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Bits: Luxury Travel Diary auctions, new BA strikes, new Finnair long haul routes

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News in brief:

Luxury Travel Diary auctions

The Luxury Travel Diary site dropped me a line about another wave of its auctions closing soon.

Most of the items offered tend to go for far less than the standard retail price.  Interesting options closing in the next 48 hours include five nights in Koh Lanta, Thailand, two nights at a boutique hotel in Paris and three nights in a riad in Marrakech.  Not everything will work for you, either in terms of location, length or dates, but you’ll probably find something of interest if you poke around.

BA A380

New BA strike dates announced

A further six days of strike action by British Airways ‘mixed fleet’ crew has been announced.  The dates are:

  • 5th – 7th February
  • 9th – 11th February

The impact from the earlier strikes has been minimal, with flights on popular routes merged and a few charter planes brought in.  BA claims that everyone will get to where they are going on the day they are booked.

Remember that City and Gatwick flights are not impacted at all.  At present it is not possible to use the strike as an excuse to change or refund any non-refundable tickets you may hold for those dates.  This page of has up to date strike information.

Finnair A350

New Finnair long haul routes announced

We like to cover Finnair on Head for Points because, as a oneworld member, you can earn and spend Avios points on its flights.

It also has an excellent business class product on its new A350 aircraft (I reviewed it here) and often has excellent low fares from London, Manchester and Edinburgh via Helsinki.

With four A350-900 aircraft arriving this year, the airline has announced four new leisure routes to operate over Winter 2017.  These are:

Goa – twice weekly from 29th November

Havana – twice weekly from 1st December

Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic) – weekly from 30th November

Puerta Vallarta (Mexico) – weekly from 19th November

As Helsinki to Goa is under 4,000 miles, it will be 120,000 Avios in Business Class.  This compare to 150,000 Avios with BA on a peak date from London to, say, Delhi as that is over 4,000 miles.  You still need to get to Helsinki of course!

(Finnair to Dubai is also interesting for a similar reason. I should do another article on that.)

If any good fare sales emerge I will cover them as they tend to be a good way to pick up British Airways tier points in style.  You can find out more about Finnair on their site here.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

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

Comments (77)

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

  • Brendan says:

    OT but it appears all but confirmed now that Club Carlson EMEA 2 for 1 and 4 for 2 rates are now a thing of the past. No notice given either.

    • Fenny says:

      Bugger! I was looking at some of those for a trip in the next couple of months, but hadn’t finalised my leave plans.

    • idrive says:

      Apparently this has been confirmed to a flyertalker from CC CS 🙁 madness
      it’s still on the landing page when you type 2for1 or 4for2. arghhh

  • Simmo says:

    OT //
    Does anybody have any tips for One-Way car rental in the US? – lots of the companies to do not state their one-way fees, only that a fee is payable.

    I’m looking to pick up a car in Nashville, and drop it back in Atlanta 3 days later.

    Do offer one-way rental?

    • Sam G says:

      Try Alamo UK or Holiday Autos .

      Got to watch out that you have the correct insurances as US customers often have coverage through credit card or their car insurance. Booking with a UK company means these are included

      • nate1309 says:

        I used Avis via BAEC to go one way San Francisco to San Diego in September. Prices were competitive and came with free additional driver.

    • Liz says:

      We do one way USA hires all the time now for our road trips – we use Avios to book Avis- prices are better if you call them and ask for a further 5% discount – there will be a one way fee as you are going from state to state but it shouldn’t be too much – we are hiring a car from Atlanta to Washington DC later in the year and the one way fee is £89. Our Route 66 trip from Chicago to LA wanted $1000 surcharge – for long distance hires you need to break up the hires into smaller distances – we have split our trip in to two for 2 x $300 surcharges. We now Book only a C or D car and hope for an upgrade by flashing the Platinum credit card and Avis Preferred card – worked last year as we were upgraded 3 levels.

  • Alan says:

    OT (Bits) – I mentioned yesterday, but anyone happen to know the rough timescale for Clubcard points posting after Tesco Current Account debit card transactions?

  • Tina says:

    Are all these AY flights from HEL or London?

    I rather fancy earning avios/TPs on the HAV route! Waited a long time for that one… 🙂

  • Kilburnflyer says:

    *BA Strikes in February*

    Has anyone with affected flights been contact by British Airways yet?

    I am due to fly back from AMS-LHR on Sunday (5th Feb) but nothing has come up in manage my booking yet and no notice on the homepage regarding strike as of yet.

    • Rob says:

      I’ve not heard anything yet buddy; keep tweeting them as I’m flying LHR – ORD on the 5th for an extremely important meeting on the 6th, and it’s a confirmed MF crew.

      Tempted to call the travel agent and rebook if I’m honest as they’ve not published their contingency plan as yet.

      • John says:

        Now midday and still no update on my flights either on 5FEB. ARN-LHR-SFO.

        • Kilburnflyer says:

          Cool, thanks for the feedback guys. Will let you know here as soon as I hear anything

          • Rob says:

            BA have now updated the web holding page on the strikes:

            [from BA]
            We can confirm the following details:

            All flights to and from London Gatwick will operate as normal
            All flights to and from London City will operate as normal
            All long haul flights to and from London Heathrow will operate as normal
            The vast majority of short haul flights to and from London Heathrow will operate as normal

            As part of our contingency plan, we will be merging a very small number of short haul flights to and from Heathrow.

            This will mean some customers will travel slightly earlier or later in the day than their original booking.

            Customers affected are being contacted with the options available for them.

          • Alan says:

            Damn, on LHR-EDI return trip on the 2nd weekend affected – can almost guarantee they’ll start shuffling and merging them round!

          • the real harry1 says:

            How’s the skiing?!!! 🙂

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