Bits: earn Avios and BA tier points on a KLM route!, Icelandair in surprise rescue acquisition of WOW Air

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News in brief:

NEW: earn Avios and tier points on a KLM route!

One of the quirks of British Airways Executive Club is that you can earn Avios and BA tier points when flying on Emirates.  Very few people know this.  All you need to do is book on a Qantas codeshare and ensure that your boarding pass has a QF flight number and not an EK flight number.

Not every Emirates route is a Qantas codeshare, but most destinations eastwards are included.  In this article (click) I show how my wife earned BA tier points flying Emirates to Singapore using Qantas flight codes.

There is now a new way of exploiting this trick.

From 31st October, Qantas has been codesharing with KLM on its flights from Amsterdam to Singapore.  In return, KLM has added its flight codes to Qantas services from Singapore to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

If you book Amsterdam to Singapore on KLM, but using the Qantas flight code, you can credit it to British Airways Executive Club and earn tier points and Avios.

Qantas is the ONLY oneworld airline which works this way.  You do NOT receive Avios or tier points if you book a codeshare flight with any other oneworld airline if the actual flight is operated by a non-oneworld carrier.

The carve-out for Qantas is outlined on this page of  In small print under Qantas it says:

Executive Club Members can collect Avios on:

  • Flights marketed and operated by Qantas or Qantas Airlines affiliates under the QF designated code.
  • Flights marketed by Qantas but operated by Jetstar booked as oneworld fare in L class only.
  • Flights marketed by Qantas or Qantas Airlines affiliates and operated by Qantas, a Qantas affiliate, BA, another oneworld carrier, or another third party under a codeshare agreement.

There is no similar wording for any other partner.

You can find out more about the codeshare on here.

KLM Qantas codeshare Amsterdam Singapore

Icelandair buys WOW Air

In a surprising move yesterday, Icelandair announced the $18m acquisition of its low-cost Icelandic competitor WOW Air.

WOW Air was high up the list of carriers expected to go bust this Winter, especially as it recently cut a number of US routes at short notice.  The airline had built its business model on flying single-aisle, traditionally short-haul, aircraft across the Atlantic.

Icelandair, which has been taking inroads into the US market itself in recent years, will keep the WOW Air brand.  The combined business will control just under 4% of the transatlantic air market.

As Icelandair is not part of any airline alliance, there is no loyalty angle to this story.  However, anyone who has booked a WOW Air flight and had started to get nervous about it actually taking off can now breath more easily.

There is clearly a story here, however.  Icelandair Group is the biggest company in Iceland.  It is quoted with a broad shareholding so this doesn’t look like a Government-led bailout of WOW Air, but at the same time you can’t help thinking that Icelandair could have waited for the airline to go bankrupt and picked up the assets.

Even more oddly, Icelandair is currently without a permanent CEO after the incumbent resigned in August after a profit warning.  Companies without a CEO rarely make acquisitions.

It isn’t clear how much debt WOW Air has, but $18m for the equity is peanuts – that is even less than Flybe is currently worth.  WOW currently operates 14 Airbus A320 and three widebody A330 planes, but these must all be leased given that the fleet would be worth around $2bn.

Icelandair buys WOW AIr

Play Marriott’s ‘daily win’ game

Finally, don’t forget to click here to play the Marriott Rewards ’29 Ways To Stay’ daily win game today.  You should win at least 50, but hopefully more, Marriott Rewards points.

(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. (have tried posting this – but did not appear)

    I have 2666 approved avios which is sitting in BA E Store. It has been in Approved status for 2 months. When will it sweep across to my main BA Executive Club Avios account?

    • Are they definitely not showing on your statement? Though I’ve just checked mine and I got some avios posted yesterday from a transaction in mid-September, it seems to vary from one retailer to another.

      If they’re definitely not in your account, you can use the online form to report them “missing”. The customer service centre for these enquiries seems to be somewhere in the Far East from what I can tell, but they are pretty good at tracking down your errant avios and getting them applied, and they answer their emails!

