Bits: €100 status credit for an Avis rental, Qatar sale extended, airberlin restructuring

News in brief:

€100 status credit with any Avis rental

A reader sent me a link to this new Avis offer.  If you are signed up to Avis Preferred and make a booking in the current Avis sale, for collection at any point up to 6th April, you will receive a €100 Avis status credit.  If you are a regular user of hire cars, this could be an easy way to boost your Avis Preferred status to Plus (€1,000 spend needed) which comes with a free weekend rental voucher.  You don’t get the €100 to sepend as rental credit, however.

The current Avis sale runs until 31st January.

(EDIT: I have rewritten this paragraph as I made a mistake over how the offer worked)

Avis 1963

Qatar Travel Festival extended

Just a quick note that Qatar Airways has extended the huge Qatar Travel Festival sale by 48 hours.  This means that you can still book until tonight.

The best of the availability has gone, unfortunately, but some deals remain.  The highlight was a flash sale to Tokyo last Thursday evening from Brussels or Amsterdam at €630 return in business class.

My two articles on the best deals on offer are here and here.

Remember that all flights on Qatar Airways earn Avios and British Airways Executive Club tier points.  Return flights to Asia from Europe will generate 560 tier points (140 x 4) which is 90% of a BA Silver card.

airberlin restructuring

airberlin restructuring unveiled

I have run a couple of articles about the restructuring at airberlin.  The airline is now unravelling under its huge debts, despite massive investment from Etihad, and will not survive in its present form.  There are even rumours that Lufthansa is poised to swallow the remaining long haul routes.

Phase 1 of the restructuring has now been unveiled and you can find the route-by-route details here.

What you have is:

a lot of airberlin routes being dropped

a lot of airberlin routes being transferred to its Austrian subsidiary NIKI

NIKI being injected into a three-way joint venture between Tui and Etihad

airberlin will now consist of its long-haul routes from Berlin and Dusseldorf, mainly to the USA, and feeder short-haul flights into those two cities.  It is this rump which may now be injected into Lufthansa.

If you want to take advantage of those outstanding Avios redemption opportunities on airberlin, time is getting short.  Here is Anika’s review of her £4 taxes business class flight from New York to Berlin last year.

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

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  1. From my interpretation, the extra ‘€100 bonus spend’ is more likely to be spend accumulated in your AVIS Preferred account to progress onto the next tier membership level rather than an actual €100 credit into your account !

    • Ah… sneaky! I think you might be right. This is from the description of Avis Preferred on their website:

      Our three levels of loyalty:

      With Avis Preferred, the more you rent with us – the more benefits you unlock. We have three levels of membership based on your rental history over the last year, all boasting bigger and better perks as you go.

      When you join, you’ll start as an Avis Preferred member, and can potentially rise to our Avis Preferred Plus (hire 5+ vehicles and spend €1,000) and Avis President’s Club tiers (hire 10+ vehicles and spend €2,000) – with each tier rise valid for one year. Find out more in our How It Works section.

      A little bonus to get you started (helping you reach Avis Preferred Plus status even faster): the ‘loyalty value’ of your rental will go up by €100 if you hire a vehicle within 60 days of registration.

      Please note: This value will be credited within five days of the rental car being returned to us, at which point it can be viewed in your online account. This bonus only applies to new members.

      • Long standing Avis renter here who is Presidents Club member. The £100/€100 credit is added to your accumulated Avis spend to excel you closer towards top tier. I believe they have been offering this incentive to members on a number of occasions in the past.

    • Boooo, thought it was too good to be true.

      But hot on the heels of the recent 18,700 Avios promo, I was hoping it was another mega offer.

    • As someone who has used this offer in the past I can confirm that this is correct. It is €100 in spend ‘points’ to help progress your status, not a €100 credit towards future rentals.

      • Thanks folks. Article quickly amended, apologies for the inconvenience. This really was not clear though!

