Bits: Virgin / Tesco promo is live, Qatar increases IAG stake, last long-haul BA 767

News in brief:

Tesco / Virgin Flying Club 20% bonus promotion is live

Over the weekend I wrote about what appeared to be a secret Virgin / Tesco 20% conversion bonus.

Emails went out yesterday confirming that the promotion is on.  You will receive a 20% bonus on all conversions of Clubcard points to Virgin Atlantic before 16th September.

Full details can be found on the Virgin Atlantic website here.

You will also receive 1,000 Virgin Flying Club miles if you activate auto-conversion on your Tesco account so that all future points are sent automatically to Virgin.  I do not recommend this as it is better to retain flexibility in how you use your Clubcard points.  However, nothing stops you cancelling the auto-conversion once the 1,000 miles have arrived.

My views on whether converting Tesco points is a good idea or not can be found in the article from Sunday.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Virgin Atlantic 787

Qatar Airways increases its shareholding in IAG to 20%

On 28th July, Qatar Airways increased its shareholding in IAG, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia, to 20.01%.  Under EU law it is allowed to increase this as high as 49.9% if it wishes.

The airline stated:

While Qatar Airways’ interest in IAG is purely financial, the increased shareholding reflects the strength of commercial and strategic ties between the companies and evidences the continued support for the ongoing strategy of IAG.

“The recent market valuation of one of the world’s leading airline groups has provided what we believe is an attractive opportunity to increase our shareholding in IAG. We continue to be highly supportive of IAG’s strategy and management team and we do not intend to increase our percentage shareholding further unless there are material changes to the current situation,” said Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways.”

British Airways Boeing 767

Final British Airways Boeing 767 long-haul flight completed

On Sunday, flight BA229 to Baltimore became the final long-haul British Airways flight to be operated by a Boeing 767.

The remaining Boeing 767 aircraft (photo above), which have a short-haul seating configuration, will be phased out during 2017.  The cost of refurbishing the long-haul aircraft was deemed prohibitive and the running costs are high.  The long-haul aircraft are not being sold immediately, however, and may still pop up on routes such as Istanbul, Athens or Larnaca as cover from time to time.

Air Canada, United, American and Delta, among others, are still flying the 767 to and from the UK so it will be a long while before they disappear for good.

Bits: how to get Park Hyatt Mallorca half price, Lufthansa closes oilandenergyclub, triple PartnerPlusBenefit points
Uber news - 2 free £15 rides with and free rides for everyone in Bolton!
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  1. Danksy says:

    last month I flew LHR – LCA on the 767, the aircraft wasnt that great the flight was full and its age was showing! I think BA have a fleet of 7.

    • What will be replacing the 767 on the LHR-LCA route?

    • Flown the 767 a lot to Larnaca this year. Flights nearly always full and club cabin usually back a long way.

      My guess is they will put the A321 onto when the 767s get retired

  2. oyster says:

    Always a sad day when these older planes stop flying. I’m particularly sad about BA losing their 747s. Nothing beats the look of them, nor the uniqueness of F in the nose.

    • Frankie says:

      Agree! Upstairs in club is just a lovely calm oasis from the rest of the plane and the rest of club.

      • Totally agree on the upper deck Club World.

        I’m definitely going to miss Seat 64A, IMHO the best Club World seat on the plane, with extra leg room, more privacy, and direct access to the aisle without stepping over anyone. I always opted for that seat for decades and made a point of grabbing it immediately, or a.s.a.p. online.

  3. I’m on an American 767 DUB-JFK in September. I’m hoping to see an aircraft change before I go.

    • barry cutters says:

      I wouldn’t be hoping for that,
      The alternative on the route is a 757

  4. OTT sat in no1 lounge gatwick. Lounge is pretty empty but they were not letting in priority pass without booking! Interesting way of making an extra £5

    • They probably simply anticipate being full shortly with BA passengers.

      Were they actively suggesting that PP holders turning up pay the £5 booking fee to get in?

      • Danksy says:

        That’s very disingenuous !

        • Qui, moi? 🙂 There’s a bit of a difference between saying PP’s can only get in if they booked prior (£5) and saying pay us £5 & you’re in. Can you even pay £5 on the door? Or would you have to go online?

        • Need to book 4 hours in advance…we got lucky as we had 2 in club Europe so they let in another 3 as together

    • flyforfun says:

      I’ve noticed on the PP guide they seem to have updated most of the London lounges (both LHR and LGW) and they say that particular lounges are likely to be extremely busy between (say) 7-10am M-F and access may be restricted. My first two attempts at using the No 1 lounge at LHR T3 got knocked back (midweek morning first time, midweek evening the next) so I booked for my 3rd attempt as I had my partner with me for the first time. Got admitted with no questions asked!!

