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Bits: BA quietly changes Sharm tier points, good Turkish Istanbul business class deal

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News in brief:

British Airways cuts Sharm el Sheikh tier points

A HFP reader contacted me yesterday to complain about British Airways cutting the tier points on flights to Sharm in Egypt.

A quick check confirmed that this is true.  When BA restarted the route from Gatwick, it offered 140 tier points each way.  This was presumably done to match the tier points offered to Cairo.

Sharm, however, is being flown with a short-haul aircraft and is sold as EuroTraveller / Club Europe rather than World Traveller / Club World.  Someone at BA has now decided that it should offer the standard 80 tier points each way awarded on similar routes.

Whether this is right or wrong is not the issue – although Sharm should now be put into Reward Flight Saver if the route is now short haul, surely?

The issue is that a number of people have booked return trips to Sharm purely to pick up 280 tier points in Club Europe.  Having this reduced to 160 tier points is a blow.

I would hope that British Airways will do the right thing here and award the tier points offered at the time the flight was booked.

Sharm el Sheikh

£263 business class flights to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines is offering some excellent business class deals to Istanbul at the moment.  For £263 return, you can fly from Gatwick to Istanbul in Business.  As long as you take the flight to the main Ataturk airport, and not SAW, this gets you the impressive A320 business class you can see below:

Turkish A320 business class

Pay a little more (£312) and you can fly from Heathrow.  Pick your departures correctly and you can book this offer onto the 1-2 Boeing 777-300 services flown to and from London each day!  This means that you will spend 5 hours in this seat:

Turkish B777 business

Turkish has a very well reviewed lounge complex in Istanbul, although I have never visited myself.  This review by loungebuddy.com gives a decent overview of the 777-300 seat and the Istanbul lounge.

Turkish is a member of Star Alliance so you would not be earning any Avios from this flight.  Your outbound travel date must be between 2 November – 17 December, 4th January – 10th February or 23 February – 28 March.  During the booking process you are told that your ticket is ‘Business / Flexible / J’ but this is not true, unsurprisingly – there are no refunds for cancellation as the detailed fare rules show.

You must book at the Turkish Airlines website before 25th October.

Comments (50)

  • Lee says:

    I have a Club Europe booking in November to SSH from LGW which I booked a few weeks ago. I’ve just checked my booking and they’ve reduced it to 160 tier points. The only reason I was going to SSH was for 280 points!

  • Sam W says:

    I have made 2 LGW to SSH bookings too. Shouldnt they honoured the terms at the time of booking. (like they did when they change Tier point / Avios rule in April)??

  • Clive says:

    I am getting the Turkish deal to price £254 to SAW and £273 to IST

    • Swanhunter says:

      I got £273 LGW-IST-LHR so it can be done without going near SAW which is rather inconveniently located.

  • Brian says:

    OT – I had a redemption flight on the 6.50 from LHR to Amsterdam on 13 November. Apparently, BA are using a 767 on the route, so with proper business class seats. I was almost sorry when the flash sale came and I was able to get the slightly later departure for about 50 pounds! Does anybody know why BA would use a long-haul plane for such a short flight?

    • idrive says:

      This has always been like that, even when i flew in June to IST. it is the 1.30 service. but if you check properly on seatguru, I believe that is not the amazing layout you imagine (check the version). I remember i was disappointed about it. Also BA is flying to Moscow with 747s on some services.

    • CV3V says:

      BA have a 767 on LHR – GLA route, fully kitted out as a domestic, single class cabin IIRC.

      • James67 says:

        Yes, appears on EDI route sometimes too but always seems susceptible to last minute switches to an a321. I hate it, seats are somehow very hard and uncomfortable unless it has since been refitted. The only plus is the pairs of seats down each window.

      • Mark Smith says:

        Yes, in fact of the 13 767s still in service, 7 (i.e. the majority, just) are in short haul configuration.

        These go to 2-2-2 upfront when configured for Club World, 2-3-2 otherwise, but all standard seats as you would expect on short haul, not flat beds.

  • Mick says:

    Does GLA to LGW get 20 TP,s when connecting to CE to SSH ?

  • Andy says:

    When I click on your Turkish Airlines link it gives me the message “There is no relationship between this site and the advertiser.” Wouldn’t want you missing out on that sweet affiliate money due to an old link!

  • GH says:

    Some resonably good business class deals on TK out of EDI to BKK – £1,200. Certainly a good deal if like me you are based in Scotland and have a limited choice of EU starting points.

    Flew AMS-IST-BKK HKG-IST-AMS last month – superb service and lounge at IST is certainly best i’ve experienced.