Nutmeg Avios

Bits: BA launches airberlin match, 1200 Avios with £20 NOW TV box, Ski and Snowboard Show

News in brief:

British Airways status match for airberlin Topbonus members

If you had airberlin status, British Airways has joined the list of airlines offering a status match.

The BA offer is poor.  Anyone who was oneworld Sapphire or Emerald equivalent with airberlin should take the Iberia status match offer we wrote about here instead, as you will at least get lounge access.

British Airways Executive Club will give you nothing higher than Bronze status, which is not worth much.  Well, priority boarding and free seat selection seven days before you fly, but that’s about it.

You will also receive 9,000 bonus Avios when you credit four flights to British Airways Executive Club before the end of the year.  This is more interesting.

I suppose …. if you were being clever …. Emerald or Sapphire airberlin Topbonus members could match with both BA and Iberia.  Use the Iberia card to get into oneworld lounges but credit four flights to BA in order to pick up the 9,000 bonus Avios.

The offer is here on  Note that your BA account must have a German address.

Now TV

1,200 Avios with £20 NOW TV box

Tesco Direct is offering 500 bonus Clubcard points, worth 1200 Avios or 1250 Virgin Flying Club miles, when you buy a £20 NOW TV box before 22nd November.

Even better, you’ll also receive either one month of Sky Cinema, two months of Sky Entertainment or three months of Sky Kids for free as well.  Full details are in my Shopper Points article here.
David Hasselhoff

Ski & Snowboard Show in London

The Ski and Snowboard season is about to start and, if that floats your boat, the Ski & Snowboard Show London at the end of this month is the place to be.

Last year was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to this year’s show – and this is not necessarily due to the fact that David Hasselhoff will make an appearence on the opening day (or that you can have your picture taken AND receive a free t-shirt)!

Snow sports legend David Rice will also be at the Ski & Snowboard Show.

This year’s show will take place in Battersea Park from Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th October.

There will be a vast amount of exhibitors ranging from chalets companies to ski and snowboard gear as well as a free ice rink, freestyle shows on a 50ft real-snow kicker and Alpine street food.

Tickets are £20 for adults and £10 for children age 11-16 and can be booked on this website.

(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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Credit & Charge Card Reviews (4): British Airways American Express (BA Amex)
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  1. OT (posting here rather than the BA Amex card article as I think more people will read this) – I’m looking to redeem a 2-4-1 voucher in First to Hong Kong for an SE Asia holiday next October, but there’s never any availability (getting nothing from the hourly updates). Am I wasting my time? Are hardly any First seats released, or are they snapped up in seconds? I’ve only really read that about Australia.

    I’ve redeemed to Beijing and Mexico City with no bother at all in the past – I’ve had my first choice of dates both times, so this is frustrating. Are Kuala Lumpur or Singapore better options?

    • Given that you can get Avios flights on Cathay to HK from all of Asia, no problem going via somewhere else. Shanghai is probably nearest if you don’t want to visit another city.

    • Popular route…try 355 days in advance via a one way thru a US based call centre…that’s what I hear otherwise will be very difficult indeed!

    • I personally don’t think HKG is a particular difficult option. It’s a high capacity/frequency route, which plays into redeemers hands. There are plenty of F seats about at other points in 2018.
      BA only commit to release Y and J seats at t-355. Sometimes F appears immediately too, but far less consistently. I have a theory/observation that often BA push out a second, more considered/variable round of seats around the t-330 mark. Inline with this there are plenty of F seats available in August and up to Sep2, though equally that could reflect the summer holidays and peak pricing. But I would keep an eye on if the Sep2 envelop expands in the next couple of weeks which might point to some October availability coming around in a month’s time.
      Beijing could be an option for you again – the avios required are less, and would therefore pay for the onward CX leg. You could book PEK or somewhere else and cancel/change if HKG opens up, though that becomes harder once you’ve added your return leg.

      • I got 2xF returns for mid-March ‘18 – booked 16 April 2017 which fits with the t-330-ish theory. They were releasing F on the 777 (BA27/28) fairly consistently about 11 months ahead. Usually released a couple of days a week (usually Tues and Wed) when I was looking earlier in the year. Basically I waited until I could see flights that gave us about a week in Hong Kong then booked up, was enough coming on stream I was comfortable in doing this. Obviously the whole thing is a bit random but with flexibility you should get something sorted.

    • Bonglim says:

      As what Anonym said.

