Bits: fuel surcharges returning to Hong Kong flights, see ATP tennis with Emirates miles or Amex points

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News in brief:

Fuel surcharges returning to one-way Avios redemptions from Hong Kong

Since February 2016, airlines have not been able to add fuel surcharges on flights departing from Hong Kong when the journey originates there.

This has led to substantial tax savings if you were in the position of being able to book one-way Avios redemptions.  It made no difference on British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher bookings because those had to originate in the UK.  It WAS a benefit for anyone with the – now closed – Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card upgrade vouchers, as those could be used on a one-way flight back to the UK.

Here is an example:

Return Club World redemption from the UK to Hong Kong and back – £564 of taxes

Hong Kong fuel surcharges returning

One way Club World redemption from the UK to Hong Kong – £365 of taxes

Hong Kong fuel surcharges returning

One way Club World redemption from Hong Kong to the UK – £34 of tax

Hong Kong fuel surcharges returning

This meant you saved £165 by booking your redemption as 2 x one-way tickets.

From 1st November, this is ending.  As part of a package of measures agreed with the airlines on how they advertise flight prices, the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department has allowed fuel surcharges to return.  This is for bookings made from 1st November so there is still a window of six weeks to make a booking for travel in 2019.

You can read more on the South China Morning Post site here.

See ATP tennis very cheaply with Emirates Skywards miles (or American Express points)

If you fancy a weekend away in Europe whilst catching some top tennis, Emirates Skywards has some interesting packages available.  You can redeem via the Skywards website here.

There are tickets for the Swiss Indoors Basel tournament (22nd to 28th October) and the Erste Bank Open in Vienna (also 22nd to 28th October!).

Tickets for both tournaments start at 7500 miles per pair for standard Centre Court tickets, and 10000 miles (Vienna) or 12000 miles (Basel) per pair for box seats with VIP hospitality.

They also still have football tickets for Arsenal, AC Milan, SL Benfica, Real Madrid, Hamburger and Paris Saint-Germain available, as we have mentioned before.

American Express Membership Rewards points transfer at 1:1 into Emirates Skywards.  Transfers are INSTANT if your accounts are already linked.  If they are not linked, it may take a day to complete.  The snag, unfortunately, is that the Emirates website does not show availability until you have the miles in your account so there is always some risk when transferring in.

(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.)

What has changed with BA's Best Price Guarantee?
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  1. So in return for price ‘transparency’ people will have to pay more for their flights.

    If you want price transparency just introduce a total price display regulation. No need for this sort of quid pro quo that harms consumers.

    And fuel surcharge is NOT a tax so stop calling it one. Just call it – in the name of transparency -what it is – airline profit fee,

    • They did introduce a “total price display regulation” if you read the linked article or the comment I posted yesterday.

      As there is no cap on the fare component, or any regulation regarding how airlines allocate the prices they want to charge between the “fare” and the “surcharge”, air tickets remain subject to market forces.

      The big losers will be people making redemptions.

    • Agreed. Rob keep calling it tax which is misleading. At least call it how BA calls it Carrrier Imposed Surcharges.

      • I think we are all knowledgeable enough to realise the, in the context of airline pricing, “tax” is simply shorthand for “taxes, fees, fuel and/or carrier imposed surcharges and other charges”. It really is not necesary to always breakout in detail all the different ingredients.

      • Lady London says:

        Why not just call it Carrier Greed for short.

      • Lady London says:

        Why not just call it Carrier Greed for short.

  2. Here’s a sneaky further tip on the Lloyds Avios voucher. Book your one way return frpm say HGK first. Give it a few weeks and then phone Avios to use your oubound part of the voucher. The agent will ask how many of you flying one or two? Reply as required.

    Got this twice HGK – EDI (1 pass) inbound then LHR -SIN (2 pass) earlier outbound. As my next lloyds voucher doesnt start till January 19 thought it was time to share.

  3. 2 passengers outbound , 1 passenger return. By booking return single first.

    The voucher redemption booking involves a lot of manual intervention by the Avios phone agents. It was an agent who first offered up the idea to me when I wasnt sure of my outbound dates.

