Bits: BA launching Seychelles today?, new Avios and Virgin in-store partners, new Hilton Curio in South of France

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News in brief:

British Airways (re)launching the Seychelles today?

(EDIT:  This is now bookable, on Wednesday and Saturday from 24th March 2018.  A lot of Club World redemption availability seems to have gone already!)

According to the rumour mill, which includes tweets from BA pilots, a new route is being announced today.  There is a good chance that it will be the return of the Seychelles to the British Airways network.

If you have some Avios and potentially a British Airways American Express 241 to spend, get thinking.

As soon as the announcement is made, 2 Club World seats for Avios will be released for every flight.  No restrictions.  It obviously depends when the route is due to start of course – if it is launching in March then only March 2018 to early September 2018 will be available, which is not peak season.

It might not Seychelles of course!  I’ll let you know tomorrow.  We do know, for certain, that it will be a Boeing 787 route.

British Airways Seychelles

New Avios eStore and Virgin Shops Away in-store partners

Avios and Virgin Shops Away have added eight new in-store partners to their respective eStores.

If you haven’t linked a payment card to your eStore account yet and you like eating at places like Byron, Prezzo and Flaming Grill, you should do so before your next meal.  Do NOT link the same card to both stores as you won’t be able to control which site receives the miles.

The new places and earning rates are:

Byron 5 Avios/£1 or 4 Virgin Flying Club miles/£1

Chef & Brewer 5 Avios/£1 or 4 Virgin Flying Club miles/£1

Old English Inns 5 Avios/£1 or 4 Virgin Flying Club miles/£1

Hungry Horse 5 Avios/£1 or 4 Virgin Flying Club miles/£1

Flaming Grill 5 Avios/£1 or 4 Virgin Flying Club miles/£1

Fayre & Square 5 Avios/£1 or 4 Virgin Flying Club miles/£1

Eating Inn 5 Avios/£1 or 8 Virgin Flying Club miles/£1 (not a typo)

Prezzo 3 Avios/£1 or 2 Virgin Flying Club miles/£1

Virgin also has a long-established deal with Jamie’s Italian at 2 miles per £1.

New Hilton Curio in the South of France – good redemption option?

Hilton is about to open a new Curio Collection hotel in the South of France. The Grand Hotel des Sablettes Plage seems to be Hilton’s first property in the South of France and it looks very pleasant.

The hotel has an indoor and an outdoor pool as well as a private beach.

A standard room Hilton Honors redemption is 60,000 Hilton Honors points or less, depending on the cash price on the day.  However, there don’t seem to be any standard redemption rooms available after June 2018 at the moment so you can’t book for next summer.

Historically Ryanair and CityJet have flown to Toulon from London during the Summer, although no flights are currently showing for 2018.

The booking page with more images is here.

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

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  1. Slightly OT, anyone any thoughts on the best holiday destination for very young kids (toddler and baby) out of Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius?

    • Barbados is better – proper island, proper supermarkets for supplies, proper hospitals etc. We took our boy where at 15 months.

    • I concur – and I would never take children to the Maldives as you would need to be airlifted to hospital in the event of a serious injury or illness. You also need to be sure you are going to be able to find things they will eat!

  2. Seychelles flights are available to book. March 24th first flight from LHR – BA63, BA62. 787-9.

  3. Snagged a pair of Club seats to SEY next April – thanks!
    What are the recommended seats on 787? Haven’t been on a BA 787 yet.
    Any hotel recommendations…

    • We island hopped but I liked all our hotels. It’s a shame not to see all the (main 3/4) islands as they are in easy reach and yet distinctive. Hilton Labriz great vibe but a bit isolated, Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie nice boutique on La Digue, and Constance Lemuria much larger but best food/service and Anse Georgette in its grounds.
      On the other hand you can go to 4S, Raffles, Banyan Tree, etc and never leave the resort, or the uber-expensive private islands.

      • If you just have a week and want to explore (rather than staying in one resort) I would focus on Praslin and La Digue, even though that complicates your movements a bit. I anyone is struggling to find 7 day availability, you honestly won’t get bored filling 10/11 nights.

    • On a 787-9, which this is, I would take the front mini-cabin just behind First Class. Only two rows of seats.

  4. i can’t seem to find any availability on the BA site?

  5. Gareth Lloyd says:

    Commenting for the first time to say “thanks Head for Points!”

    I’ve been reading daily and collecting for almost exactly a year. Today I used my first 2-4-1 for Club World seats to the Seychelles and win major kudos from my beach-obsessed spouse. This was something I could not have dreamed of 12 months ago.

    Thanks again!

  6. Booked for a week in August 2 club seats each way. We flew on the 787 to KL last October lovely flight and cabin on the 787. The plane was only 6 months old. Thanks Rob !!

  7. Thanks for the heads up – managed to snap up a pair of CW seats for a week in April. Glad I had a pile of Avios and a 241 sitting around! Seems like a reasonable use of it although the charges still come to £583.27 per person, which seems quite a lot. It only displays correctly when you go through to the final page before payment.

    • Yes, I noticed that… one moment it was £950 ish in taxes, next screen it was £1228. I used the 2 4 1 and 165k avios for my wife and baby daughter. Still a hell of a deal though. I just wish BA would go back to decent champers in club though… 1st world problems hey !
      6pm departure, so I can get to T5 dump the bags, have a couple of hours in the Qatar lounge for some lovely F&B and then make my way back to T5 for the flight. lovely.

  8. Yes both (in 2012). The Northolme is solid but nothing particularly special. The Labriz we loved and got a gold upgrade to an enormous beachfront pool villa, so that would be my choice, though it was more casual and Northolme had better food (generally we found staffing better on the larger islands.) Labriz had only just joined Hilton back then. But as I said upthread overall I would plan to stay elsewhere on Praslin / La Digue if you can.

  9. OT – I made my first billhop payment for £5 yesterday and have been asked to email passport or similar proof of ID – I though this was just for transactions over £250?

    • If they cannot verify your identity electronically I think they need something, and for everyone over £250.

      • I’ve just spoken to them – they need proof of ID for your first Amex transaction only, worth being aware of if you don’t want a delay in a payment going through.

  10. the real harry1 says:
  11. Additional seats seem keep being added. EG they werent there yesterday or earlier today.. looked again tonight and snagged 2 first class (2 4 1), wanted to try first class, seems a great deal when offpeak too..

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