Nutmeg Avios

Bits: US flights from Manchester for £1000, 100% bonus when you buy Hilton points

News in brief:

Business class US flights from Manchester for £1,000

For reasons no-one quite understands, American Airlines is offering business class flights from Manchester to two US cities:

  • San Antonio
  • Little Rock (and possible other parts of Arkansas)

….. for almost exactly £1,000.

You must fly between April and September and book by 22nd March.

The flights involve a change of plane in Chicago which means you will receive 360 British Airways tier points return (140 + 40 + 40 + 140).  You will also earn Avios if you decide to credit the flights to a British Airways Executive Club account.  Hat-tip to Flyertalk.


100% bonus when you buy Hilton Honors points

Hilton Honors is offering a 100% bonus when you buy points before 3rd May.  See here for details.

This is the first bonus promotion since the new Hilton redemption process kicked in.  Under this new offering – which applies to purchases of 5,000 points or more – the cheapest price you can pay is 0.40p based on $800 for 160,000 points.

Does this still make sense under the new structure?  In theory, yes.  Or, to put it another way, it makes as much sense as it ever did.

Whilst the redemption cost of Hilton properties is now more closely linked to the prevailing cash price, there is still a cap on the points required.  The best value will generally be at properties which are selling for a very high price but where the points ‘cap’ has kicked in.

If I look at the Conrad Tokyo for a night in April when I am there, for example, it is selling for 95,000 points or £517 including tax (this is peak tourist season pricing).  That gets me 0.54p per point.  My room at the Waldorf-Astoria in Beijing the following week works out at 0.48p per point.

At both of these hotels, buying points under this offer would have been somewhat cheaper than paying cash although you should net off any points you would earn back.

One upside of the new Hilton redemption structure is that your downside for buying points is limited.  You can now use points as part-payment for any hotel at any time and you should get back at least what you pay under this offer – and hopefully more.

The link to buy is here if you’re interested.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Bits: 1200 Avios for £30 of LEGO, London City Airport launches a Business lounge
Earn Avios on your energy and telephone bills with Utility Warehouse
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  1. Err … Arkansas is not a city, it’s a state. Little Rock is the state capital of Arkansas.


  2. Dirtyneedebluesky says:


    Thanks for this. Could be an interesting option rather than the direct Singapore flight to Houston in.the summer.

    I find this quite funny. I almost sent you a review of a hotel just north of San An at the weekend. Only 15k on IHG points but ‘stunning’ in terms of size & quality of room (bar the actual shower & toiletries which are still typical of a lower end property albeit new).

    It’s the HI Express in New Braunfells (apologies if spelt slightly wrong). Nice DT area if you like a bar crawl / speaking to folk (also two very high end restaurants) plus also close to the oldest dancehall in Texas in Gruene. In addition a massive outlet mall is nearby in San Marcos (technically two) for some to good value shopping even with the exchange rate (depending on store offers & how your luck is).

    If you would like more culture Hill Country is nearby where they have fabulous vineyards for tasting sessions.

    Don’t forget about the coast either – east from Galveston.

    • I stayed at a HIX in The Hamptons years ago and it was similarly stunning – you would have thought it was a 4-star, and it more impressive than any regional UK Hilton etc.

    • Phil G says:

      Thanks for that – just booked to San An in August Saturday to Saturday £1049 each. Cattle class was £1286 !!

  3. Isn’t that 560 not 360 points?

    • TravellerFrequently says:

      I think the domestic flights are too short to qualify for 140 tier points.

      • James A says:

        You can get 640tp if you really try. MAN-PHL-PHX-SAT and back. Can also route via HEL for 620tp total. See flyertalk’s tier point run thread.

      • Yes, you’re right. Sub 2,000 miles so just the 360.

  4. Looked the first week in august and it prices up at £1050 with two stops (JFK and DFW). If anyone was looking through maximise the tier points collected

    • Might be the last chance to fly an AA MD80 too, if that appeals to anyone!

      • I flew DFW to SAT 2 weeks ago on an MD80. The take off was as always very impressive and as I was in row 8 it was very quiet. However, everything else was very poor. The lounge at DFW is awful compared to LHR, The gate personnel rude and unhelpful, the flight attendants surly and the on board service non existent. Such a disappointment having flown business from LHR with AA which was first rate in all aspects. There is a huge gap between AA short haul and long haul and don’t get me started on the amount of carry on and size people bring on!

