Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: 777 Manchester-Munich, Qatar & Vueling codeshare, £1660 London-Melbourne business

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

News in brief:

Last chance to fly a Boeing 777 from Manchester to Munich

Singapore Airlines is restructuring its European routes and is about to launch a direct flight from Singapore to Manchester.  This flight will carry on to Houston, creating a new Manchester – Houston route.

From the end of October, the current Singapore – Munich – Manchester service will end.

This means that you have just a few weeks left, if you live near Manchester, to experience the novelty of flying a long-haul aircraft from Manchester to Munich.

The cheapest return fare I can currently see is £163 return which is not ludicrously cheap but also not entirely extortionate.  However, the return flight from Munich is a painful 6.35am.

If you have any Star Alliance miles, redemption flights in Business Class are very easy to get on this route – and you get a flat bed.  The tax is around £80 return.  A cash return is business is around £400.

You can book on the Singapore Airlines site here.

Singapore Airlines

Qatar Airways and Vueling announce codeshares

The relationship between Qatar Airways and IAG, the parent of British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling, continues to deepen after Qatar recently increased its IAG shareholding.

Qatar Airways flight codes will be placed on 67 Vueling routes which pass through Barcelona or Rome, allowing Qatar to sell connecting flights to those destinations.  Qatar business class passengers will be booked into Vueling ‘Excellence Class’ with fast-track security, lounge access and priority boarding and seating.

Vueling Qatar codeshare

Get £1,660 business class flights to Melbourne

Finally, Vietnam Airlines is selling a VERY aggressive £1,660 business class return fare from Heathrow to Melbourne at the moment.

Vietnam Airlines is a serious business, if you were thinking otherwise.  They are a member of the SkyTeam alliance.  More importantly, they have eight new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft either on order or in service.

I had no problem finding this fare in January.  You are looking for a £640 pre-tax fare each way as Business Saver.

In theory free stopovers are allowed in Vietnam under the fare rules.  There is a long lay-over in Vietnam (15 hours on the outbound) if you don’t stopover and it seems you would need a visa to leave the airport. (EDIT: no longer, see comments)

You will be on a new Boeing 787 all the way.  The impressive fully flat seating looks similar to Finnair / Qatar / Cathay with a herringbone layout.

best credit card to use when buying flights

How to maximise your miles when paying for flights (July 2024)

Some UK credit cards offer special bonuses when used for buying flights. If you spend a lot on airline tickets, using one of these cards could sharply increase the credit card points you earn.

Booking flights on any airline?

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold earns double points (2 Membership Rewards points per £1) when used to buy flights directly from an airline website.

The card comes with a sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points. These would convert to 20,000 Avios or various other airline or hotel programmes. The standard earning rate is 1 point per £1.

You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

Buying flights on British Airways?

The British Airways Premium Plus American Express card earns double Avios (3 Avios per £1) when used at

The card comes with a sign-up bonus of 30,000 Avios. The standard earning rate is 1.5 Avios per £1.

You do not earn bonus Avios if you pay for BA flights on the free British Airways American Express card or either of the Barclaycard Avios Mastercards.

You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

30,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

Buying flights on Virgin Atlantic?

Both the free Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard and the annual fee Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard earn double Virgin Points when used at

This means 1.5 Virgin Points per £1 on the free card and 3 Virgin Points per £1 on the paid card.

There is a sign-up bonus of 3,000 Virgin Points on the free card and 18,000 Virgin Points on the paid card.

You can apply for either of the cards here.

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

3,000 bonus points, no fee and 1 point for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Comments (52)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • James says:

    Qatar – Vueling codeshare seems bizarre to me, as I can’t seem to buy a BA – Vueling codeshare BHX > BCN after October

  • Tom says:

    Does anyone have any detail on which dates are valid for the Vietnam Airways deal? I’d like to fly out somewhere after Xmas, before new year and return on the 3rd or 4th. Can’t secure the pricing discussed for those sorts of dates, assume the deal may be for travel in Jan only?

    • Rob says:

      I’m not sure of the exact fare rules. Excluding Christmas would not be surprising though.

    • darrenf says:

      definitely not Jan only, I’ve been looking at flying next June. In fact matrix prices it up to mid July but no booking engines can cope with that yet.

  • damboy says:

    Hi community. O/T, but i need to earn 600 BA tier points between now and start of November to keep BA Gold status alive. Limited time available so I’m thinking one trip somewhere that will earn the majority of the needed points. I recall previous material on here about Qatar 560 tier points for certain flights. Can anyone recommend any good flight options / discounted business fares either ex Europe or ex London currently on sale. Are we expecting another Qatar airlines sale shortly? I’ve missed out in the past but would be very keen to snap something up soon. Advice appreciated.

    • James R says:

      There probably isnt any proper cycle to Qatar sales but I booked in a business sale Ex-Europe at this exact time last year. So I have my fingers crossed for you!

  • Nick says:

    I’m in J on the Vietnam Airlines dreamliner next week – £800 one-way from SIN to LHR via SGN, which seems a great price for a one-way cancellable fare. I’m quite looking forward to it, always nice to try a new airline!

  • Timothy Arnold says:

    Is there any other long haul inter Europe flights? I’d love to go on the 777 or A380 and will never achieve that with points for a while at least!

    (Still a fan of the 747!)

    • harry says:

      ISTR somewhere in Germany —> Madrid is good if you fancy the experience

      quick google on hfp/ madrid should give you the answer

      • Kinkell says:

        Frankfurt-Madrid on LAN Dreamliner 787-900. ( On its way to Sao Paulo) Did this recently with my son on a short trip gallivanting round Europe ex DUB. Nice plane, significantly quieter, comfy BC seats and loads of room. Food not bad either! Don’t think it was very much either.

        • harry says:

          well done, sir

          • harry says:

            this word ‘sir’ is interesting – must be a relic from Normandy past

            I’m no linguist etc but we see

            sir = sieur = lord
            monsieur = my lord
            It Signore

            and we use it in the 3rd person to this day

            if it pleases the sirs = you

          • Boris says:


  • wetboy1uk says:

    O/t how do you book a vueling flight from cardiff to barcelona? Have tried the iberia route but cardiff does not cone up as an option for airport on their system.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.