Bits: 2400 Avios with Tesco Mobile, Qatar Airways launches Cardiff!

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News in brief:

2,400 Avios with a new Tesco Mobile phone

If you’re looking for a, possibly spare or second, mobile phone, Tesco Mobile has a new offer.  Buy any of these six phones and you will receive 1,000 bonus Clubcard points, worth 2,400 Avios or 2,500 Virgin Flying Club miles.

The phones start at £69.  I’m not an expert on this but there might be some eBay resale potential here too.  Full details are in this Shopper Points article.

Alcatel Pop 4

Qatar Airways to launch services from Cardiff Wales Airport

Qatar Airways had promised the announcement of a “ground-breaking experience for passengers” at Arabian Travel Market this week, but I don’t think anyone was prepared for something this ground-breaking.

Qatar Airways is launching services from Cardiff Wales Airport in 2018.  Cardiff joins San Francisco, Kiev and Lisbon among 12 new cities earmarked for services.  There is no word of whether the Welsh Assembly has oiled the wheels with a route support deal or what aircraft type will be used.  Qatar does occasionally use short-haul planes for connections from second-tier airports.

Qatar Airways is, of course, a oneworld partner airline which means that you can earn and redeem Avios points, and earn British Airways tier points, when flying with Qatar.

Anyone expecting exceptionally cheap deals may be disappointed though.  The Qatar / British Airways partnership deal, under which the two airlines share the revenue from services on both airlines between the UK and Doha, may well restrict the ability to discount to the levels we have seen in Europe.

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

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  1. As somebody who used to fly from Cardiff at every opportunity (including Cardiff to Paris weekly when BA had the route with a Monday 7am flight), this is welcome news – provided you live close by. The only thing required now is a new road linking the airport to the M4.

    I do agree however that it is a rather strange move unless of course the Qataris have some inside info on Wales qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

    • the real harry1 says:

      or are Qatar/ Etihad/ Emirates all now looking for innovative ways to fill their planes? (since they ordered so many)

    • Nate1309 says:

      I agree a link road from the M4 would be good. Very exciting for CWL though.

  2. RIcatti says:

    Part of the broader investment commitment of Qatar state to the UK.

  3. Cheap layover in Lisbon for a day or two could be a useful starting point for an OZ/NZ trip if you’re not pushed for time.

    I’ve heard rumours of another Qatar sale coming up soon……

    • I hope they do something for the single or odd numbered of travellers. We are a family of three and we rarely travel as a two !

      Wife went direct long haul on her own to Asia for some lunatic reason to save cash and regretted it after boarding. She didn’t want to go ex EU but has apparently now changed her mind. It didn’t help that between her booking and flying Etihad ran a 30% off sale on that route and business was available for just over £1150 !

      • Tally, l seem to recall that QR often run their sales alternatively. Either as 241! On fare part only, or just single tickets. We got three at one point. It may have been via an OTA but they do have them. Depends if it suits your holiday planning. We can be flexible on travel dates.
        We are waiting for a sale soon now for new booking.

      • NigelM says:

        I’m sure I read their latest ex-eu prices were for between 2-9 travellers…? I’d imagine they mostly want to exclude lone business travellers spending company money rather than odd numbers.

  4. James A says:

    What Qatar announce and what they actually end up doing can be two very different things sadly. I’ll believe it when it’s on the ground.

  5. Welcome the news from Qatar for people living in the south west of the UK !!!
    It’s often forgotten that we all don’t live near London

    • Welcome from the North of Scotland. Cardiff _is_ near London.

    • It will save us in the South West around 40 minutes to go via Cardiff.

      Exeter to Cardiff Airport by road:-
      Via M5 and M4
      126.2 miles (show in km)
      2 hrs 11 mins

      Exeter to Heathrow
      Via M5 and M4
      186.9 miles (show in km)
      2 hrs 56 mins

      Someone is paying for Qatar to fly from Cardiff, it would of made more sense for them to fly from Bristol.

      • Peter K says:

        I know an Adam from the South West near Exeter. You’ll know who I am from my name of you’re him 🙂

        • Yeah someone is paying for this Cardiff service. I

          I have always wanted BRS to have a ME3 service probably with a 787. It just makes sense as most people from Bristol travel to London for good flights.

          Bristol has a wealthy population with lots of people with disposable income, and I think a lot more than the Cardiff area, though I could be mistaken.

