Bits: BA launches new route to Bremen, £100 off £800 Emirates spend, add an avatar to your HFP comments

News in brief:

British Airways launching two new routes to Bremen, Germany

It is ironic that British Airways runs a major call centre in Bremen but did not fly there.  All of this will be fixed from 31st October when BA franchise SUN-AIR launches new services from London City Airport and Manchester.

Using a 32 seat Dornier 328 aircraft, there will be 10 flights per week from London City and 11 per week from Manchester.  Ticket sales were due to begin yesterday but there seems to have been a delay.

If nothing else, this would make a good Avios redemption to visit the famous Christmas market:

Bremen Christmas market British Airways

£100 off £800 Emirates spend

A new American Express cashback offer has popped up on a lot of accounts.  To see if you have it, log in to your online statement and click on ‘Offers’.

You will receive £100 cashback when you use your American Express card to spend £800 with Emirates before 6th November.  Flights must depart from the UK and be booked on the UK Emirates site here.

This should work when paying the taxes on an Emirates Skywards redemption as well as buying a standard cash ticket.  Thanks to Rosina.

Emirates A380

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  1. Thank you for this Rob, we were looking for flights for the Christmas Markets and this will be ideal!

    O/T – my husband, I and 9 yr old son are travelling from LGW in 5 weeks time and it sounds like the NO1 lounge is hell! We are travelling CW with BA, are there any other suggestions?

    • I think ‘hell’ is a bit strong. I was there a month ago prob 6-7pm on a Fri evening and wasn’t all too shabby. Do you have PP?

      • Hi Genghis

        No I don’t have PP, is it worthwhile getting? We are travelling on a Monday morning.

        • It depends how often you travel and whether you have status. If you’re regulars with no status, it could be worth it. You can buy directly – I remember seeing some offers recently mentioned on HfP or 2 PP cards can be included as part of Amex Plat. Remember though that BA move to south terminal in Jan whereupon they’ll have their own lounge again. You could also buy access to aspire lounge on a single use basis.

          For this trip though, might be worth just going to No 1. There’s light food, booze, snacks etc though not been on a Monday morning.

        • adds: yep Karen have you seen the £12.50 per person offer for No1? Article recently on hfp. Well, technically it’s £20 with 750 Avios returned to you – from avios.com

        • My tuppence worth is try the lounge and see how it goes Karen. If it’s not to your liking then get a decent coffee and sandwich or whatever and find a quiet spot someplace to enjoy. The drink and sandwich will be better quality than you will get in most lounges, an empty gate area will feel much more relaxing than a lounge with people falling over you, and the price will be less than any paid for lounge access. I love the lounges if they are not overcrowded, and have reasonably decent food and drink on offer but any that don’t are best avoided in my opinion.

        • That’s always our plan these days, grab a sandwich from Pret or Eat, and a nice coffee then find an empty gate (preferably with a view of the planes) then relax for as long as it takes! Failing that, you’re (probably) on holiday so Caviar House & Prunier or Fortnum & Mason bar in T5 are always good alternatives, if a lot more expensive!

        • Pray tell where does one find a “nice” coffee in an airport? Cafe Vue in Melbourne Tullamarine can be decent if the barista knows what they are doing… but in the UK?! I yearn for the day….

    • I was in the No1 Lounge Friday morning. It was supremely busy and the attendants were directing people to sit at particular sofas or tables. At 1130 it suddenly cleared out and I had the place nearly to myself for half an hour.

    • The schools will be back by then, so surely less hellish than over the summer.

    • Diydegsy says:

      Hi Karen I would give it a try. There were 5 in our group and we used it two weeks ago on Sunday at 9.30am when I was told it would be really busy due to school holidays but we had no problem finding seats etc so don’t give up!!

    • IIRC BA are using the No1 Lounge while the BA lounge is being refurbished? If so, does anyone know when this is scheduled to be completed?

  2. Are the Bremen markets good then? I’ve been wondering where to go this year, we have been to Berlin in the past and were considering Munich.

    • James, Munich markets were the best we’ve been to IMO and the Novotel city centre, about a 10-15 minute walk from the actual centre, is clean, comfortable and very quiet (i.e. no traffic noise etc). We went to the markets every evening then to the Ratskeller after for good food, beer & wine!

