Bits: Exciting HFP Summer Party changes (NEW DATE!), last day for 50% off BA economy redemptions

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News in brief:

Exciting changes for the Head for Points Summer Party

Last Monday we announced our first Head for Points Summer party, in the light, sunny and airy Glasshouse suite at the Holiday Inn Camden Lock.

We proposed Tuesday 3rd July.  Unfortunately, as we hadn’t got our World Cup wall charts up at the time, we didn’t realise that there is a potential clash with an England football game.  It isn’t guaranteed, but it could happen.

We are going to move the date to Monday 9th July.  There are no games on that day at all!

The exciting news is that we have signed up a high profile sponsor – full details to be announced.  This means:

every ticket will now include your first drink for free and

we are lining up a very generous raffle prize for one lucky attendee!

We will make a full announcement on Tuesday and we anticipate tickets going on sale on Thursday.  Apologies for any confusion from switching the date, but it is definitely going to be worth it.

Holiday Inn Camden Lock Glasshouse Suite

Last day to book economy Avios redemptions for 50% fewer Avios

Until midnight tonight, 17th June, over 90 British Airways long-haul routes can be redeemed at 50% off, but in Economy only.  

Unfortunately taxes, fees and carrier charges are NOT reduced and will set you back around £350 per person (£275 for the Middle East).

This offer is for flights from or to London Heathrow and Gatwick between 1st September 2018 and 31st May 2019.  In reality, despite what the rules say, regional departures seem to work OK too.  If you live near Inverness this means that you can wipe out the Air Passenger Duty by starting from there as it is exempt.

One way redemptions are allowed.

You cannot combine this offer with a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher or a Lloyds Avios Rewards upgrade voucher.

Avios part payments are excluded from this offer, but Avios plus cash is included.  The reduced Avios price will automatically be applied when booking.

Here are some typical off-peak prices for return World Traveller (economy) flights including taxes with this offer:

  • Bermuda for 13,000 Avios + £367.16 (peak 20,000 Avios)
  • Seychelles for 16,250 Avios + £369.61 (peak 25,000 Avios)
  • Hong Kong for 19,500 Avios +£341.35 (peak 30,000 Avios).

Of course, even at half price most of these deals remain poor.  Should I want to go to Dubai, for example, it will cost me 13,000 Avios + £259 on an off-peak date.  Cash tickets can often be had for £295 to £325 which means that the redemption is still a bad deal unless you need the flexibility to cancel if needed.

That said, do the maths.  If you are travelling in high season it may still make sense.  Whilst economy redemptions are usually not great value long-haul, this offer would make sense if a cash ticket would otherwise set you back £550 – £600 or so. This would value your Avios points at 1p each which is fine by us.

You must book by tonight for travel between 1st September 2018 and 31st May 2019 to redeem for 50% fewer Avios – and 0% fewer taxes.

The special offer page for the deal is here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. Very optimistic, Rob :D!

    (Sent from Scotland)

    • I just checked an INV departure and still £275 taxes and charges payable???

  2. Jonathan says:

    Note that if you start from INV you can do the INV-LHR leg in Club Europe for free. I just did INV-LHR-TLV with INV-LHR in C and LHR-TLV in Y for 5000 Avios and some cash (in previous sale). Useful especially if there is no award availability INV-LHR in Y, but there is in C.

    As an aside – from this leg I managed to get 10K Avios + 300 Euro EU261 compensation per person for no special meals + flight delayed 3.5 hours – so I had a net gain of both Avios and cash!

    • how many people want to fly INV-TLV tho…..

      • Jonathan says:

        Same will apply to any long haul flight bought in sale, if you start from INV (to save APD) you can fly the first leg in CE for free.

        • Free of Avios, yes, but also free of additional ‘taxes’/surcharges?

        • the real harry1 says:

          @ Jeff- correct, still payable

        • Jonathan says:

          The extra taxes/fees are far less than the APD you save by starting in INV. Same also applies for JER – if you start flight from there you can fly first leg in CE if long haul is in Y.

