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Bits: BA drops routes, Melia sale, cheap Club Europe fares, Austrian launches Manchester

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News in brief:

British Airways drops Entebbe and Almaty

British Airways has announced two route suspensions.  Flights to Entebbe in Uganda will cease on October 2nd as they ‘are no longer commercially viable’.  This is relatively short notice, by airline standards, and will be a blow to anyone who was using the route as an access point into Africa.

Customers will be offered BA flights to Nairobi instead but will have to pay for their own connection to Entebbe at this time.  An alternative option – which is only available if your ticket was issued by BA and the ticket number starts 125 – is to be rerouted on Etihad from Abu Dhabi, connecting from a BA flight.

The second cancellation is Almaty in Kazakhstan, again on the grounds of commercial viability.  There are currently three flights per week.  No rebooking options are in place.  The final flight will be on October 11th.

Innside hotel Manchester

Strong Melia discounting in its Summer Sale

Spanish hotel group Melia has launched a short sale, ending on August 10th, for stays until September 15th.

The discount gets bigger the longer you stay, with 3 days stays getting a 30% discount plus an additional 10% if you join their Melia Rewards loyalty programme.  This is worth doing anyway, as you can transfer your points to Avios via Iberia Plus.

The new INNSiDE hotel in Manchester, which I reviewed very favourably recently (photo above), is included and comes out as low as £68 for stays next week.  Full details can be found here.

Club Europe British Airways

British Airways to make Club Europe cheap tickets flexible

In a surprise move announced yesterday, cheap Club Europe tickets on British Airways are to become changeable.

For all NEW bookings from Monday 27th July, Club Europe flights booked into I or R class – which is almost all ‘acceptably cheap’ CE tickets – can be changed for a £100 fee.

Tickets cannot be refunded, just changed.  You would also be liable for any fare difference which, if you tried to make a late change, would be substantial.

The most likely outcome is that, for example, you book a £299 return weekend break ticket to Spain, find you cannot go close to departure, and pay £100 to move the dates back 2-3 months to another weekend when £299 tickets are still for sale.  This avoids having to cover any fare difference.

Austrian launches Vienna from Manchester

Finally, Austrian got in touch to highlight their new daily service from Manchester to Vienna.  This launches on September 10th and may make for a decent Christmas market weekend break.

As a Star Alliance member, the flight will earn miles in Miles & More or any other Star programme.  Unfortunately, redeeming miles for this route is likely to be prohibitive due to the high taxes added.

Comments (8)

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  • James says:

    Other MAN news: I got bumped from my IB express MAN – MAD flight next year (thanks my flights app!). When I checked the schedule I found it had been reduced to just 2 x weekly on a Saturday and Tuesday (down from 4 weekly). It hasn’t even started yet and they already halved the frequency!

  • Jonathan says:

    Is that a 100 change fee per leg or return though?


  • BLT says:

    OT: Finally received Alitalia staus match :Gulf Air Gold (matched from CX gold) to Freccia Alata until March 2017. Will help on the internal Delta flights this summer (baggage etc, not lounge access)

  • Summer slot Sale says:

    A shame about Almaty – clearly BA don’t want that much of Asia.
    I wonder if they’ll use the slots to lauch yet more flights to Greek islands.

    • gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

      When our Kazakh friends were flying home after visiting us they would often opt for economy seats in the centre, rather than taking WTP which their company would pay for.

      They knew that the loads were so low that they would have an entire row to themselves to sleep on.

  • Godfrey says:

    I flew BA to Munich today and overheard the boarding announcement for Geneva, they first invited Club and BA Gold then Silver then bronze and all other one world then finally the remaining few for general boarding, I was the expecting the same for Munich, but no they lumped us altogether . I wonder and hope this is the new change they talked about at the GGL lunch, being implemented. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this change.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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