  2. Raffles – My wife and I have two one way business class tickets booked with Airberlin for August. Do you think these may get cancelled? They were only booked using avios so we could cancel it now ourselves and purchase cash tickets. Cheers

    • August is fine. Almost impossible for anything to happen by then (apart from bankruptcy of course) as any sale to Lufty would take months to get EU competition approval.

  3. OT slightly however relevant to Qatar…

    My girlfriend and I have just taken advantage of a stonking Qatar deal, as highlighted here, from Oslo to Ho Chi Minh for 1000 Euros each.
    Whilst we found the hard product excellent and service good (apart from one leg in an older A330-200) the food was actually very poor. I know BA get a lot of criticism but I actually think they are miles ahead on this front. There seems to be an obsession with obercomplicating food- why try and serve reheated fillet when many restaurants can’t manage it in a full kitchen?
    That said the Tier points (560!!) will do nicely thanks and keep our Silver status topped up…..

    • Thomas T says:

      Have you ever eaten a fillet (of beef?) on BA??? I can tell you now, that is like eating your shoe! And serving a mozzarella salad………..with a lovely side of salad isn’t that great either. OR try to get some cheese AND a pudding of BA on a £1750 flight,……I value your opinion, but my experience is different to yours, hence I shifted all my LH to QR now.

      • Yes, I had fillet on beef last year in CW.
        It really was fillet, but what a waste.
        I wish they would do food more suitable for the limited facilities.

        • Maybe I’ve been unlucky and lucky with BA recently.
          Overall they all need to need to keep things simple and serve stuff that suited for their fridge/heat up facilities! And the Qatar 787 is simply awesome….

    • Doodles says:

      OT but Vietnam related, I am flying with QR in March and plan to book an onward flight to Hanoi for the day I arrive. I was wondering how long it took to clear immigration? Thank you.

      • Went through HCMC last year, probably took me an hour + to get through. Even if you get the pre-approved visa you still have to submit paperwork in the airport to get the actual visa. This took at least 45 mins alone.

      • 10 minutes in our case at HCMC….easy although I would be cautious as the simplest things in Vietnam can be trouble when you least expect it.

        • Genghis says:

          About the same for us at HCMC in 2015. We got visas in advance from the embassy despite them being a bit more expensive than the VOA just so we didn’t have to queue up and fanny around after a long flight.

      • No visa necessary for U.K. passports visiting for 15 days or less (no such luck for the Irish). Info on Vietnam embassy website.

        • Doodles says:

          The earlier replies had me a bit worried about a visa but I will only be there for 10 days so no visa required.

      • Doodles, took us just under two hours last week. We even had pre clearance visa approval from the Vietnam embassy in London. But still had to complete further forms, wait for a photographer to take a pic, hadn’t been told to bring one! 10$ pp. Then wait to be called to collect our passports, and pay a further$25 pp.. Plus we had even paid the emobassy a fee on line. Just a racket…I’m Irish so needed a visa anyway, oh is uk, but we are here for 20 days ATM. Cold in Hanoi, bring a jacket! Halong cool, but now hoi an, finally warmth in our bones!

        • ankomonkey says:

          We loved Hoi An (but visited 10 years ago).

        • Doodles says:

          Thanks for the replies. I only have 10 days there as travelling to/from Helsinki eats up some of my holiday (but I have never been there before so I want to see some of it). My plan at the moment is to fly to Hanoi and then take the train back to HCMC, the train in both directions would just take too much time.
          Polly, if you have any tips, when you return, do let me know. Thank you.

        • Genghis says:

          Great food in Vietnam in general. We didn’t think much of Hanoi but best restaurant we went to in 3 weeks travelling all around Vietnam was there – Gia Ngu. Seriously top banana. We went back the next night. Hoi An is rather special. Do your own bike tour to the coast and round the rice paddies

        • Genghis says:

          I’ve heard from people that took the train that they regretted it. We flew everywhere and had a driver around the central Hoi An / Hue area (try Bun Bo Hue – spicy noodle soup – at the source)

        • Doodles, see my reply below, sorry, meant to do,it spear tell to,you. Enjoy!

