Bits: EXCELLENT BA Holidays deals, get £100 for listing on HomeAway, new Virgin NYC flight

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News in brief:

EXCELLENT new BA Holidays flash sale launched

BA Holidays is running another of its ‘luxury flash sale’ events this weekend.  You have until Monday 2nd to book.

Here are the headline deals they are using to promote the event, based on two sharing:

  • London to Muscat – Flights + 3 nights luxury hotel from £1,039 in June
  • London to Abu Dhabi – Flights + 3 nights in a luxury hotel from £1,188 in May
  • London to Dubai – Flights + 3 nights luxury hotel form £1,379 in November
  • London to Hong Kong – Flights + 4 nights luxury hotel from £2,519 in January
  • London to Seychelles – Flights + 7 nights luxury hotel from £3,119 in May

Whilst it is getting a little hot in Muscat by June, £1,039 for Club World flights and a hotel is exceptional value, however you look at it.  Similarly, November – peak season in the Middle East – is not the sort of time of year that you expect to be able to pick up Club World flights to Dubai and a pricey hotel for just £1,379 per person.

These are not tatty hotels either.  In Abu Dhabi you will get the InterContinental for £1,190 next May (not too hot) which – whilst dated – does have its own private beach club.  In Dubai, £1,410 is the lowest price in November for a beachside hotel – in this case the Ajman Saray, part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection (which is not actually in Dubai, of course!).

You don’t need to pay now.  You can just pay a deposit from as little as £150 per booking.  The balance is not due until five weeks before departure.

For clarity, flights booked via BA Holidays earn full Avios and tier points.  The only thing you cannot earn are British Airways On Business points.

Full details are on this special page of the BA Holidays website.

BA Holidays sale

Get a £100 Amazon voucher for listing on HomeAway

If you currently list a holiday property on Airbnb, you may have considered extending your reach by also advertising on competitor HomeAway.

Whilst far smaller than Airbnb, HomeAway is now owned by Expedia and the company has big plans for expansions.

If you list your holiday rental on HomeAway before 15th November, you will receive a £100 gift card when you receive your first booking for £300+ within 90 days.

Full details of the Amazon offer, and the sign-up page, are here.

If you are not a property owner but are interested in renting a holiday home via HomeAway, the main booking page is here.

6th Virgin Atlantic daily flight to New York

Virgin Atlantic and its 49% shareholder Delta have announced some changes to their joint UK / US flying schedule.

The main change is that Virgin Atlantic will take over one of the existing three daily Delta services between Heathrow and New York.  This will leave Virgin Atlantic with six daily services and Delta with two.

Other changes include:

Delta moving to A330 operation on its Heathrow to New York JFK, Atlanta and Detroit routes, adding capacity and bringing the new fully flat Delta One seat

Virgin Atlantic moving to Boeing 747 operation on the Manchester to New York and Manchester to Atlanta routes.  This will help improve capacity following the withdrawal of American Airlines from Manchester.

These changes will take effect from the launch of the Summer timetable on 24th March.

(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.)

Here’s the full HFP index of articles for September 2017
When a BA Gold should book a 'double Avios' Gold Priority Reward

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  1. Brilliant news about VA taking an additional flight from Delta. Do we know which one it will be?

  2. OT- Genghis, did you receive your 5000 VS miles from MBNA for £1K spend?
    I am still waiting for mine, £1k was spent good 6 weeks or so ago.
    They say to wait for 6/8 weeks but just checking if you already received your bonus miles.

    • Not yet. Another statement should be generated in the next couple of days. I’ll let you know.

    • I’m still waiting for mine as well.

      • Michael Jennings says:

        This is the 5000 points retention incentive that they offer when you try to cancel the card. They gave that to me a few days ago, too. (I haven’t spent the £1000 yet, so I don’t know if it has been set up correctly)

        • I hit the spend target a week before my statement was generated, but no bonus miles. I queried it with MBNA, and now have it in writing that the points will be on the next statement.

        • They certainly sent me a letter confirming offer added to my account – waiting to pass £1k threshold then will see if they post OK!

    • Did you have to officially ask them to close the account before you were offered the miles? – I asked theoretically as expecting a refund and nothing was mentioned to encourage me to keep the account open

      • When I cancelled the black card a couple of months ago they only offered a 0% transfer offer (but 5% fee!). No bonus for spend, and that was only a month before the new year’s fee was due.

        • Same dull offer for me, declined, no further offer made. I wasn’t planning to acceot anyway as I’m about to apply for SPG, however, in the ullikely event mbna up the bonus again before virgin money take over I’ll try my luck with another white card application.

        • Thanks all!

      • Yes ring up to cancel and then they offer 5000 points.

        Send letter out confirming offer and date to spend by.

        • I told them I was closing the card because I had one with a better on-going earning rate for Avios I was using instead. That might help you get the miles offer.

      • I sent a secure message requesting a/c closure. They replied saying they could close it but would I like 5k for £1k spend offer – I replied saying yes and they sent me message (and formal letter in the post) confirming it had been added to my a/c.

    • They said to me it could take up to 90 days for the points to post..

  3. Another OT_

    Rob, do you still give out Award Wallet upgrade codes?
    I am looking for a second time upgrade.

