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Bits: BA drops Kos, good BA luxury European deals, upstairs on a BA 747

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News in brief:

British Airways drop Kos

British Airways has decided to cancel the Kos route next year.  This is unfortunate, because tickets have been on sale for 5 months ….

The service was due to run between 5th May and 29th September 2018.

Cash passengers will be offered a re-route via Vienna, changing onto the Austrian Airlines service to Kos.  There is also an option to fly to Athens and then change to an Aegean service.  In both cases, business class passengers will be downgraded to economy for the second leg as they are ‘one class’ flights.

Note that Vienna is an 80 tier points route and Athens – like Kos – is a 160 tier points route.  If you have booked in Club Europe then it is easier to go via Athens if you want to be sure of your tier points.  BA should ‘make you square’ if you go via Vienna but it is likely to require a few emails back and forth.

Avios passengers will not be re-routed.  Your Avios will be refunded and you will have to make other arrangements at your own cost.

Passengers who are on a codeshare and not travelling on BA-issued tickets (ie a ticket number which does not start 125-) will also not be re-routed and will have to claim a refund from the airline with which they booked.

British Airways launches short haul Club Europe holidays sale

If you are planning a short break over the Winter, BA Holidays has launched a ‘Club Europe holidays’ short break promotion.

The special deals are listed here on

These offer excellent value for money compared to the cost of booking flights on their own.  You will also get at least 80 tier points each – more for longer routes – which makes this a cheap way to help your plans to earn or retain your British Airways Executive Club status.

This article lists the BA Club Europe routes which earn 160 tier points return.

You need to:

book by midnight on Monday 23rd October

travel between 1st November 2017 and 18th March 2018

These are the headline prices being promoted by British Airways Holidays, although there is no guarantee this price will be available on the dates you want.  All hotels are four or five star.

  • Bilbao business class flights + 3 nights hotel £272 pp
  • Paris business class flights + 3 nights hotel £284 pp
  • Amsterdam business class flights + 3 nights hotel £286 pp
  • Istanbul business class flights + 3 nights hotel £299 pp
  • Athens business class flights + 3 nights hotel £420 pp
  • Palermo business class flights + 7 nights hotel from £308 pp
  • Larnaca business class flights + 7 nights hotel from £585 pp
  • All inclusive Malaga business class flights + 7 nights hotel from £421 pp
  • Palermo business class flights + 7 nights hotel £308 pp
  • Malaga business class flights + 7 nights hotel £370 pp
  • Mallorca (Palma) business class flights + 7 nights hotel £374 pp
  • Larnaca business class flights + 7 nights hotel £585 pp
  • Krakow business class flights + 3 nights hotel £311 pp
  • Berlin business class flights + 3 nights hotel £340 pp
  • Prague business class flights + 3 nights hotel £345 pp
  • Vienna business class flights + 3 nights hotel £353 pp
  • Budapest business class flights + 3 nights hotel £383 pp

Take a look at BA Holidays here for more details.

British Airways 747 stairs

Upstairs on a British Airways Boeing 747

Finally, a random personal picture.  We flew down to Dubai on a Boeing 747 last week and sat on the upper deck.

If you have been flying BA for as long as me then this may not be a novelty, but younger readers may never have experienced it.  Whilst BA remains the biggest global operator of the Boeing 747, they are being shuffled towards the retirement home one by one.

If you get a chance to try a 747 in Club World, on the upper deck, you should.

There is no doubt that some of the planes are well past their prime, and the cabin environment is not as classy as the new Boeing 787 Club World cabin.  However, as you can see from the photo below and the picture above of the stairs, it is a unique experience with such a small cabin.  The only BA experience that compares is the BA1 service on an A318 from London City to New York.

British Airways Boeing 747 upper deck



How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (130)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • xcalx says:

    OT Is it still possible to pre book lounges using priority pass if so has anyone got a link, google search shows no results thanks. Lounge is Escape Manchester terminal 3. Thanks

  • Kinkell says:

    Totally agree,UD is a very nice way to travel. Booked several times, and indeed, have gone F during daytime in the nose, but UD if its an o/n flight.

  • Graham Walsh says:

    My only time in the UD of a 747 on VA from Orlando to LHR earlier this year in PE. Got to see the SpaceX launch

    • TripRep says:

      Very cool video, big fan of KSC, seen a few launches there including 2 night launches of Endeavour Space Shuttle.

    • TripRep says:

      ps I assume you meant LGW rather than LHR?

