You may remember my day out at London Southend Airport last year.
I had decided it was about time I checked out London’s fifth (or sixth, see comments!) airport and I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. It is a fairly quick train ride from Liverpool Street or Stratford, the station is literally next to the terminal, the terminal itself is pleasantly free of passengers and there is even an executive lounge.
If you’ve never flown from it, here is an opportunity.
Flybe is launching flights to Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin on 29th October. These will be operated by Stobart Air.
The new services to Manchester and Dublin will operate up to three times daily, with Glasgow up to twice daily from Sunday to Friday. I had a quick look and fares are very reasonable.
Flights can be booked at flybe.com here. Remember that you will earn Avios on these flights because they are marketed by Flybe. Full details of how to earn Avios with Flybe can be found here.
You will also be able to spend Avios on these services.
How do I get a free flight?
Flybe / Stobart Air is offering 1,000 free flights across these routes to passengers who currently fly from Heathrow or Gatwick to Manchester, Glasgow or Dublin.
The catch is that you need to have travelled on a flight to any of these destinations which departed 30 minutes late.
What does ’30 minutes late’ mean?
It isn’t fully clear. The rules, as you will see below, say that your flight must have departed 30 minutes late.
In this case, it is easy to be creative. Make a claim based on the ‘wheels up’ time rather than the time the plane left the gate. Pretty much every flight from Heathrow doesn’t get to ‘wheels up’ within 30 minutes of the stated departure time ……
How do I claim?
Here are the instructions:
“The offer is for passengers whose flights have been delayed 30 mins or more from London Heathrow or London Gatwick flying to either Manchester, Glasgow or Dublin, starting from Monday 14 August 2017.
The first 1000 eligible passengers who contact London Southend Airport will be able to claim a ticket and the offer will run until 30 September 2017. The flights will be from 29 October 2017.
Each qualifying passenger to email a copy of the boarding pass to firstname.lastname@example.org noting the time the flight eventually left.
Successful customers will be sent voucher codes to book the free flights in October.”
Full details are on the Southend Airport website here. If you want to book a flight for cash for travel from 29th October, you can do so on the Flybe site.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2024)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.