Bits: Etihad’s Business Class Studio comes to Manchester, Grand Hyatt opens in Athens, Virgin opens its pub!

Links on Head for Points pay us an affiliate commission. A list of our partners is here.

News in brief:

Etihad bringing the Business Class Studio to Manchester

In an encouraging boost for the region, Etihad is swapping its morning departure from Manchester to a Boeing 787.  This is the first time that Etihad has operated a 787 from the UK.

This means that Manchester customers will be able to experience the hugely impressive Business Class Studio for the first time.  It is one of the top 2-3 business class products on the market – you can read my review of the A380 version here.

The evening flight from Manchester will remain as a Boeing 777 with a more traditional lie-flat seat.  However, from 31st March 2019 there will be a switch with the 787 moving to the evening departure from Manchester.

The Boeing 787 arrives on 1st November and the flights are already showing online at

You can find out more about the Business Class Studio on the Etihad site here. If you are not already an Etihad Guest member, you can sign up here and receive 500 bonus miles.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles via UK credit cards

As a reminder, Etihad no longer has its own UK credit card.  However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.  These are:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – 10,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

The Platinum Card from American Express – 30,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

American Express Rewards credit card – up to 5,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile.

Etihad Guest is also a partner with the HSBC Premier Mastercard (0.5 miles per £1 spent, reviewed here) and HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (1 mile per £1 spent, reviewed here).

Etihad Business Class Studio Manchester

Grand Hyatt opens in Athens

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the official opening of the first Grand Hyatt in Greece.

The 309 room hotel is only the second property of the group to open in Greece, after the Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki.

Nikos Trikourakis, general manager of Grand Hyatt Athens said about the new hotel:

Athens is fast becoming the destination of choice where ancient history sits alongside modern coffee shops and rooftop bars. Our hotel will offer guests who seek first-class hospitality unforgettable experiences and a luxurious place to stay.

The hotel is currently running an opening offer with room prices starting at €105.  Rooms can also be booked with World of Hyatt points starting from 12,000 points per night, although I wouldn’t do that if you can pay €135 or less for cash.

Virgin Atlantic Joint Venture pub

Virgin Atlantic and Delta have opened their pub!

Virgin Atlantic and its joint venture partner (and 49% shareholder) Delta have opened their pop-up pub.  I was down there last night for a couple of drinks to take a peek.

The Joint Venture pub Virgin Delta

“The Joint Venture” is at 33 New Oxford Street and has taken over “The Old Crown” for the next 10 days.  (New Oxford Street is not Oxford Street, it is to the east of Tottenham Court Road.)  If you’re interested in craft beer then this is definitely one for you, as the pub is selling 230 different brands – one from each of the 230 cities which Delta and Virgin fly to in the US.

virgin atlantic the joint venture pub london

It is open to the public from lunchtime today until Sunday 19th.  There are various events planned throughout the week including quiz nights – details are on the Virgin Atlantic website here.

PS. Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

New BA Wine Explorer deal - 14 bottles and 1,000 Avios for £55
Get cheap one-way long-haul Economy flights with Lufthansa's AnyWay Travel Pass promotion
Click here to join the 13,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. OT –

    I have 1 reward night to use by Feb 18th 2019. If I was to make a paid stay via, does my reward night date get extended or will it always remain with this expiry?

    • I THOUGHT it rolled over as long as you’d made a paid stay in the last 12 months but don’t quote me on that ….

      • Genghis says:

        Indeed they get extended to a year from your last paid stay check out date. I’ve got loads of them to use up

        • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

          I thought redemptions also extended expiry but I might be getting confused with IHG

    • It is a bit ambiguous – my account says:
      “Book and stay by xxx to keep your collected nights and any reward nights you haven’t redeemed. (You have 12 months from the last date you collected or redeemed nights).”
      “As long as you **book and stay** within 12 months of your last completed booking, your nights won’t expire”
      Which implies you will be OK. But best ask them directly…
      BTW you can part-pay for a pricier booking, but don’t get change for a cheaper one, which I assume why you asked…

  2. AndyGWP says:

    “PS. Apparently this person was there as well, not that I would know …..”
    You’re not the only one to be clueless… (I had to look at what you’d called the image filename and Google her!)

  3. Any idea when the IHG Accelerate promotion for Sept-Dec stays will be announced? Last year it was announced around this time of the month.