  5. OT – a new offer has appeared on my AMEX Gold card for £50 off £300 of spend at Sofitel, MGallery and Pullman hotels.

    • Raffles says:

      Cheers, will check

    • Get £10 off your first two rides. (UBER)

      Get up to £10 off your first two rides with Uber. Click “Get this offer” to reveal the promo code. Offer only applies to new Uber users. Valid until 31/10/16 and not valid on UberTAXI. Terms & location restrictions apply.

      • Code looks generic.

        CODE AMEX2410


        Download Uber app and apply promo code AMEX2410 in the promotions section to enjoy up to £10 off your first two rides on the Uber platform. Offer only applies to UK American Express Cardmembers who are new Uber users with an American Express Card as their payment method. The promo-code is redeemable for a discount to be used toward the total cost of a new user?s first two rides on the Uber platform. If an applicable ride costs less than £10, the remaining amount cannot be rolled over. The promo code is not valid for use on the UberTAXI product. The promo code cannot be transferred, duplicated or sold and there is no cash value. The promo code is limited to use in the UK in locations where Uber is available only. In order to redeem the promo code new users must download the Uber app and accept the terms of use. New users will need to enter the promo code before requesting a ride. Successful redemption of the promo code is subject to the availability of Uber partner-drivers. The offer is fulfilled and promoted by Uber B.V. of Vijzelstraat 68-78, 1017 HL Amsterdam, Netherlands.

    • I got 30 off 250.


  6. OT: 20% transfer bonus on Starpoints to Aadvantage miles

  7. Nate1309 says:

    O/T any MR transfer bonus’s in the pipeline for BAEC/Avios that anyone knows of?

  8. O/T do you use BA Holiday Finder tool? Saw they have some amazing prices for next year, eg 3 nights incl flights in Menorca for £120 or so. Link here but you might need to input month

  9. rams1981 says:

    OT 1 anyone receive their bonus points for initial spend of £2k on HSBC Elite credit card? how long did it take?

    OT 2 did anyone who escalated Supercard to the Financial Ombudsman re the extra charges get anywhere? My last communication with them suggests they’ll give me £10 credit for the time I’ve wasted dealing with their customer service which was a shambles. They won’t look into my matter any further. They sent me a breakdown of the extra charges and used different FX rates for a Sunday when the markets are closed! None of the extra charges are in the app which still shows me i saved £75 so far when in fact it’s nearer £30 with their charges…

    They also charged me for two failed transactions from early July which don’t show in the app now and are yet to refund them.

    I think I have a pretty good case to show that the extra charges were literally made up and how they charged me for items not paid for. How do I take this forward?

  10. Genghis says:

    OT. Tesco to Virgin transfer went through amazingly quick. ‘Purchased’ yesterday and posted in flying club today (base and bonus). Happy days.

  11. Scottydogg says:

    Is there a way of converting my clubcard points to vouchers now so that I can buy the Virgin Points ?
    Looks like my points for the last period have been auto converting to BA Avios . But I now have 1850 points in there after buying the Lego deal 🙂
    Is there a way that I can convert them now so I can take advantage of the Virgin deal ? I thought I read Tesco was giving people more control over their points now ? if I have to wait till the end of the period then I will miss out on the bonus

    • Genghis says:

      For the moment you’ll have to wait I’m afraid.

    • If you cancel your Avios auto convert and set up Virgin auto convert quickly you should get 1000 miles. Then cancel that once you get the miles to get flexibility next quarter.

  12. Marc Pawson says:

    2017 isn’t quick enough to retire these tired old aircraft – we flew LHR – MAD 22/8 and 2 tech faults and different 767 3 hours later we left!! Missed our connection – must be costing BA a fortune in compensation & bad PR!

    • Oh! Matron! says:

      Flew a 767 with Delta from Minn earlier this year. sat in emergency exit seat. Quite possibly the loudest aircraft I’ve ever flown on, which includes both Hercules and Chinook.

  13. Thanks for this!

    I’m booking 2 x Upper Class reward flights from Heathrow to San Francisco this evening for our honeymoon (fingers crossed there are still reward seats available!) It’s the Dreamliner that flies that route. Does anyone have any seat recommendations for a couple? I know the seats aren’t ideal for couples but are any better than others?

    • Personal choice.

      Either one behind the other on the ‘A’ side or a middle and window ‘pair’ on the right hand side.

