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 ba.com.  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 klm.com 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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Comments

  1. Genghis says:

    OT Baby on the Babybus
    Has anyone taken a baby on the A318 LCY-JFK service? I can’t find whether there’s a bassinet seat? If there isn’t, how did you find the experience?

    • I was reading up on bassinets earlier. Pretty sure I read that this is the only BA flight without a bassinet. Will try and find the article.

      • Genghis says:

        That would be really appreciated. I can’t find much info. Karfa’s review on FT has pics of all rows on the port side of the aircraft but not all.

        • roberto says:

          If its going to be anywhere its row one I guess however those seats are not blocked at anytime leading me to believe that there is probably no bassinet.

        • I was on it a couple of years ago on my way to Hawaii and can’t remember a bassinet.
          It was a nice flight, full as they had cancelled the earlier departure. I was concerned with possible turbulence in such a small plane – but didn’t experience any. Dropping down in Shannon with such few people was a breeze for border patrol – the airport was practially empty. Landing domestic in USA is a massive plus. Service was good, and it felt very roomy.

        • Genghis says:

          Thanks guys

    • How old will baby be genghis? I’ve flown business and first with 12 week old and at 7 months and both times have slept on me/ taken up one seat in first whilst napping. But understand it would mean separate meal times if you did that on babybus

      • Genghis says:

        Potentially 7 months. May just go 744 in 64AB but I’ve never been on the baby bus so wanted to experience it. Or use up my VS miles. Not in a rush to decide as there’s always availability. Need to get CPT booked in, however, come Feb.

        • I would avoid VS with a baby given the seat and lack of privacy, much better to get a pair in CW. Have had some very helpful crew on BA whilst traveling with our now 18 month old. Upstairs also good with baby given reduced noise, did A380 to Hong Kong and that also has more space by the stairs good for getting baby to sleep!

        • We did VS upper when he was 12 months old too and it was OK but night return was very cramped but he slept well (I didn’t!)

          Incidentally we are flying to SAN for Xmas and have booked 64ab and he will be 18 months so won’t fit in bassinet but husband wants the upper deck experience (especially good we haven’t had to pay for seat selection!)

        • Did 744 upper (I guess 64, we took the row) on way to IAD in December and it was ok(delay on ground notwithstanding) but the bassinet is pretty small. Ok for a 7mth old I’m sure but no jse for a 1 year old I just reclined my seat and say elsewhere

        • I just did 10 hours in VS Upper with a 7 month old baby, it was great. Much better than BA. He was able to sit up in the ottoman pedestal thingy and strapped in he was secure and could play around without falling out. There was also enough room for him to sleep next to me. I thought the bed was way more comfy than BA cramped world.

      • Genghis says:

        @Alex W I take my hat off to you with all that travelling. We don’t plan on being as ambitious but certainly going to go places. It’s interesting that you found Virgin UC great compared to others. Decisions decisions.

    • Bear in mind that when you leave the plane at Shannon, you have to take all your belongings with you, so you will be traipsing to security and the Immigration Hall with your hand luggage as well as the baby. BA1 is a great flight though, and there were only 20 of us on board when I did it in May.

      • laineyling says:

        The bassinet will probably be too small for a 7 month. They offer a chair but depending whether your baby dislike being constrained you may end up giving up your seat as a previous poster commented (we did this Lon-Sin, and Hkg-Lon with an 8 month baby who didn’t like the chair)… wasn’t much fun.
        Also if you find your baby has a schedule by then (as in likes to sleep solidly for 11-12hrs at night) they will struggle with jet lag. In general babies adjust ~1 hr per day, as a result we have decided to forego taking our baby to NY with us for a long weekend in May as we think he will just be unhappy with the time difference. You can’t stop the babies adjusting either (!), we didn’t want the baby to adjust the full 7 hr difference, we were planning on stopping at about 3 hr difference, but he adjusted himself, and we had 6.30am starts on holiday…

        • Bizarre says:

          A long weekend to NY with a baby? Is this a modern parenting phenomenon?

          To even contemplate…..

          Talk about fun for no-one.

        • Lady London says:

          + 1. You were very brave.

