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Bits: I’m flying a Boeing 747-8i today, Lufthansa UK deals, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and miles

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News in brief:

The future of the Boeing 747-8i

Today I will be flying a Boeing 747-8i via Lufthansa for the first and possibly last time, on my way to New York.

The 747-8i – a stretched version of the 747-4 with a longer upper deck – has been a huge commercial failure with only three airlines ordering the passenger version.  Given that the other two are Air China and Korean Air, Lufthansa seemed the best chance of giving it a go.

At almost six metres longer than the Airbus A340-600, it is the longest passenger airline in operation.  The failure of the programme is part of the general trend away from larger aircraft which has also hit the A380, but the latter has sold better due to having a modern design rather than being based on a 40-year old lineage.

There have only been 47 orders for the 747-8 passenger version.  Lufthansa has taken 19 (all delivered), Korean Air has 10 (nine delivered) and Air China 7 (all delivered).  The rest are destined for the business jet / VIP market.

If you are very lucky, you may get to spot a Boeing 747-8 at Heathrow.  From 26th March, one of the two daily Heathrow services operated by Korean Air has switched to a 747-8i.  This is the first time that the aircraft has been used at Heathrow.

I found this article from Routes News interesting and worth a read if you have five minutes.  It looks at the future – or not – of both the A380 and B747-8 programmes.  This Wikipedia article gives you a decent rundown on the whole Boeing 747-8 programme.

Lufthansa 747-8

Special Lufthansa deals from UK to Japan

Speaking of Lufthansa ….. if our recent Japan coverage has encouraged you to visit this summer, Lufthansa has launched a good business class sale for UK departures.  Click here for details.

These prices are not as low as, say a Qatar Airways sale but you are do get to fly from the UK without positioning in Europe.  Lufthansa has connections from many regional airports to Frankfurt so you may also get to avoid Heathrow.

The headline prices is £1799 return to Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo or Nagoya.

There are also similar deals around £1799 to Dubai, Seoul and various cities in India.  Other Asian destinations are a touch over £2000 return.

You must book by 23rd June for travel between 23rd July and 31st August.  Full terms are on the Lufthansa website here.

Miles & More partners with Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Car rental groups have generally been strong partners with frequent flyer schemes, but for some reason Enterprise Rent-A-Car has never fully embraced this.

The Enterprise Rent-A-Car UK website only shows Flying Blue (KLM, Air France) and – oddly – airberlin – as mileage earning partners.

Enterprise has recently launched a deal with Lufthansa Miles & More, however.   You will usually earn 500 miles per rental but, until the end of July, this is tripled to 1,500 Miles & More miles per rental.

Details are on the Miles & More website here.

How to get FREE car rental status and other benefits via UK credit cards (September 2023)

If you hire a car in the UK, you can get special benefits (discounts, upgrades, free additional drivers etc) if you have elite status with a car rental programme. You can get elite status for free via certain American Express cards.

The Platinum Card and American Express Business Platinum

The Platinum Card from American Express and American Express Business Platinum come with two free car hire status cards. Your supplementary Platinum cardholder can also receive status in their own right.

From Avis, you receive President’s Club status in Avis Preferred. This gets you up to 25% off standard rates, a free additional driver and a guaranteed one class upgrade. For weekend rentals you will receive a two class upgrade, subject to availability.

From Hertz, you receive ‘Five Star’ status in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards. This gets you up to 15% off standard rates, a free additional driver and a one class upgrade, subject to availability.

Hertz also offers Platinum cardholders a 4 hour grace period on rentals. Your final day is treated as 28 hours, so a 1pm pick up with a 5pm return the following day is only charged as one day, not two days. We wrote about the Hertz / Platinum 4 hour grace period here.

The Platinum Card also comes with full car hire insurance with no obligation to pay for the rental via American Express. You can refuse any attempts to sell you additional insurance at pick up. This benefit has substantial value if you rent on a regular basis.

You can find more details on the two Platinum cards, and apply, in our full reviews:

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is an excellent card in its own right. You receive 20,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up (convert to 20,000 Avios amongst other things), four airport lounge passes and £120 of Deliveroo credit. Even better, your first year is free.

There are two car rental benefits:

  • you receive Preferred Plus status in Avis Preferred
  • you receive a special package with Hertz – 10% off best available rates at participating locations, a one class upgrade for rentals of 5 days or more, subject to availability, and no additional driver fees

Find out more about the benefits of American Express Preferred Rewards Gold, and apply, in our review:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

Comments (85)

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

  • Genghis says:

    Staying at the Conrad in New York, Rob?