    • Good. Anything to screw IAG. On the Hong Kong surcharges: Cathay, JAL etc will impose reasonable or minimal fees. BA of course, will hike theirs into the hundreds of pounds. The sooner BA implodes the better.

      • swhostring says:

        International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG.LN) said Friday that it improved its adjusted operating profit by 75% in the first quarter.

        IAG, which owns airlines including British Airways and Vueling, said its adjusted operating profit rose to 280 million euros ($335.3 million) in the first three months of 2018 compared with EUR160 million a year earlier.

        Net profit rose to EUR794 million from EUR57 million.

  4. OT, sorry. Is there currently an offer for upgrading gold charge card to plat? And if so, is it targeted, or can anyone get it?

  5. OT:Amex related,upgraded from Gold to Platinum.Had a supplementary for my wife which I can see had also turn into Platinum.Do I get the 5000 points for a supplementary or I should have cancelled it first?Is it too late to intervene and ask them not to send it and wait a bit to order the suppl with 5000 points?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You can order a gold for someone else and it should trigger the 5k bonus or you will need to cancel and reapply

    • As long as you didn’t apply for a supplementary card during the upgrade process – just call and complain and they will manually credit the 5000 points. I just told them I purposely didn’t apply for the supplementary card so I could receive the extra 5000 points.

      • Many thanks,understood,did not ask for a supplementary during upgrade and did not get to cancel my Gold supplementary when I realised that has turned Platinum.I have chat today and cancelled what I told them was the Gold supplementary,all fine,they have not mention that a Platinum was on the way.That appears now as cancelled,I’ll see what happens.

        • Happens all the time with me and it’s a PITA.

          While holding the gold, I get a supp. Weeks before going for the platinum upgrade, I cancel the gold supp.
          When I upgrade, I got sent a Platinum supp and priority passes to go with it. Both useless.

          Last time, I went on chat and got it sorted after numerous credits due to them thinking I applied for a 2nd supp when I didn’t request the 1st one.

  6. Don’t use the upgrade vouchers online or even try to as it will come up with an error at payment and then charge you every time and its a big hassle to get it resolved, they need to remove the option to use the voucher off the website as it still shows and breaks their website.

    The call centre staff are still shocked people can still mess around with the vouchers online and attempt booking, you must phone up to book now.

    • +1

      This got me a couple of weeks ago. I got the error 5 times!! I’ve only just got the extra Avios and monies back.

      To be fair, the agents on the phone were speedy at doing their bit to sort it but it’s taken nearly 14 day’s for the refunds.

      Always call now!

  7. We enjoyed our trip to the Emirates box at Arsenal on Wednesday. There was a lot of nice food, drink was okay (no spirits) and the staff were really lovely.

    There’s only seating in the lounge area for the right number of people in the box. We got there quite late and we would have had to sit at opposite ends of the space or stand. We stood.

    The seats for the game are excellent. It wasn’t a cold night so I didn’t really need mine to be heated but I expect that will be welcome for the Everton game today.

  8. OT But ‘business services’ are now being declined by my Hilton Barclaycard. It was good while it lasted :/

    • I just paid a small amount off Amex using Hilton via Curve.

      • When do you see if Barclaycard has charged? My recent curve transaction is showing as “fin ancial service”. My statement is not until 18 October so I wonder if things will be ok.

      • Hi if it’s not a secret…fair enough, but could you please explain how ?.Thanks.

  9. O/T – booked holiday to Seychelles with Trailfinders. Paid full balance off 2 weeks ago. Departing in 8 weeks. How close to departure do they ticket the flights? Ticket numbers not showing in manage my booking (BA). Wanted to see what seats available then pre-select 1 week before (only bronze). Manage my booking saying can only select at check-in. Want to try getting twin seats by window – if one of us has to go backwards then at least want a window to look out of.

    • Have you got a BA booking reference? If so you can add it to your BAEC account. Otherwise you might have to ask Trailfinders what happens with on line check in.

      • It is added to my BAEC already. Showed as soon as I booked the holiday quite a while ago. Just shows though as not ticketed.

  10. Disappointing to hear the news about HKA and airport taxes. Was looking forward to booking my business class flight for next year LHR to SIN and return leg Virgin Upper from HK with minimal taxes. Agreed, carrier greed wins the day.