  3. with regards to the world football cup there is a tiny gadget called ‘tv b-gone’. it cycles through all the remote control codes to turn almost any tv off. it’s great for lounges where lots of grown men (and it’s normally just men) are getting a bit over excited and loud watching some other men kick a ball around on tv. One press and the tv will go off and you can get some peace and quiet when in the lounge.

    • Spurs Debs says:

      Oh Leo that’s a tad sexist, more and more women are going to football and I speak as a season ticket holder at White Hart Lane and a women for my sins.

    • Alex W says:

      That sounds very selfish indeed. I bet you carry one of those seat recline locks as well!

    • The usual Leo says:

      Can I just point out this wasn’t me.

    • Lumma says:

      Related to this, does anyone know which of the Oneworld terminal 3 lounges will be the best to watch the football in tomorrow afternoon? 😉

      Other than the one without Leo and his amazing gadget obviously

    • Wivus says:

      I presume this must be a large hook? Nobody thinks this way do they? I do agree with the unfortunate Debs though that there are, thankfully, a good percentage of women at Premiership matches these days. Also anyone who believes women are quiet and demure at football matches have neither met my female friends or the ladies in my family.

    • Fenny says:

      Or you could just go somewhere else!

  4. OT just arrived on Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday in Aus, my husband is asking why we are only here for 3 nights. Free non motorised water sports if booked direct, Palm Bungalows are suiting us ( most likely more price conscious & less fancy than many HFP readers). Our most expensive Aus option so far but very happy with it.

    • the real harry1 says:

      Sailing round the Whitsundays for a few days was a brilliant experience I’d love to repeat, it’s truly the most wonderful part of the world! 🙂

      One of them, anyway – not just bucket list material but should be on anybody’s top 3 like-to-visits

    • Alex W says:

      Do they do free sailing dinghies?

      • Yes the Hobie Cats are free, in theory you need a group lesson if you haven’t sailed one recently but in reality one of the beach guys has a quick chat and you are good to go. That is just for use in the bay. Breakfast also included. No need to hire a golf buggy unless you can’t walk 500m to the Marina for more food options.
        We went sailing on Lady Enid (out of Airlie Beach) beautiful old wooden boat only 7 guests, just could have done with more wind.

  5. Nigel says:

    Im not sure that many England squad players would be wanting to attend, Rob. However its nice of you to consider them! Whatever stage of the tournament this is, im sure they will regrettably all be free!

    • The clash would have happened if England came 2nd in their group, which is what I expect since the chances of us beating little Belgium are clearly nil.

      • Clive says:

        Of course as Belgium is nearly made up of the Spurs Team. Anyway saw the England Bus parked in the short stay car park.

        • Maybe if they only played against England with their Spurs players, England could win. Gotta stand a better chance against them without Courtois, Hazard, Lukaku, De Bruyne etc.In fact, Belgium would only field 3 players. I reckon even England could win that one.

  6. KBuffett says:

    OT – GroupOn have 16 Avios/£ via the BAEC shopping portal. Can anyone suggest anything decent to buy in order to rack up points for cheap (or free, eg if there are any voucher deals on)

    • the real harry1 says:

      https://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/six-hotel-quality-pillows-5
      6 hotel quality pillows £13 less the discounts & points

      • the real harry1 says:

        https://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/the-old-sail-loft-restaurant-5
        £28 for a mixed seafood platter with a glass of Prosecco each for two (56% off)
        A mixed platter includes: shell-off and -on prawns | smoked salmon | crab | pickled clams | mackerel pate | bread | wedge of lemon

        About The Old Sail Loft Restaurant
        The restaurant can be found in one of the oldest buildings in Looe, still largely preserved in its original form with the cellar and loft dated at least 450 years back. Sitting back in the comfort of the special atmosphere generated by its associations with the 16th-century smugglers, it is not difficult to imagine the old sailing boats of the early 1500s moored to the quay outside. In this historical setting, guests can enjoy a diverse menu including mouth-watering steaks and locally-sourced seafood, as well as a choice of sides and desserts. Meals can be complemented with a selection of wine, spirits, draught beers and ciders.

      • RussellH says:

        Just tried this one (6 pillows). “Sorry, the code can’t apply to this purchase. Check the code’s rules.” when I enter HELLO15, and nowhere to enter a BAEC number?

