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.
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:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 20,000 Emirates Skywards miles. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with four free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 40,000 Emirates Skywards miles
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 10,000 Emirates Skywards miles. This card is FREE for life.
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.