      • Thanks Stu! This is going to sound a bit sad, but the loss of the MAN – MUC flight on SQ has made me doubt Munich The do328 is on the to do list and is very cheap using Avios.

        • Trickster says:

          I second Munich for the Markets, been several time and they are great.

          The Manchester Bremen flights look like good times for a weekend jaunt though.

        • Mr(s) Entitled says:

          Save yourself some cash and enjoy the markets in Manchester.

        • Trickster says:

          Agreed, they are very good. Frequent them a lot in the run up to Christmas as I work very close by!

          I think they’re very authentic too having been to the Munich ones several times too.

    • ankomonkey says:

      Nuremberg Xmas markets are excellent in my opinion, better than Munich, Birmingham and Hyde Park!

  3. OT_ does anyone know how do I get some activity in my IB plus account. This is mainly to get some sign up bonus points by crediting some miles to account.

  4. I have only got one offer on my Gold which is a nespresso offer 🙁
    How long after getting the card do offers start to load? Thanks

    • This Nespresso offer looks great. Order 400 coffee capsules (roughly 30p each), enabling you to purchase coffee machine for £39 instead of £129 (available online at £99). Savings of £90 and great coffee. Will order today.

      • I didn’t think i wanted to be a Nespresso customer. I checked the offer and it looked OK. Apart from buying too much coffee (eek!), I was surprised to have free delivery in about 24 hours! By Yodel, too.

  5. OT but did anyone receive their 500 bonus points for booking with Virgin Trains last month? T&Cs say they should have been posted by 31AUG but neither I nor the Mrs have received any bonus.

  6. They used to fly a Dornier to Bremen on the BA Cityflyer subsidiary from LGW. I used it a bit in the late 90s, almost had it to myself on a couple of occasions (which might account for them having stopped the route?). Bremen’s a lovely town and such a short tram hop from airport to city centre.

    @Karen I didn’t experience No.1 “hell” last week at 9am – loads of space then.

  7. Completely OT, but anyone noticed transactions on your Supercard that are not yours? This morning I see £500 plus over two transactions yesterday on my card and £253 on one transaction on my wife’s card, these are UK ATM transactions it seems, most defiantly not ours, trying to contact Supercard but no response, may be worth checking your Supercard and the linked card out

    • I gave up on Supercard a while ago after barely getting started. Does anyone actually have anything positive to say? Apart from getting compo from them?

      • Sadly not about the relaunched version. I used the old one a lot and thought it was excellent but having read about the problems on here I haven’t made even one transaction yet – given how they’ve changed things it just seems useless now.

        • OT. ATM cash withdrawals on curve abroad. Ive had some contact with curve who say that the 2% FUP charge on ATM withdrawals when linked to a credit card is not yet being charged as there is no application in place to monitor this. So I make that I’d be charged 1% over MC wholesale + £2 overseas ATM charge. This could just be acceptable. Does anyone have any real world experience of this?

        • I am mostly overseas and have used the curve over and above the £200 monthly limit since day one and have not been charged anything more than the standard rate. No £2 and no extra 2% markup as far as I can see. I admit I have not taken huge amounts, less than £1000 per month, unlike the £30k+ I took fee free with the supercard during its beta.

        • Cheers Roberto. I think it’ll be my card of choice for ATM withdrawals in China

        • Same here

        • Has anyone else been able to withdraw more than £200 from ATM, using their Curve card, without the extra charges mentioned by Roberto and in T&Cs?

        • nate1309 says:

          I have also been using my curve card a fair amount and not had any issues at all. I would like the AMEX functionality to come back though!

        • Raymond Hennessy says:

          I’ve made about a dozen transactions in Hungary last month ranging from a few quid upto approx £500. No problems anywhere and quite happy with the card.

        • David2910 says:

          200 withdrawal per day, cap 1k per month. Try it.

    • I’ve been chasing them for 2 months as I can’t view my pin in the app… It’s a shame as I made good use of the Beta test

    • I’ve not used the new card yet as I was put off by horror stories on here – I thought I’d leave it a while till it settled down. Was planning to use in Spain this coming week. Guess it’s not worth the hassle – worryingly though if there are rogue charges this could happen even if you don’t use it?!!