    • Tom Cook says:

      I had 1k from that took 14 weeks to appear in my account!

      • Travel-related awards take up to 120 days – I had one which didn’t even post then and had to chase it up!

    • As mentioned, there’s an online form to fill in and submit in your BAEC account.

  2. Richard says:

    Presumably Icelandair are buying now to (1) hopefully boost their yields quicker, and (2) it makes the sale cleaner than if other airlines start scrapping around for bits of the airline if it was in bankruptcy

    • Did they compete on any routes? I mean FI and WW?

      • There is a substantial overlap between their route networks, so they probably compete on routes where there is demand for more than 1 flight per day/week etc.

  3. Fivebobbill says:

    O/T – Just called Amex to cancel my BAPP card, but while i was on i mentioned the 500 avios which didn’t post in lieu of the recent “spend a fiver, get 500 avios” offer. Agent was happy to add them right away and they are now showing in my balance pending transfer.

    • That’s good to know as I am in a similar position. Are they going to hold off cancelling your account until the 500 avios have moved over to your BAEC account?

      • Fivebobbill says:

        I asked him this, he said avios usually transfer 5 to 7 days before account statement, my next statement is 15th Nov, but he said if i lose access to my BAPP account before then to keep an eye on my BAEC account for the appearing

  4. OT: Has anyone waited more than 12 working days to receive the Groupon Avios on their Iberia a/c ? No sign yet

  5. markyt123 says:

    OT – is it possible to keep IberiaPlus avios alive with an ebay purchase through their IberiaPluStore portal? I thought I’d read how on a previous comment here, but can’t find it now. I have a ebay uk account, but one of the purchase conditions says “Rewards are only given on eBay Spain to users based in Spain.” – can you get around that?

    • Shoestring says:

      it might work for you but I have had mixed success – doesn’t hurt to try as you can just buy a secondhand book for £2.80 (from the same UK sellers who sell internationally) – ie risk free/ minimal cost

      • Shoestring says:

        should have added that the easiest guaranteed way by far is to transfer in 1000 MR points

        you can always transfer them out again if you really want them in BAEC

  6. OT Bit: Anybody recall if BA did anything exciting for Black Friday last year? Any thoughts on likelihood of cheap Xmas and New Year last minute cash fares in CW this year?

  7. Lady London says:

    When I saw that Icelandair had picked up WOW Air for $18 million I thought “that’s not much more than the price of the Chairman’s lunch”.

    Thank goodness for all involved that WOW is more secure… for now.

    I really hope not too many more of these little challenger or niche airlines go under this winter or as oil prices rise. Surely their presence must keep the fares down on the larger airlines who would otherwise gouge us even more ?

    • RussellH says:

      Or maybe these collapses just show that if you price too competitively you do not have enough margin to cover the hard times, which winter usually is.

      • Shoestring says:

        Don’t forget Ryanair & EasyJet were little challenger airlines when they started out. Thank goodness they’re around in Europe (& strong these days) as otherwise we really would be played like patsies by BA, Lufthansa, AF/KLM.

        • Lady London says:

          +1. and thank heavens for EU261. I can almost forgive the Americans their monster credit card bonuses , for that.

  8. OT – what’s worth more an Avios/Iberia point or a Marriott/SPG point?
    I’m looking at a hotel which is redeemable on Iberia+ for 20,350/night, and on Marriott Rewards for 25,000.

  9. According to where to credit dot com Icelandair can be credited to Alaska, Finnair, JetBlue and Royal Jordanian. Alaska miles are very valuable and you can also credit BA flights there.

  10. OT: Does anyone know if with the Credit Card IHG Free Night, if I cancel online does the voucher go back into my online account ready for me to book elsewhere?

  11. Benylin says:

    OT: IHG REWARDS CLUB: £10k to trigger free night, is that in the same calendar year as receiving card, or 1Y from receiving the card? Thanks

    PS Curve is being a pain with the IHG card

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