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Bits: BA schedule changes for Winter, free Etihad Gold with a £500,000 deposit!

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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.

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Bergen

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.

Reader Jonathan got in touch to point out that there is a way of getting the £195 fee waived.  You will also receive free Etihad Gold status as well.  All you need to do is sign up for HSBC Jade.

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.

Comments (48)

  • rams1981 says:

    HSBC Elite customer service appears to be woeful compared to AMEX… beware.

  • Wally1976 says:

    Totally OT sorry. 4 of us (2 adults, 2 children) flying from Gatwick North to Paphos end of August. Going to pay for 1 month travel plus pack with Barclays to get the 6 Dragon passes (thanks Harry for the tip). I see there are 3 lounges we could use – Aspire, No 1 and My lounge. Any tips on which would be the best for us? Flight leaves at 12:20pm.

    Also, Harry, if I cancel the pack straight away, presume I’d need to wait a year before I could do it again and get 6 more passes?? Also presume we lose the remaining 2 passes when I cancel?

    Many thanks.

    • Rob says:

      No 1 and MyLounge likely to be turning away passholders as they will be 100% full with BA passengers (BA lounge is closed for renovation and BA passengers have priority at No 1). Aspire it will be which is meant to be OK although I’ve never been in. It is windowless though IIRC.

      • Wally1976 says:

        Thanks Rob, been in the Aspire lounge in Manchester and that was fine. Shame about the lack of windows but never mind!

    • harry says:

      Yes you’d have to wait 12 months as it’s 6 passes pa

      But Barclays are imposing a 6 month minimum x £15.50 per month

      Lots of insurance etc benefits on top

      But for lounge passes alone – remember the avios.com offer for No1 Traveller @ £20 with 750 Avios returned to you (=£12.50 each) is good value alternative

      • harry says:

        sorry new Barclays limits from September so you’re OK for now

        • harry says:

          get your remaining 2 passes valid for 12 months (instead of losing them) by PROMPTLY getting DP to email you email passes with unique codes

          • Wally1976 says:

            Great stuff thanks Harry. Had me worried for a minute there with the 6 month minimum!

  • jonty says:

    O/T but not as OT as IT stuff. Tesco mailshot offering a 2,500 point sign up bonus with the premium card received today.

    • DaveT says:

      interesting. did it have a user specific code or link?

      • Jonty says:

        Sorry, binned before checking. Also received email with 2500 point offer. No code, says it’s not transferable. I’m sure Raffles will have more info soon.

    • harry says:

      got similar email with no sign up bonus

  • C says:

    The hsbc site says 2 of their reward points equals 1 air mile so isn’t it just 20k avios sign up bonus?