      I wanted a popular route and did it at 355 days in advance by calling the Japan call center. The agent was extremely helpful and the whole process worked really well. I think they release to phone operators slightly before they are released online.

      Had to do it twice, to book the outbound then separately call to add on the return leg, but the agent knew exactly what to do – suspect it happens quite a lot.

      They tend to not charge the amendment fee for adding in the second leg in those circumstances.

    • For KUL up to Oct 8th there is availability everyday in CW and some days in F. To KUL BA fly a 787 on which CW is actually quite good. From KUL you have Air Asia option for most of asia along with MAS and CX options for further avios redemptions (I have flown in MAS First on A380 from KUL to HKG (which no longer flies) and CX Business on this route).

      If it was me i would book what was available and keep checking to see if a better option becomes available later.

      • i just mean from Oct 1st onwards btw

      • Agree, we are on F 241 to KUL too,nursing it as a jump,off point , go mas to Bali for £12.50 pp plus some avios plenty of,options in and around Asia for jump off. CX great too, always availability even in J.

    • My advice would be to save the voucher and avios for something else if practical, and get an avios- anc TP-earning exUK return in J for around £1500 on AY. Take your pick of dates, and the seat is just as good as BA First. If there is no availability to HKG then try one of the other seAsian destinations and use Air Asia. I don’t know when you are going but just as an example TK has been selling BKK exLHR for around £1150 in J, less if you are happy to do 24h stopover in IST. Avios redemptions to seAsia don’t work IMO unless you can get your avios for about 0.4p or you attach greater value to BA First than most people on HFP seem to think it’s worth going by past comments.

    • Graeme- When I booked my 2-4-1 seats T-355 1am on line for Lhr to Hkg for Easter school holidays 2018 there were first seats available for the 777 flight. I chose club world on the a380 but noticed some first seats and more club world seats opened up around around a month after I booked.
      I then booked my return leg by phone dead on 6am T-355 and took 2 first seats on the 777 flight Hkg to Lhr ( there were more than 4 I think – but none for a380 ). I wasn’t charged the £35 fee.
      The customer services agent said these seats were like ‘gold dust’ and I’d done well to secure a return booking! Good luck

    • Thanks for the advice, everyone. I’ve found seats on dates that work(ish) into KL and out of Beijing (which is doable, right?). Just need to convince the other half that another day or two off work is a good idea!

      We actually don’t want to spend any time in HK anyway – it’s a means of getting to Vientiane or Siem Reap and eventually Myanmar.

      I know that CW (particularly to Bangkok) is an option, but we’re keen to stick with First. And while I can see the sense in paying on another carrier, I’d rather not! 😉

      • When i find dates that work for me I book, then that is my minimum best option. I then keep checking to see what else comes available and get on the phone to BA to amend/cancel rebook accordingly. First on the 787 is significantly better (IMO) than First on an old 777. Likewise CW on a 787 (in the front mini cabin) is much better than CW on a 777.

        Intra asia flights on Air Asia dont tend to price fluctuate too much, so can be left late to book.

      • You probably know from your last visit you can have 72hrs in Beijing visa free (on a European passport and others, not Norwegian!). But be aware you can change routes if something better comes up, but in theory (apparently exceptions occur) you can’t change bands. So you can change PVG to HKG or KUL to SIN, but not KUL/PEK to HKG. That would require cancelling and rebooking, by the rules, which puts your other leg at risk.

      • To add to CV3Vs comments, Air Asia might still be doing their ASEAN airpass so possibly worth researching.

  2. the real harry1 says:

    O/T one for the planespotters – idiotic AB pilot gets himself suspended (video)

    he could at least have waggled the wings 🙂

  3. Genghis says:

    OT. I have IHG SE AMB and my wife only Plat.
    If I front end a stay and book one night on points in my name and the following night in my wife’s (to use a reward night certificate), what are the chances of the hotel linking the bookings so any AMB benefits they “might” give are over the two nights?
    (I know that Hilton are more than happy to do this)

    • If you’ll use the free night certificate, it could be worth just buying ambassador for your wife as well.

    • If you’ll use the free night certificate, it could be worth just buying ambassador for your wife as well.

