News in brief:
Pair of Heathrow slots sold for reported $75m
If you want proof that no-one expects to see a new Heathrow runway in the near future, Oman Air has reportedly paid $75m to Kenya Airways for its Heathrow slot pair.
Oman Air will use these to add a second daily service to Muscat, this time in the morning, starting on 12th April. This will put pressure on the daily British Airways service which is hampered by having to stop in Abu Dhabi on the way, as it leaves at roughly the same time.
Kenya Airways will remain at Heathrow but with new flight times, using a slot it is leasing from KLM.
New InterContinental resort opening in Pattaya, Thailand
A rather smart looking new InterContinental resort is due to open in Pattaya in April.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that this will be a rebranded Sheraton and the renovations required to take it up to InterContinental standard will not start until after the rebranding, to be completed by 2018.
I would be a little nervy of booking in until then unless the room rates are low, unless you are after some IHG promotional credit or have an Ambassador free weekend night voucher to use.
A new InterContinental has also been announced for Venice although it is at least 2 years away from opening.
Up to 50% bonus for buying Flying Blue miles
Until 18th March the following bonus is available when you buy miles:
- 2,000 Award Miles = 10% Bonus
- 4,000 – 8,000 Award Miles = 20% Bonus
- 10,000 – 28,000 Award Miles = 30% Bonus
- 30,000 Award Miles = 50% Bonus
Members can buy up to 75,000 miles per year, excluding bonuses. Elite members have no cap.
At the top end, buying 75,000 miles with an extra 37,500 will cost €2,062. That works out at 1.4p per mile which is not a massive bargain.
At the end of the day, though, I don’t imagine anyone except an existing Flying Blue member topping up an account getting excited by this. It is also worth remembering that Flying Blue is an American Express Membership Rewards partner – why pay for a pile of FB miles when you can take out an Amex Gold and get 20,000 miles free (22,000 if I refer you)?
If you are interested, the link to buy miles is here.
How to earn Flying Blue miles from UK credit cards (December 2023)
Air France and KLM do not have a UK Flying Blue credit card. However, you can earn Flying Blue miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.
These cards earn Membership Rewards points:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 20,000 Flying Blue miles. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with four free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 30,000 Flying Blue miles
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 10,000 Flying Blue miles. This card is FREE for life.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Flying Blue miles which is an attractive rate. The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Flying Blue mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.