respectively

          • Mr(s) Entitled says:

            I think tesco would bite your hand off for a 20% increase in sales YoY. Not sure the appropriate managers would be pitching that as “small” however come bonus time.

            Increasing sales is very hard. It’s much easier to just cook the books.

          • Genghis says:

            I know. Poor choice of numbers for examples perhaps but the smaller the initial net profit, the greater the effect if there is a large fixed cost ratio on a small increase in sales

  7. Doug M says:

    OT. I’m finding the most annoying collection thing at the moment is hotels com through Avios. Pending miles not posting, which they say takes 90 to 120 days after the stay is complete, even on prepaid bookings. But then they don’t post automatically, and the pending amount is adjusted down with no explanation. I’d switch to a company scheme like HH or Marriott, but I don’t travel enough for work to pick one chain, and for leisure travel I like to just choose a hotel regardless of brand.

    • I’ve noticed that – I’m going to take a screen shot of pending avios in future. Have you contacted them to ask for an explanation? I’ve had to chase up quite a few missing lots of avios recently but I’ve got them all added after taking it up with them. It’s just time-consuming.

      And I still don’t understand why hotel bookings take so much longer to post than other purchases!

      • I’ve had 2000 Avios credit today for a purchase I didn’t make!

        • Doug M says:

          I think they’re mine. Send £20 and we’ll call it quits 😉

        • I’ve had 2 lots of 2300 odd virgin miles credited last month – same amount of points both times, completely wrong, they’ll remove them at some point, they always do.

      • Doug M says:

        I have contacted Avios regarding the change of downward around 2000 Avios. Transaction tracked October 16 when I paid, hotel stay completed mid February 17, Avios don’t post, contact them and they ask for receipt proof, but within a couple of days the pending Avios decrease.

  8. the real harry1 says:

    FYI Laithwaites don’t play hardball with addresses & credit cards (ie cross-checking duplicate a/cs) – so you can have several bites at the cherry – use different email address and maybe a different first name or initial

    • Gregor says:

      Despite the 30th June deadline in the T&C the Rioja deal is dead. If you call Laithwaites they’ll give you an identical deal under a different code.

      • It’s easy to cancel, but then I’ve had 10-12 follow up calls from a Manchester number trying to get me to re-enroll.. be ready to block the number!

  9. I was rather hoping for a HT under the Waitrose story…

  10. Just had this – anyone else?

    “In order to ensure a better service on our AccorHotels.com website, we do everything we can to protect your personal information.

    Although the security of our database has not been involved, our systems have detected an intrusion risk on your account. A third party has been able to detect or has sought to detect your password. As a precaution we have, therefore, deactivated it. To access your account again you must reinitialise your password when you next connect. To do this:

    1. Go to http://www.accorhotels.com
    2. Click on the “Connect” button in the top right
    3. Then click on “Forgotten your password?”
    4. Enter your e-mail address and confirm. An automatic e-mail will be sent to you
    5. Follow the instructions in the e-mail.
    For the security of your account we strongly recommend:

    – To never tell anyone your password and change it regularly
    – To choose a different password for all the applications and websites you use
    – To be wary of e-mails asking you for information that concerns you; check the sender’s address for these e-mails; for the e-mails we send we most often use news.accorhotels@accor-mail.com.
    Thank you for your confidence and we hope to see you soon in our hotels.

    Your AccorHotels.com Team”

    • Memesweeper says:

      Your account may have suffered a sustained attempt to break in. Good work Accor in spotting this and stopping it. Do not assume there’s a problem at their end .

  11. Amex £100 off Naked Wines offer – worth

    • Genghis says:

      Not a statement credit I presume and hence non-stackable? I’ve had Naked wines before and they’re not too bad.

    • I used it before. The wine you get is decent and they add you to the waiting list to join their angels club where you pay £20 a month in. It’s easy to cancel and even if you forgot to do it before you get charged they give you everything back

  12. …it?

  13. Jason Titter says:

    Does the BA offer work? When I select the mixed case I want and order it says my basket is empty.

  14. Andrew says:

    It’s not just the arrangement that Waitrose had with Virgin that has ended, the one they had via my employees internal staff offers site has ended too:-

    Waitrose In-Store

    Hi

    We’re emailing to let you know that our in-store offer at Waitrose ended Wednesday 21 June 2017. All eligible transactions made up until this date will be awarded WOWPoints.

    We hope that this will only be a temporary removal and appreciate that this action could be disappointing to you. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We are currently uncertain of a timeframe for the return of this Waitrose offer. Our goal is to have it back on the platform as soon as possible.

    If you do have questions regarding Waitrose, please get in touch with us via the Help Centre and we’ll be happy to help.

  15. OT: Luggage with overnight connection and airport change.

    If my journey (JER_LGW_LHR_USA) involves overnight stay at london airports with airport change, can I add more luggage at my last trans-Atlantic flight out of last london airport?

    OR does BA transfer luggage for me between lhr-lgw?

    • For example, can I fly HBO from JER_LGW and add more luggage (stay overnight at london home) at LHR next morning for my flight to USA?

  16. Anyone want to adventure this?
    http://www.secretflying.com/posts/error-fare-open-jaw-jersey-uk-new-york-usa-returning-london-uk-188/
    Also available for MIA similar price.

  17. rams1981 says:

    OT what’s the easiest way to sell those HP cartridges bought from the Tesco offer?

    • ebay, in bulk. Don’t sell them as singles – it increases your workload and costs you more overall in postage.

  18. jay tee says:

    I flight to South America every year with my family and rarely pay more than £500 return.
    These include food and checked bags (and even wifi when I fly KLM)
    These Norwegian prices to BA are terrible value for money. I doubt it I will ever use them on this route

    • I must admit, ‘headline’ fares on £600 plus food and baggage (which is pretty much compulsory on such a long trip) don’t seem hugely cheap to me. Let’s see.