  5. Hi Rob,

    For these upcoming Hilton redemptions that you have in Tokyo and Beijing, how did you get a room big enough for your family?

    • Two rooms. Which is a blinkin’ good job I’ve got the points given the top places in Kyoto are £1,000 per room per night during peak cherry blossom season, which clashes with Easter this year.

      • Oh right. Would it have been an option to book one ‘normal’ room and then email the hotel and ask to pay for a bigger room/suite?

        • Potentially, but at £1000 per night for a standard room I wasn’t keen on the price tag that such an option would bring! We also don’t want the kids to be sleeping on rollaways for 17 nights.

          Of course, knowing my luck, we’ll get upgraded anyway. We were in the Crowne Plaza in Salzburg last month and booked 2 junior suites, prepaid. One was upgraded to a 2-bedroom suite, so we didn’t need the 2nd room. Hotel wouldn’t refund it though ….

      • Genghis says:

        What are your plans for Japan, Rob? Tokyo and Kyoto? Any onsen? Koyasan temple stay?

        • Not much flexibility with a 5-year old in tow and certainly no ryokan or similar. Depends what sort of babysitting we can rustle up since the kids interest in temples does not extend much beyond Minecraft ones.

        • Genghis says:

          Good point. I want to take my wife to Japan but I think after South Africa in early 18 it’ll have to be a holiday for her – a beach holiday or even (god forbid) a Middle East resort stay. I’m looking forward to your review of the RC in RAK (non-airport acronym!)

        • That may bite the dust unfortunately. It seems I got a little carried away with the holiday bookings this year and forgot that, unlike myself, my wife does actually have a contractual maximum number of days she can’t turn up at her office 🙂

          A week skiing at half-term and 17 days over Easter (which doesn’t include Easter Monday annoyingly) plus various summer jaunts to her family means that October is looking tight now.

        • James67 says:

          Go to the lakes, your kids might like the tour ships done like galleons. One time I was there I saw some tour kids getting quite impressive lessons in making suff with paper (proper name escapes me at the moment) but no idea where you organise that.

        • ankomonkey says:

          I stayed a night at Koya-san many years ago. The central park in Nara (near Kyoto) might be an option if feeding wild deer appeals.

          Rob, where are you planning to go for cherry blossom viewing? For Tokyo, the Imperial Palace gardens (not far from Conrad Tokyo) are good, and popular with company ‘hanami’ parties. I also remember Ueno Park being pretty good (also has a decent zoo). And Kamakura is a popular day trip from Tokyo (big Buddha, lots of temples/shrines, home of Kamakura Ham) and has nice blossom on the walk up to Tsurugaoka Hachimanguu (Kamakura’s main shrine).

        • Genghis says:

          How was your Koya-san stay? Recommended? I wish I’d done it when I lived there but never got round to it.

        • ankomonkey says:

          @Genghis – it was good and worth doing. But it was a much younger me in those days…

          I’m guessing you did a Kyushu sand bath at some point… I did one around Beppu.

        • Genghis says:

          Thanks, I think Koya-San would be on the cards for my next trip.

          Yes. I went to Ibusuki sand onsen. V different. I’d spend most of my time in Kyushu I think on a future trip.

      • Craig Strickland says:

        I’m there at a similar time Rob, 23 Mar to 10 Apr. I booked many of the Ryokans when they released at 6 months to go, if I hadn’t I’d be paying £600 a night plus. I booked the Granvia in Kyoto, 3 days later it was sold out and the Hilton in Shinjuku I lucked in with their sweet suite sale at only £280 a night!!! A week to go and friends are telling me CW is overbooked and as I’m using a 241 I’m just a little worried.

    • Btw, Conrad Tokyo’s room is big enough for a family with 2 small children. The beds in twin rooms are kind of double bed size.

      • Technically the rooms don’t take four, and my 9-year old is the height of an 11-year old so it’s not something we’re keen on!

  6. If there’s anyone out there seriously considering the Conrad Rangali…

    160000 points for $800 would get you 2 nights of a 5 night stay on points (Total 380k HH pts).

    A full point redemption avoids the additional ++ of resort service charge and taxes totalling 23% payable on cash bookings.

    But again, I agree with Genghis only buy if you realise the immediate value.

  7. Dominic says:

    OT but Hilton related.