    • xcalx says:

      Thanks, I will try the A16/£ route.

    • Nigel says:

      KBuffett probably lives in john o’groats so looe is not very convenient for a sea food platter!! ????

    • Eugene says:

      You could try a new Mac Book . £1680 + gets you 27,00 Avios , at 1p a point thats over 15pct discount. Not easy to get on Apple products. The HELLO15 only works with local deals.

      Anyone else finding that if you open the home page in Safari it disappears 2 seconds later? It works on Chrome ok. Rob?

    • Lady London says:

      Wonder if the tv b-gone is on there?

  7. O/T:
    15 avios per £1 spent on hotel bookings via avios.com’s hotel booking site.

    I’m looking at dropping £5k on a hotel booking and 75k avios means a lot to me.

    Do people trust this platform to pay out avios? Will it still pay given its impending demise?

    What are people’s thoughts?

    • Nigel says:

      How much is the hotel on other sites? Try Trivago. Inevitably sites offering avios charge more and you wont get loyalty points either. You are in essence buying avios. Then you have to try and use them, let alone for a flight bargain.

      • I tried trivago, travelbag came out £100 cheaper.

        However, I’m taking a punt – I’ve booked through avios.com.

    • Doug M says:

      I’d be sceptical of this. Someone is buying 75K Avios and that has to be factored in the price of the hotel. But it’s really all about price, If the price is competitive than why not chance it, but I’d never count on the Avios with a shopping portal. Too much experience of amounts changing (hotels.com) and non payment (Hilton). At least when Microsoft cancelled a previous award they quickly accepted the mistake and reinstated it.

  8. Great news on the sponsor. Better try and change my hotel booking I had made in anticipation of getting a ticket!

  9. O/t – Lloyds Avios card
    Lloyds upgrade voucher – I have spent £7000 and confirmed on my recent statement – when should I expect to see the voucher? Am I right in thinking it will still currently drop in to my Avios vouchers section?

    Just a bit concerned it will fall in to the black holes.
    Tks

  10. Arnold london says:

    Still some decent deals to be had. Family of 4 down to Cape Town for Feb half term @100k Avios and £1280. Cash fares over £1000k per person. Ditto for NYC over the late May bank holiday – 66k Avios and £1300 vs cash prices in excess of £700
    And what I value most is the flexibility – as a GGL I can cancel up until 24 hours before the first flight!

  11. Lumma says:

    Regarding the flexibility of these avios tickets, if I was to lock in a flight today, what would happen to the avios required if I needed to change the dates later? Back to full price?

  12. On the BA deal, if I want to book a multi city trip (LHR to BOS, then MIA to LHR), does booking two one way trips online work out the same tax/fees wise? Our do I need to call BA to book in one go?

  13. What's the Point says:

    I normally don’t give these Avios economy deals a second glance, but I’ve picked up some exceptional value out of this one. Booked a number of return tickets to Jordan for various family members – travelling in peak times. Saved them hundreds vs the cash price – especially when you realise that the lowest cash price doesn’t actually include a checked bag anymore!

    Ok, so its not travelling in CW, but the savings can’t be sniffed at for a 5 hour flight.

  14. Off topic – can someone please confirm if Amex still do pro-rata refund for card fees. I think this changed in US a while back, but in the UK are we still eligible? Many thanks in advance.

  15. david devine says:

    Used vueling for man bcn trip this weekend. IAG obviously trawling new depths. I see the north doesn’t qualify for short haul flights from BA. Flight over only left an hour late. Looks like our return flight went tech and we are now sat on an alternative plane on the tarmac somewhere in bcn. Should I be grateful another plane was on standby?

    • vlcnc says:

      I’ve said this before and will say it again – Vueling is the worst airline in Europe. Nevermind WizzAir or Ryanair they are literally the pits – yet they seem to get away without much criticism…

      • We are actually giving Excellence class a go in 2 weeks …

        • vlcnc says:

          You can dress a turd up all you want Rob but it is still a turd. So you might get a nicer seat and some food but it is still their frankly atrocious and despicable staff, terrible delays and frankly sadistic customer services.