    • Barry cutters says:

      we do this quite often and never had a problem .i just make the 2 separate bookings . Call or email to make sure they know I’m coming and ask for an upgrade etc. then at check in look confused when they say it’s only a 2 night stay . Then remember you added another night ‘ oh we must have booked in on the wife’s account’ never had an issue , benefits for full stay – I’m same status as you . Best to put lower status night in the middle if possible but works at end too

      • Barry cutters says:

        Ps I have an ambassador free night certificate going spare if anyone wants it.

      • Genghis says:

        @Baz Cutters – cheers. I’ll do just that.
        @Alex W – I might actually struggle to use my own AMB 241 voucher for the current year (even without using the 241 renewal would work out OK due to the points on renewal, it was an accelerate target and the 10% rebate).

    • 2 experiences for me at intercontinental San Juan PR
      Booked cheapest room for 1 night under the price promise plus 2 nights on points. Plat status got us upgraded to poolside club room for the 3 nights plus full use of the lounge .

      Six month earlier booked 1 night my points as plat and 1 night using mrsxcalx points no status. First night upgraded to nice room , no lounge access. Second night made us move to a crap room.
      So no consistency,

  4. OT: Does anyone by chance have a screenshot or other proof of the recent Club Carlson promotion for 2,500 bonus points per stay that ended 30 September? I have searched my email but cannot find evidence, but I’m sure this promotion existed. Customer service are refusing to honour it, saying it ended 3 September, which isn’t my recollection.

  5. soloflyer1977 says:

    I redeemed a 2for1 companion voucher a trip at the end of November. My companion can no longer no travel. I know they can cancel his seat and return the 2for1 voucher for future use through the call centre. My question is, what is the latest time I can cancel his seat? 24hrs before the flight? TIA

    • If you look at the cancellation policy on it has all this info. Re the 2 4 1, would you not have to cancel the whole booking and re-book again for yourself?

      • soloflyer1977 says:

        No. I think they can separate the booking into 2 PNR’s (according to the good people at flyertalk) and then cancel the PNR for the non-travelling seats. This means that I don’t lose my Row 1 seat 🙂 and also get my 2for1 voucher returned to use on another rewards. From looking at, once I cancel 24 hrs before the flights, I can get my voucher returned. Thanks for the tip Anna

  6. It was a 10,000 points promotion given on 2 stays or free Friday night. It ended on 30 September. I find that contacting club carlson on twitter the most efficient method. If you provide your email, I will forward you details of the promotion.

  7. OT – in August stayed in a hotel for 2 nights booked through, and at check-in was charged an extra $40 government tax (which has been in place for years). There was no mention of the tax at the time of booking so I assumed it was included. tried to wiggle out of this by saying they could never guarantee there would not be extra taxes on top of their prices, however after I insisted on lodging a formal complaint and reporting them to the ASA, they sent me a voucher for $45 towards my next booking. The ASA have warned and will consider legal action if it happens again. are still advertising this hotel without the tax, however…

    Worth keeping an eye on, if, like me, you want to continue using for the free nights and the Clubcard voucher deals.

    • Genghis says:

      I’ve not yet used the Clubcard voucher deal on Have all the initial problems been sorted out (i.e. booking at chains etc). Anyone with any recent experience? Is it a genuine 3x (less any potential cash back / reward night if paid cash) = c.2.5x?

      • I’ll be (hopefully) making a booking to Washington DC when I get this quarter’s Clubcard vouchers in a couple of weeks, I’ll report back.

      • Issues are now fixed I understand. No reward credit so, yes, nearer 2.5x.

        • Used it back in September (hotel near Pula actually!) and all worked smoothly. was offering 10% off bookings in return for no credit so was genuine 3x value.

      • I’ve used the CC route twice now, once using the max £250CC -> £750 credit. no issue booking any hotel. Just make sure you use the correct Tesco link to

      • Yes, also make sure you only convert voucher amount minus the taxes and fees as u have to pay that element! Nearly tripped me up, as you cannot get change from converted voucher.

        I’ve booked a hotel here and in Poland OK

    • O/T but related on tesco site there are also voucher exchange options for hilton and accor I think ? Why is that never mentioned here ? Are they bad deals or any ‘small print’ I’ve missed ? i.e. why use then ?

      • Genghis says:

        Hilton is poor rate and UK only

        • Genghis says:

          Actually, it’s not that poor. You pay a cancellable rate for a non-cancellable room.

      • I do an article on Tesco / Hilton once a year or so.

        I have never known anyone who redeemed for Accor so no idea how tricky they make it.