    Stayed at the Hilton on Park Lane this weekend with my Barclays free night certificate and was upgraded to King executive on the 24th floor facing the city thanks to Gold from plat card. Received 2000 points for the recent promotion and after buying a beer and charging it to the room, and triggered the 3rd stay bonus of 2500 points from my Barclaycard. Felt almost like they gave me 4500 points to stay in a nice room and drink all their wine from the executive lounge for free.

    Sure there will be people on here with much better and lavish stories of upgrades and redemptions but for someone still in the first few years of miles and points I was pretty pleased with this. thought I’d share as a lot of posts recently have been angry ones towards BA.

    • Genghis says:

      It’s good that you had a great experience. The Hilton Barclaycard is a great card as you get an almost instant benefit for hardly any effort. Barclaycard still seem to be offering the card. Does anyone have any further update?

      • razvan says:

        I just applied for my wife :), and she has been accepted. She already had a barclaycard platinum.

    • Andrew* says:

      Sometimes it’s just what suits you at the time. Just had a bog-standard Marriott room booking in London (room choice and pre paid so it met corporate travel policy price limits) and got upgraded to Superior Executive based on Plat/SPG/Marriott status.

      It’s still nothing fancy really but it’s still nice to get… and a benefit of playing the game as I don’t do anywhere near enough stays to obtain status that way…

  8. AA flights sound expensive per TP.

    Lack of 2,000 miles+ on domestic reduces the points.

    • where2travel says:

      You can get 2,000 mile domestics included though, eg my routing outbound includes PHL-PHX, I saw some slightly higher fares with JFK-LAX etc.

  9. where2travel says:

    You can route via HEL for £907. At least you can for SAT anyway. MAN-HEL-ORD-DFW-SAT for 600 TPs return.

    In the end I booked outbound MAN-PHL-PHX-SAT which pushed up the price a little but you can do that in one day with no overnight needed en route. I’m doing the return via HEL which has the advantage of a longer overnight compared to those very short, brutal east coast US to the UK overnights.

    You can also get some JFX-LAX routings in the mix too if you want to try the nice A321 cabins (and 140 TPs).

  10. GLA-DEN return in business is available to buy until 28 March for £1140-1240 – flights throughout the year.

    Unfortunately for Avios collectors, the AA route GLA-PHI is on the world’s worst business class – squishy seats like on the train!

    I have booked GLA-AMS-LAX-DEN with AMS-LAX on a KLM 747 and got seat 1A for £1330!

  11. Katy storie says:

    Do three flights have to be searched for and booked through AA? Can’t see prices anywhere near these on BA app?

    • Colin mackinnon says:

      I just use Google flights – easier than ITA Mateix for simple journeys.

      And a quick check on Skyscanner.

      That a confirmation on the airlines web site – for Denver it seems Google has wrong times!

  12. Nate1309 says:

    Do Hilton normally do a spring sale?

    • There have been a Hilton EMEA flash sale in March in the last couple of years. For some reason have not heard anything this year so far….I am waiting for it!

  13. OT – Does the Hilton AmEx offer £250 and get £50 back only apply to one stay or is it cumulative, i.e can I do multiple stays that add up to £250 or is it just one transaction of 250?

    • Nate1309 says:

      Previous comments would suggest it’s cumulative. The last Hilton offer with the different style sign up page was cumulative, it was £20 off £150, and I got it from 2 £80 bookings. Sure if it doesn’t track a message to AMEX customer services would get it sorted.

      • Thank you, another quick Q. I have Hilton Visa Card, but if I want to use my Amex offer, how can I trigger the 2500 points bonus with the card – do I just buy a kit kat whilst staying? how do they track that to a stay? If it is not tracked, can’t I just walk into any hilton and just buy a kit kat to trigger the bonus?

        • Tricky. You could try splitting the bill, nothing to lose.

        • Louise says:

          I’ve paid for dinner on my hilton card and didn’t get the bonus points, but i think bonus points tracking is pretty poor anyway

        • You can ask checkout (ideally when it’s quiet!) to put different amounts on different cards – I did that with the £50 off £250 offer. I’ve found the 2,500 pts very rarely post properly, but got decent compensation out of Barclaycard for that!

    • It’s cumulative – if it doesn’t post then just message Amex. Mine didn’t post and I messaged them – they apologised saying the 2nd one had been coded incorrectly on the system and they immediately applied the £50 credit.

