BA Sale

Bits: BA First to Cape Town for under £2000, BA Holidays discounts, HI Kingston South becoming a Crowne Plaza

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News in brief:

British Airways First Class to Cape Town for £2,026 each – or less

British Airways seems to be dipping its toes into the ‘two for the price of one’ premium ticket sector.  This is something that Qatar Airways has been doing for a while, on the assumption that forcing two people to travel together means that lucrative business travellers will find it harder to take part.

The first ‘Dream Tickets’ deal is Cape Town.  As you can see on this page of, you get two First Class tickets to Cape Town from Heathrow in January, February or March for £4,052.

You must book by 18th July.  All travel must be completed by 31st March.  Full details are here on  Remember to search for two people to get this price.


Instead, go here to the BA Holidays premium holidays site.  Book your First Class flights and throw in a car rental instead.  For a seven night stay in March, the cheapest deal for First Class flights and a car for a week was just £1,822 each!  Far cheaper than just booking the flight on its own ….

You can also book a ‘flight and hotel’ package here and make a saving over booking the two elements together, but ‘flight and car’ seems the way to go.

To maximise your miles when paying, your best bet is the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card which earns double Avios (3 per £1) when you book at or via BA Holidays.  You do not get double Avios if you book with the free British Airways American Express card.  Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.

British Airways Dream Tickets

And talking of British Airways Holidays …..

Until 10th July, British Airways Holidays (click here) is offering extra discounts on all packages:

  • £25 extra discount on Flight + Car holidays to any destination for bookings with a min spend of £600
  • £50 extra discount on Flight + Hotel/Car holidays to any destination for bookings with a min spend of £1,250
  • £100 extra discount on Flight + Hotel/Car holidays to any destination for bookings with a min spend of £2,500

As you saw above, BA Holidays can often be cheaper via ‘flight and car’ or ‘flight and hotel’ than just booking a flight on its own, especially in premium cabins.  Premium offers can be found here.

To maximise your miles when paying, your best bet is the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card which earns double Avios (3 per £1) when you book at or via BA Holidays.  You do not get double Avios if you book with the free British Airways American Express card.  Another option is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.

BA Holidays discount code

Holiday Inn Kingston South rebranding

Just a quick update that the Holiday Inn Kingston South is in the process of rebranding as a Crowne Plaza.

Apparently – and slightly unbelievably, since Kingston is not exactly the centre of the universe – IHG says that “the hotel is considered to be one of the top performing hotels within Europe” and “a finalist for Hotel of the Year 2017 at the IHG Europe Conference”.

Redemptions, currently priced at 25,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night, are likely to increase once the rebranding is complete so if you are looking to stay there later in the year you may want to lock it in now.  I don’t have a date for the brand switch.

(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.)

We meet James Hillier, and other tales from BAEC's 'After Hours Club' party
Bits: 30% off Eurostar Standard Premier, bonus Accor points at Fairmont / Raffles / Swissotel, Miles & More credit card update
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  1. Frankie says:

    That Kingston South Holiday Inn is nowhere near the centre of Kingston. It’s closer to Surbiton (and still about a mile away from Surbiton)

    • Jonathan says:

      Agree, it’s very close to my sister’s house so I’ve stayed here a few times for family events. It’s quite a distance from Kingston & Surbiton stations.

      It’s pleasant enough but feels very Holiday Inn rather than Crowne Plaza to me. Note that very few of the rooms have balconies & most are overlooking a Jaguar garage or a self storage facility rather than the Thames. Always seems to have a wedding on at the weekend as well so not always that relaxing an ambience in communal areas. Definitely in the somewhere to get your head down rather than weekend break category for me!

      • I don’t get why anyone would want to get married in a holiday inn

        • Andrew says:

          Surely the location, service and facilities matter far more than the brand above the door?

          The last wedding I attended had the reception in a Doubletree by Hilton. It was quite splendid.

        • RussellH says:

          That is not any old Doubletree by Hilton, it is / was The Dunblane Hydro.Probably the best hotel around for many miles, in its day. I can well imagine that it would be an excellent place for a wedding.

        • Brian W says:

          I’ve attended two weddings at the Dunblane Hydro Hilton and agree they do it very very well.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Surprised that’s a doubletree and not a proper Hilton

        • Crafty says:

          TGLoyalty – “proper”? I find the Doubletree nicer than the nearby/adjacent Hilton at least 70% of the time.

    • But it is opposite the river so good views from certain rooms

    • Oh Matron! says:

      Pffffffftttttttt. Nowhere near Kingston? It’s a 20 minute walk. Along the river. With the beautiful Bushy Park opposite! Even has two pubs, one of them doing decent food. And a Mini / BMW dealership next door!

      Slightly odd rebranding, although I suspect it’s to compete with the very excellent Doubletree in Kingston centre (with its very excellent Gin selection). They’ll be able to charge more for a Crowne Plaza

    • Richmond says:

      I checked prices of this Holiday Inn couple of times since it opened and it was never cheap. It was stone throw from my previous place.

  2. ChrisC says:

    Not sure if it’s the routes or dates or because Im a solo flyer I pic but I’ve never found a flight + car or flight + hotel d al cheaper than flight alone

    • Often needs 2 people to make it work, agreed.

    • Marcw says:

      I have as a solo traveller, was an European city though. Flight were ard £450 while with a car £125, for exactly the same flights…

  3. Simon says:

    BA related. Looking to book flights at T-355 which falls this weekend. Will they just appear online at midnight, (or probably 1am as it is BST now) ? OR do I need to call a foreign call centre? If so, which one?!

