Bits: BA expands connection car transfers, €1546 Emirates A380 to Bangkok (or BA €1451), more on Auckland

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News in brief:

British Airways extends car transfers for late connections

British Airways has announced an extension of its chauffeur driven executive car connection service at Heathrow.

Passengers travelling in First, Club World or Club Europe, plus British Airways Gold and Silver Executive Club members who are at risk of missing their connection, will be driven to their next flight.  Apparently an initial trial has proved successful and more vehicles are being added to the airline’s fleet.

Other current initiatives to improve the Heathrow connection experience are in-air rebooking with your new flight details sent to the crew and a boarding pass waiting for you at the plane door, the allocation of planes with large numbers of connecting passengers to a gate in the same part of T5 and self-service boarding pass printers in the Flight Connections Centre.

British Airways car connections for late arrivals

Emirates offering A380 business class to Bangkok for €1546

Emirates is offering an aggressive €1546 return fare in Business Class from Amsterdam to Bangkok.

You need to book by 20th September and fly between mid December (90 days advance booking is required) and 31st March.  A five-day stay is required.  You can also have a free stopover in Dubai if you wish.

There are two flights per day out of Amsterdam on an A380, and a less attractive Boeing 777 option.

Of course, you can’t earn Avios on these tickets as they are on the Emirates flight code.  (You DO earn Avios and BA tier points on Emirates flights if they are booked under the Qantas flight code.)  Emirates is not in a major alliance so you will probably end up crediting to their own Skywards programme, albeit you can top these up with American Express Membership Rewards points.

You can book via the Emirates website here.

British Airways is actually cheaper than Emirates on some dates – I saw €1451 return available for Amsterdam to Bangkok via London – so this deal is really for someone who wants to give Emirates A380 Business Class a try and is less bothered about the miles or status points.

How to earn Emirates Skywards miles via UK credit cards

As a reminder, Emirates no longer has its own UK credit card.  However, you can earn Emirates Skywards points 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 Emirates Skywards miles.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Emirates Skywards miles.

Air New Zealand on Virgin miles

More on Virgin redemption options to Auckland

Yesterday I wrote about the attractive Virgin Flying Club redemption on Air New Zealand from Tokyo to Auckland.  That article is here.

At just 40,000 Virgin Atlantic miles one-way in Business Class – and virtually no taxes – this is a great way to get to New Zealand.  You can, after all, get to Tokyo relatively easily on Avios or, via their partner ANA, Virgin Atlantic.

Reader David dropped me a note to say that there is an identical option available from Hong Kong.  This is still on Air New Zealand and with the same pricing.  Hong Kong is even easier to reach from the UK with either Avios or Virgin Flying Club miles.

You can use the United Airlines website to check Air New Zealand availability between Hong Kong and Auckland.  It seems OK for November, February and March but – like Tokyo – they have yet to open up anything later.  Singapore and Shanghai are other possible starting points in Asia served by Air New Zealand although you are at the mercy of their erratic reward seat availability.

How to earn Virgin Atlantic miles from UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Flying Club miles from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

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 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. swhostring says:

    Current Wine Explorer offer @BA Offers is pretty good – 14 drinkable wines @ £3.93p/ bottle delivered, 2 free Dartington glasses and 1000 Avios – @1p makes the wines £3.21/ bottle delivered

  2. Hi Rob
    Any info ad to the definitive date of closing?
    Need to do a transfer and combine,hoping the avios will not go in a black hole!!

  3. OT: Gregg’s doesn’t accept AMEX . On plus side drinking my free cappuccino via Three’s wuntu app.

  4. swhostring says:

    Passports, good to know: the Passport Office is no longer adding unexpired months onto your new passport, effective 10th September. Many countries require 6 months left on your passport, so this rule change will work against you. For others, you may want to delay renewing your passport until the last month or so, depending on travel plans. No word yet on whether the EU will need you to have 6 months remaining or not when you enter.

  5. swhostring says:

    O/T Tesco’s new discount store format, Jack’s – meant to take on Aldi & Lidl – will NOT give Clubcard points.

  6. Does anyone here use Experian web monitoring? I’ve had several emails from them last week telling me that my email phone number last name and postcode have been published and sold illegally online. Wonderful. Thanks BA.

  7. OT: gold card anniversary bonus. Wondering if you can bag the 10000 point bonus then ring up and cancel and get a pro rata refund? My wife has her year coming up and this seems like an easy win or have I misunderstood?

    • swhostring says:

      Sure you can – just hold the card until you transfer out the 10K points (about 1 month)

      Yes the fee refund is pro-rated so your 1 month costs about £12

    • Yes but might be easier to cancel in the first few months and just reapply for full bonus

      • swhostring says:

        She is where she is 🙂

        A concept foreign to my wife, who constantly harks back to: if only we’d (YOU’D) done this etc

  8. OT: Ryanair: Book a 3 night stay and only pay 2 nights! Your discounted night is already deducted in the package price.

    Just got this through, might see if it’s worthwhile, but rarely do city breaks longer than the weekend in Europe!

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