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Bits: Irish Independent 18,000 Avios vouchers arriving, Which? names the best UK airports

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News in brief:

18,000 Avios for £146 – vouchers arriving

Last week I wrote about a great deal for subscribing to the digital version of the Irish Independent newspaper – click here.  You don’t need to live in Ireland to take part.

You would receive 18,000 Avios points for taking out a €160 (£146) digital subscription.

It wasn’t clear how long the voucher to redeem the Avios points would take to arrive.  The company running the offer was saying 21-28 days.  However, the first batch – for people who signed up on the 22nd – arrived yesterday, so it only took 8 days.

The Irish Independent deal is still running if you want to jump in now that it is clear it is working as expected, not that I ever doubted it would.

Irish Independent digital offer

Which? on the best London airports

Which? magazine has released its latest airport passenger survey.  For those people who giggled when I wrote about how pleasant I found Southend Airport last year, it has been named the ‘Best Airport in the UK’ .

The results for the London airports are actually in line with my own views, except for London City which I find overrated.  The score below is based on feedback from Which? readers across a number of categories such as staff friendliness and helpfulness, baggage reclaim, seating, toilets, and queues at security and passport control.

London Southend – 82%

London City – 68%

Heathrow Terminal 5 – 61%

Heathrow Terminal 2 – 57%

Gatwick South – 52%

Heathrow Terminal 3 – 52%

Heathrow Terminal 4 – 52%

Gatwick North – 51%

London Stansted – 38%

London Luton – 29%

London Luton was named ‘Britain’s Worst Airport’ out of 31 UK terminals surveyed, with passengers marking it down for queues, overcrowding and lack of seating.

Outside London, the top rated airport was Doncaster Sheffield.

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

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

Comments (81)

  • Paul says:

    I signed up for the Independent deal on the 28th and got the voucher yesterday – so pretty quick. On redemption, it says that the Avios will be credited “within 5 days”.


    • Howard says:

      My wife would not agree re London City. Last week she did Nice to London City in Club on points. Plane landed on time and she was out of airport within 15 mins and home (Gants Hill) 40 mins after leaving the plane. For European flights it’s our favourite.

      • John says:

        LCY arrivals is great, departures not so great but bearable if it’s your nearest airport.

        • Tom says:

          You should try having Leeds Bradford as your local airport. Painfully dated, portakabins for check in / departure, high prices, awful passport control and limited space!

          • Michael Jennings says:

            I am usually through security at LCY about 40 minutes after stepping out my front door, and 15 minutes of that is walking to the tube station. Getting home is even faster. This makes it my favourite airport by far, but that’s a function of where it is compared to where I live.

      • Quark999 says:

        I manage that from Heathrow T5 and T2, living near Slough. Just because there are more people living near London City in my mind doesn’t make it a better *airport*.

        • Gavin says:

          An hour from T5, wheels down to my house in Reading, including collecting the car from Purple Parking.

  • ashey says:

    Great find.They say the points will be deposited in the account.Can you explain how to move the points between BA and avios and Iberia and avios

    • MarkH says:

      When redeeming the voucher you just enter your BAEC details and they will get deposited directly there.
      Think you could also put Iberia details (although I didn’t pay much attention to that)

    • Stu_N says:

      If you have an account, you can use the “Transfer Avios” tool on It’s under “Your Account” tab. You can move points freely between BA, Iberia and Avios. It’s actually reliable, unlike the BA and Iberia versions. Points can be moved into or out of Avios and they move immediately. You may need to log out and back in to see them though.

    • Genghis says:

      You can transfer avios between BA / Avios and Iberia using the “Combine my Avios” on each portal. Most people find the one much more stable.

  • Andy says:

    City is very convenient, yes dose get overcrowded at peak times such as Friday evening. However it still only takes 5 to 10 mins to get through security.

  • Mr(s) Entitled says:

    Why not reveal more about airports outside London?

    • Rob says:

      Because I was only given the London list!

      • Tim Millea says:

        Yes, the London blinkered-vision does grate somewhat.

        “best UK airports” in the title than just a list of London airports without explanation.

        Must try harder.

        • Clive says:

          yes, this gives the impression that the London airports handle the bulk of passengers/traffic and are therefore of more interest to more people – how outrageous!

