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Bits: Bremen scrapped, bonus Heathrow Rewards points, Aer Lingus to Newquay (and Vegas?)

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News in brief:

British Airways drops Bremen

SUN-AIR of Scandinavia, a British Airways franchise partner, has announced that it is dropping its BA-branded flights from London City to Bremen and Manchester to Bremen from 25th February.

In a cynical but economically sensible move, SUN-AIR / BA has managed to avoid paying €250 in EU compensation to every passenger.  Cancellations made 14+ days in advance do not qualify for compensation, and this move was made exactly 14 days in advance.

Customers impacted can rebook to Hamburg or Hannover.  Manchester passengers will find this especially galling as they must now fly Manchester – London – Hamburg / Hannover – train to Bremen which will add at least four hours to their travel time.

Refunds are also available but cheap replacement flights will be difficult to find at short notice.


New Heathrow Rewards fashion promotion

Heathrow Rewards is offering bonus points on fashion purchases at the airport between now and 14th April.

This applies to purchases at Accessorize, Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Harrods, Hermes, Hugo Boss, Jack Wills, John Lewis, Kurt Geiger, Lacoste, Michael Kors, Mulberry, Paul Smith, Prada, Reiss, Smythson, Sunglass Hut, Thomas Pink, Ted Baker, Valentino and Zara.   It specifically excludes Harrods Signature stores and Louis Vuitton.

The bonus is awarded as follows:

500 points when you spend £125 – £199.99
1,000 points when you spend £200 – £299.99
1,500 points when you spend £300 – £399.99
2,000 points when you spend £400 or more

Registration is not required.

This offer should double up with the ‘3,000 points for joining and spending £150 in one day’ promotion AND the current ‘50% bonus when you convert your points to Avios’ offer.  The standard conversion rate to Avios is 1:1.  You can also convert to Virgin, Lufthansa, Emirates and Etihad.

Aer Lingus new business class

Aer Lingus boosts Newquay – and promises Las Vegas

Aer Lingus, BA’s sister airline, is expanding its service from Newquay to Dublin to seven flights per week for Summer 2017.  This will allow passengers to connect more easily to North American long-haul services.

Whilst this can be booked on Avios, the high taxes quoted via (£98.10, plus 8000 to 9000 Avios depending on date) may make a cash booking on more attractive.

The Aer Lingus CEO, Stephen Kavanagh, has also announced plans to fly from Dublin to Las Vegas.  No start date has been announced and the airline has not decided whether to run it as a Winter-only route or year-round.

This would be a welcome Avios redemption, offering very low taxes and the impressive new Aer Lingus business class seat pictured above.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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.

Comments (50)

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

  • Graeme says:

    OT – hence in ‘bits’…

    This issue with Mac/Safari users being jumped to the fifty shades ad is still happening.

    • Steve-B says:

      Yes, will be glad when the advert finally expires!

      • Graeme says:

        very irritating albeit solved by using chrome.. perhaps Safari users are specifically targeted due to the content of said film 🙂

      • Rob says:


        • jimmy says:

          It’s pretty disgraceful Rob that you haven’t had it pulled

          Its p!ssing off so many people (who use Macs….they’re pretty ubiquitous by the way) and you seem to care little (soft words alone don’t cut it)

          Are you pursuing the BA model, cash at any cost?

          • Danny says:

            Not an issue for me….

          • mark2 says:

            Some people are very easily annoyed.
            Get a mainstream computer and the problem disappears.

          • Crafty says:

            I’m not sure getting a new computer is a proportionate response to suggest for an irritating advert…

          • Joe says:

            Thanks Mark for your advice. I’m happy with my ‘computer’. You stick with yours, literally.

    • RussellH says:

      I take it does require MacOS Safari to work? No sign of it on Windows Safari.

      But surely Safari comes with an ad-blocker if it that annoying?

      • Graeme says:

        Indeed an ad-blocker solves this but I would have thought Rob would not want to encourage site visitors to employ a tool that hides a significant element of his revenue stream…

        For that reason I leave mine off normally on this site

  • Flightdoctor says:

    Heathrow Rewards offering 50% bonus transfer to Avios until the end of March

  • The Original Nick says:

    O:T, Sorry. I’m flying LHR-AMS in Y on BA. Then I’m connecting on to a QR flight to DOH in J 3 hours later. Can I print my QR boarding pass before I get to LHR and then get BA Galleries Lounge access at LHR using the QR Boarding pass?

  • Nori says:

    Vueling did that on LON – ZRH route. They cancelled the route and rerouted me via BCN with overnight stays on both legs. I took the refund. But as it was a super cheap sales ticket I had to pay 4x times more to rebook with Swiss so I can fly direct.

    Lately it seems to be a regular occurrence with BA and its sister companies. I wonder if other airlines are as bad?

    • Anna says:

      Presumably they were going to be paying for the overnight stay?

      • Nori says:

        Anna, I guess Vueling should but they conveniently didn’t mention that. And I didn’t fancy extending my journey time from just over an hour to 10hrs.

  • Richard w says:

    Passengers have an absolute right to re-routing as Article 8 of EU reg 261:2004 when your flight is cancelled. The 14 day period is about entitlement to compensation, and has nothing to do with rights to re-routing, so find the best alternative to BRE for you and ask BA to re-route.

    • Anna says:

      Is there any obligation for them to get you there by a particular day/time? I’m currently in dispute with them over yet another cancelled booking where we’ve lost 2 days of our holiday to the Caribbean because they cancelled our return flight, forcing us to change to a flight 2 days earlier.

  • Anna says:

    Article 5 Cancellation

    1. In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall:
    (a) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 8; and
    (b) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 9(1)(a) and 9(2), as well as, in event of re-routing when the reasonably expected time of departure of the new flight is at least the day after the departure as it was planned for the cancelled flight, the assistance specified in Article 9(1)(b) and 9(1)(c); and
    (c) have the right to compensation by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 7, unless:
    (i) they are informed of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure; or
    (ii) they are informed of the cancellation between two weeks and seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more than two hours before the scheduled time of departure and to reach their final destination less than four hours after the scheduled time of arrival; or
    (iii) they are informed of the cancellation less than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach their final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival.

    Interesting on the timing issue as they are effectively turning a short hop from Manchester to Bremen into a slog from Man-Heathrow, then Heathrow-Hamburg, then Hamburg to Bremen by train or bus!

    • pauldb says:

      Have they actually proposed that to you (the train/bus). I’d be surprised if they have the set up to offer that. I would think that if you can argue successfully they must get you to BRE, they’ll fly you on another carrier. But the argument over your rights is the hard part.

      • the real harry1 says:

        my worry over claiming my missing food & beverage on flights bought before the changes were announced is that BA will be vindictive & cancel my flights, making them more expensive to re-arrange

        sad that I am now bothered about a vindictive & bullying airline when before I sort of trusted them to do the right thing

        BA vs Virgin spring to mind?

        so I will take the flights then claim afterwards

        • Anna says:

          That’s bothering me as well. the Sun Air flights still offer free food and drink, whereas if we’re re-routed to Hamburg via Heathrow we’ll be stuck with BOB.

  • aceman says:

    would the air lingus flight to LAS earn avios or tier points?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Don’t earn TP through BA atm though they are looking to rejoin OW but no date set

      you’d get Avios through Aer Club though

  • Carl Spurling says:

    Blue Air will offer Liverpool to Hamburg amoungst other places this year.

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