The Brexit decision last Friday has had a disastrous toll on the travel industry. It hasn’t fully filtered through into Stock Exchange announcements, although British Airways issued an immediate profits warning just in case and easyJet also warned a few days later.
However, I have spoken with various airline, rail and hotel executives this week as part of my usual stream of meetings. The UK prognosis is, without exception, dire.
The hotel groups have a little leeway due to Wimbledon, Henley and the Farnborough air show but that is it. Bookings elsewhere are virtually dead, and hotels are seeing substantial cancellations of corporate bookings, especially functions, for the Autumn.
The upside, of course, is that we can expect to see some good deals coming our way in the next few weeks.
First out of the traps is British Airways. The current sale has been running for a couple of weeks. I covered the good ‘Part Pay With Avios’ deals here, which let you get 1p per Avios point if you use your points to bring down the cost of a cash flight.
Yesterday, British Airways cut the price of its BA Holidays packages by up to £100 for bookings by 5th July. Whilst not massive extra discounts, you should remember that these prices were already very competitive. New York, for example, starts at £1,372 per person for Club World flights plus 3 nights in a four star hotel, based on two sharing. That is a futher £35 down on where it was, even though the increase in the $ should have seen the price go up.
You can see what else is available on the BA Holidays pages of ba.com here.
Good short haul sale deals – from £35 each way
When I originally covered the British Airways sale deals I didn’t mention short haul routes. I should have because there are some good deals to be had.
The ba.com Low Fare Finder tool remains the best way to see what is available.
What is surprising is the number of destinations with one-way flights in Euro Traveller at £35 – £39 each way. This is exceptionally cheap for British Airways, especially if you have lounge access via status.
£35 – £39 one way fares are available to Berlin, Basel, Dublin, Geneva, Inverness, Jersey, Krakow, Lyon, Menorca, Nice and Oslo. Istanbul is astonishingly cheap at £45 each way on certain dates although the security issues there have obviously impacted demand.
If you are looking for cheap tier points, there are some good Club Europe opportunities too. At £200 return or less you have:
- Bergen (from £160 return in Club Europe)
- Bordeaux (here is our review of the new InterContinental Bordeaux hotel)
You can see the months these fares are available via the Low Fare Finder.
Remember that you can combine these cheap short-haul flights with the special ‘Part Pay With Avios’ offer. If you take Bergen as an example – which is a lovely town to visit, far prettier than Oslo – you can get the £160 cheapest return Club Europe fare down to £95 each by redeeming 7,500 Avios.
Istanbul, at £300 return in Club Europe, would generate 160 tier points – but that is easily beaten by Malta which is £222 return for 160 tier points from September. A full list of Club Europe routes giving 160 tier points is here.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2024)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.