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

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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.

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.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (70)

  • Genghis says:

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

  • 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.

    • mark2 says:

      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.

  • 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.

  • Amy says:

    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?

    • Rob says:

      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.

    • Simmo says:

      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!

      • Rob says:

        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!)

    • Kipto says:

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

      • Will says:

        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!

  • 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?

  • 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?

    • Brian says:

      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.

      • Liz says:

        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?

        • Brian says:

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

        • Liz says:

          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.

  • 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..

    • JP says:

      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.

    • Simmo says:

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

    • mark2 says:

      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.

  • dill says:

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

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