        Hilton rooms earn points back and count for status. However, not strictly 3x if you didn’t need a non-cancellable room or if you have status and would not need a B&B rate.

  8. Gin and Tonic Please says:

    OT: The Shop Small email just landed in my inbox. Having had a quick look at the map for my local area I can see (1) a load of places I know from last year don’t take Amex and (2) quite a few new places, including several pubs and offies. Very happy on both fronts… 🙂

    • Genghis says:

      (1) = lots of phone calls to Amex but they do pay up and say “thanks for letting us know”. I guess they never then update the map.

      • I must have made 20 of those calls, they really don’t care it’s only £5 to them…great customer service for our inconvenience!

      • Gin and Tonic Please says:

        Oh I know – that’s why I’m happy! Last year I found 5 local stores on the map that didn’t take Amex. Made quite a tidy little sum when I applied that across all my cards… They thanked me for the feedback and said that they’d update the map for future reference. Admittedly, last year I did it all by email (one email per card, to be exact). Will be more of a hassle this time.

        • I don’t see why you can’t do this via online chat. I’ve cancelled cards with it too no problem

        • the real harry1 says:

          Amex Chat seems to go round in circles for me, rather slow to actually verify ID & get the result I was after – I prefer phoning & find the phone agents normally very good

      • what – so you go to shop X and pay with your e.g. visa card and then call up Amex saying – this shop was on your map but doesnt take amex…cam i have a fiver please?

    • Never seen a small shop offer on our cards 🙁

      • Genghis says:

        When did you get your Amex cards? Small shop comes around once a year and recently has been for two weeks the first two weeks of December.

        • That’d be why then! Got the free BA amex in Feb, upgraded to the BAPP in May I think, and hold the gold amex too which I’ve had for approaching a month I think.

        • In fact strike that I’ve only had the GC 2 weeks or so!

    • Wally1976 says:

      Where are you finding the Shop Small map please? Can’t see a link in the email and all the info on seems to relate to last year? Thanks

  9. Re your suggestion to match with both Iberia and BA, is it really possible to credit miles on a card and use another to access the lounge on the same flight/s, re on the same boarding pass??? THX in advance for any feedback!

    • Yes, it’s your status that gets you into the lounge. Back in the old days of AB sapphire status on Plat card, we could go into BA MAS and CX lounges whilst in Y. Sometimes we had to put the AB no on the booking,,to get into the lounge, but then get the lounge desk or gate to change it back to your BAEC no. That does work!

    • Yes but …. some lounges may get stroppy and change the FF number on the ticket. In which case, you will need to change it back (a main lounge may have a ticket desk in it).

      This was a common issue when Amex Plat came with Cathay Gold status, so we all used that for lounge access but wanted to credit flights to BAEC.

      • THX for responses, indeed all times I tried to access they changed the FF ref on my boarding pass. Last time in Narita, but it was only a small number of miles and it was worth the free flow of sake. But how do you change it back directly in the lounge, with the same guy that a minute before did the initial change, or the guy next to him? seems impractical. At a ticket desk elsewhere in the airport seems a better option. Perhaps it is my legal background, but indeed the terms of a FF program do not seem to address clearly whether it has to be the same card for miles accrual and/or lounge access, and this latter might also incur in repayments fees between airlines or the lounge company.

        • The system can actually handle 2 cards for this very reason but almost no staff know how to do it.

  10. Genghis, We did the same for the IC Bordeaux last month. My husband is SE Amb too. Booked first 2 nights as 2 for 1 with my husband’s free ambassador certificate and 3rd night as a reward night from my gold account. I immediately emailed hotel directly and just requested they link the bookings so we could keep the same room – this was before any upgrade was on the account. When the amb upgrade showed online the 3rd night upgraded too. The day before arrival they upgraded all 3 nights again to a family junior suite. Beautiful place.

    • Julie,

      Did you fly back BA from BOD by any chance. We are flying next week, and wonder if a lounge actually exists. Some reports say given voucher for cafe there…we are on the last flight to LGW thanks.

      • Genghis says:

        @Julie. Thanks. We’re off to the Porto one next year. I’ve already booked all the nights as separate nights (x2 though reward nights normally come straight back into reward inventory) so can chop and change.

        @Polly. Last time I was in BOD no lounge. I got vouchers for the caf.

        • Tnx Genghis and Julie, so it’s the caf for us then…wot a let down! not so bad as we are on CE wasting a 241 sadly! But is nice to relax before a late flight…G don’t suppose you know what time that cafe closed at, presume it must stay open for all those BA late night flights?

