How Jason got to the World Cup semi final at 48 hours notice using his miles and points!

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I had an email from reader Jason yesterday which I thought I would share.  He decided, last Saturday night, that he fancied a trip to Moscow to watch England in the World Cup semi-final.  And he wanted it for as near to free as possible.

Anyone who did this for cash ended up paying crazy sums for the few last minute cash seats available.   Jason paid next to nothing, using his Avios and hotel points.  He was helped by the fact that Finnair is very good at releasing unsold seats for frequent flyer mile redemptions close to departure.

This is how he did it:

£1 – a one-way car rental to Heathrow via the special Europcar offer 

15,000 Avios + £25 – a one-way BA business class flight on Monday from Heathrow to Helsinki

16,000 Hilton Honors points + £46 – a room at the Hilton Helsinki Airport (reviewed here) which he used as an office on Tuesday to avoid an extra day off work

18,000 Avios + £36 – a return Finnair flight on Tuesday evening from Helsinki to Moscow

10,000 Marriott Rewards points – Marriott Courtyard hotel in Moscow for Tuesday night

£140 – Holiday Inn Express in Moscow (no points option!)

Included above – flight back from Moscow to Helsinki on Thursday

15,000 IHG points – Holiday Inn Helsinki Airport for Thursday night

19,500 Avios + £65 – a one-way business class flight Helsinki-Edinburgh on Finnair, then Edinburgh-Manchester with Flybe, on Friday

Total cost to get to Moscow at 48 hours notice plus four nights accommodation …… 44,500 Avios + 16,000 Hilton Honors points + 10,000 Marriott Rewards points + 15,000 IHG Rewards Club points + around £300 in cash.  Not a bad result!

(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.)

Bits: Lloyds Avios Duo balance transfers, Opodo discount code, Carlisle Lake District airport delayed again
Bits: win 100,000 IHG points on Monday, 20% off Manchester IHG hotels, Gold Guest List lounge guesting
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  1. whiskerxx says:

    For anyone who might be interested, the listed FIFA ticket price for a category 1 ticket for the final is 66,000 rubles or nearly £800 !!!!

    And Harry, no I’m not in Moscow, I cancelled and let a Croatian friend have my ticket

  2. Simon Higgins says:

    So he just happened to already have a visa to Russia?

    • Justin says:

      Think if you have a ticket they have visa free entry. Just need a fan ID

    • whiskerxx says:

      I guess if you had read the other replies you would be aware that no visa is required, a Fan ID is used in its place, and you don’t need a ticket to get a FAN ID

      • Steve says:

        Yes, but he must have already had a fan ID in place as there is no way it would have come through in time for the outbound flight. Not as much of a spur of the moment decision as is being made out.

        • Doug M says:

          The Semi-Final decision was spur of the moment, we don’t know what other games he’d previously attended, or why he may have already had a FAN ID. So much assumption on so little information.

        • FanID comes electronically within 30 mins as a PDF. That acts as your visa. If you then want to go to a game you have to pick up a laminated one at the FanID Center’s.

  3. Graham says:

    I went to first England match on 18/6. Forced a gold priority to DME and standard back, replaced them with standard and then CW redemptions for 18600 Avios and £167. £200 on S7 flights (including a free upgrade inbound) and free accommodation in a friends apartment ????

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