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

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News in brief:

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 flown 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.

Lufthansa A340

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.

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)

  • JAXBA says:

    You mention delay a couple of times for EC261; compensation for delay, submitting for delay. I think you meant downgrade 🙂

    • Rob says:

      Fixed, thanks

      • AndyGWP says:

        You mentioned the following tips to another reader yesterday, which I made a note of as I tend to forget things in the heat of the moment:
        – Never sign anything you are offered;
        – dig out your phone and look up potential alternative flights with availability they could put you on;
        – challenge them to see if they have asked for volunteers which they should;
        – ask to take a flight another day in return for hotel etc.

        Although not HfP specific, do you a similar (or the same) set of rules for flight cancellations? 🙂 any plans to do an article at some point (or have you done it and I’ve forgotten about it?)… I’m aware there’s probably a million websites that already cover it, but I trust this one, and find it easy to take on board re: your writing style etc 🙂

        • Rob says:

          You have no rights with a cancellation within 14 days.

          For an airport cancellation, I recommend the same plan. Fire up Expedia, look at all flight options (inc those with connections) and make special note of those on oneworld partner airlines, and specifically request what you want.

      • CHarlie Whiskey says:

        Still there I think Rob:

        ” ..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 DELAY on the outbound is based on 50% of the cost of your return ticket.”

        • Rob says:

          Oddly, it isn’t – you’re looking at a cached version from a previous visit. It was fixed whilst I was in Pret at 9am!

  • Roger says:

    OT- Has anyone managed to use TrailFinders with their Amex offer?
    some dummy quote I got from them over phone was slightly more expensive than booking directly with Airline. Could this be due to higher booking class?

    • HV says:

      Re Trailfinders Booked two Air Canada flights to Toronto yesterday. They were the same price as booking direct with AC but about £50 dearer than using a broker – e.g. Travelup. Since the cost was £1200, paid using Amex with no CC charge and saved £150.

    • Gill says:

      Bought gift vouchers in store that triggered the offer. Saved me moving a trip forward to take advantage of the deal.

    • John says:

      Trailfinders has a booking fee, I paid £75 so discount was technically only £125

  • Callum says:

    I don’t know if they’re technically meant to let you on without a booking, but they’ve always let me on the Etihad bus to and from Dubai just by showing my Abu Dhabi boarding passes.

    • N says:

      I did this over Christmas. Very handy.

      Also asked them to pick the car up at the drop off end of the journey and they did it for free, even though I was a smidge over 10 miles away from their depot.

    • Aeronaut says:

      I used this recently.

      The agent at the drop-off location wasn’t aware of the offer at all, and was a bit suss about why I’d only paid a pound so called up HQ to check. We ended up having a laugh about it, so all’s well that ends well! So be prepared for an odd look or two

      When picking up the car the agent did ask if I wanted something larger… I wasn’t fussed and just wanted to get going so didn’t get into this, but I assume they were offering a paid upgrade. I don’t know whether there’s any opportunity to talk your way into getting a better car for nowt. I suppose that would be dependent on what inventory needs to be moved where.

      The car I had was a basic small saloon with scant legroom (and probably headroom) in the back for adults… But it was fine for the two of us up front. Point being don’t count on getting anything larger!

    • Fenny says:

      I looked at this for the trip to the HfP party in December. Although my local depot was listed, the nearest I could get the offer was near Birmingham, which is 50 miles in the wrong direction.

    • Lady London says:

      I got absolutely shafted on the Hertz equivalent of this program which works internationally. An already expensive one way offered and accepted at £69 all in landed on my credit card at about £373.

      For some strange reason the receipt for the hire wasn’t loaded to be shown in the receipts part of my Hertz online account for me to see. It was only loaded after I commented I was checking repeatedly and not finding it when I picked up another car 2 weeks later.

      Thanks for the link to Europcar @xcalx I will gibe them a try. Who knows if Europcar treat me honestly unlike Hertz then I might shift my business to them ad well as giving Europcar a serious look for the professionals I book

  • Concerto says:

    I will use the Miles & More offer for an upcoming Best Western stay. Between newspaper/mag subscriptions, Payback in Germany and the COOP in Switzerland I’ve built up a decent stash of M&M miles.

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Is LON-AUH at £325 so good when there’s plenty of sub-£300 LON-DXB?

    • Rob says:

      Is there? I only really see what I get sent by the airlines and rarely see much at £295.

      • Sam G says:

        Yes! There has been a bit of a fare war going on for weeks – friends going in Feb were seeing sub-200 on Royal Brunei but went for a 510 rtn on BA WT+ via Travelup

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        Yup, plenty <£300 on QF/EK/Brunei. BA and VS around £310 and lots of indirect availability around £250-275 on AF/KL/TK. Availability more or less wide open. Clearly huge overcapacity on the route.

  • BA says:

    At least that means BA’s stonking YQ IS included in the calculation- it varies with class.

  • James67 says:

    In theory excluding charges from calculation of compensation may be logical but in practice it will often be unfair to passengers given that airlines commonly play games with charges.

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