    • the real harry1 says:

      If you’re just booking flights, no need for call centre – book online @ 1am

      • Genghis says:

        But call if v v popular route

        • Simon says:

          Thanks chaps. Not a popular route. but for a wedding in Europe so v date specific.

          On a related question, if I wanted to burn a 241 on this booking – Do i book the outward pair using the 241, then add return legs, using some more avios….Or do i book 2 outbound seats both with avios, then add the 241 in a few days time, so just pay more fees?

        • Genghis says:

          Add 241 on outbound

  4. ColinJE says:

    Quite agree with other comments about the HI Kingston South. Stayed there earlier this year and have some redemptions booked around (but not on!) Christmas.
    Rooms were cosy (read ‘small’) but well furnished. It’s actually in Long Ditton, about 1.5 miles walk to Kingston. I can’t see it as Crowne Plaza material, but perhaps this says more about the where IHG sees the HI brand sitting these days. Nevertheless, I’m pleased to have got in with my redemption.

    What changes need to be made to turn a HI into a Crowne Plaza, other changing signs?

    • IHG will have strict guideline on sheet thread count etc, but most obviously may be a lounge, 24 hour room service and some in-room tweaks.

  5. OT – for a friend! He’s flying in Y with Swiss. Originally booked a connection that was about 4 hours long. Got an email describing schedule changes changing this to a 16hr connection. Flight is 2 months away. He’s flying with 6 children, I can’t imagine anything more hellish than a 16 hour connection! No other flights available. Can he request a hotel or similar?

    • If the flight is a long way away, he can get a refund.

    • He can request a full refund. Anything else is speculative – if they are forcing an overnight he might get a hotel, not if the 16 hours is during the day. Are there really no Lufthansa, Austrian etc options?

    • Unfortunately refund out of the question – he needs to travel. Original plans had him landing in Zurich at 0630 and leaving at 1030. Now he lands at 1830 the day before, leaving at 1030 the next day, so a forced overnight. Can he ask for a reroute on another carrier from ZRH? Will try and get him on the BA service that evening and see what happens. Will report back.

      • londonsteve says:

        Be aware that if he doesn’t travel on the first leg of the ticket, i.e. from UK to Zurich, the ticket conditions may entitle them to cancel the entire journey, as he’ll be a ‘no show’ at the first airport…. Before doing the charitable thing and seeing if you can book him some more agreeable connecting flights with BA to Zurich with your Avios arsenal, make very very sure he won’t be left high and dry in Switzerland with 6 (!!) children when Swiss is denying his onward travel….. Otherwise, hat tip to you trying to make his life more bearable. 16 hours connection is incredible for a major carrier these days. Sure, some flights might only go twice a week, but I’d expect them to be able to rejig the feeder flight to suit the onward departure. Swiss has what, 15 departures from London to Zurich a day?

      • Lady London says:

        Phone them and get a hotel. Mention the 6 children (requiring Suite at least, or multiple rooms that are sure to be interconnecting for the safety of the children) and they might decide to put him on a decent flight connection (even someone else’s) instead.

        It could also be worth taking a look and seeing if seats are still being sold on the original booked combination of flights. Airlines have been known to tell people their flights have shifted or been cancelled when actually the flight is still going ahead they’d just rather sell the seat to someone else – whether someone more important or, because, say, Switzerland just got into a level of a football competition that means there will be a major home game people will pay higher money to fly to.

      • the real harry1 says:

        duty of care rules

        all passengers can book a hotel room, eat, drink but not booze – and charge it to Swiss with receipts

        • marcw says:

          not if the flight is in 2 month. No duty of care in that case.

        • the real harry1 says:

          I’d disagree – effectively the first flight has been cancelled and the pax have been re-routed

          2 months notice is not relevant to duty of care in this instance

          the airline calling it schedule change as a description doesn’t change this – it’s cancellation & re-routing under EC261

        • the real harry1 says:

          the 2 months bit means no compo is payable – but duty of care still applies

  6. Sussex Bantam says:

    OT but just a data point – my 16000 Avios posted today for the BA summer promtion. Think it was something like fly 8 sectors before end of June. I’d forgotten all about it (as you can see!) so that was a nice suprise !

  7. Devin says:

    Need to make some changes to a 241 I have booked in November. Am I correct in thinking I can change the inbound can be up to a year after the outbound (or is it 355 days)? What changes are permitted to the inbound after the outbound, just date or route as well?

    • Optimus Prime says:

      You can change route too.

    • Lady London says:

      Max return date will be around 355 days after issue of the ticket not after the outbound date.

  8. Anthony says:

    This may well be me being a bit dim but on my computer over time I see several report from Rob referring you to a specific site to go to and then a blank and a full stop. Case in point: “BUT DON’T BOOK THIS! Instead, go . ”
    Is there some form of setting that I am missing. It is quite often easy to work out where to go to but sometime it is not. Finger trouble no doubt at my end but where to point the finger to sort it out? answers on a postcard please …

    • Some adblock and browser combos are playing havoc with our IT. You need to whitelist HFP, all of the text will then be visible.

      • Anthony says:

        Thanks Rob, yes I do have an Adblock programme. Will whitelist.

  9. Chris A says:

    Fantastic price to Cape Town. Quite a few flights at around the £1800 rtn mark.
    Although not the case on this occasion, this is of course type of flight where thousands of £ can be saved by starting in Paris/Amsterdam.

  10. Lee H says:

    And I’m all out of leave until 1 April – such a shame or that would be booked immediately . Thoughts on BA running something like this again?

  11. Swissy says:

    I booked the CPT deal with car for £3,750.
    Very pleased and during half term to boot

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