          Everyone says BRS runway is too short, but its 6600 FT long, that must be long enough for a 787-8 ?

          • From what I can see from “Google” the 787 needs a runway 8,326 ft long. I can’t see how they can fill a 787 from Cardiff, I would of thought it would be an A320.

          • Adam says:

            This video shows Bristol can take a B787.

  6. Great news about Cardiff however the anti competitive agreements with BA and the lack of fares at levels see from thevrestbifbthevEU is bad news for customers. Sadly typical in the U.K. Where the consumer seems to ignored no matter the service masquerading as competitive. Energy travel or almost any thing else,

    • callum says:

      Yes, that’s just a UK thing, it doesn’t happen in every single country on the planet…

  7. the real harry1 says:
    • They might find that families with children are suddenly not so keen to take an 8-12 hour flight to the US without an iPad or other tablet…

      • Or those families, and business people, may decide to travel on a US airline which isn’t affected by the ban 😉
        Handy for their profits 😉

        • the real harry1 says:

          they can hardly say it won’t apply to US carriers 🙂

          I think it’s inevitably going to happen soon – airlines will keep some ‘loan’ iPads on board to tide kids/ adults over the journey, I guess

          • There are no flights on US airlines from those destinations. All of the countries in ‘dodgy regions’ served by US carriers are excluded from the ban. Funny that.

        • This could be their secret protectionism plan for their US carriers. But l understood its from destination based anyway. So quite possibly many of their own US based flights won’t be affected.

          • Destination based, based on destinations not served by US airlines.

            At Abu Dhabi, for example, they have US pre-clearance. Security is done by US officials in the same way as it is in Dublin. How can the US, with a straight face, say that this is unsafe?

            And the UK isn’t banning flights from the UAE or Qatar because they are our mates.

            And the rest of Europe isn’t banning anyone.

            It seems difficult to see any other explanation than a) the US is acting purely for political reasons, b) the UK is acting purely to keep in with Trump – but carving out the UAE / Qatar because they are our mates and c) the rest of Europe doesn’t believe a word of it and has no interest in sucking up to Trump purely for the sake of it.

          • JamesB says:

            Their position will always be that US-based carriers have stricter security checks. This is farcical in itself, I once got on a flight out of SFO when I accidently presented an expired passport with a corner snipped off, they didn’t notice and neither did I until I was putting it away. Anothef time I got a gate area bag inspection and the guy stood looking at a razor for about a minute like it was something from another planet he had never seen before. It’s been obvious from the outset the laptop ban was driven by commercial and political, as opposed to security, considerations. The funniest part is that they did not seem to perceive how easily and quickly the ME3 would respond to the ban.

      • JamesB says:

        I read someplace in the past week that vusitors numbers to USA have alread been declining.

  8. Genghis says:

    OT. All my points from Q1 Accelerate have now posted including the 1.5k for using my IHG credit card at an IHG hotel (stay in Jan). Had to chase twice and they said that it was a “mistake on [their] end”

  9. Alex W says:

    OT but Qatar. I’ve got a 7 hour layover in Doha coming up in the middle of their night. What am I entitled to? Probably no point getting a visa to go outside the airport at that time.of night.

  10. The Original Nick says:

    Also depends if there’s another flight within that layover or on that day AFAIK.

    • Prins Polo says:

      There are quiet rooms in the back of the lounge good for chilling (there is a sofa but no bed). I’d personally go to the airport spa where you can use a gym or the swimming pool for something like £30.

  11. Cardiff to Amsterdam & the whole world opens up.
    Not sure if a direct flight is needed – as its not really a huge catchment area, unless they put a ferry terminal close to the airport & ferry people from the South West.

    • JamesB says:

      +1, that was my initial thoughts, now first choice for me exEDI. Reasonable premium fares, enough FB miles for a European flight, frequent departures from EDI so short transits at AMS which remains one of the best transit airports. Overall shorter journey times to my destinations, decent sleep on flat bed, reasonable services, no unsociable middle of night transits, and no need to support States with politics I generally feel uncomfortable with.

      • Callum says:

        Aren’t charges on Flying Blue redemptions horrifically high? I’ve not looked for several years now so maybe it’s changed?

        • For longhaul I didn’t find them that much worse than BA, but for short-haul the lack of RFS certainly makes a difference. Ideally I want to use my remaining points during one of their promo periods and that’ll normally get you 25% off the miles required for business.

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