  4. Looking at my existing booking for Man-ATL next June still shows an A330. How long do you think they take to update the website so I can alter my seat? Wanting to get top deck on the 747 for the 1st time
    (every time I’ve been scheduled to fly on one with BA they’ve either cancelled my ticket, delayed and re-routed me on a non-747 or changed the metal).

    • Oh drat, foiled again. Looked at seat guru to find UC is main deck and they’ve put PE and EC PAX on the Upper desk. Grrrrrr

    • Not every single Manchester flight is going to be a 747, just ‘the majority’, so you may be unlucky.

      • I’m actually more concerned now because there are considerably fewer UC seats on the 747 than the 330.
        My timetable is fixed with non-ref/non-chg connecting flights on a different booking, and the Virgin legs were booked in the miles sale in July so I hope I don’t get bumped.

        • We’re exactly the same as you, reward flights to Atlanta and onward to MCO in June. But according to another flyer site it’s depending on which day you fly. It’s a A333 Tuesday, Wed, Fri, Sunday and B744 Mon, Thurs and Sat.

        • Thanks Lynne, flying Friday and back sunday so fingers crossed that info is accurate

  5. HomeAway is owned by Expedia I believe and also includes VRBO. I used VRBO extensively and they are were great however a 9 % fee was added earlier this year and since then I have MovedAway. The owners pay significant fees to advertise but I see no reason for consumers to pay such fees and would urge owners to vote with their feet and WalkAway.

    • We’ve had two consecutive HomeAway bookings this month. Both properties found as advertised and it was easy to get hold of both owners/agents-a lovely holiday in two properties about 15mins drive between. We also booked with HomeAway last year-different place/similar experience.

      I’ve looked through invoices and HomeAway have charged a Service Fee(about 9%):

      ‘This helps HomeAway provide a safer and more secure booking experience’.

      I’m sure there are some hard-luck stories out there, however we’ve only had positive experiences, including secure payments/prompt refunds for damage deposits.

      • How do? It was safe before….10 years of bookings behind me. This is simply a rip off fee and property owners need to be aware it’s drivingvaway business.

    • As an owner, i cannot rate HomeAway high enough, they used to charge high fees to advertise (1k+ for the highest tier), they have since significantly reduced this to a flat fee of £249. The guest now has to pay a fee but his is no different to the way AirBnb operate.

      I have no shortage of bookings and i’ve even ditched advertising on AirBnb as the quality of customer is better 🙂

      • Interesting bits of small print on the HomeAway offer:
        1. You need to accept your first booking within 90 days of signing up and that eligible bookings must be over £300 (inc fees)
        2. You must submit a claim within 90 days of signing up.
        I am sure #2 will trip up a few folks!

      • But I don’t pay fees! To air BNB or anyone else. Sell you property for a fair rate and pay you for advertising. VRBO worked well before fees and others provide this service free. I have been researching today and the fees taxes and cleaning charges are adding around a 1/3rd to the price. You don’t get this information till the very end, something which is simply outrageous.

        • Paul, I’ve done some research also:

          HomeAway-same place we stayed at for our 1st week earlier this month but July 2018 for one week.

          Costs for Accommodation, Cleaning, Service Fee, all transparent “before” placing a request to book- as were cancellation rights. Cancellation policy-!00% refund 2months out and 50% 1month out.

          Costs for Service Fee and Cleaning amounted to 11%

  6. The middle east packages look good value, but £2519 to HKG doesn’t seem like much of a bargain. KLM are offering the route next summer for £1300 or so and you can get quite a bit of hotel in HK for £650 a night!

  7. OT: there I was stressing about our flights to West coast today being downgraded as used our 241 – and we have been upgraded to first!!! So glad we did not book a rental for when we land.

    Thanks Rob – last few years we have done all our long haul flights in club or first thanks mainly to this website!

  8. I feel sorry for anyone who books a holiday to Dubai and ends up staying in Ajman.

  9. OT:
    Booked Hilton villamoura taking advice here and has worked well. Hfp are so knowledgeable. Much appreciated. Hubby and I had 2 Hilton certs so we booked a std room and contacted hotel directly who upgraded us to a 2 bed apartment so we can bring our 3 kids.
    Then the hotel allowed us to book 4 std rooms using cash and free upgrade to the apartment again-result! This was €156 vs €294 per night!

    My question is will my 4 night cash booking still earn points or will it be merged with the free night cert and earn nothing?

  10. OT
    I tried to use billhop to pay money into my own account (£100 as a trial) and had an email saying basically it can only be used for paying bills and not for remittance. It’s not an expensive manufactured spend option it seems therefore.

    • I did the same to our joint account, but put my husband as the recipient and it went through fine.

  11. OT and possibly reaching a bit/a dumb question: I’m just about to upgrade the BA blue to the BAPP to trigger the 2-4-1. I’ve seen some discussion on here about the possibility of some Avios for upgrading and also that the fee sometimes doesn’t post. I’m wondering whether anyone has any hunch which option I should use to upgrade (web or phone) to a) get the fee to post late and/or b) to possibly get some Avios. eg is it a case of getting the right call centre agent, or is the online system doing it automatically? Appreciate data points are probably few and far between! Or that I may be completely wrong about either of these things happening at all

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