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Bits: Virgin and BA sales ends today, airberlin bidding, 50% off mytaxi in London

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News in brief:

Virgin Atlantic and British Airways sales end today

Today, Tuesday, is the final day for the current Virgin Atlantic and British Airways sales.

I won’t go through the deals again in detail.

The Virgin Atlantic pricing – which is more aggressive than BA for Upper Class in most cases – is discussed here and the sale site is here

My discussion of the best BA deals is here and the BA sale website is here.  As usual, booking a ‘flight and hotel’ or ‘flight and car’ Club World package can be cheaper than just booking a flight.

British Airways sale

airberlin sale process nears completion

airberlin announced yesterday that Lufthansa and easyJet have been chosen to enter into final negotiations to acquire the various parts of the airline.

The two airlines have until 12th October to reach a final agreement.  It isn’t entirely clear who wants what, but the company stated that 80% of jobs should be saved.

The easyJet bid appears to be for planes and crew – and potentially landing slots – rather than specific routes.  Lufthansa appears to be taking Niki, the Austrian subsidiary, as well as other unspecified short-haul assets.

All long-haul flights will end of 15th October with the aircraft returning to the leasing companies.  If Lufthansa wants to continue long-haul operations from Berlin or Dusseldorf it will either need to use its own aircraft or to enter into new leasing deals.  I still find it bizarre that the ‘national’ airline of Germany does not offer long-haul flights from the national capital.

IAG, parent of British Airways, has failed to make the final round of bidding.  It is now 100% certain that airberlin will cease to exist as a member of the oneworld alliance even if the brand does live on in some form.

50% off London taxi rides with mytaxi

mytaxi – previously known as Hailo – is putting the boot into the demise of Uber in London by offering 50% off all London taxi rides taken before the end of September.

There is no small print, except that you must pay with a credit card stored in the app instead of paying the driver directly.

Full details of the mytaxi 50% offer are here.

PS. Before anyone asks, no, I have no idea when mytaxi will start awarding Avios again to new customers.  All old Hailo customers who migrated to mytaxi ARE still receiving Avios points when they ride.  mytaxi has also said that it will start offering Avios to new customers ‘soon’.  It isn’t clear how long ‘soon’ is, however …..

Comments (70)

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  • Roger I* says:

    Rob says: ‘ I still find it bizarre that the ‘national’ airline of Germany does not offer long-haul flights from the national capital.’

    You may as well ask how many SWISS l/h flights there are from Bern, QANTAS l/h flights from Canberra, Air Canada l/h flights from Ottawa. I’m guessing it’s the local situation, referencing population, catchment area, relative prosperity, distance to other airports.

    Or perhaps LH are waiting until BER is ready. 😀

    • mark2 says:

      I have flown from Ottawa to London on Air Canada, although it did stop at Montreal to my wife’s consternation, and it was in 1995.
      But I see that there are still some direct flights.

    • ThinkSquare says:

      I find it bizarre that the ‘national’ airline oif the UK only offers long-haul flights from one corner of the country

      • Anna says:

        Not to mention blooming inconvenient! Speaking of which, is there any more news about BA possibly starting a route from MAN to NYC?

        • Rob says:

          American is dropping it – – but no word on BA picking it up. It would probably be crewed from Gatwick or Heathrow and you’d have the plane doing a domestic flight before carrying on, I reckon.

          • Nick says:

            If it happened – stress, if – it would be a ‘W’ flight, so operating (e.g. LGW-JFK-MAN-JFK-LGW) rather than ‘hopping’ up on a shorthaul flight. However, I think they’ve taken the view at the moment that if AA can’t make money with a smallish aircraft, they won’t with a bigger one, so it’s not happening. VS/DL/UA/TCX can sweep up whatever market there is between them.

    • RussellH says:

      All sorts of reasons for this, of course.

      1) Berlin only became the capital of Germany during the 1990s.

      2) Berlin is not a business centre in the way that Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich or even Düsseldorf (Germany’s fashion capital) are. I do not think that Köln/Bonn ever had long haul business flights either.

