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  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.)


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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  1. The Titan and Germania flights CAN be booked as RFS, it just requires a call.

    The BA website isn’t set up to offer partner RFS but their hands are tied by the legal obligation to prominently display operating carrier. It’s a ‘least-worst’ thing, but not confusing ‘ordinary punters’ takes priority.

    The service fee will be waived if you have to call to book.

  2. The Qatar website is atrocious. It gives you error after error and it’s impossible to check the prices without spending an hour checking. And the discount codes never worked. I’ve checked the prices with and without codes and it’s always the same price. And yes, it’s within the booking window they mention.

  3. I got stockholm to capetown, with a day or so stop in DOH booked as a multitrip, 7400 one way, 7600 SEK the other… booked late for november

  4. If you are booking with Qatar you should have in mind their steep (very steep) cancellation fees USD450 and even uglier no-show policy USD880

    • Any sort of refund on a deeply discounted sale fee is a minor miracle …..

      • Rob the issue is not with the refund, that is very common and acceptable that the fare is non-refundable. The issue is with the no-show policy. Charging USD880 for no-show is a bit much no?

        • Search on flyertalk before thinking they’re going to fine you like this, they only “charge” USD880 if you miss a flight and wish to use your credit towards a rebooking. It’s basically an enhanced cancellation fee

    • Yeah – however they do do their £10 hold for 72 hours thing, which can be quite good if you cant decide straight away

      • True, but if for some reason (that isn’t covered by travel insurance) you can’t travel you end up with a very expensive bill. Don’t get me wrong I love Qatar service, but I think this policy is a bit too much. I couldn’t even imagine the outcry if BA was to do this or a UK train company…

        Related, Amex has some offers which might be handy to complement Qatar’s sale

        Spend £1,000 or more, get £100 back

        Spend £800 or more, get £100 back

        American Express Travel
        Spend 200 get £50 back

    • I’ve always wondered how this actually works. Are you saying that if you don’t turn up or try to cancel they are going to charge you money.

      How can they even do this? It’s not like they can just put it through on your credit card. Anyone with experience with this would be good. Thanks.

      • I believe the fee comes into play once you try and rebook the ticket

      • I was a no show last year and I have not been billed any cancellation charges, so must only be for re-booking….which Im not sure why anyone in their right mind would do anyways.

  5. OT : the Hilton Triple Avios (BA/Iberia) offer states if is for stays up until the 31st Jan.

    What happens is my stay is from 28th to 2nd Feb?

  6. With Titan on an A320 will there be difference over Y in terms of on board ie sepereate cabin blocked middle seat etc?

  7. Has anyone managed to use the 200 off 600 spend on amex travel using flights?

  8. O/T anyone now how many MR points do you get with a referral from Plat -> Nectar?

  9. O/T looking to book my first lloyds voucher flights. Husband and I have one each. We want to fly EDI or GLA to New York in Sep or Oct at a push. Obviously we want to pay as little in avios and £’s for business class, keeping avios and £’s down more important than dates lol. Would like a little advice re. cheapest dates (peak/off peak), airplane type, day/night flight etc. Have flown AA and United direct from Scotland before but never flown VIA London. Thanks

    • Apart from choosing off peak dates there’s not much you can do with the pricing. You’re stuck with BA flights from London with the Lloyds voucher, so the fees will be largely the same whichever flights you choose. The only slight difference is if you get the connecting flight on the same booking, it will cost no avios but there is an extra cash element. If you book it separately, it will be the usual RFS price.

      • Thanks Anna, will book the connection on the same booking. Just need to look for availability now.

        • You should be fine with availability to New York. Just avoid Oct half term period as it will be peak avios pricing.

        • Also, if you prefer to fly down to London the night before your NY flight for peace of mind, you can do that on the same booking, just choose the earlier date and click the box to add a stopover and continue the next day. If it’s all on one booking you can check your hold bags through and just hang onto your hand luggage overnight. We do this so as to be not starting too early and being too tired to enjoy the lounge and flight properly!

        • We want to do a long weekend so don’t really fancy adding an overnight in London, will just have a looong journey via London. Almost on the verge of letting the lloyds vouchers expire so i can fly direct……

  10. Booked a long weekend in Penang next month .Circa £1150 and through Oslo …now the small issue of getting to Norway 🙂

  11. OT: Virgin West Coast follows BA in ditching the Daily Mail

  12. Genghis says:

    OT. I ordered a Cat 1-5 Marriott travel package last year for 270k Marriott. I would like to redeem for a Cat 9 Hotel and so need to pay 120k to upgrade. Can I book now and pay the 120k later (ie. is book now pay later combinable with redeeming the certificate of an already purchased travel package)? Thanks.

