Some news in brief:
Qatar Airways business and economy class savings
The business class deals are aggressive. Dubai / Abu Dhabi is £1450, The Maldives is £1590, Bali is £1630, Melbourne and Perth are £2360. Departures are from London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
You may also want to check prices from other European capitals as well. Brussels has some corkers – Perth for €2,491 (£1,786), The Maldives €1,891 (£1,355), Hong Kong €1425 (£1,022) and Dubai a truly ludicrous €920 (£659). The best bit is that Brussels has the new Boeing 787-800 with Qatar’s newest business class seat.
Remember that you earn Avios points and British Airways tier points flying Qatar. (Thanks to Jason)
Special deals on the Avios e-store and Gate 365
There are a number of special deals running this week on Gate 365 (the British Airways shopping portal) and the Avios e-store.
There is a 50% Avios bonus with Argos, Debenhams, Hotel Chocolat, House of Fraser, Links and Selfridges.
There is a 100% Avios bonus with John Lewis, Harrods, M&S and Milli Millu
Offers end on March 15th. (Thanks to Dom, who also pointed out that Debenhams lets you earn when paying with gift cards, allowing you to double up with the Tesco ‘150 Clubcard points for £50 of gift cards’ deal!)
Virgin East Coast removed the 10% discount on Advance fares
The new Virgin East Coast rail franchise is up and running. There is something we didn’t spot last week – the 10% discount for booking Advance tickets has gone.
East Coast offered an additional 10% saving on the cheapest tickets if you booked their website. Virgin is offering just 2% off. This means an effective price increase of 8.8%, one which has gone unnoticed.
There was also commentary on Head for Points yesterday about East Coast Rewards seat availability being substantially reduced on peak trains although I cannot verify this myself.
Double or triple miles with Etihad Airways Partners
In November, Etihad announced the launch of Etihad Airways Partners. This is a loose amalgamation of many, but not all, of the airlines in which Etihad has taken an equity stake. Here is my article on the launch. From now until May 30th, when you credit flights to an Etihad Guest account, you will earn:
Triple miles in First Class on Etihad Airways and Jet Airways
Double miles in Business Class on Etihad Airways, Alitalia, Jet Airways, airberlin, Niki, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles.
The bonus miles can be earned on all operated and marketed international flights of the above airlines. This means that you will receive the bonus whichever airline operates your flight (even BA!) as long as it carries a flight number from one of the airlines above. Full details of this promotion can be found on the Etihad website here. Today is the last day to book flights to qualify for this promotion, so it is only worth registering if you already have a flight booked.
One unique benefit of Etihad Guest is that you can redeem your miles for cash – paid via a Virtual Visa card – using PointsPay. The rate is not great, around 0.4p per mile, but it is a useful way to empty your account cleanly. Full details of PointsPay can be found here. I wrote about the last time I used it here.