News in brief:
British Airways announces more Winter schedule changes
British Airways has announced a new batch of schedule changes for the Winter season. These kick in from 30th October and are, in terms of the cancellations, pretty short notice.
These are the changes, all from Heathrow:
Stockholm – increase from 34 to 41 flights per week
Nice – increase from 35 to 41 flights per week
Berlin Tegel – increase from 47 to 52 flights per week
Bergen – decrease from 13 to 7 flights per week
Stavanger – decrease from from 13 to 7 flights per week
The Bergen change, photo below, does not surprise me. It is a lovely city but Norway is very, very expensive for tourists. There is a pleasant Radisson by the harbour which would make a good Club Carlson redemption.
The route was incredibly cheap in the last British Airways sale – although anyone who booked it may now find their flight cancelled. BA is unlikely to have emailed you yet if you have booked Bergen or Stavanger so I would double check any booking.
On the upside, if you had been looking for Avios seats on a particular date to Stockholm, Nice or Berlin then you should check again. The new services will have the usual four Euro Traveller and two Club Europe seats available.
Get free Etihad Gold status with £500,000 deposit
I have covered the new HSBC Premier World Elite credit card on Head for Points recently. At 1 Avios or other airline mile per £1 spent, it is the most generous Visa or Mastercard currently available. It also comes with access to a few hundred airport lounges via LoungeKey.
All in all, it is not a bad deal for the £195 fee – especially as you will receive 40,000 Avios points for signing up and spending £12,000 in your first year. You do need to be a HSBC Premier customer which has strict income or savings criteria.
What’s the catch? Well …. you must “maintain a relationship balance of £500,000 in cash savings and / or investments; and pay your annual income into your HSBC Premier Bank Account.”
Oddly enough, with interest rates so low, this is not a terrible deal if you have £500,000 sitting around (as you do ….). HSBC’s interest rates are not the best but they are not appalling either. You save £195 on the credit card fee. You get Etihad Gold status which leaves you well placed for any status matches to other airlines. You also get a number of other benefits on top.
How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (March 2021)
Etihad Guest does not have a UK credit card. However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards. These are:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 20,000 Etihad Guest miles. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two 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 Etihad Guest miles
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 5,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 5,000 Etihad Guest miles. This card is FREE for life.
Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest 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 Etihad Guest mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.
Etihad Guest is also a partner with the HSBC Premier Mastercard (0.5 miles per £1 spent) and HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (1 mile per £1 spent).