Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: Virgin’s NY-LON bar, Aer Lingus new short-haul business, buy Hyatt points, Etihad / Kaligo

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News in brief:

Virgin Atlantic and Delta’s O2 bar is now open

I wrote back in June about the new bar that Virgin Atlantic and Delta were opening at the O2 Arena in Greenwich.  The facility is now open.  You can reserve booths online.

In theory, there are meant to be special deals for members of Virgin Flying Club.  I haven’t seen anything yet, and I can’t find anything on the Flying Club website, but I will keep my eyes open.

Ny-Lon entrance

Aer Lingus launches short-haul business class

Via Business Traveller, Aer Lingus is launching what looks suspiciously like a short-haul business class product this Autumn.  For reasons I can’t understand, though, it refuses to call it business class.

Let’s take a look at what the new service, to be called Aer Space, will offer:

  • Empty middle seat
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority baggage handling
  • Priority hand baggage acceptance
  • Full ticket flexibility
  • Lounge access
  • Free food on-board

That sounds suspiciously like a business class product to me.  It is virtually identical to the British Airways Club Europe product, although there will not be a curtain dividing the cabin.

Calling it ‘economy class’ may mean that the airline does not have to pay the higher rate of Air Passenger Duty on flights to the UK.  However, the airline will continue to alienate potential long-haul passengers who refuse to book it because they are put in economy for the final short hop.  All very odd.

It does, of course, make the job of British Airways easier when it comes to integrate the Aer Lingus product once the takeover completes.

30% bonus when you buy Hyatt Gold Passport points

Hyatt Gold Passport is offering a 30% bonus when you buy points before 31st August.

There may, just, be some arbitrage in doing this if you are looking to stay at some of their prime Park Hyatt hotels, such as Tokyo or Paris.  In general, though, this is a deal which will only make sense if you are topping up your account.

As Hyatt points are hard to earn (no UK credit card, not an Amex partner) this may be worth doing, especially as Hyatt is beginning to take a harder line on points expiry.

The link to buy is here.

Etihad 350

Etihad launches with

Finally, hotel booking site has launched a partnership with Etihad Guest.

You receive 3,000 bonus Etihad Guest miles with your first booking.   There are an additional 7,000 miles to be had if you spend $1,000 at between now and the end of September.

You can claim this bonus even if you have already had the bonus from a Kaligo / Avios or Kaligo / Virgin promo, although you may want to use a different email to avoid confusion if you registered for the recent BA deal.

Details of the Etihad offer can be found here.

Comments (26)

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

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    I suspect there’ll be a few offers for the NY-LON bar appearing in the Virgin Red iOS app in the near future.

  • cheekychappie says:

    I just cancelled my Amex Gold card – my wife was a supplementary holder.

    So can she open a new Gold a/c next week & get the welcome bonus without waiting 6 months?

    With myself as supp this time?

    • Alan says:

      She can, as being a supplementary cardholder doesn’t count when it comes to the bonus.

      However it’s a shame you’ve shut your account as you could have earned a bonus yourself for referring her!

      • cheekychappie says:

        Can’t win them all. OTOH they seem to have messed up the pro rata refund of the 2nd year fee and refunded me 11/12 of the annual amount, which hasn’t actually been charged to me.

  • Philip says:

    Interesting Aer Lingus news, as my other airline loyalty status cards are at the lowest level i’m just left with gold for Aer Lingus and had enough points to keep it for 2 more years so interested to hear what is my best move when the absorption happens. Must use up my avios for a Dublin-America flight on Aer Lingus while I can get them at lower taxes and charges too.

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

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