    • Lady London says:

      Hang in there if it gets to you landing over 3 hours late then EU261.

      Over 2 hours and they owe you appropriate food and drink for the time of day, accommodation if it turns into overnight, transport to and from said accommodation, whatever the reason -mechanical issues is not an exemption (nor from EU261).

      You might be lucky with Vueling – could run to 3 hours delay. Easyjet seems to be around an hour late on particular routes all the time particularly in the summer, and Ryanair somehow seem to scrape in taking off just 5min short of having to provide care (food, drink etc) over and over again. But Vueling might slip up. If they won’t provide those things or delay unreasonably then just get your own and claim back (within reason).

      Seriously though, good luck and I hope your wait on tarmac is not too long. I think in Europe they have to let you out of a plane if it’s been on the tarmac a certain period.. I think 3 hours.

  16. I’m about to hit my intro bonus on my Gold CC. Any news or routes to upgrade to Plat and earn that bonus? Or is it a straight no go?

    • the real harry1 says:

      Just reading the T&Cs to see if you can use the GC upgrade route – doesn’t say yes, doesn’t say no so why not give it a go?
      https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/content/platinum-charge/upgrade/

      While I was there, I noticed the following – never knew that! 🙂
      Australia: Platinum Cardmember may bring their children between the ages of 2-17 and up to 2 guests into the lounge.
      Brazil: Platinum Cardmember and up 1 travel companion OR Platinum Cardmember’s immediate family may enter the airport lounges at no cost. For any additional guests, the Cardmember will be charged R$22.00 per person (exception: no additional guests allowed in Congonhas lounges).
      India: Platinum Cardmember and up to one complimentary guest allowed and any additional guests will be charged INR750 per person.
      Mexico: Platinum Cardmember plus 2 guests or immediate family (spouse & sons/daughter no limit)
      United States: Platinum Cardmember may bring immediate family (spouse or domestic partner and their children under 18) OR up to two (2) companions into the lounge.

    • Kinkell says:

      Several past postings with link ,but Google can bring up a link. I’ve just got my 20kMR pts for the £1000 spend, upgrade Gold to Plat . So it’s still happening.

      • Crafty says:

        The question is about the new gold credit card, not the old gold charge card which was an established upgrade route.

  17. Gavlar says:

    My base airport is Inverness so when I am not using my 2for1 BA voucher is there any point in using a positioning flight followed by an Aer Lingus / Iberia hub for redemptions to avoid charges if APD is already excluded for me. Perhaps other than when there are differences in peak & offpeak dates with those carriers

    • the real harry1 says:

      yes at times because the price difference isn’t solely APD, ie ex-EU could still present good savings

      I think I’m in the camp that says if you really enjoy the extra opportunity of spending a night or 3 @ the positioning city (ie extra holiday experience), this can make ex-EU really enjoyable/ good value – if you don’t, then sometimes the hassle often isn’t worth the saving

  18. OT: is the barclaycard online service down for anyone else? I’m unable to login on both my own and my partner’s account

  19. Brexiteer says:

    Why not have this party in the North?

    Sick of everything being so London-centric on this blog.

    • Money talks and bullshit walks.

      London is where the money is!!

      • I was in Manchester this morning as it happens, on the way to Atlanta.

        • Peter K says:

          If your target audience is mainly in the South you concentrate on the South. Likewise, if you live in the South and are organising the party then you likely keep it in the South.
          Similarly, a number of competitions are UK only as most readers of this site are.

    • Lady London says:

      Believe it or not it’s a lot easier from a lot of “the North” to reach London than “other North”

  20. ankomonkey says:

    I predict the party sponsor is Curve. Or Virgin Atlantic.

    • No and No. It isn’t someone we usually work with.

      • ankomonkey says:

        Gulf Air? Creation? No, Creation would insist it be held in Solihull.

    • Genghis says:

      When I went to the curve offices they didn’t have any decent tea bags for a proper cuppa. V lean operation.

      • Michael Jennings says:

        Other than the whole “must be losing loads of money on every customer” thing.

      • Lady London says:

        Believe it or not it’s a lot easier from a lot of “the North” to reach London than “other North”

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