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Bits: 30% bonus on buying Avios – good deal?, new Gatwick Express trains in service

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More news in brief:

30% bonus for buying Avios – a good deal?

ba.com has launched a new ‘buy Avios’ bonus.  You will receive up to 30% extra Avios with any purchase you make before 17th March.

The bonus is structured like this:

10% bonus Avios – 1,000-15,000 Avios
20% bonus Avios – 16,000-34,000 Avios
30% bonus – 35,000 Avios

At the top end, which is the cheapest deal you can get, you will pay 45,500 Avios for £575.  That is 1.26p each.

Regular readers won’t be surprised to hear that I don’t recommend buying speculatively at this price.  I have a spreadsheet showing the last 2,800,000 Avios I spent and I appear to have got 1.07p of value for each.  This is based on a ‘realistic alternative price’ valuation method.

If you need a few thousand Avios next week, of course, you might as well jump in.  If you have no immediate plans to use them, I would be holding back – a good Tesco promotion, for example, can get you the points for less than this.  The recent Groupon deal with Iberia Plus let you buy Avios for 0.7p.

The strength of the Euro means that buying via Iberia Plus is not a good alternative at the moment.  Buying 45,000 Avios via IB (which is not running a bonus) costs €845 or £654.

However …. look at it this way.  You can buy 45,000 Avios – any day of the week – via Iberia Plus for £654 at the current exchange rate at this page.  On that basis, if you are a speculative buyer with no plans to use them, you aren’t taking much risk in ignoring the ba.com offer (£575 for 45,500) in the hope that a better deal will come along.  As a last resort you could go back to Iberia and pay £654.

The ba.com ‘buy Avios’ link is here if you are interested.

Gatwick Express new trains

New Gatwick Express trains now being introduced

The first of a new £145m fleet of 27 trains for the Gatwick Express route is now in service.

Details can be found on the Gatwick Express website here.

There isn’t much to get excited about here, unfortunately.  They are basically souped up commuter trains with wider doors, a few more power sockets and wi-fi – but the same cheap thin seats.  Some services will continue to run to and from Brighton which will make getting a seat at Gatwick tricky.

First Class, importantly, appears to feature the same 2 x 2 seating as Standard Class.

My guide to getting discounted train tickets to Gatwick Airport is here.

Comments (42)

  • Leo says:

    In Bangkok on hols at the moment but slightly overexcited by the thought of new Gatwick trains. Which is sad. I do the regular commute on the new through Brighton route. Dead easy to get a seat at Gatwick on the through trains as not every ticket is eligible from Brighton.

  • Andrew says:

    As we are talking about airport parting, has anyone mentioned the extortionate £2.50 that Luton is charging now for dropping off? Maximum of 10 minutes and you can’t leave the car unattended.

    • blenz10 says:

      Leeds Bradford have had similar £2 fee for years. I do feel for Uber etc. as their drivers end up having to pay this cash just to drop off / collect which isn’t recovered by the App.

  • Andrew says:

    Er, that should have been airport parking, but parting is it probably better!

    • Sussex bantam says:

      My favourite drop off is at Geneva where it is called ‘kiss and fly’ !!

  • Anon says:

    O/T – Hilton have a 7 day flash sale kicking off 2moro, expect Rob will be running it…

    I’ve already booked on it for a stay in the Cairngorms for Sept… DBB for 2, = £76, cracking bargain..

    http://explore.hilton.com/offers/flash-sale/

    • Alan says:

      Thanks for the heads-up – knew the sale was on from tomorrow but didn’t realise they’d already loaded the rates today!

    • Genghis says:

      Isn’t it only valid for stays until 3 July?

      • Alan says:

        Indeed so, although sometimes properties seem to mistakenly load sale fares for longer than they should – they also sometimes forget to restrict them to weekends only! Mind you have tried three different properties I’m looking to book and only one of them has Flash Sale rates loaded yet, presume the others will be overnight.

    • CV3V says:

      Staying in Hilton Dunblane tonight on a 5pm.co.uk deal, £50 for bed and breakfast. Diamond status recognised, upgraded to a suite and given a welcome carrier bag with water and jelly beans, and free drinks voucher. I might even get some points out of this!

      • Anon says:

        I like the DoubnleTree? in Dunblane, lovely building.

        Be sure to get your cookie before you leave! Lol 🙂

        • CV3V says:

          Oh yeah got a couple of those too! Great hotel and very busy tonight. The 5pm deals every Dec/Jan.

  • bill says:

    When two of us travel via LGW we use our Two Together Railcard to get a Thameslink LGW-London Travelcard Zones 1-6. It costs £8 each. You are restricted to taking a Thameslink train from LGW.