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Bits: Finnair Edinburgh service launched, I get a good value Marriott redemption, Euro 2016 travel guide

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News in brief:

Finnair’s Edinburgh service launched yesterday

The new Finnair service from Edinburgh started yesterday.  This joins their recently added Dublin service as well as the established Manchester and London routes.  It will operate three times per week, stepping up to four times over the Summer, before pausing on 27th October.

Finnair is a oneworld partner which means you can earn and spend Avios, and earn BA tier points, when you fly with them.  Finnair has an excellent network of routes to Asia because it is ‘on the way’ when flying from Europe over the pole.

If you live in Scotland this is a good opportunity for:

a weekend away in Helsinki, on Avios points

an easy connection to a long-haul redemption on Finnair using Avios points

a chance to buy, for cash, a ticket to Asia on Finnair in one of their regular sales.  You should expect to pay around £1,299 return and will pick up a good pile of BA tier points in the process.  Keep an eye on HFP for news of the next Finnair sale. 

Many of the Asia routes are now flying, or soon will be flying, the new Airbus A350 XWB pictured below with its impressive 1-2-1 seating.  You can read my review of one of the Finnair A350 training flights here.  There is a special Finnair A350 website here.

Finnair A350

How I got a good value Marriott Rewards redemption

I am often a little hard on Marriott Rewards on Head for Points, so it is only fair that I tell you that I just secured an excellent redemption for my Mum.

She needs two nights in downtown Calgary in Canada in June.  Despite the oil slump Calgary hotel prices are still pretty crazy with the two best downtown options, the Hyatt and Marriott, both often $400.  Cheaper options like the Holiday Inn Express, where the reviews highlight the ‘interesting’ characters hanging around outside the doors at night, are still C$300.

I managed to get her two nights in the ‘just refurbished’ Calgary Marriott Downtown, photo below, which is well located, for 50,000 Marriott Rewards points.  (The refurbishment involved removing the desks – which regular readers know I find a stupid policy – but my Mum won’t care.)

A cash room for the same two nights would have totalled C$806 (£441).  It works out at 0.88p per Marriott point which is well above my notional value of 0.5p.

I am kicking myself for not booking on Sunday night when I first looked it up as the hotel had more expensive corner rooms up for redemption as well – those had gone by yesterday.

Calgary Marriott Downtown

Sixt’s Euro 2016 travel guide

Finally, if you are planning to drive to Euro 2016 this Summer, rental company Sixt has put together a guide to each of the major venues and how to get around.  You’ll find it here.

Comments (24)

  • Ynox says:

    As someone who spent a lot of time in Marriotts when travelling for work (and worked over the weekend in the room) I think the removal of the desks to be a pretty idiotic idea.

    As for the redemption – I’m going to stand up for Marriott Rewards a little here. I ended up cashing in the last of my Marriott points the other day. 15k of them got me a night in the Marriott Dallas Quorum (now coming up as $349 for my date). 1.6 pence per point. I’ve also found Marriott rewards redemptions to be pretty decent for events such as Oktoberfest in Munich. That said, maybe I got lucky?

  • What's the Point says:

    I used 30,000 Marriott points to book an airport hotel in Boston, USA this summer vs a cash rate of over $250.
    Very good value compared to what I could have got for them in the UK