    • Hi Genghis, I started with a Cat 1-5 travel package a couple of months ago. I just booked the higher Cat 7 hotel I wanted and then when I had the extra points I needed, I phoned up and asked if they could upgrade my travel package to that level and apply it to the hotel booking. All done in a couple of minutes. Very easy and pleasant phone call.

      • Genghis says:

        Thanks Julie and Waribai. I’ll do just that.

        • Genghis/Julie – do you mind me asking which properties you’re looking at for your travel packages? Thanks

      • Hi Asp, I’ve booked the Marriot in New Orleans for a week in October. Lots of other Marriott group hotels there of various categories but as i’m Marriott gold we’ll get breakfast and lounge entry at the actual ‘Marriott’ hotel there. Flying there on BA club (reward flights using a 2-for-1 voucher). Never been before and really looking forward to it!

    • I’m starting to question whether the 1-5 packages are always better than keeping in points. You can miss out on the special award reduction offers and sometimes hotels can be cheaper paying with points or points and cash rather than the seven day certificate. Also fitting in a seven day break when one of the party is an employee may mean leaving the hotel earlier.

      Back of fag packet calculation, in hindsight for us it would have been quicker and more point profitable to keep an amex MR card with a 1:1 amex partner. Has anyone done the math on this?

        • Thanks mark2, missed that and there are some strong points raised. It needs weeding out a bit more I think.

        • Wonder how much you need to earn to feel comfortable spending that much on hols!

      • 90k SPG for £90k spend is 120k Avios plus 5 hotel nights. In Amex Gold it would be 90,000 miles. On BAPP, 145k Avios but you are tied into Avios.

        • Well it’s the 7 night one that doesn’t sit well. Your’e missing out on stuff like the stay 4 nights get one free and then there are the sales – Domes in Greece is now 20% off in their PointSavers sale in peak season (August) at 270,000 for 7 days. That’s 120,000 points less than the 390,000 you’d have to put towards the Hotel and Miles package. That’s a lot of points.

          P.S In the interest of full disclosure you should know by now my math is, at best, ‘icky’

        • surely no-one would spend £90,000 on one card?

        • To be fair, I am trying to do £37,500 of tax / VAT / PAYE on my wife’s IHG card before Friday to lock in 2019 Spire! Unlikely to do it due to Creation’s 3-4 day lag in processing payments inwards.

        • Waribai says:

          I met someone at the HFP Xmas party spending £300k a year on one card albeit for business. It was an IHG card to boot……

        • Someone emailed me yesterday who asked for advice, he had £120k of personal FX spend last year – just holidays …..

        • Waribai says:

          Presumably he wasn’t looking for advice on how to spend £120 on travel…Otherwise, I think that’s almost consultancy fee territory!

  13. Another bits question from me today – My ambassador renewal is up in March. I have prebooked 4 rewards nights in July, total outlay 180k points. If I choose the ambassador renewal option with 10% rebate, will I get the rebate of 18k points on the prebooked nights or do i need to cancel and rebook after ambassador renewal?

    • Genghis says:

      Neee to cancel and rebook

      • Genghis says:

        If you have enough points book them again now and then rebook later. Reward nights usually go back into reward inventory but not always.

        • Waribai says:

          The other option to ensure your nights are reserved and if you don’t have enough points yet for the Cat 9 travel package is to book a standard 7 nights room only on reward points as you don’t need to have the points in the bank now to do this. Then when you do eventually have enough points for the CAT 9 travel package, phone up Marriott and swap your standard rewards nights reservation over to a travel package one. It means you don’t have to fret over the hotel selling out. We did this over New Year at the RC Abama which was just as well as Tenerife does sell out.

        • Waribai says:

          Sorry Ghengis, I just realised you asked the question about Marriott. I thought your IHG answer had been answering the Marriott question! AFAIK the method I mention is the only way to ensure you have the nights reserved as I’m fairly certain you can’t book travel packages until you have the points.

        • Unfortunately, I have emailed some of the hotels and managed to get them to change some of the room types for me in advance from the basic points rooms. IC monterey to a 2 bed room, HIE grand canyon to a kids bunk room. I’m loathe to cancel these as they are already updated in app.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

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

  17. 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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