Bits: Qatar sale starts TODAY, RFS on Gatwick BA flights flown by Titan?, Corinthia Hotels 50% off sale

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News in brief:

Qatar Airways sale starts today

The Qatar Airways sale starts today – see the sale home page here – and will run for a week.  In recent years this has been the most aggressive sale we saw, with fares (out of Europe, not out of London) of £1000 or less to many places.

Remember that Qatar Airways runs a fantastic business class service and you earn Avios and tier points when you fly with them as they are a BA partner.  A return flight to Asia earns 560 BA tier points which is over 90% of a BA Silver card.

I will do a full report tomorrow or Thursday as soon as I can get through the data.

However …. if you want to book a sale flight departing from the UK, I have a special 5% discount code which can be stacked with the official sale fares.

The code is UKGTBAFFILIATE and is good for bookings made by 16th January.  You must book via this sale page of the Qatar Airways website – click here.

Qatar Airways sale

Reward Flight Saver on Gatwick flights flown by Titan for British Airways?

As we mentioned in our article on the new expanded British Airways Summer schedule from Gatwick, Titan Airways will be operating some short haul services on behalf of BA.

Titan Airways has a decent reputation and has substituted for BA before during periods of strike action.  This time they are helping British Airways fill the landing and take off slots it bought from Monarch until it can get hold of enough additional aircraft of its own.

The Titan flights are shown very clearly on ba.com.  They actually say ‘Titan Airways BAXXXX’ in the booking system, rather than ‘British Airways BAXXXX’.

One quirk is that, if you book such a service using Avios online, there is no Reward Flight Saver offered.  This is because they are not treated as British Airways flights.

On most routes this isn’t much of an issue.  Looking at Gatwick to Palma, the Titan flights require £36.11 of taxes and charges in Economy compared with £35 Reward Flight Saver on a BA service.  If you fly in Business, you save money – the tax is £49.11 vs £50 Reward Flight Saver.

I don’t know whether,  if you ring the BA call centre, they can book them for you at the standard RFS rates.

One thing that is not clear is whether, if you pay cash, these services count towards the four British Airways flight segments you need to take each year to retain status. (EDIT: yes they will, say the comments below from people who fly BA codeshares more often than me, which seems to be how these are treated.)

corinthia-london

50% discount in the Corinthia Hotels sale

Long-term Head for Points readers will remember that I did a review of the Corinthia Hotel in London early 2015 after the hotel let me have a tour of its facilities and suites.

It is a genuinely impressive piece of work. It is probably the most luxurious new hotel to open in London in the last 20 years and it is well worth popping in if you are passing, if only for a drink.

Whilst the hotel is surprisingly big, the branding is very low key and it is easy to miss. It is on Northumberland Avenue – if you come out of Embankment tube station and turn left under the bridge, it is in front of you as emerge, opposite the theatre.  The website is here if you want to learn more.

If you are looking to treat someone to a special weekend in London, you can save 25% on the Best Available Rate in Corinthia’s sale which started last week (click here) and goes on until 28th February.

The deals at their other five-star European hotels are even better, although these properties are not at the same level of opulence as London.  For stays at the Corinthia hotels in Malta, Lisbon, Khartoum, Prague and St Petersburg, you will save 50% on the Best Available Rate for bookings made during the sale.  The historic Budapest hotel is 30% off.

Bookings have to be made by 28th February for stays until the end of this year.  In an attempt to encourage you to book direct, the company also offers special deals (varied by hotel) including complimentary room upgrades, extended check-outs and discounts in their restaurants and bars.

You can’t earn Avios when you stay with Corinthia. It is a member of Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), however, which has its own loyalty programme.  GHA does not have any airline partnerships so you cannot earn miles from your stay.  Subscribers to Business Traveller magazine get free Platinum level membership of the GHA Discovery programme as I outlined in this article. That said, my gut feeling is that Corinthia would prioritise direct bookers who are due extra benefits under their ‘direct booking bonuses’ scheme over GHA status members who book via the GHA website.

You can book the sale deals via the Corinthia website here.

PS. Emyr Thomas, our hotel booking partner, just dropped me a note to say that for London he can get you the Corinthia sale rate WITH full Virtuoso benefits. This would include free breakfast and a credit to spend in the hotel. You can contact Emyr via the ‘Bookings’ tab in the top menu.

(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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Comments

  1. OT: BA has changed the departure time of my flight. Tickets were booked via Avios and £35 tax. It’s shortened my connection time to a long haul flight (not on same ticket and not BA) and I want to play it safe by flying the day before. Will BA let me change for free online/via phone?

    • Waribai says:

      Yes, they should even let you cancel too.

    • Lady London says:

      I’d suggest before you call BA, take a long hard look at the alternative(s) you want and when you call, ask BA for your preferred alternative. (Have a backup handy.) Check out loading on the flight, aircraft type, etc. You get quite a bit of leeway in this type of case usually.

      Btw: are you sure it’s just a time change of the same flight that you’ve been given and they’re not actually trying to move you to another flight so as to make your seat on the original flight available for others to book? I’ve had that done to me!

      • Very useful, thanks. It’s flight time change, flight number is the same. Can I book an alternative through manage my booking or do I need to call?

        • In my experience they are pretty flexible so good to know what you want in advance. They will open up Award availability to enable a change after a schedule change – I wasn’t entirely expecting that but was very helpful.

          Try online but don’t be surprised if you need to call – they can see if you have tried to make the change online and will waive the offline fee, some agents will need a prompt to do this.

  2. Lady London says:

    I’d suggest before you call BA, take a long hard look at the alternative(s) you want and when you call, ask BA for your preferred alternative. (Have a backup handy.) Check out loading on the flight, aircraft type, etc. You get quite a bit of leeway in this type of case usually.

    Btw: are you sure it’s just a time change of the same flight that you’ve been given and they’re not actually trying to move you to another flight so as to make your seat on the original flight available for others to book? I’ve had that done to me!

  3. Are there any conditions for the 5% discount? I cannot seem to get it to work.

  4. I’ve booked OSL – DOH – SIN return for £1150 each (2 passengers). I couldn’t get any of the 5% promo codes to work but it’s still a decent deal.

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