          • Colin JE says:

            I suspect this has come from the PR dept of Southampton airport as they are not actually on top of the list by any means. Either that or the London newspapers just cherry picked the results for London readers.
            Which? has its list behind a paywall or for members only. They split the airports into large and small. They rated airports by
            Queues for bag drop, Queues at passport control, Queues at Security, Baggage reclaim, Seating, Toilets, Range of shops and food outlets – giving a total customer % score.
            Here’s the large airports list from
            Birmingham 61%
            Heathrow T5 61%
            Heathrow T2 57%
            Edinburgh 56%
            Manchester T2 53%
            Gatwick South 52%
            And at the bottom:
            London Stanstead 38%
            Luton 29%

            For small airports it’s:
            Doncaster Sheffield 87%
            London Southend 84%
            Norwich 75%
            Southampton 75%
            Exeter 71%
            And at the bottom:
            Leeds Bradford 52%
            Aberdeen 44%

  • Sam says:

    If I cancel the subscription after I receive the avios will the avios be taken back?

    • Rob says:

      You can’t cancel, so £145 is a sunk cost. You certainly don’t need to renew it though.

  • Stu_N says:

    OT: Do hotel statuses via Amex Platinum renew automatically or do you need to reapply for them every year? And when do they run out (most interested in SPG and Melia, have bookings in Feb/Mar with those chains). Thanks!

    • Rob says:

      They usually roll over but occasionally Amex and the hotel company don’t talk to each other. If a downgrade occurs, just fill in the form again and you will be re-upgraded.

    • Genghis says:

      Each chain has different expiry rules. I renewed SPG in June / July time and it expires 28 Feb 19. Can’t access Melia data currently.

    • Stu N says:

      Thanks, should be fine then. Melia is a BA holiday so in theory shouldn’t recognise status but they have done so 3/3 is the past.

      Is it safe to assume Marriott Gold will remain as long as I am SPG Gold? Have a reward stay with them too. Their “book before you have the points” is quite a thing isn’t it?

      • Scallder says:

        Marriott Gold should be fine – at least I’m hoping so. Have had SPG gold extended through until Feb 19, so if can get it through until Feb 20 at some point next year, hopefully, the Marriott one will last that long too…

        Agree on the booking without points – have done that for a Hotel + Flights package for April, so hoping there’s a hotel conversion bonus for Alaska Mileage Plan before then…

  • Kathy says:

    OT: can someone who has Ambassador check the weekend rate for use with the free night certificate at the IC Sydney for me? Need to do my sums to work out if it’s worthwhile getting Ambassador (using points). I think I know what the rate is but always good to double-check!

    • Cate says:

      What date?

    • Rob says:

      Might help if you shared the dates 🙂

      • Kathy says:

        D’oh! Being especially stupid this morning.

        3rd-4th March 2018.


        • Rob says:

          Main IC – King Standard City $497.50, all the way through to King Club Harbour Suite at $867.50

          • Colin JE says:

            Hi Rob
            Where did you check this please? I couldn’t get the link for IC Ambassador rates to work the other day.

          • Rob says:


          • Kathy says:

            Thanks, Rob!

            For the room I’m looking at (King Club City side) it looks like signing up for Ambassador using 32000 points would save me £302, compared to paying the Advance purchase IHG rate for 2 nights for the same room. Sounds pretty good to me.

            I’d be adding a redemption night and a couple of night in a Standard king room to that and crossing my fingers that they let me stay in the same room.

  • Rob Brown says:

    Having travelled extensively across Europe, Asia, America and Africa I think that you are being unfair to London Luton – I would say it is the wrost airport in the world not simply the UK and I am including several that are simply huts next to a strip of tarmac!!

    • Pangolin says:

      Come back to us when you’ve flown from Pakse airport in Southern Laos!

      Trust me, there is a long way down from LTN if you include the rest of the world.

      • Cat says:

        I have to say, having flown around a few regional airports in Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, India, Kenya, Tanzania, the Brazilian Amazon and the Pantanal, amongst many others, my absolute most hated airport is Newark. Awful place, nowhere zaps my holiday buzz faster!

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