      3) LH frequently told tour operators to Germany that the runway at TXL was too short, but that flights would be offered from BBI when it opened in 2010

      You cannot compare Berlin as a capital with, say, London or Paris. Germany has never been centralised in the way that the UK and France are.

    • Rob says:

      … but none of those cities are on the scale of Berlin.

      • HAM76 says:

        True, but until 1991 it was you guys who decided what Lufthansa can or can’t do in Berlin. At that time Lufthansa had already three major airports. FRA and MUC as hubs and HAM as the former home base and later home of Lufthansa Technik, which also was your decision. 😉 HAM is called Hamburg Airport, because it was under British administration. BA has been flying from London to Hamburg for the past 71 years, Lufthansa only for 62 years.

        • the real harry1 says:

          not really – the Allies had long lost control of Lufthansa by 1991 & years earlier – it was a series of purely West German decisions

          you can hardly blame West Germany airline for not flying out of East Germany?

          the Brits/ Yanks/ French lost that kind of influence in West Germany long before 1991

        • Alan says:

          Ah, good point!

    • Alan says:

      Although what’s different about Berlin is that it has a much higher population:

      1 Berlin 3,426,354
      2 Hamburg 1,739,117
      3 Munich 1,260,391
      4 Cologne 963,395
      5 Frankfurt am Main 650,000

      Whereas in the other examples the capital cities are much smaller.

  • Frenske says:

    Any info about referral rewards and would it possible to refer your spouse when having the Gold card!?

  • Peter says:

    Any thoughts on a Virgin reward seat sale?
    If I recall there was one last year at this time?

    • Rob says:

      No, not heard anything. I agree that they have been very regular events for the last few years.

  • Anna says:

    Actuall, one thing you can do with them is to donate them to charities which distribute Christmas presents to deprived families. I’ve done that a couple of times, if you were going to donate anyway it’s not a good use of the Lego.

  • imbruce says:

    I have 1500 IHG Rewards points due to expire in the next 24 hours, I don’t have a
    a need to book a hotel room and don’t have enough to give to IHG charity,
    Any ideas as to what I can do with them would be appreciated.

    • New Card says:

      Tricky – there are some magazine subs (not sure where they deliver to) available for 1,500 through the online catalogue, or it might be worth checking if anything in the Digital Rewards section is of interest?

  • Cate says:

    OT (but as it’s bit) just got this from Norwegian via email:

    ‘Right now you can win 5,000 CashPoints – join in with CashPoints Casino!
    We have just drawn three numbers. If these are the three last numbers in your Reward Number, you can win 5,000 CashPoints. All you have to do is confirm that your numbers have been drawn […] CashPoints Casino is a free game for Reward members where we each week draw 3 winners of 5,000 CashPoints and 25 winners of 1,000 CashPoints.’

  • Arnold says:

    Long time lurker, first time poster seeking your opinion:

    I am currently a BA GGL with a few GUF2 and GUF1 vouchers to burn. Am thinking of booking India-LHR (stopover)-USA and upgrading the I Fares to A First Class. For two adults and a 4 year old, I am being quoted approx £8300. Two of us are BA golds, the four year old is a silver, so effectively we can get about 180K miles back (BA Amex + flown miles) I have flown BA First quite a few times, so there is no novelty factor here.

    Would the readers on this website recommend pulling the trigger as its a lot of cash (we need to be in India and the US, so I would be buying some tickets regardless)!

    • Rob says:

      Is that one-way fare or a return? Are you actually heading back to India afterwards?

  • Arnold says:

    Hi Rob,

    This is a roundtrip quote – we are London based. We’ll use Avios to get to India for the first leg (and visit family), the return flight to India is in 2018 which we will tie in with a Maldives trip (Hyatt points to redeem)

    • Rob says:

      On that basis, it seems like a ‘fair’ fare, especially as you trigger UK APD because of the stopover and will be paying a stopover fee. Put another way, Virgin Upper Class to India is £1500 in their current sale – which is an excellent price – and you are paying under £3000 each for India-UK-US.

      • Arnold says:

        Thanks Rob. I should have mentioned we have an infant with us who turns two after the outbound, and I believe gets a first class seat on the last flight!

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