Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: American drops Manchester-New York, Emirates launches 50% off economy reward sale

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

News in brief:

American Airlines to drop Manchester to New York

American Airlines has confirmed that it is dropping its seasonal Manchester to New York service.  It will not be returning in March for the launch of the Spring timetable, with the last flight departing in late October.

I have reported on this rumour before.  I suggested at the time that British Airways may take it over, since the airline has better brand recognition out of Manchester – let’s see if it happens.  Virgin Atlantic took over the Delta service between Manchester and Atlanta for the same reason.

Manchester area residents are not short of options to New York.  Virgin, United and Thomas Cook will all still fly it.  There is no longer a oneworld option for earning Avios or BA tier points, however.

American has confirmed that it will continue to fly to Chicago and Philadelphia from Manchester.  The Chicago service will be upgraded to a Boeing 787 next year.

Emirates Skywards launches economy reward sale

Emirates is currently running a redemption sale.  You can save 50% on the usual number of Skywards miles required for a redemption in Economy in Saver class.  Full details are here on the Emirates website.

Seats must be booked by 9th September for travel between 1st October and 30th November.  You must book a return flight to get the discount.  Note that Gatwick and Manchester flights are not included.

Unfortunately, just as World Traveller redemptions are generally a very poor use of Avios points, economy redemptions are generally a bad use of Skywards miles.  However …. this sale covers the start of the peak Winter travel period to Dubai, including October half term, so you may actually get some value.

I did a dummy Economy booking from Heathrow to Dubai for mid November.  The flight came out as 22,500 miles plus £283 of taxes and charges.

You can usually get cash tickets down to Dubai for around £350, so even at 50% off this would not be great value for your miles.  This time, reward flights may be better value if you travel over the school holidays and you see cash prices at £500.  Another upside would be if you needed the flexibility to cancel.

Remember that Emirates is an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner and that your points will go across instantly once your accounts are linked.

All you need to know about the sale can be found on this page of the Emirates website.

How to earn Emirates Skywards miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Emirates Skywards miles from UK credit cards (February 2024)

Emirates Skywards does not have a UK credit card.  However, you can earn Emirates Skywards miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.

Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Emirates Skywards miles which is an attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Emirates Skywards mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.

Comments (50)

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

  • Bach says:

    OT – was asking about eurostar lounge entry restrictions a couple of days ago (thanks for the answers!). So was just let in St Pancras with amex plat 1h45 before train. They didn’t check my ticket so could have been anytime really.

  • hugo says:

    Am doing a night at Paris Le Grand using the free night voucher. Anyone know whether the breakfast comes remotely close to being worth the rather high price they charge for it – 45 euros!

    • JamesB says:

      No breakfast in any hotel anywhere worth €45 IMO. Would suggest a decent coffee and a pastry from a bakery and then a decent lunch someplace nice.

    • Evan says:

      There are some nice cafes nearby. Off Rue scribe in Edouard VII Square.

      • Rob says:

        Pay for lounge access instead – €140 per room if not Ambassador, €120 if you are (I think). You can’t have restaurant breakfast but you can get a lot of food and champagne all day in the lounge.

  • Anna says:

    OT. Unimpressed with the service in WT returning from GCM overnight (managed CW seats outbound so admittedly spoiled). For the first 3 hours all we got was a tiny portion of orange juice. After touching down in NAS service resumed but it was still nearly four hours before any kind of food was served – it was tomato pasta or chicken curry, with a cheesecake pudding. By this time it was 11 pm so not really what we fancied. Thankfully I had my usual stash stock of ham sandwiches. Then nothing else until an hour before we landed, when we got a croissant, cereal bar and a thimble of coffee. This was a (nearly) 12 hour flight and a standard economy ticket costs around £1000. Is this normal for BA these days?

    • JamesB says:

      We are flying to BKK next week but despite it being CW I’m planning on following your strategy with sandwiches etc. There has been too many reports of poor service and catering this year for my liking, and even my partner who is not a big eater felt starved given the portion sizes last time round.

  • Camille says:

    So the Emirates Economy redemption sale dates worked for a family trip I was planning anyway.

    Cash Price for the flights I wanted over October Half Term were coming to £494 each. I managed to bag the following for LHR-DXB-LHR (for 6 nights): –

    8 pax x 22,500 = 180k miles (instead of 360k)

    EK then wanted YQ (“Carrier Imposed Charges”) of £140 each OR I could elect to pay 16,250 miles per pax. Now, I would usually never take the latter option because its generally not the best use of mile. But I find the problem with EK redemptions in Biz or F are the crazy so called “taxes” – circa £700 – for a Business Class return to Dubai. To me that is a tax on the use of these miles….which is too heavy for my liking.

    So, this is what I did: –

    8 pax x 16,250 = 130k miles (instead of £1,120)….so, 0.86p per mile approx for that

    So I ended up with the family trip to Dubai over Half-Term for a total of 310k miles + £836 total (i.e.. APD, and various non-YQ charges. Total cash outlay of £104.50

    I’m smiling I got a good deal…..I hope others agree!?

    • Camille says:

      £104.50 per person that is


    • JamesB says:

      If it’s a good deal for you Camille it is a good deal regardless of what others might think or do differently. The good/right deal is very much dependent on personal circumstances and can vary over time for the same person.

  • Camille says:

    Fair point JamesB. I just wondered what others thought.

    I still have about 100k EK miles left and will likely collect more via the mbna cards (as long as they last!)…..but Emirates for me will be similar redemptions in Economy going forward.

    I am more looking forward to collecting AA miles on the £1/1.25 miles Visa I recently got thanks to this site pointing out the recent 15k intro bonus. And then using them on Etihad redemptions in C, as I gather those do not attract ridiculous YQ.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.