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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)

  • richard says:

    Sorry – O/T – any other HFP readers STILL waiting for the Marriott bonus 1000 Avios to be credited?
    Anyone i can ring/email?
    Thanks.

    • Anna says:

      Still waiting. I have emailed them 3 times (there are contact details on their website), they keep saying it’s a BA IT issue.

  • Tom says:

    I contacted their customer service email in an attempt to cancel the auto-renew and was told I had to wait until “the end of your subscription”

  • Anna says:

    OT – BA fees. If I book 3 x single RFS seats from LON to MAN, the cost is 13,500 avios plus £52.50 in fees. However, if I add these to a long haul flight, the cost is 0 avios as expected, but £105 in fees. How can this be? Is this effectively BA charging this for the privilege of checking my bags through to the final destination?

    • Genghis says:

      In a word, yes.

    • Alan says:

      Sadly it’s the penalty that BA now apply to customers not departing from London – as you say made all the worse by their ludicrous baggage policy where they now refuse to even interline bags between their own services if on different tickets!

      Occasionally when you go to the final payment page the amount will drop slightly from a higher initial quote but it won’t be as good as RFS.

      • Anna says:

        Yes I had to collect and re-check on Tuesday, the only consolation was that I could buy duty free alcohol in GCM ($12 and upwards for very decent rum, whisky etc) and check it in at Heathrow; they won’t let you buy booze there if you’re on a single booking with a connection, even though you could theoretically check it in between flights if you had a spare bag.

        Interestingly, if you use the “stopover” option to book the flights (the connection being the following day of course), you can select CE for just £6 more per person. Coming off a long long-haul WT flight (not enough avios for CW both ways), it might be pleasant to pop into the lounge between sectors and also get some free F & B on the connection.

        All this is only possible anyway thanks to HFP, I can now visit GCM every year instead of only every other year which is fantastic.

        • Colin JE says:

          Thanks Anna
          I’d never thought of using the stopover method to switch classes. Last time I was booking a flight back from FRA to LHR in ET I used the call centre to get my onward travel to EDI bumped up to CE (though maybe it was because the flights were paid but I wanted to upgrade with Avios. The system only allowed upgrading the whole return journey. I will check next time if the system allows partial upgrading if doing a stopover.

    • Liz says:

      Isn’t it because they are charging you for increased taxes for CE if your connecting long haul was CW now that they have the 2 classes in domestic. We found the same thing when connecting at LHR from EDI on the same ticket.

      • Anna says:

        Not sure, but it was offering me the option of a CE connection to Manchester off a long haul WT flight (not enough avios for CW in both directions, but also not convinced it’s worth it for an overnight flight, I’d rather pay for exit seats in WT).

  • Dom says:

    OT – I need to buy a few Japan Rail Passes for an upcoming trip. Any tips on somewhere to buy them with Amex without credit card fees? Thanks.

    • Rob says:

      Inside Japan in Bristol was the main place to get them, but they have a temporary block “until September” if you look on their site. No idea about fees but these guys are regarded as the specialists.

      • Scallder says:

        Thanks for the tip about these lot Rob. Mother in law having retired last year is looking at doing a 35 day trip and usually the Mrs and I usually end up being her personal travel agents. She called up yesterday and was extremely impressed with them, so you’ve saved the two of us a huge amount of hassle (especially as neither of us have ever been there!)

  • Hugh says:

    my points have just posted in my Avios account, after i redeemed the e-coupon yesterday

    Thanks for the heads up HfP

  • h1tvd says:

    O/T I have just checked in to an American Airlines flight EDI – JFK. I’m travelling economy (whispered so as not to embarrass myself lol). I was offered an upgrade to business one way at OLCI, didn’t take it as I prefer to save my pennies for shopping in NYC. Just wondering at what price point would people say its worthwhile? I know its an older plane, no IFE etc but its just 7 hours…. the upgrade offered was £400 each….

  • Anna says:

    Also OT – spending 3/4 days in Washington DC next August and hoping to get 2 x Hilton free night vouchers to use there. Any recommendations for the best use of the free nights? I can’t remember which other brands the voucher covers off the top of my head.

    • Alan says:

      Free night certs valid at all Hilton brands (of which there are now many!). Conrad are normally decent (not sure if there’s one in DC), DoubleTree can be better than Hilton sometimes – worth reading the reviews.

    • h1tvd says:

      If you would consider other brands, I would def recommend Crystal Gateway Marriott. We stayed there summer 2016, paid $70 per night for a family of 5. Booked concierge room for first night (extra $45), basic room for next nights and asked for booking to be combined, we kept concierge privileges for all nights ;-). Got free breakfast in lounge for 5 every day & earned enough points to basically get the room for free. Hands down the best hotel booking I have ever made. Its a big impersonal hotel, mainly for conventions but it is directly above the transit centre so very easy to get to the sights.

      • Anna says:

        Thanks for the tips – who did you book the Marriott with, it’s coming up at £183 per night on TripAdvisor?!

        • h1tvd says:

          I booked directly with Marriott. It worked out cheaper to book individual nights or two nights together etc. I booked refundable rates on the more expensive nights and kept checking the rates & cancelled when rates dropped, they changed A LOT! I booked 5 nights Wed to Mon, the Fri, Sat & Sun were the cheapest, probably because it’s a conference hotel, not sure if you are traveling over a weekend or not…. I paid $85 for weekend nights, $87 for thursday and $140 for wed night in a club room

  • Crafty says:

    OT: Just noticed that the Marriott 1,000 points bonus has successfully transferred to my partner’s BAEC and in fact did so almost a month ago! Whereas my own points are still stuck in my Marriott account. Anyone had luck with their customer service people?

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