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Bits: 3000 Virgin miles with £65 of wine, Avios wine deal, NIKI closed

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News in brief:

3,000 Virgin Flying Club miles with £65 of wine

Virgin Flying Club has a new wine deal, offering 3,000 miles with your first order from Virgin Wines.

If you’ve never ordered from Virgin Wines before, it is running a generous offer on Winter Reds which is worth a look.

For £65.88 including delivery, you will receive:

12 mixed bottles of Winter Reds

2 Dartington Crystal wine glasses

3,000 Virgin Flying Club miles

Note that – whilst the website makes no mention of this – reader reports suggest that you will be signed up to the Virgin Wines Winebank scheme if you take advantage of this offer.  You can easily cancel but keep an eye out for the paperwork.  Full details are here.

Don’t forget the current Avios wine deal too

Avios / Laithwaites also have an interesting wine deal running until 31st December.   The cut-off date for Christmas delivery on the UK mainland is 21st December.

The deal is here.   You receive:

A 12-bottle wine case, chosen from 13 options priced from £54.99

2 free bottles of rioja

2 free wine glasses

1,000 Avios points (250 Avios points if you are an existing Laithwaite’s customer)

Free delivery

There is one snag with this offer.  By ordering, you are signing yourself up to Laithwaite’s Wine Plan.  Every 8-12 weeks they will automatically send you another 12-bottle wine case.  It is very easy to stop this happening – simply amend your account online or give Laithwaite’s a call to cancel your Wine Plan membership, there is no penalty – but you must trust yourself to remember.

The miles will be dropped into an account and not a British Airways Executive Club account but can be easily moved across using ‘Combine My Avios’ online.

Austrian airline NIKI closed as Lufthansa deal falters

Austrian airline NIKI, originally founded by racing driver Niki Lauda but owned by airberlin for some years, was closed suddenly on 14th December.  Passengers have been left stranded.

Whilst airberlin had already ceased operations, NIKI had continued to fly.  Lufthansa intended to merge it into its low-cost Eurowings operation.

The deal fell foul of the European Commission, however, who believed it was anti-competitive.  With no other buyer on the horizon and an unprofitable Winter season ahead, the decision was made to cease flying last Thursday.

Lufthansa is still facing pushback from the European Commission over acquiring other airberlin assets, with slot sales and other remedies likely to be required.

Comments (17)

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  • pauldb says:

    Bait and switch on the £20 NW whites in the picture!

  • peter says:

    Ive had this offer, the wine glasses are so thin that I actually think they would smash if you flicked them

  • Graeme says:

    OT. We are going to book 4xWTP return tickets with BA and currently only 2 CW tickets are available for UUA as usual. I’m thinking of booking these and hoping 2 more CW do come available between now and October, appreciate they likely won’t though.

    Question is, am I able to cancel the UUA part and return to the existing ticket, 4xWTP should this happen. Reason being 2 tickets are for kids and they would be really upset if only 1 got the comfy bed overnight from JFK.

    • Fenny says:

      Let both kids sit in CW to solve any problems! 😉

    • Gavin says:

      If flying back from JFK why not book 1 adult and 1 kid onto separate flights, there’s usually loads going at a similar time, and availability usually quite good

      • Graeme says:

        thanks. Would prefer to leave them in WTP and us head to CW.???? Good idea regarding 2 tickets. Will run it past the boss!

  • Tariq says:

    The EC protecting consumers again by leaving them stranded and ruining their holidays. Way to go.

    • RussellH says:

      You are conflating competition rules with financial protection, which is not really fair, IMHO. There have been complaints from many quarters about Lufthansa hoovering up the bits left behind by Air Berlin. Personally I would have thought that Nikki was small enough not to be significant in the overall scheme of things, but I do not make the rules.

      As to financial protection, the Travel Trade in the UK has been calling for financial protection for passengers on scheduled flights for as long as I can remember, but the big airlines – BA, LH etc are completely against the idea, and for 20 odd years they have persuaded UK governments that it is not necessary.

      The objection has always been that the trade has wanted airlines to be covered by an ATOL; however, as this is a pooled scheme, the likes of BA see this as an effective subsidy of their less financially secure rivals.

      The CAA, who invented the ATOL concept back in 1971 (it came into force in 1973 and was promplty tested by the notorious Court Line collapse in 1974, when the initial design of the scheme was found wanting) has always believed that ATOL is the only satisfactory way to protect holidaymakers monies and refuses to countenance any other system for air travel, such as an insurance scheme, where the financially secure airlines would pay a very small premium per passenger, while those that are less solid would be paying rather bigger premiums.

