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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 credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2021)

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

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

Nectar American Express

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

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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 (50)

  • Sandgrounder says:

    Ryanair have dropped Bremen from Manchester too, but it is still pretty cheap from STN. On the Tuesday after the BA cancellation you can still get a same day return for £26. Not quite as convenient of course, and with the early morning departure from deepest darkest Essex you might need to take a taxi.

  • pauldb says:

    Bear in mind that to avoid compensation, BA must inform you of the change more than 14 days out, not just cancel it and change your booking.
    They must also reroute you to BRE under EU261, whatever the notice period, not just offer you HAM, but they seem to try pretty hard to duck this responsibility in similar situations.

  • the real harry1 says:

    We’ve got real hopes for Newquay which is undergoing fast expansion in passenger numbers, albeit from a low base.
    ‘Remarkably, the number of domestic routes from Newquay offered this summer exceeds the total of UK services from Heathrow and Gatwick combined.’

    Yeah, right – but still not that helpful if you are trying to connect with LHR flights…you never know, though. An awful lot of people want to avoid the 4-5 hrs road trip down to Cornwall in peak holiday time & those planes need to get back up to London…fingers crossed 🙂

    The bit about Newquay being easier to get to from Plymouth than Exeter airport is just silly – there would only be a couple of minutes in it so not really a consideration. But the £5 levy did annoy Ryanair, who used it as an excuse to drop certain routes a few years ago, I think they just planned to use the planes elsewhere – but might be tempted back on a couple of routes I’d have thought.

    As an airport it’s just like Bristol 20 years ago, in that you can just park and walk to the terminal in 5 minutes – but unlike Bristol 20 years ago, has modern facilities whereas Bristol was more of a big shed in a field! So very pleasant & easy to use, though I confess I’ve only dropped off/ picked up passengers.

    • Tilly71 says:

      Newquay airport is very small but does all that’s needed. However, it does have a few disruptions to flights, I was delayed by five hours on my first use of Newquay to Gat on Flybe.
      Aer Lingus to DUB is a great addition for positioning ex uk flight connections reducing those terrible uk airport taxes.

    • Alan says:

      Newquay would be a good option for me. We live in South Devon but I have family in the St Austell area for a pre-flight overnight stay.

      I remember using NQY back at the turn of the century and you got your luggage directly off the trailer that was towed by a tractor – brilliant? Then they went all modern by making that hole in the wall of the terminal building and having some guy push your luggage through it.

      Adding Aer Lingus to Dublin would be a bonus especially for linking up to USA flights.

      And don’t forge the Spaceport!!

  • BA Sucks says:

    It is the 14 day notice period. Call me cynical, but this is the sort of thing that Vueling does….

    • ADS says:

      is this the shortest notice that BA have cancelled a route in recent times ?

      it feels like the actions of a banana republic type of airline !

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        It wasn’t BA cancelling the route, it’s operated by EZ so they’ll have made the call.

  • Anna says:

    I’ve had 3 flights from Manchester to Bremen cancelled, 2 avios and 1 cash booking. It certainly is galling as all 3 of the trips I have booked to travel with BA this year have now been changed or cancelled! I was really looking forward to a Christmas shopping trip to Germany on the Dornier jet with refreshments included, but will now presumably have the inconvenience of flying via Heathrow with BOB.

    If we now re-book, will we have to pay extra avios and/or cash for the Man-Heathrow sector?

    • the real harry1 says:

      no extra Avios (with an onward RFS connection) but you have to pay cash for the taxes/ fees – which can be pretty close to a cheap cash fare so you might not exactly be making much of a saving

      • Anna says:

        What I’m asking is – I’ve paid 16,000 avios plus £70 fees for the 2 RFS from Man-Bremen, but now I have to connect via Heathrow, will BA make me pay this again for the Man-Heathrow leg, even though they’ve forced me to make the change? On a short-haul booking via Heathrow you pay for both sectors anyway now, but this originally was a direct flight from Man so only one set of avios/fees were charged.

        Man-Heathrow is around £150 return – BA is the only airline to fly this route so there’s no competition to drive down prices.

        • pauldb says:

          No they wouldn’t make you pay any extra.
          But the issue is that BA don’t fly Heathrow-Bremen. They will try to fob you off with an alternative of Hannover or Hamburg but they must reroute you to BRE.

          • Anna says:

            It doesn’t have to be Bremen – in brief the trip was a Christmas treat for 2 bereaved family members. What I didn’t want was to have to drag them through Heathrow and be charged for an M & S butty on board! Any German city would be acceptable.

      • Alan says:

        Yes there is an extra cost – for RFS you now pay Avios and taxes for each leg in the same way as separate bookings. It’s only for longhaul connections where there is no extra Avios cost, but still extra taxes/fees.

  • Anna says:

    Would I be within my rights to request Man-Billund-Dusseldorf as an alternative on Sun Air? This would avoid Heathrow and allow to fly on the Dornier.

    • Rob says:

      Probably not. BA issues guidelines to agents and this is not listed as an option.

      • Anna says:

        So what do they propose? Are they going to provide train tickets to Bremen?

        • pauldb says:

          Like I said they’ll probably want to put you to HAJ/HAM and no further. In some circumstances they allow alternatives with a limit of 200mi of BRE but I don’t know exactly when. EU261 is clear they need to reroute you to BRE which I believe is intended to mean on another carrier (via PAR/AMS/BRU) but I think BA will resist this and it will be a fight, shamefully. If nothing else they are dodging they’d be dodging their duty to inform you of your rights, which include the reroute option.

          • Anna says:

            Does “comparable transport conditions” just mean they have to fly us there, or would it also cover the fact that on the original flights we would have been provided with food and drink and a certain baggage allowance?

          • Anna says:

            See the most recent post for the start of my saga trying to get BA/SUN AIR to rectify this!

  • Nate1309 says:

    I miss the NQY-CWL-MAN flight

  • Sam wardill says:

    Surely they’ll be stung for some compensation for people with return tickets?

    Regardless this seems like a cynical and unnecessary strategy.

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