  4. CountryKerry says:

    Has anybody had issues with Curve payments not appearing fully on the underlying card? I’ve noticed they appear as pending on the underlying credit card, but invariable drop off after a few days as if I’m not charged. We’re talking about nearly £1.5k now over the last month and a bit! The merchant says they’ve got the money; Curve says they’ve got it from the underlying card; but the underlying card doesn’t show it on the statement. It’s tricky to budget for if it goes on much longer!

    • Been mentioned a few times. Surely not that difficult to budget for my just keeping the money aside anyway? Interest free loan for you until they sort it!

    • I too have been having issues with Curve payments appearing on my Creation IHG card and then dropping off. Nothing much has been successfully charged since July 25th

      • #MeToo – but do they appear on the actual card statement?

      • Well mine seems fine. I certainly hope there will be no problem with Curve and IHG cards. I have had enough IHG points for Spire status already, plus the free night of course.

    • I got a response from Curve CS about this today:

      Thanks for bearing with us.

      We’ve investigated this with our payment processing partners and can confirm that there was an issue which prevented some transactions from being settled on your underlying card. This meant that transactions were incorrectly reversed after 7 days.

      We can confirm that transactions will be reconciled in the coming days. In cases where you can see a reversal on your statement, you will see that a replacement charge will be sent through. Rest assured that you will only be charged once for affected transactions.

      We apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
      Best wishes,
      Team Curve

    • Curve issues, sometimes they don’t charge the underlying card for over a week…

  5. Already pencilled a bday celebration for a friend at this wUnderful pUb next week

  6. OT
    Sat on an easyJet plane on the tarmac after our flight is delayed due to severe storms. Any possibility of compensation? I have read that knock on effect from a storm early on in the day is not enough to be extraordinary circumstances…

    • So why is YOUR plane delayed? Because of the storms, or because other planes have to take off first, and these were delayed storms earlier in the day?

      • Air traffic control have apparently grounded all planes according to the crew. No updates apart from that

        • Lady London says:

          Which airport are you at. I would check if other flights really are being cancelled that are leaving at the same time as yours. Weather issues with a plane they had lined up to come in and pick you up, is not a weather issue with your flights. The weather issue has to be with YOUR flight not with the airline’s inability to rustle up a plane that will land you within 3 hours of your original landing time, due to weather problems affecting other filights. You can google later to check asap, what other flights took off around the same time and the extent of any air control restriction.

          Having said that I have had generally truthful reasons from Easyjet. Whereas Ryanair apparently have changed their reason for delay or cancellation after the fact. to a reason that miraculously would not be eligible for EU261. Even had lies from LX about plane not taking off due to weather from ZRH . At a time when every other airline’s plane apparently had no difficulty taking off several of which were also going to similar places.

        • Can’t reply to the latest message. We are at Gatwick. Now told we have the all clear but they don’t have the vehicle to move us to the runway so we’re just waiting….

  7. LaserBeams says:

    O/T – I have reached the £10k spend on my BA Amex and received the companion voucher. If I cancel the card now and get a pro rata refund of the annual fee, do I lose the companion voucher or will it remain in my BA account?

    • Lady London says:

      You keep it. Make sure you move the points out though before you close.

      • LaserBeams says:

        Thanks for all the replies. Am I able to transfer the points out before they get automatically transferred at the end of the month? I can’t seem to find a manual way to do it. Thanks!

    • It stays despite what Amex will tell you.

    • Memesweeper says:

      If you’re worried about cancelling then downgrade to free BA Amex. Even Amex concede this keeps your voucher !

      Or do as everyone else here does and just cancel entirely. As long as you have another Amex handy when you book your 2-4-1 you’ll be fine.

  8. O/T just had an email from marriott saying cannot use or upgrade existing travel packages between 18/8 and 18/9. So still no clearer on how they will convert legacy 7 night certificates.

    • Yes and No. As this would have been the perfect opportunity to tell you what they are planning to do with them, you have to assume that some sort of mapping is now envisaged rather than a points refund.

      • Indeed – an emails don’t seem to have been sent consistently, some with unattached packages (like me) haven’t received an email, yet those with attached packages have received an email! Am hoping cat 6 (old) will map to cat 5 (new) but bit annoying to have a one month hiatus before being able to book – although at least I’m not planning to use it for 6/12 time.

  9. James A says:

    The Etihad 777s are threadbare in business. The padding is gone and their are major lumps and bumps in the seat. Often a number of the seats don’t work.

    It’s a poor product which badly needs a refresh, but it’s unlikley to get one given EYs current financial state.

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.