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. Sam Bessey says:

    Les Sablettes has been open and operating as a Hilton property for a few months now. Me and my girlfriend did a redemption stay there in August. It was very pleasant but had a couple of minor teething issues that are hopefully rectified now.

    • Official opening is 27th, it had had a ‘soft opening’ already.

      • Sam Bessey says:

        I see… the one thing that I found a bit rubbish was their much-vaunted ‘private beach’ which consisted of a weird roped off section of sand about 50m from the hotel (so not connected in any way at all), surrounded by ‘public’ beach on both sides

    • Chris Palmer says:

      I have been to the new Hilton. The decked area out the front is great for breakfast. However, the service is absolutely terrible. The rooms also have lots of problems (broken items, things not working, etc.) Check the TripAdvisor reviews and proceed with caution.

  2. OT. I flew from London to Dubai last week on BA first with my wife and son using avios and my 2-4-1 voucher. Overall it was nice but there were a couple of problems.

    Firstly our IFE was not working. It seemed like it affected other passengers in first too (not sure about other cabins) and it took about 2.5 hours to fix via system resets. By the time it was rectified we had finished dinner and it was midnight so we decided to sleep (overnight flight).

    Secondly there appeared to be a problem with the temperature of the cabin. We were sitting in 5E and 5F at the back – it was cold throughout and the cabin kept apologising and did their best to rectify the situation.

    I politely complained and at the end of the flight CSM offered 7k avios each to me and my wife. Points are yet to deposit and just waiting for them in my account.

    Do you think that is adequate compensation?

  3. Not quite the first Hilton in the South of France. There was a Noga Hilton in Cannes but that relationship ended a while ago.

  4. OT: Marriott 1000 avios landed in our 6 BA accounts yesterday. Thanks Rob.

  5. OT – anyone been having issues with Tesco on Awardwallet recently? Thanks.

  6. Recently got an avios statement about the Bryon in store avios, was a nice surprise when that came through.

    O/T just flew into Miami on WTP on the 747-400 was really shocked to discover that all the seats had the food trays tucked in the arm rest which reduced the width of the seat. I’m quite a big fella so it was a a little uncomfortable. I must say the extra leg room did compensate for it.

  7. Avios after the premium market with Hungry Horse!

  8. Is it safe to link your cards to both stores and assume purchases will track in one or the other randomly if you’re not to bothered which gets it? Waitrose shopping is only valid on Virgin for example so I want to capture everything without having to think which card is in which store. For me a few Avios is good but if it goes to Virgin I’ll just shift that to IHG each year.

  9. My Waitrose points have tracked ok as far as I can work out and I did have my main amex registered with both virgin and avios. Not sure what happens when both companies are offering points tho. As I’ve just gotten a replacement amex due to the old one going through the tumble dryer, I’m probably gonna register the supplimentrary card I got for my “dad” for the extra 1000 points and try to remember to use that in Waitrose and collect avios on everything else

  10. How did the Ryanair lottery work out for HfP readers yesterday?

  11. Slight OT, I’ve had my First Direct Visa Credit Card earnings confirmed by Visa (£10 Lidl, £3 Costa, £5 Esso so far).

    As I’ve also got a First Direct Visa Debit Card, does anyone know if the earnings are on a per card basis or per customer basis? I’m undecided as to whether to add my Debit Card to the existing log-in or create a new log-in on a different email account.

    • Per customer. Nationwide (same Visa interface) only allows one card per customer to be validated, and FD/HSBC uses the same system.

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