    • Jake, you will do v well on baec. Surely you would get lots of tier points plus avios with all those trips. Very easy to do 2 return HBO flights to get silver, indeed sounds like you could be gold with all those would be crazy not to do couple trips at 5 TPs per sector, have lunch, come back that evening, anywhere, jersey wherever. My friends missed out on their silver last year for that very reason, and has been so P….ed off since. Went to bronze. We are in similar sit, all QR going to baec, but doing 2 HBO returns to eu on BA. Metal to qualify and retain that card.
      We even flashed our BA silver cards in Vietnam this trip to access the VIP security lane for crew and VIPs. And nobody batted an eyelid. Couldn’t believe how cheeky we felt! But it saved an hour queue in both HCMC and HAN! Hilarious…

    • Will, we are currently on an OSL HCMC deal same as you. Fab value. But our food was to die for, served when we wanted, and beautiful. Never had a bad meal on QR yet. Agree, points very useful.

      Doodles, would suggest 3 days max in HCMC, but it is warmer down south! see War remnants museum, eat where you see the locals, as tourist ones, v pricey. Hanoi worth 5 days, visit uncle Ho, Army museum with all the aircraft and tanks from the war etc, and the famous jail, Hanoi Hilton! very important place in their history. John Cain pics etc. If you want to do halong bay, do the 2n 1 d one. Book on arrival, most good ones, are around $75 pp. we were stung by hotel, but they agreed to refund part of it, as l suggested it was twice what was out there, price wise. Hanoi chic hotel in old quarter v g location,, £40 a night, double, decent breakfast. Worth emailing them see if they do better direct deal. Jonny is the manager. Found out that take 30% commission from hotels! that shocked me. Restaurants around there, just amazing. ESP Dung Noa Pho Co opposite. And Geiko to the right, not the one to left! Most nights paid £8 pp dinner. Unreal.
      Have fun, enjoy, great deal we got!
      That train is about 16 hours from Han to Ho, too long, take a cheap. You probably won’t have time to visit Hoi An. It’s pretty, by the sea. And warmer.

  4. No details on the voucher anywhere in T&Cs. Looks like it might be “bonus spend” for tier progression, rather than anything else. Update on the article required?

  5. O/T but Avis related regarding the Hilton/Avis offer Rob mentioned last week that was appearing on Facebook. I enrolled via the link on HFP and booked using for a car at YYZ to get the better price and BA benefits on the 10th Jan and had the £20 credit applied on Monday. Thanks Rob.

  6. Rob – do you know when the sale went live? Booked our Avis rental last weekend & wondered whether the Avis Preferred credit would still work for a rental in March? Doesn’t look like the sale does much in SA.

    • Terms and conditions have a start date. But it is a status credit and not a cash credit, it now seems.

  7. I heard via a podcast it may be a full-on merger between Lufthansa and Etihad… presumably including ventures like Air Berlin as well

    • Obviously not, due to EU ownership rules. Etihad may get a stake in return for merging AB and could buy more but likely to end up like IAG / Qatar in my view.

      This is just copycat stuff. Wait for Emirates to buy a stake in Air France KLM …..

  8. FrequentDrive says:

    Rob, I am enjoying these little Avis boosts, thanks 🙂

    As someone who rents from T5 most Friday evenings, I was delighted to get (well, hopefully I will get !!!) 18k extra Avios on the Iberia+ deal, and I am also delighted to get an extra EUR100 credit towards Presidents Club.