      (This is based on my clear memory of correspondence I had with the CAA in the 1990s and 2000s – I thought that I still had it, but I cannot find it at present.)

      • Lady London says:

        Basically to be covered by ATOL I think you have to be taking some other service and not just a flight. IIRC it’s a requirement that travel vendors selling “packages” have to be covered by an ATOL. Maybe someone can correct me does that mean if you go through the holidays side of BA to booking a flight with, say, one night’s hostel accommodation (that you might not use) or a car, does that mean you get ATOL protection by booking that way, that is just not available with flight-only bookings?

        My knowledge is old so please correct me but pretty sure that’s how it used to work.

        • RussellH says:

          99% of the time you are correct. Certainly anyone selling a ‘package’ ie travel + something else (most often accommodation, but does not have to be) or accommodation plus something else (perhaps a transfer or a local guide) has to have financial protection arrangements in place.

          The only exception that I am aware of is that Monarch voluntarily protected some of its flights with an ATOL during the final months of its existence.

          If the travel is a flight, then in the UK the only legally authorised means of financial protection is an ATOL. Surface travel of any other kind – rail, coach, ferry – plus something else, or accommodation plus something else may be protected by:-
          a) a bonding scheme ATOL
          b) financial protection insurance
          c) monies being paid into an approved trust fund and left there until the traveller has returned to the UK.

          These types of protection were agreed by all EU countries and included in The Package Travel, Package Holidays & Package Tours Regulations 1992. Any Tour Operator’s website or other publicity is required to carry a statement that these regulations are complied with.

          Other EU countries permit any of the above methods of protection; in my experience most use an insurance policy, as I used to do.

          You will find that many smaller, specialist operators do not include air travel in their packages – this is because of the cost of arranging an ATOL is, I believe over £1000. Peanuts to the like of TUI or Thomas Cook, significant to someone whose total turnover may be, say, £200 000, when the margin on the air travel component is around 1%-2%.

          Oh, and there are significant changes coming in from 1 Jan 2018 – except that our brilliant government is still consulting with the travel trade – and has been for 30 months…

  • Liz says:

    OT: IHG Pts – just completed our first stay since IHG have changed their Account page layout – which is horrible. I asked for welcome pts instead of a drink and for CP is usually 600 pts. Pts posted today seem to have been inflated above what we actually paid – not sure if this is an error or an added bonus as it was our anniversary/my birthday. Received more Base pts than expected but also received 1500 more bonus pts above the 100% Spire bonus pts – they were all lumped together so I don’t know if the welcome pts are included in that as it doesn’t show a split. Don’t want to rock the boat by asking but does anyone know if the welcome pts are being added to the bonus stay pts for status?

    • Graeme says:

      Welcome points are showing as separate lines on the account activity page Liz in my recent experience of last two stays. I have spire too and haven’t seen them lumped together as you describe and bonus points for status have also been as expected.

      • Graeme says:

        also Liz if you click on the line you are querying in the account activity page, it should take you to a page showing the breakdown of how the points total have been calculated.

        • Liz says:

          I did click on the line and it says 6858 Base pts and 8358 bonus pts. Seem to have more pts than I am due plus 1500 additional bonus pts but no explanation as to why. I just wondered if the welcome pts were the extra bonus pts but as you say yours recently showed as separate which is normally the case. I paid £408 incl VAT and that is showing on my bill and no other charges have been added. On the activity page it says £510 ($685.76) for room and at the bottom it says total spending £578 ($777.20) and total qualifying spend £685.78 ($922.09). Conversion rate is 0.74. No idea where they are getting these numbers on a £408 spend! Also checked credit card and there are no other charges. I reckon I am about 6000 pts up on what I should have got – not complaining – think I will leave well alone! :]

  • Mike G says:

    O/T: flying from ITM to HND in a couple of days, on JAL metal booked with Avios com I can’t seem to find the JAL confirmation number anywhere, either on mmb or the itinerary/e-mail ticket receipt. This is the confirmation I would need to use the JAL check-in machines.

    Does anyone know the check-in process for a JAL domestic reward booking?

  • CV3V says:

    Bits – American Airlines are offering status challenge for Air Berlin. I got a status challenge for AA Plat from Air Berlin Gold, Plat status for next 3 months.

    Meantime, Air Berlin just posted me a new Air Berlin Gold card for no reason i can fathom, still has oneworld logo on it.

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

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