News in brief:
Qantas and Emirates revamp their partnership
As the major partnership between Qantas and Emirates approaches the end of its original five year term, the two airlines have announced a five year extension – plus major changes in how it will work.
These are, I think, positive from a UK perspective.
At present, Qantas flies Sydney – Dubai – London Heathrow using an A380. This service is to be scrapped from 25th March.
Instead, Qantas is launching Sydney – Singapore – London Heathrow using an A380. The timings are virtually identical to the British Airways flight on the same route.
Avios seats might become slightly easier to get on the existing British Airways flight to Sydney, which goes via Singapore. Some travellers will now choose Qantas over BA, either for just Heathrow to Singapore or all the way through. The Qantas A380 offers First Class and Premium Economy, a la British Airways.
At the same time, the number of Avios seats to Dubai will drop – although this market is already well served by British Airways into both Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Remember that Qantas is also launching its NON-STOP 17-hour flight from Heathrow to Perth in 2018. This will use a new Boeing 787.
Even though Qantas will no longer fly via Dubai, you can still book Emirates flights via Dubai to Asia and Australasia as Qantas codeshares. This means that they will continue to earn Avios and British Airways tier points, as this HFP article explains.
Qantas is making another change at the same time which may also impact your Avios redemption thinking. Singapore to Melbourne is being upgraded to an A380 which means increased capacity and the introduction of First Class and premium economy.
The route map below, click to enlarge, shows the possible routes between the UK and Australia using Qantas and Emirates. You are spoilt for choice.
Aer Lingus launches ‘Saver’ long-haul tickets
In a sign of what may be coming to sister airline British Airways soon, Aer Lingus has launched ‘fewer frills’ ‘Saver’ tickets on some routes from Dublin to the USA.
This are currently priced at €80 less than a standard return ticket. You DO still get free food but you won’t get a free suitcase, free seat selection or a blanket or headphones on board.
If you eventually end up checking in a suitcase then there is minimal saving here and, on West Coast routes, you will end up paying more in total. Assuming that the majority of US leisure travellers will be checking in a case, this seems to be a move aimed mainly at positioning Aer Lingus alongside Norwegian, price wise, on flight comparison sites.
What is weird is that you need to stay away for a Saturday night in order to book a ‘Saver’ fare. This is typical ‘legacy airline’ behaviour (Norwegian doesn’t do this). And, as I said above, these fares are often not even cheaper if you end up checking luggage, which most people will.
You will still earn Avios on ‘Saver’ fares at the standard rate of 3 per €1 on the base fare.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2022)
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.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
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 10,000 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.
(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.)