        • Genghis says:

          Don’t know, sorry. I’ve only ever been on the early morning flight.
          Be sure to visit Dune du Pilat. It’s impressive!

      • Polly, no we flew Liverpool to Bordeaux with Easyjet so we could fly direct from the north west. That meant that we flew in and out of the Billi terminal – a big shed like building they’ve built for budget airlines. No idea what facilities they have in the main terminal buildings sorry. After our 3 nights in Bordeaux we went to St Emillion for 4 nights. Wonderful holiday with lots of red wine! Enjoy your hols.

      • Gin and Tonic Please says:

        We flew out of BOD on the last flight a few weeks ago. There were posters advertising a lounge in the terminal, but BA wasn’t using it (and neither is it on PP). We were given the vouchers, as others have said. The bar before security was still open, and we had enough for a drink and a snack each. There is virtually nothing in the airport, so get there as late as you’re comfortable doing.

  11. Sunny M says:

    OT: I’m part of a Household account and I’m wanting to book 2 avios redemptions for myself and a friend. The friend is not part of the household account. When I come to the part to enter the second passengers details, there is a drop-down menu that only allows household account members to be selected. I can’t enter the second passengers details manually.

    Can the second passenger be anyone or does it have to be a household account member?

  12. OT UUA: Just ran into the recently discussed issue of sky high pricing when attempting to book with money and upgrade using avios. Consequently, I booked the revenue WTP flight and tried to UUA on manage my booking. It would not allow me to do this online stating I needed to call. When I did so the agent would only upgrade the longhaul sectors, not the donestic connections as they were in ET, there being no PE on domestic flights. Is this correct or should he have upgraded the domestic sectors to ET? If the whole process is completed online then the domestic sectors would have been in ET.

  13. Wally1976 says:

    OT – considering booking Virgin Atlantic LHR->NYC outbound in UC, return in PE on a reward booking. Booked online as one-ways it’s totalling 65k points + £501.61 off-peak. As far as I can tell it’s not possible to book a mixed class return online so presumably you have to phone. Just wondering if anyone knows if the fees will come down if booking as a return on the phone (as I believe they do with BA)? I would hope they do as a return UC is £530.37 booked as a return but £753.92 booked as two singles (with PE the difference is much smaller, however).

    • The 2 singles price reflects the fact that bookings starting in the US incur higher taxes. A return flight from the UK gets around this.

      • Wally1976 says:

        Thanks Rob. When I looked at the fare breakdown, the taxes were the same as two singles vs a return but the difference was all YQ/YR!? I’ll ring up if no-one knows the answer. Thanks.

        • Yes, BA and Virgin charge Americans far higher YQ

        • Thankfully BA/VS charge US-originating itineraries a lot more in taxes – given how much cheaper US pax can acquire points (both via earnings rate on cards and thanks to frequent large transfer bonuses) I think they have to do this to limit redemptions a bit!

  14. OT – anyone know when Virgin Atlantic Flying Club may allow redemptions on Air France/KLM?

  15. OT: £50 economy flights on Hainan Airlines routes from MAN. Don’t know if you can upgrade to biz but doesn’t hurt to ask.

  16. Lol!! just goes to show HfP’s shouldn’t trespass into the world of economy 🙂

  17. Is anyone else having trouble logging into Amex website and/or App?

  18. Off topic c/o Aegean forum on flyertalk – 500 award miles for opening the App, works across the Together account (their version of household account)

    A few people have Aegean as their star alliance scheme so worth a mention.

  19. Steve-B says:

    @Genghis, catching up on yesterday’s trail, looks like you’re off to IC Porto. We’ve just come back from a long weekend there. Lovely hotel, very attentive front desk staff and well looked after as SE AMB with decent upgrade, so wouldn’t expect that you’ll have a problem retaining those status benefits. Great please to visit… people/ architecture/ ambience is excellent… you’ll enjoy. Just remember PP card as BA CE won’t get you lounge access.

    • Genghis says:

      Cheers Steve. I’m looking forward to it though not till June next year. We’re travelling onto Galicia overland and then onto Bilbao (my wife loves the restaurant scene there) with Air Nostrum (at some people’s valuation methods getting 7p / avios! 🙂

  20. 4 month cinema pass Nowtv box is currently available at Argos for £20