  • Robbie says:

    OT. Have spent 5k on the black Virgin card, am I right in the fact I have to wait to my anniversary date before getting my upgrade voucher? Any way of getting it early? TIA

    • Alex W says:

      Yes anniversary. But the companion voucher posts after 7.5k spend.

    • Doug M says:

      I sent £5K too, and had a line on my Flying Club statement indicating this. I assume that’s just a confirmation I’ll get the voucher rather than the voucher itself?

  • Matt says:

    Awardwallet tells me I have a companion voucher now (Black VA Amex&Visa spend), but I can’t see it on the VA site. How do I use it – only by calling the VA booking centre?

  • Ben E says:

    Heading to Korea next month… likely to be KA… any idea which flight of the day will be the 747 vs the A380? Would prefer A380 to be honest

    • Genghis says:

      KE? Have a look on Expedia to see the scheduled aircraft type if it’s not clear from the KE website.

    • Rob says:

      It will show during booking, even if the KA website doesn’t then Expedia etc will show the aircraft type.

  • Concerto says:

    Have found that car rental bonuses almost never post at M&M. They just refer you back to the rental company, who just stonewall, send you back to M&M or say it has already been credited. Can’t be bothered with this time wasting. So I totally ignore these rental car bonus offers. (Last experience was with Europcar in February).

  • Andrew M says:

    Virgin really trying to stick it to BA.

    “If you’ve booked a long haul flight directly with British Airways (ie on or via their direct contact centre) within the last 24 hours, you’re still in their ‘cooling off period’ which means you can cancel your flight at no extra cost.

    We will match the route and dates of your original booking, and give you £50 off our quoted fare.”

    “But don’t hang around. This red hot offer is only available from 00:01 Tuesday 13 June until 23:59 Thursday 15 June.”

    • Rob says:

      It’s like the spirit of the VS of old is returning!

      • Simon Schus says:

        It is possible to do this with a VS mileage ticket. They don’t give you the £50 – because of the taxes – but they do refund 2000 points per person after you make the booking. For a peak booking (e.g. 20000 points), this would price up at 18000 points. For an off-peak booking (e.g. 10000 points) this would price up at 8000 points. I did this from a revenue BA ticket earlier. It seems a nice little rebate especially at the 10000 off-peak price point. This is per person on the booking, not per ticket

    • Alex W says:

      A bolf offer, but £50 doesn’t sound like much of a discount off a long haul flight.

    • Fenny says:

      But Virgin don’t go to anywhere I’d book on BA! Can they match a flight to Canananada? If so, I’ll book & cancel with BA!

      • Relaxo says:

        They will find you a seat on Delta. Remember the offer is not a price match though

  • ahop says:

    OT: United Mileage Plus Miles – bar the credit card, any other way to accumulate these? I am keen to make use of the 15k routes around the Pacific.

  • Ammar says:

    Advice please – Thinking of using my Hilton Rewards night voucher in London for my wife’s b’day, can anyone suggest which would be the best one to use it at – my initial thought was Conrad ST James as neither of us have stayed there but wasn’t sure re park Lane or Trafalgar?


    • Ammar says:

      Ps. I have Diamond Status at Hilton so I presume I get benefits

    • LB says:

      Ammar – I had the same choice last year and decided to stay at the Hilton Park Lane last October. I’m also Diamond and whilst the room itself was ok, the club lounge was a bit of a letdown. Very average food/drinks but more importantly, the lounge itself needed a good clean and a lick of paint. Chipped walls, steamed up windows (also in the room) made it look shabby. Added to this were the multitude of various loud, barefoot, rude “businessmen” sprawled out across chairs and generally being obnoxious. That said – I enjoyed Trader Vics for cocktails! I’ll try the Conrad next time.

      • Ammar says:

        Thank you, thats very helpful. Going for Conrad then it seems!

        • Cate says:

          Agree with LB on the tiredness of the Exec lounge, plus our suite could do with a bit of an upgrade. Self parking is 50 pounds a day if driving in.

    • Rob says:

      Go Conrad ( or Trafalgar if you’re young) – but Conrad has a good lounge, see my review.

    • pauldb says:

      Also recommend the Conrad after a night there in April. Very nice lounge offering. And found it pretty easy to park there if relevant (free Sat pm and Sunday).

    • Olly says:

      We did the Waldorf this weekend with my wife’s certificate and Conrad St James in February with mine. Both very good but the Waldorf had it for location whereas Conrad had the edge on the room but I prefer the contemporary style of CStJ. Saying that we were upgraded to an exec suite in the W but just exec room in Conrad so it’s a bit Apple’s and pears I know but the Waldorf might have just pipped it on location. Both exec lounges are great if you have elite status.

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

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