    • Leo says:

      Love UD on BA. Just did UD PE on VS out of Gatwick last week . Actually much preferred the PE main cabin which surprised me.

  • RussellH says:

    Compltely OT, but this is Bits…

    I assume that I am not the only one to have had an e-mail from IHG saying that “from early 2018 you will be able to earn IHG points at all Kimpton Hotels, and shortly after that be able to redeem at Kimpton too”?

  • W says:

    Yes 747 UD is great fun & better service. Have to pay is to get up there if I’m lowly status :((

    It will be a shame when those elegant beauties are retired.

    Iconic aviation age. You can’t replace that nose cone.

  • Roger says:

    OT BAPP 241.

    Would you buy BAPP 241 voucher for £210.
    Here is the math. Have used BAPP and already got Sign up bonus for spending 3k.
    Now debating whether to spend additional 7k and bag the voucher before cancelling the card. This will likely be Billhop payment.

    • Alan says:

      If I knew I would definitely be using the voucher and it was going to save me 40k+ Avios I’d go for it (the more Avios to be saved the keener, obviously!). If only saving 30k then I’d probably not go for it – all depends what you value Avios at and which route you’re (realistically) going to use it for.

    • Rob says:

      Really depends on how many Avios you have. If you are close to, say, 120k then the 241 will open up a lot of Club World routes you couldn’t otherwise hit.

      If you Avios pot is low and you end up redeeming to Hamburg then clearly it is waste.

      Given that you’ll earn 10,500 Avios on the £7k then it is really a net cost of £100 or so which is really a no brainer.

      • Genghis says:

        And if you factor in your normal spend rate in calculating the prorata refund (assuming you would go for the 241 without using Billhop), it makes it even cheaper

    • Worzel says:


      The Avios Hopper, in my view, has overspilt for some time- I doubt that BA will open the Chute to allow better flow.

      As Rob says (11:17) depends on the stash(that you don’t own!) -so…….!

      Genghis mentioned a few days ago -Supply/Demand.

      My view is that there will be a further devaluation in the not too distant future.

      Promises of extra seats will be made- however, the overall position situation will remain the same!

      A Conundrum 🙂 .

  • Bill says:

    Can anyone recommend 2 good seats for a couple in UD? I’ve got 241 CW return for LHR – LAS Sept 2018 and looking to snag UD seats. Heard things about climbing over each other to get to the toilets and staring into strangers eyes at takeoff.
    Looking to upgrade the outbound to F but my dates aren’t showing availability yet.

    • Alan says:

      If you’re a couple then you’ll be looking at each other unless you pick different rows! It’s almost 2-2 on UD. Window seats have to step over aisle to get out but not 64A/K or the emergency exit row so lots of options – rare that I need out anyway, slept for 6.5h coming back from MSY last weekend, all I had was a bottle of water!

    • Genghis says:

      I like 62AB and JK for direct aisle access. We’re in 64JK (also direct aisle access but next to toilet) though on our next 744 flight.

      • Bill says:

        We just did LHR to MIA WTP 15AB right by the toilets. Turned out to be some of best seats. Probably cos there was nobody behind us and I don’t feel guilty every time I reclined the seat.

    • BP says:

      Just remember that the LAS flights leave from T3, so no access to the CCR if you fly F. I’ve also got 241 CW flights for September 2018 to LAS but decided F isn’t worth the extra avios without CCR access.

      • Alan says:

        Although on the upside you get the CX lounge in T3 instead 😀

      • Bill says:

        Yeah I’ve came to terms with that last week when I was reading up on lounges lol. I think the Cathy pacific will do just fine (looking forward to those noodles) It’s our first CW and potentially first F with BA. Did do Upper Class with Virgin from Newark to LHR 6 years ago and that was really good.

        Signed up for the alerts for 1st availability but no dice yet.

        • Andrew says:

          I’ve used the cx lounge and they are very good especially since they have recently been refurbished. Food cooked to order, good bar, nice views and when I’ve used them, fairly empty and spacious. I far cry from the club lounge at T5

        • Adrian says:

          There will also be a nice new Qantas lounge to try.

        • Crispbag says:

          No noodles in first CX, you’ll need to skip next door to business CX for those.

  • Genghis says:

    OT. Visited the Postal Museum and rode the Mail Rail train this morning that Rob wrote about a while back. It was a really good exhibition and rather interactive which I like. Highly recommended.

    • Alan says:

      Ah excellent, I thought it sounded decent so will definitely put it on my list of things to do next time I’m in London!

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