    On the whole I find the T5 location to be excellent – the only issue I’ve had is the automatic addition of a Late Return Fee when returning the car within the agreed rental period but past the “Return Time” on the reservation e.g. I booked Fri 1900 to Mon 0700 i.e. 3 days but ended up returning it 1800. They could not take it off at the counter but did come up with a solution which made me whole again…

    Avis shooting themselves in the foot a bit here really – I now make sure to book in exact 24 hour blocks e.g. 1900 Fri to 1900 Mon, even though I will 100% be returning the car at 0600 Mon in time for my flight !! So they can’t manage their inventory properly and it’s all their own fault…

    The day they bill me an Early Return Fee for dropping off at 0600 against an agreed Return Time of 1900 is the last day I will spend any money from them !!!

    • Technically though you were late dropping it as whilst they charge in days they may have had shortage and you had stated it would be returned at that time….

  9. Brian W says:

    O/T Bits: First buy on board flight on the red eye EDI – LHR this morning. Full flight and I was in row 15. Exactly 5 people bought anything in front of me (yes I actually counted). Assuming it was similar behind me that speaks volumes if you ask me. Took the two crew working from the front to the middle the whole flight to get to the middle having done 5 transactions, only two of these sales involved hot items which were eventually served from the galley half way through our decent from the holding pattern. Two other crew worked from the back to the middle and they finished first.

    All seemed like a farce if you ask me. What’s next Mr Cruz!

    • I flew from Gatwick to Jersey on Sunday afternoon, sitting in 6A directly behind CE. In the 20 minute window before descent the single trolley managed about half a dozen transactions and got to about row 11. Good luck to anyone hungry or thirsty at the rear of the cabin!

  10. Laineyling says:

    Has anyone NOT had the bonus 18000 avios from the iberia plus deal post? I got the 700 straight away but have not had the 18000 and have followed up with an email. As yet no response. Just curious to know if they may still be working manually through a backlog

    • Myself and my sister both have not got even the 700 let alone the 18,000. We both booked on as opposed to the site.
      I sent a request a week or so ago and got this reply:

      Thank you for requesting your points / miles through our website.
      Your request has been accepted by Avis and your standard points / miles will be reflected
      In its next account statement after an additional validation of its loyalty program.
      Extra points / miles will be noted only if you comply with the Terms and Conditions established in the
      For more information, contact the customer service of your loyalty program.
      Thank you for renting with Avis

    • BillyBoy says:

      Had the 700 but not the 18000 however I returned the car on 13/12 and T&Cs say they could take up to 8 weeks to post so not going to bother sending chaser email until at least 08/02….

      • LaineyLing says:

        ahh I realised that we mistakenly booked a category B car which was not eligible for the promotion, so sadly no Avios for me. Very annoyed at ourselves as we didn’t need the car and only rented it for Avios! =P teaches me for next time.

  11. Concerto says:

    Remember that, for the €100 status credit, you have to rent for at least 7 days.

    • BillyBoy says:

      The promo T&Cs actually say the following:

      Advertised percentage discounts are available across a wide range of
      vehicles and locations, within UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy,
      Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, The Netherlands & Austria the discount
      applies to any length of rental.

      For all other countries the offers applies to rentals of 3 days or longer.

  12. I have a question about silver status I wonder if someone can help.

    I’ve got 8 sectors in J with QR this year to Thailand and Japan. I don’t have any status with QR or BA and won’t do any BA sectors to qualify for status. On that basis, should I still credit the flights to BAEC or QRPC? I’m guessing BA for Avios?


    • How would you top up your QR miles if you are short? Not an Amex partner etc.

      Redeeming them for a short haul BA flight would be a bad deal due to expensive short haul redemptions and full taxes (no Reward Flight Saver) so don’t go banking on that idea.

      The only good plan would be exploiting their definition of ‘Europe to Europe’ redemptions, eg is UK to Russia OK? Or UK to Turkey? A UK to Amsterdam would be ludicrously pricey compared to BA’s 9k plus £35.

      • you can purchase QR miles if you are short or transfer from spg.
        Seem to be several benefits to QR gold/plat compared to BA silver/gold.

