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Bits: last call for these offers, first World of Hyatt promo, $75m slot sale

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News in brief:

Many decent offers closing today, 31st March

We’ll be running our fortnightly ‘offers closing soon’ article over the weekend.  There are a slug of good deals which finish TODAY, however, and I wanted to highlight a few in case you still want to jump in.

If you want to redeem Avios points on Air Malta or Aurigny, today is your last day – Article

It is the last day to buy some shirts from Charles Tyrhwitt and earn 8 Avios per £1 – Article

It is the last day to earn 13,200 Avios with an Economist subscription – Article

It is the last day to earn bonus Avios booking hotels with Agoda PointsMAX, for stays by 30th June – Article

It is the last day to earn 50% bonus Virgin miles with a hotel booking – Article

It is the last day to buy easyJet Plus membership before the price rises – Article

World of Hyatt

‘World of Hyatt’ launches its first promotion

Hyatt Gold Passport relaunched as World of Hyatt a few weeks ago.  I have just finished a comprehensive two-part article on the new scheme which will run over Easter and will explain what I think are the strengths and weaknesses.

In the meantime, registration is now open for the first World of Hyatt promotion.  It is a little underwhelming, to be honest.

My gut feeling with Hyatt is that, with Starwood now out of the picture, they are content to be a follower and not a leader.  When your competitors consolidate and become less aggressive, you have two choices – become more aggressive yourself to try to win share from them, or choose to coast in their shadow and ease off the gas.  Hyatt seems to be doing the latter.

Called ‘Double Points for Being You’, it is a simple offer.  You will receive double World of Hyatt base points on all stays between 1st April and 30th June, starting with your second stay.

I would have preferred to see double points on all stays, to be honest – it does nothing to encourage a booking for a light stayer, or someone who is rarely near a Hyatt (they only have 700 hotels globally, after all).  You need to register in advance via this page.


SAS sells Heathrow slots for $75m

Via Business Traveller comes news that Scandinavian airline SAS has sold two of its 19 Heathrow slot pairs for $75m between them.

The buyer is unknown.  As SAS will remain in situ for three years, it is presumably a carrier who does not currently have the necessary aircraft.  As Heathrow slots will become worthless when the third runway opens, it is almost certainly a long-haul airline and one that believes it can sell enough seats each day to recover the investment over 10 years or so.

My money would be on Etihad.   Their three daily Heathrow departures do not match the scale of their ambitions, although the airline is currently making financial cutbacks elsewhere.

Qatar?  As a major BA shareholder and codeshare partner they could simply do a deal to lease additional slots from BA.

Emirates?  Add in the Qantas codeshare flights and the fact that they are ‘all A380’ and you must assume they are at the limits of what they need – unless they want to switch the Gatwick services across.

Virgin?   They already have spare slots at Heathrow which are leased out, some to IAG IIRC

Delta?  As above, given they are a 49% Virgin shareholder

AA?  Same as with Qatar, I am sure BA could come to some arrangement for less than $75m.  In any event, the slots are probably not early morning landing slots as they are more expensive (Oman Air paid $75m for ONE pair of early morning landing rights last year).

Cathay?  They are in financial difficulties and unlikely to be doubling down on Heathrow – although they could move their Gatwick flight over.

We will find out in time.  Prices like these make it clear that British Airways got an amazing deal when it bought bmi British Midland, and that the Star Alliance airlines were foolish not to come together to buy it and divvy up the slots between themselves.

Comments (61)

  • Scallder says:

    OT re IHG Barclaycard – following on from someone else who mentioned on here that they got in touch with the Executive Office to make a complaint about the closing of the card and not being able to hit the £10k for the free night, I emailed them asking fot compensation.

    I received a letter from them yesterday saying they were rejecting the complaint and would not be paying anything on top of the pro-rata refund in May, and that that was their final decision.