    • If you can book your ticket in the next 5 weeks (before 1st November) then there will be no carrier greed-charge.

      The taxes are, and will remain, minimal from Hong Kong (about £12).

      There is also the contribution towards airport expansion (about £18).

      • I guess BA will top the league when it comes to implement the new charges.
        Slowly but surely, the ‘good old days’ of flying for rewards are gradually being eroded for good.

        • Not really.. nowadays you have the opportunity to fly on grate products… which were not available in the past.
          Sadly, BA like to charge extra fees. But other airlines not. You are free to choose.

  11. TeetTreet says:

    I’m sure this has been answered multiple times, but cant seem to find it.

    For the Amex Plat car hire excess insurance do i need to BOOK the rental with the card? Or can I use any other card? Reason I ask is because I’d get hit with some FX fees from renting in local currency and might try to use my Revolut or something.

    Any input appreciated!



    • Any card. But looking at the policy I can’t see where it says that. Section 1.5 I think if that helps

    • See T&Cs, you don’t need to use card. Personally I do as in the case of any claims much easier for them to deal with charge on your Amex and I’ve already got it on file for Gold Service.

    • No

  12. OT: i am trying to use the Iberia points from the recent promotion. I need flights from Singapore to Kuching with Malaysia. I can see reward availability on BA but i can’t even put in Singapore in the origin on IB website.
    Not sure if i am doing something wrong as not familiar with IB website or i need to call

    • You need to search from the ‘Pay with Avios’ section, as the main search only allows airports which IB fly to themselves.

      From the main front page, put in any old origin, destination and date and then the ‘pay with avios’ option becomes available; tick this and search, and you will be redirected to the correct section.

    • For Avios redemptions on Malaysia Airlines with Iberia Plus, you need to call. Not possible on line.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Remember partner redemptions are not refundable with Iberia

  13. OT: Hertz. When comparing prices for Tahiti a few days ago, Hertz was showing me rates with unlimited km. Now it will only show rates with 0km and a quite expensive cost per km tht will work out a lot more costly.

    Is there any setting or rate code or even any logic to getting unlimited mileage rates or is it just down to the whims of the local agency?

    • Lady London says:

      some people recommend that if you want to change the types of options you are offered with Hertz then searching from a different country site of hertz might throw up a different result.

      personally for tahiti I’d definitely give their french site a go and the australian site has often been recommended. just be sure the insurance level you don’t have covered elsewhere , is there.

      • Lady London says:

        PS you often get better availability if you are logged in when you search as well, and sometimes less restrictive conditions. Logging in to Hertz website can work both ways – sometimes it ratchets up the price but at peak times or if there is some reason cars are being held back or are scarce, logging in may give you an available car that otherwise might not show up.

  14. OT – quick question. Can anyone confirm if your referral allowance ‘reset’ after you upgrade from Gold (it was a charge card) to Platinum. Realise I have 90k allowance on the plat, but I’d done a couple of refs on the gold before upgrading, so not sure if that lands me with on 72k allowance for plat… also understand that the allowances reset at start of calendar year – is that right?

    Thanks all

  15. Aleks Nicole says:

    Apologies if this is an obvious question, but does this mean fuel surcharges out of Hong Kong will also be added on to Virgin Flying Club redemptions like they will with Avios redemptions? If so, do you believe this will also be for bookings made from 1st November?

  16. OT // SPG Amex card.

    Currently having a conversation on ‘chat’ with somebody from AMEX who is telling me my points haven’t gone across as I haven’t told Amex my SPG number has changed?

    Is that really the case? I don’t ever recall AMEX asking us to provide them with account numbers? maybe I’ve been silly to think AMEX and SPG talk?

    • I had the same. It’s hard to believe, but the agreed process appears to be that the customer must (of their own volition, as this hasn’t been communicated) approach Amex and inform them, on a one by one basis, of their replacement account number.

  17. RE: ‘It made no difference on British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher bookings because those had to originate in the UK’ – yes they have to originate in UK but you can book 2 one-ways on a 241 voucher. Book outbound initially with the voucher, then book the return when it becomes available online (at full avios price) then call to have the voucher applied and get half of the return leg avios refunded.

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