    • Jake, you will do v well on baec. Surely you would get lots of tier points plus avios with all those trips. Very easy to do 2 return HBO flights to get silver, indeed sounds like you could be gold with all those would be crazy not to do couple trips at 5 TPs per sector, have lunch, come back that evening, anywhere, jersey wherever. My friends missed out on their silver last year for that very reason, and has been so P….ed off since. Went to bronze. We are in similar sit, all QR going to baec, but doing 2 HBO returns to eu on BA. Metal to qualify and retain that card.
      We even flashed our BA silver cards in Vietnam this trip to access the VIP security lane for crew and VIPs. And nobody batted an eyelid. Couldn’t believe how cheeky we felt! But it saved an hour queue in both HCMC and HAN! Hilarious…

  13. Thanks for the AVIS piece. I went in and found myself a three day rental in Malta next month for just UKP13.81 [$17], including the Airport fee. At that rate, I really don’t care too much about a bonus I am unlikely to use. I cancelled my Hertz reservation for the same car at $36!

  14. Wally1976 says:

    OT – a couple of information points that may be useful to people.

    1. If, like me you have been put off doing transfers from Tesco Clubcard to by the fact that they didn’t ask for your account number (they used some kind of matching with your name, address, email address (who knows). Well anyway, they’ve changed it and they do now ask for your account number. Might be useful to those chasing Superbonuses.

    2. E.on is unfortunately stopping its reward scheme which give a useful number of Tesco Clubcard points for those using E.on for their energy.—spend-your-points-by-june

    • the real harry1 says:

      EON’s current new tariffs are incredibly uncompetitive so nobody should stay with them anyway – the last good one v19 expires about Feb 10th

    • Mikeact says:

      Wally1996. That’s exactly what put me off, so I transfer to BA and then move them over if needs be.

  15. Another OT

    I have booked through Holiday Extras a stay and park at the Thistle Heathrow when we go away. It is very convenient for an early flight and I fancied a ride on a pod which is longer than I had imagined when I looked at the map. The only slight concern was that the reviews were not very good. I noticed that better rooms are available direct but no Amex Statement credit so I spoke to HE on webchat.
    I asked about upgrade and they said ‘you can upgrade the room to a deluxe room it would cost you an extra £12.90 – you would get a newly refurbished room, king size bed, bottled water and a Nespresso coffee machine’.
    So for £188.04 I got a deluxe room with breakfast and 20 days of parking (less 15% statement credit) which would have cost £243.20 from Thistle direct.

  16. the real harry1 says:

    fantastic Vueling sale – £17.98 return flights from various UK airports (Birmingham, Manchester and Luton) to Barcelona in February and March
    plus use code UKFLYNDER for 10 EUR off each passenger

    • Unless they cancel loads of flights after you’ve booked a prepaid hotel, as happened last time I promoted a Vueling sale!

      • the real harry1 says:

        I’d be tempted to take my kids to Spain for a few days at half term if we had a nearer airport & they weren’t so lazy 🙂

  17. That’s how it is. No claims accepted from the date of the network switch, so you will never get paid. No way you can know about the network change (well, I could tell you, but no way a normal person would know).

  18. Hi Liz – thankfully saga #1 resolved in that Hilton transactions from 10 months ago finally paid out! #2 was Amex Plat C/back card – £46.25 c/back that tracked fine for months but then suddenly got declined, apparently as Amex switched their affiliate network in the background and just cancelled all existing transactions! Have lodged a complaint with Amex too FWIW.

  19. BillyBoy says:

    Well first Avis promo rental returned 2 days ago, correct entry on statement yesterday for rental charge but no sign of the promised €100 credit – I will wait for a week to go by then chase them up and report back…

    • FrequentDriver says:

      I am in a similar position – returned car last week, saw normal transaction go through but no 100 Euros… I called CS and the agent insisted that it had been credited, but it certainly wasn’t showing on my statement. So a query has gone off to the Loyalty Team… we shall see !!