  14. Might I suggest that when valuing points, it is not just the amount of points a night costs against the cost of a room that needs to be considered. If a room costs, say 100,000 points, or £500 at first it seems to be 0.5p value per point. But if you get 10,000 points for a cash booking, and can get an advance payment price less than the £500 lowest flexible rate, then the value is much lower. BUT; if you do not have to pay resort tax, then the value is higher, dependent on the tax.
    It is just not as simple as I first thought to value points. Bob, when you value points do you take all factors into consideration?
    Also, can you clarify if the Hilton will charge resort tax on the whole value, part value, or zero if paying part points part cash?
    Thanks for the great info week after week.

    • The new system was wiping off resort charges if you part paid with points but this may be a bug (probably is).

      Obviously points valuation is more complex but it is driven by personal circumstances – eg you may need a flexible room (so you compare with AdvP).

    • Hilton lurker on FT was very clear that zero taxes policy only applies to full points stays – sadly this is a devaluation cf previously when both all points and points+money didn’t have a charge. Hilton IT may still be a little flaky in implementation but they’re definitely only intending zero taxes to be on full redemptions.

  15. Bill Rimmer says:

    As a regular business class traveller to LIT (Little Rock) using mainly Avios through a variety of airports or using virgin miles, this offer looks too good to be true. The taxes alone are over £500.
    I can find flights for £1006 through the AA site but entering the same dates through BA, this comes out at £3000. However, there are some dates bookable with BA at the £1k level.
    Being a new reader of HFP (having been tipped off by a friend) and just collected a shed load of Avios by paying the tax man (thanks for that), I am curious as to how I can collect BA tiers and Avios if booking though the AA site? Or is that not simply possible?

  16. OT-MBNA Black Virgin Card.

    Not sure if this is typo but on Virgin website it states the bonus is 18.5 + 13.5 = 32K miles not 25K miles posted on March CC update page.

    • Genghis says:

      For me it says 18.5+6.5

      • This is the text I see.

        2. 18,500 bonus miles will be credited to your Flying Club account after your first card purchase, providing you use either of your cards within 90 days of your account opening and supply your Flying Club membership number to MBNA. A further 13,500 bonus miles will be credited to your account when you apply by 3 April 2017 and spend £3,000 on either card in the first 90 days of your account opening and supply your Flying Club membership number. Please allow six to eight weeks for bonus miles to be added to your account. Bonus miles are not awarded on balance transfers, money transfers or cash advances.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          yep strage i see the same but it says 25k in the main advert at the top

    • I’m still chasing the 13.5k remainder of my 32k bonus from my sign up in VS LGW CH back in Nov… They’ll get there in the end… 🙂

  17. will buying hilton points help with the status?

  18. O/T BA AMEX Companion Voucher question. My wife recently upgraded to the Premium Plus card from the basic card. She was on or just over £10000 spend. I have looked at her BA account tonight and noticed that the companion voucher is only valid for 12 months despite upgrading and paying the fee. I believed that when upgrading, the benefits of the platinum plus card applied i.e. 2 year companion voucher ?

    • OT, but Manchester-related…

      Have seen reference to Eurowings’ MAN-DUS service switching to Air Berlin.

      More Avios options for us in The Regions™ if this is the case….

    • Rashad says:

      I have spoken to a AmEx on this subject and they have confirmed that by upgrading to BAPC it will extend the logitovity of my companion voucher up to 2 years. I’m supposed to pay to upgrade next week and this is now worrying ….

      • I spoke with Amex last night and they have raised a job number and said that they will get back to me in 5 days. They initially said that it was a ba matter which I challenged saying that ba only put on the expiry date of the voucher what Amex tell them( hope that’s true. There may be two issues here, how much has been spent on the free ba card prior to upgrading to the premium plus card. ? if below £10,000 then you may qualify for the two year voucher when you hit £10000 spend when you have the premium card. If you have spent over £10,000 on the free card when applying for the premium plus card, you may only get a year’s companion voucher. I hope not. I will update on this thread with any news.

        • Agree – I can see there being an IT implementation glitch there exactly as you describe! Hopefully Amex CS will sort it out for you though, definitely should be 2y.

  19. Thanks for the info on AA flights from Manchester to San Antonio, was just about to book ba to Austin but for half the price and business rather than prem economy it’s a no brainer. Not only have I booked for April but just about to repeat the exercise for my next trip in August.