      • Remove all your linked cards and hopefully this won’t be possible (but I wouldn’t be surprised if it still happens)

  8. Serena Wilson says:

    Folks, there are also 800 rupees off Jet airways flights bought on Amex. That is about £90. Email arrived today.

    Use code JETAMEX800

  9. Ref Bremen.

    “Ticket sales were due to begin yesterday but there seems to have been a delay”

    Avios seats were loaded on the evening of the 1st Sep, only 2 seats available per flight. I have booked a weekend in Dec, Friday and Sunday availability wont last long.

  10. Has the schedule been published for Bremen somewhere, I can’t see one or a press release. I have regularly trips to Germany and this would make life a lot easier

  11. It’s on the Sun Air site…


  12. Rob/Others,

    Any views on using Trailfinders offer of £200 off £1000 spend.
    I was thinking about buying TF gift card but it seems GCs are excluded as per T&Cs.

    I have an upcoming trip to NZ next year (coutrtesy secreftflying – £317.50 pp), can possibly use for that but I would rather not book until early next year at the least, just in case TG cancelled my flights.

  13. Sorry, O:T, I’ll be at Birmingham International on the 22nd and have the option of 2 lounges via my priority pass. There’s 2 lounges, Aspire and Birmingham No1 lounge I think. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions on which one is best. I’ll be at the airport around 1pm.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Both are pretty nice surroundings would say the No. 1 is better as more choice of drinks but they have used the prebooking only excuse when using a PP in the past. Another member says this is waived if you pre buy a glass of Champagne each so atleast you are getting something for your extra money.

      • I doubt it is an excuse – why turn down £10 or so from PPass?

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Well it looked pretty empty from the desk, you can a fair amount of the lounge.

          Aspire was also pretty empty but was stopping ‘large’ groups unless pre booked

        • No 1 is the lounge of choice for most long haul airlines. I know that Gatwick South and North have a lot of major contracts which account for a lot of their capacity. Due to capacity constraints, if there is a risk of, say, 50 Cathay Pacific passengers turning up who must be allowed in then they will restrict numbers in the run up to that period.

      • Last week both lounges tried to tell me they were full and asked did I pre-book. I prefer the No 1 lounge, and so go to that first – I asked if were they joking as there were clearly loads of empty seats – the assistance shrugged. When I tried the Aspire lounge and got the same answer I was a bit firmer, and the supervisor relented. As it happened, I was early for a flight that was subsequently delayed so the free beer was useful to pass the time.

    • I used the No1 Last Monday night around 7pm. Wasn’t too busy and food and drink was good.

  14. Can you really make money on a 32-seater flight? Won’t be surprised if it goes away quickly.

  15. The OTs in the other threads are going a bit berserk today. I wish people would try and use the Bits article if they want to go off thread.

  16. O/T Has anyone had the extra £20 on their Moneycorp Explorer card yet?

  17. O/T – if I buy £300 of gift cards at Tesco does it matter if they aren’t all in increments of £50?

    • No

      • Hold on – it may do – i.e. each gift card doesn’t have to be £50, but you must be able to divide them into groups of £50 to maximise the bonus club card points. So if you bought 15 £20 gift cards, you would NOT maximise the bonus points, since that would be 5 lots of £60, rather than 6 lots of £50.

        • Is this still the case? I have seen examples where it didn’t apply which is why I have stopped mentioning it.

        • I’ve bought 5x £20 before and got the 300 pts ok

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Nope not the case bought a loads of mixed denominations of gift cards which wouldn’t split into £50 chunks of cards

          its just 150 per £50 spend

        • Interesting – the last time I did it (I think I bought 5 £20 cards), I only got the one lot of points, so 150. Naturally, I haven’t tried it since – and wouldn’t risk it now, if I could help it.

        • Points credited as expected so panic over – bought 2 X 20 and 4x 15 to make up £100, mixed with some £25s and £50s

  18. An RFS redemption from Manchester that isn’t going to Legoland? Hallelujah!

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