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.
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.
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.