      The only thing I wouldn’t do is sit behind each other in the middle or right hand pairs – you might as well stay on the ‘A’ side for more privacy. Remember 7A has no window.

    • If you can see them available, I’d book as soon as you see them! these may go very quick!

      SFO route seems to be one of the more desirable routes!

      • But San Jose, LA, Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego as fall backs!

      • Anjelica says:

        Thank you! They are available so I will book tonight! Hoping they are still there :-O

        No return ones available but think I’ll book one way then try again closer to the time for a UP return(I need more miles for that!)

    • LHR to SFO is a 777 and A380. Two flights a day ?

      • With BA yes, with virgin 787

      • Scallder says:

        Flew back in Club on the BA A380 in September from SFO – they had 4 people working the check in desks across all cabins – took nearly an hour to just drop our bags off – was an utter joke. Hopefully they’ve amended that now!

  14. Victair says:

    Booked myself a flight on the longhaul 767 operating Athens sector (seems to be doing the 2030 ATH-LHR on Sundays). they are selling Club Europe in the Club World and WT+ cabins, so if you’re able to book seats in advance – def worth selecting rows 1-4 over 10-13 for a flat bed.

    • BlueHorizonUK says:

      How do I find out which aircraft is running a particular sector?

      Does the seatmap tell you that it is club world seats and not club europe?

  15. Genghis says:

    Just received an email from Tesco, “Your vouchers are ready”.

    In the Ts and Cs it states

    “*To claim the 200 points, the person named on the coupon must Boost with a registered Clubcard Partner using their corresponding Clubcard membership before 25/09/2016. Clubcard points are awarded once, for the first qualifying Boost with a Tesco Clubcard Partner. Any further participation with the Tesco Clubcard Partners scheme, including a different deal, will not incur additional points. Points from the offer will be added to your November statement. They will not be available to redeem until you receive your November statement…”

    There is no mention in the body of the email or elsewhere on Tesco site. Any ideas?

    • Can’t help there, but I was sent a coupon today with notification of my vouchers, offering 25 bonus points on my next 8 transactions. So that’s a free 200 points.

      • I got that one too! Used it today along with 10 coupons for Mr Muscle!

      • Genghis says:

        Nice. How come my wife and I never get coupons now? Has anyone spotted a pattern why some do and others don’t?

        • No pattern, it seems. None of the rest of the household’s Clubcards had any coupons.

        • No coupons for me for the past 1.5 years!

        • Our coupon was on my daughters account which doesn’t get used very much – so think it was an incentive to spend more. Didn’t get it on either of our other 2 main accounts.

  16. roberto says:

    Another OT. I was told today that the 3000 bonus MR for adding a supplementary card to a gold account as ceased to be as from the end of July. I emailed them on the 1st of August……..

    If anyone gets offered something similar in the future can the please mentioned it in the comments. Thanks..

    • I assume you mean adding the supplementary gold credit card to the gold charge card? I think when I applied a few months ago the application form had a deadline that had expired but I still got the extra 3000 points. It looks like the link I used from HfP now just redirects to the Amex homepage. So may well be finished.

    • Thanks for the reminder! I never got my 3,000 points!

    • Quite by chance I had just applied for a supplementary for my wife off my new Platinum card when I read on here that some had been offered 5000. I sent a secure message asking if I could have it and was told that it ended on 31st July, but they gave me 3000 anyway.

  17. Raffles what is your thought on seeing the return of the 30% Virgin clubcard bonus? Worth holding out for?

  18. For the 1,000 bonus miles on Tesco auto convert, how long after doing this on clubcard account do the miles get posted to your flying club account please?

  19. signol says:

    OT. My Tesco Clubcard points were set to autoconvert to at the grandfathered rate of 3.2. All the clubcard points disappeared a few weeks ago, but nothing arrived in my account yet. Has anyone else noticed the delay? Or has anyone else’s autoconvert happened yet? I’m expecting about 18k avios to appear! Thanks

  20. Genghis says:

    OT. My wife and I each have 2,000 Melia points from signing up to Melia Rewards when Melia came onboard as part of offering Amex Plat holders status. What can we do with these points? Any ideas? We don’t have plans to earn any more in future.

    • Stop snivelling lol

    • David2910 says:

      I Iberia mine when they approach expiry. I find you can put through the full amount regardless of minimum amount or denomination despite what’s mentioned on the site

    • Use them at a melia hotel, you’ll actually get a good discount with 2000 melia points.

      Having said that if your gold, then using the gold 20% discount means they then only take about £5 off a booking.