Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: the facts on EC261 when downgraded, Etihad sale launched, good Miles & More hotel offer

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News in brief:

Recent court judgement on how you receive compensation when downgraded

I ran an article about EC261 downgrade compensation on Wednesday.  I said in that piece that some parts of the regulations were unclear.

Reader Coby sent me a link to this court judgement from July 2016.  It clarifies three points once and for all:

compensation is based on the cost of that journey and not your entire ticket cost.  This means that, for a return ticket, compensation for a downgrade on the outbound is based on 50% of the cost of your return ticket.

compensation for multi-segment tickets should be based on the pro-rata cost of that leg based on distance flown.  This means that if you were downgraded on the Dublin to Heathrow leg of a Dublin – Heathrow – Bangkok ticket, your compensation would be based on roughly 5% of the cost of your ticket.

taxes and charges which are fixed irrespective of class of travel should be excluded from any refund calculation

These are logical outcomes and make the situation clearer when you are submitting a downgrade claim.

Full details of the amount of compensation due for a downgrade is in my article from Wednesday here.

PS.  If you are seriously interested in EC261, my friend Jeremias edited this legal textbook on all aspects of the regulations.

Etihad sale

Etihad sale now on

Our coverage of the Middle East airlines has been quite ‘Qatar heavy’ recently because of their aggressive sales.  That will change over the next couple of months, however, as I will soon have the tough task of doing a (self funded) ‘back to back’ comparison of Etihad A380 First Class vs Emirates A380 First Class!  I haven’t flow Emirates First Class for eight years so it will be good to give it another go.

I rate the Business Class Studio on the Etihad A380 very highly – it is probably my favourite business class product in the sky (read my review here), just edging out Qatar Airways.

Etihad has just launched a new sale.  £325 in Economy to Abu Dhabi is as good as you get, and Dubai is a £40 taxi ride away – or a very cheap bus ride.  Johannesburg at £2,435 and Perth at £2,599 are OK in business class.  Forget the £2,799 Sydney fare though and go with Malaysia’s £1,500 deal.

Full sale details can be found here.

Miles & More

1,000 bonus Miles & More miles when you credit hotels stays to Lufthansa

Most hotel loyalty programmes give you the option of taking airline miles INSTEAD of points.  These deals are often not very attractive, but if you are at a chain where you rarely stay it can make more sense than taking some points you will never use.

For example, if you do NOT take IHG Rewards Club points and elect to earn Avios instead, this is what you get:

  • Earn 500 Avios per qualifying stay at participating InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, located outside of the USA, Canada, Mexico, Latin America and Caribbean (bad deal)
  • Earn 2 Avios per $1 spent at InterContinental Hotels and Resorts located in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Latin America, Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts and Hotel Indigo (could be attractive)
  • Earn 1 Avios per $1 spent at Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites & Staybridge Suites (bad deal)

Compared to the generous points opportunities with the Accelerate promotion, plus the fact that points count towards status, taking miles is rarely good value.

However ….

Until 28th February, Miles & More is offering 1,000 bonus miles when you credit a hotel stay to the programme instead of taking hotel points.

(With Hilton, this would mean switching to ‘points and miles’ and choosing Miles & More for the miles element.)

This could be attractive.  I tend to value Miles & More miles at 1p when used for premium class redemptions.  This means that you’d be getting £10 of additional value, and that is on top of the value of your base miles.

This deal only makes sense if you already have some Miles & More miles – you won’t earn enough from this deal to get to a premium class redemption on its own.  It is definitely tempting though, and if I end up having a cash Hilton stay in the next 5 weeks I will definitely be taking advantage.

Full details of the offer are here.

For clarity, this offer does NOT include making transfers of existing hotels points to Miles & More.  It only works for points from new stays.

Comments (54)

  • Lady London says:

    Comparing Etihad A380 First Class with Emirates First Class? Is that called ‘ taking one for the team’

  • Wayne says:

    I was about to book LHR to SYD with Malaysia direct for just under 2k each which I thought was a good price, so was very pleased to read your Expedia offer, now booked with 2 nights in a five star hotel for £1680 each!
    Thanks