    Given Rob mentioned the call centre were seemingly paying out £25 per £1k of spend, I presume that it would be an easy win if going to the ombudsman (or whoever else it may be) given that Barclaycard have taken a different outcome with others? Has anyone else been declined compensation and had it over turned at all?

    • Rob says:

      You either got a bad agent or Barclaycard is running scared after paying out thousands to HFP readers over the last month.

      if you were working towards the voucher then you are 99% certain to win a compensation claim given that, by paying others, the bank has already accepted the case.

  • Stuart says:

    Personally I think this is the best reward you can get for booking a hotel, when you take the lower Avios rate. We have it sometimes on a work reward gateway thingy. To get Avios AND the extremely good Hotels(dot)com rewards is great value. Just check they are not more expensive, as they can be sometimes, or not “sold out” when available on other sites.

  • Fenny says:

    Reading the article headline, I wasn’t sure whether HfP readers were likely to bid $75m for the Heathrow slots. It wouldn’t surprise me if they did!

  • pr99 says:

    Is it possible to sale and ease back slots. Sell your slots for $75m and then lease them back for $Xm a year with maybe an option to rebuy. Could be an innovative piece of asset based finance particularly if you have losses so any capital gain on selling the slot would not involve a tax outflow.

    • Rob says:

      BA tried to issue a bond secured on its Heathrow slots a couple of years ago but they couldn’t get it away.

      • Howard says:

        Virgin Atlantic international is a seperate airline with its own AOC which was set up to hold the Heathrow slots of its parent company virgin Atlantic. A £235M bond was then taken out becoming the first bond secured on airport slots. It should be pointed out that the total value of the slot holding of ba/ virgin is much less than the sum of its parts since they will be unlikley to find buyers at a high price for all slots

  • Michael says:

    The Hyatt promo is so underwhelming it makes you wonder why they even bothered!
    And you have to opt-in.
    I was considering booking a stay in a Hyatt next month for a few days but this has annoyed me so much that I’ve actually changed my mind, I’ll be booking elsewhere.

  • Liz says:

    OT does anyone know roughly when the off peak dates will be for May 2018 – this year is the last few days of May into early June – will it likely be the same again next year?

    • Rob says:

      They only seem to be releasing the dates 355 days in advance ….

    • wally1976 says:

      School half-term is 26th May to 3rd June so (based on this year), I would expect that will be peak and any other dates around there will be off-peak. No guarantees though!

  • the real harry1 says:

    Why will the 3rd runway render Heathrow slots worthless? Less valuable, I’d readily accept

    • Callum says:

      That was puzzling me a bit. To become worthless the runway would have to add so much more capacity that any airline that wants to fly from Heathrow can fly as often as they’d like. I’d also imagine demand in 13 years time, if it’s even finished by then, will be much higher than now anyway.

      Are there any projections for how many new slots would be created?

      • the real harry1 says:

        Raffles may mean that although there may be – say – 35% more slots, the monopoly/ duopoly/ slot ownership advantage may be broken – there will be enough slots available & not 100% takers to ensure you can always join in

        Don’t agree, if that is the premise

        • the real harry1 says:

          gets I before
          or even 50% more slots

        • Rob says:

          The slot allocation is already agreed I think – or, at least, it is agreed that BA does not get anything like its proportional share and that new entrants will be prioritised. This is probably good as BA would simply pull out of Gatwick overnight if it got enough new Heathrow slots, which would have meant 15 years of unbelievable disruption would have achieved nothing except leave Gatwick bankrupt and BA with an indentical route network to what it has now.

          • Howard says:

            I don’t think slots will be worthless when the new runway is built, especially if they are morning or even afternoon slots. (I believe currently slot values go down in value on a straight line basis depending on time of day). Additionally, if new slots are given on a pro rata basis to existing slot holders (except ba), then 2 slots will become 3 when the new runway is ready.

  • Tracy says:

    O/T I just received 50 Avios in my Avios account for “super boost app download bonus”. Not sure what it’s for but not complaining 🙂 (2400 coming my away for actual super boost too)

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