        • Bah humbug! We are in Hawaii with our 7 month old in the middle of our RTW trip for 3 weeks. Next stop Tokyo, then Thailand. There has been lots of waking up in the night, but hey we are used to that and the 6.30am starts are par for the course. It has been great.

        • Shoestring says:

          We travelled a lot with our 3 when they were tots – NZ 3x & Thailand 2x being the LH destinations – kids were anything from 1 month to 4 yrs out, 5 yrs back (NZ). (They’re spaced out in the pattern 0, 2, 4 and not all 3 were born when we started the cycle.)

          Just not a massive problem, overall. Sure, some crying at times but it’s public transport after all and we just quietened them down.

          The only unbearable one for all concerned was in Europe when my daughter was about 4 – she’d been asleep, I had to wake her up to land, her ears were hurting I guess & she just screamed & screamed incessantly. I did my best to quieten her, to no avail – I guess the screaming lasted a full 10 minutes, much to my embarrassment (I was on my own with the 3 kids). To my great relief, once we touched down and were getting off, one of my seat neighbours came up to me and said ‘that must have been tough, well done for doing your best’ etc! Priceless bit of support.

  2. I have, unfortunately, never seen a case where the QF marketed fare was cheaper than, or even within the ballpark of, the EK marketed one for an EK operated flight.

    • Sam Goss says:

      Not sure if it is still the case but Expedia used to be able to book these on the QF code for the same price as EK. QF website always priced higher.

    • Thomas Howard says:

      I did a random check on Kayak and to Singapore via DXB the QF flight was about £4 more in economy, probably well worth the 80 tier points.

    • Has anyone had experience with, say as a BA Silver, they’ve been able to book a QF ticketed EK flight and had access to the QF lounge at T3?

  3. Christophe says:

    The KL/QF codeshare agreement only allows you to earn QF points on a KLM route when flying from AMS to Australia with a stop in SIN. It is not possible to book a QF marketed flight using a KL operated flight to fly AMS-SIN-AMS.
    QF has a similar code share agrement with AF which allows passengers to fly between CDG and both SIN and HKG using a QF marketed/AF operated flight between CDG and Asia when flyng down under

    • Not tested, but according to another website it is between AMS and Singapore on KLM

    • Correct. The Emirates flights are different because they operate under ‘joint venture’ rules which mean you can book using either code as revenue is shared regardless. The QF/KL arrangement is a traditional codeshare agreement which requires a through itinerary. It’s the same as BA codes on AS (for example).

    • Lady London says:

      @Christophe I hardly dare to ask. But does that mean you could also earn Avios points on an AF flight?

  4. Shoestring says:

    How do you actually elect a codeshare? Can you do it yourself online through the standard booking process? Or is it a phone booking job and you say to the agent: pls book me on the QF flight code not the KLM one?

    • Book on Qantas website

      • Lady London says:

        But agent can do it too if you phone. Just ask agent to book “the QF half of the flight”.

        When you get the booking confirmation always check the flight number you expected to be QF, if a QF flight number. Sometimes an agent can accidentally still book the other half of the flight.

  5. WilcoRoger says:

    Re Icelandair (FI) – you can earn redeemable points on the Finnair Plus programme on FI flights. Earning buckets depend on route, so you must book carefully. E.g booking ANC-KEF-HEL, the same bucket was earning for ANC-KEF but not for KEF-HEL.

  6. OT_ Amex Travel offer
    Has anyone used Amex Travel to book cruise and got the £200 back on £600+ spend?

    • Yes I have and got the money paid back promptly too. Great offer don’t miss it if you’ve got it!

      • Any pointers for newbie cruise?
        Looking at short 2/3 night cruise over may be easter next year.

        • Whereabouts? I’ve cruised is most parts of the world.

          I would perhaps recommend out of Barcelona as you do not have the Bay of Biscay to worry about.

          If you have kids then perhaps Royal Caribbean – if not, then look at something like Celebrity.

        • Avoid P&O! They are the BA of the seas.

      • Interesting! Thought the offer wasn’t valid on cruises according to the T&Cs. This opens up a load more possibilities now. Thanks.

  7. Wow’s aircraft are all leased, but there is no way these would be worth $2 billion.

    • Depends how old they are. List price of an A330 new is $240m.

      • Has anyone ever bought a commercial aircraft at “list price” though? I thought they were the same as the DFS “was” price, so that the salesmen can make you think you’re getting a massive discount…

      • They are obviously not new – average age is 3.4 years . And list price is a figment of the imagination. Plus they lease all their aircraft – they do not own a single one. But if they had owned them the indicative market value of the WOW fleet is less than half of the figure you quote.

        • But still more than £18million you’ll agree

        • Yes, more than $18 million. But since Wow does not own any of the aircraft it’s a moot point. Whoever buys the airline does not buy the aircraft, but just inherits the leases.

        • Shoestring says:

          Presumably the leases can be sold on/ have a value

        • I am guessing it is like a shop lease – it can be ‘in the money’and sellable (if the lease costs are less than you’d pay in the market today) or ‘out of the money’ (if current market deals are cheaper).

  8. OT: Can someone explain how virgin tier points work please ? After my last flight in september, I had 300 TP and my account said I need another 100 to get to silver by the end of February 2019. I have a flight in feb that will get 100 TP. But since then and today, TP have reset to zero, and I now need 400 by end of feb! Why would they reset half way though the membership year ?

    • Have you dropped down to ‘red’ from a previously higher level?
      Red is rolling last 12/13 months I believe. So, I’d assume your 300 are now over a year old.
      From what you report, i.e. having a named year end date, I’m wondering if you have just dropped from silver.

      Other option would be to query if you are definitely talking about a year end date, and not a card expiry date.

    • Oh Matron! says:

      There’s an issue. Mine have reset to zero also.

    • Oh Matron! says:

      From Virgin:

      I can confirm that we have an error on our website at the moment where member’s accounts are showing as no tier points where this is totally not the case, please do not worry as we are currently in the process of trying to rectify this.

  9. Thanks for the regular reminder to play the Marriott game, I currently up on the deal 😉 Never know when those 50 extra points will come in handy!!!!!!!

    Still hope for the big one I suppose.

    • I’ve done it maybe 6 times and got nothing 4 times, and 50-points twice.

      • Yes rubbish today nothing several times

      • Lady London says:

        Done it a lot more times. Also got only twice 50 points.

        I’ve only managed ot pay evenings. think there is something in the “make sure you play it in the day before America wakes up , has their coffee and hoovers up all the points available for the day” theory.

  10. Isabel Friedlander says:

    When I asked a travel agent to book an Emirates flight on the Qantas code they said they would have to charge the Qantas fare which was higher than the Emirates fare

  11. OT: I am in a Household Account with my parents. They want to use their points, how can I have them use theirs and not mine when booking? In the past I’d have transferred to Avios but that option is closed. Would me leaving the Household Account, doing the booking for them and then rejoining HA work? I can’t remember if there is a limit on changing household accounts.

  12. (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!

      • Genghis says:

        … and then the avios may at some point be removed from your BAEC acct without reason

        • RussellH says:

          Indeed! I had 100 avios for a Holland + Barrtett purchase stolen within a week of them posting. Complained to e-Store and to H+B. H+B sympathetic, assured me “It wisna me” and said they could do nothing. e-Store never replied beyond automated responses from “Eric Wu”.

          But about a month later 122 avios appeared, supposedly from Groupon, ith the same purchase date as a real Groupon purchase. So far, these are all still there!

        • I’m good friends with Eric Wu ????

    • Tom Cook says:

      I had 1k from booking.com 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!

    • You have reminded me about Avios due from The Economist offer (bought through the e-store). I have checked e-account and I also have 2666 approved Avios. Mine is from August. Can I harrass anyone to get them moved to BAEC anyone know pls?

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

        • Ah! Ok. When you referred to “definitely not in your account”, I took it you meant the e-store account (which they are showing in), rather than BAEC account. I will do as you suggest. Thanks.

        • No, I meant on the statement in your BAEC account (hover over Account Management if you haven’t looked at it before and click on the option for My Statement). They should always show in your e-store account.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

  16. 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

  17. 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?

  18. 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.

  19. 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.
    Thanks!

  20. 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.

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