Bits: good Star Alliance deals to Australia, Loganair grows at Edinburgh, Marriott’s daily play game

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More news in brief:

Good Lufthansa deals from Paris to Australia

Via Flyertalk, Lufthansa and SWISS have launched some aggressive deals to Australia out of Paris.

Prices are around €2300 (£2000) to Melbourne or Sydney.

The fare rules are:

Tickets must be issued by 16th November

Travel must commence by 30th September 2019

Stopovers permitted (one each-way) at €100 each

You may need to play around with your dates before you can find this price.  Here is an example I found on for May at €2350, which lets you fly on Singapore Airlines for most of the trip (click to enlarge):

Lufthansa Australia itinerary

Of course, in that example you need to get to Paris and then change in Zurich and Hong Kong / Singapore so it isn’t the simplest routing even though the comfort factor is high!

Best availability is midweek.  Have a play around on or and see what comes up.

Lufthansa deals to Sydney

Loganair launches new Edinburgh routes for Summer 2019

Loganair, the airlines which primarily serves the Highlands and islands of Scotland, has announced new routes from Edinburgh for next Summer.

Edinburgh to Bergen – 3 x weekly, starting 9th May

Edinburgh to Guernsey – 1 x weekly, starting 11th May (Summer only)

Edinburgh to Islay – 7 x weekly, starting 31st March

Edinburgh to Stavanger – 4 x weekly, starting 10th May

With the possible exception of Islay, I doubt these routes will form part of Loganair’s codeshare deal with British Airways.  If Islay is codeshared, you will be able to book tickets from London to Islay, via Edinburgh, with BA flight numbers (and tier points and Avios) throughout.

The photograph below shows the famous route to Barra, where the aircraft lands on the beach and the flights times are adjusted weekly to fit around the tides.  This is still on my bucket list.

You can find out more on the Loganair website here.

Loganair Barra

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.  Today is the penultimate day.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Book now - Hilton has launched its Winter Sale for weekend stays into mid-2019
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  1. Harry Hv says:

    Those fares to Australia work from anywhere in France or Italy. But there are equally good fares from Scandinavia on SQ and EY

  2. Got an email about a Eurostar sale, which may help Londoners or those on the Midland Main Line to get to Paris

  3. OT – £10 back when you spend £40 at Virgin Trains has just appeared on my Plat. First 40,000 to register, spend by 08 Feb.

    • 3% off every time at Trainline on mine. They seem to sell season tickets now too.

      Would rather have had the £10 off £40 as I already get 20% off all advance tickets on Virgin Trains when booking direct.

  4. I haven’t won for 8 straight days on the Marriott game! 🙁 Not even 50!

  5. OT – wondering if there are any ‘all inclusive’ types of hotel redemptions (or half board)? Any tips?

  6. Wildly O/T (apologies!), but still in the realms of *A — UPGRADES ON SWISS ON SHORT-HAUL:

    Does anyone have experience of upgrading Swiss revenue flights from economy to J paying cash? More specifically, would anyone know if there is a tried-and-trusted pattern for the price volatility of such upgrades, with particular emphasis on close-in upgrades, i.e. from roughly 2 weeks out up until the date of departure?

    I ask simply as the price of a one-way upgrade from LHR-ZRH had been £71.00 for several weeks. Then, about five days ago, it went up to £85.00. Then, until today, for the last two days it had shot up to £117.00. Today it is back to £85.00.

    As a result, I just wondered whether there might be a reliable pattern when it comes to Swiss upgrades and whether the cheapest £71.00 upgrade cost might return, say, within 48 hours of departure or something like that? Any guidance would be much appreciated! Thank you. 🙂

    • Concerto says:

      You’ve got to do it during the initial booking process to get the best prices, otherwise it’s tricky to do. I once got LGW-GVA for GBP32 and it was not worth it, really NOT. It was Economy class service from about 12 years ago.

      • Many thanks, Concerto. That’s very handy to know. All the best. 😉

      • Lady London says:

        But unlike BA, if you buy the upgrade do you get points at the higher class rate perhaps?

  7. Brighton Belle says:

    If you haven’t done the Barra landing you must. Extraordinary stepping off the plane steps into the sand and salty puddles. The baggage carousel is rack outside. Best not expect a hefty luggage allowance. Can’t be many airline routes in this security mad time that the pilot steps out the cockpit, does the safety briefing and then returns to his seat and the door is still open. I did this trip and took the buses and linked ferries from the South up to Stornaway. On the bus you get a sense of local life and the endeavour needed to trek by bus for 10 miles from your croft to the single hardware store to buy a pack of screws. In 3 days I got a mobile phone signal for just a few hours near airports. But I am on Three which is hopeless in the Uk but brilliant outside it.

    • Agreed it’s a great trip to do once in your lifetime, Rob. I did it a couple of years ago and caught the bus from/to the airport. Castlebay Hotel is the best on the island but don’t expect too much. Barra is incredibly quiet but I couldn’t get any mobile signal at all either. As everything has to be imported, it’s very expensive but it’s worth the trip to be in the aircraft as it roars off across the beach to take off.

      • RussellH says:

        I worked in Barra for almost a year (1 school year Aug 1980 to June 1981), but never had any reason to use a plane – always took my car on the ferry. I watched a landing once.
        Interesting how things change – I would never have even considered the Castlebay Hotel as somewhere to stay, but it was probably the most popular drinking hole – even though ‘hole’ was not totally inappropriate.
        I do wonder how it has changed since then. Social attitudes were not that dissimilar to the west of Ireland at that time, but Ireland has since changed massively

    • Genghis says:

      For the return flight, we rocked up at the airport about 25 mins before the flight, checked in and then even had enough time for a hot smoked salmon sandwich from the caf before boarding. How flying should be…

    • The last sentence captures the essence of it!

  8. Stephen C says:

    Anyone know if the points from the Marriott game will extend the points expiry date?

    • I don’t think so. I did a purchase through the Marriott MORE shopping portal the other day – but it is closing on 15/11. Not many options to choose from but hopefully reset points for another 2 years.

  9. OT. If my Mrs is staying in a Marriott for work (in the US), can I book it under my name and add her as the other person staying there? Then she checks in alone and says I will be along later? (I prob wont bother joining her)

    • Should be OK, yes. I have done this numerous times for Anika on HFP trips and obviously she doesn’t even share my surname.

  10. Scallder says:

    OT – anyone else in the situation where on the Amex account for your SPG card (both app and website) the amounts of points earned isn’t showing anywhere on the page? Trying to figure out whether it’s just a glitch on my wife’s account or something wider given the issues with points transferring across?

  11. O/T: Interesting letter through the post yesterday from Amex. The terms of their £200 off £600 spend were not clear that the transactions had to be in one batch. Called customer services and they have posted a £200 credit to my account. Nice touch! Completely unexpected.

    • Genghis says:

      I got one too saying that due to a glitch an offer credit wasn’t correctly applied to my (now cancelled) account. No other details. I’m intrigued now to receive the statement through the post.

    • Roberto says:

      I spent my £602 over two seperate hotel bookings and got the £200 back with no problem.

    • Agreed, the terms weren’t clear, I was told multiple times that it needed to be a single transaction.

      However, it did trigger immediately from multiple transactions on the first card I used it for. On the second card there was no email to say it had triggered, but once I queried in chat a week later they said it had been triggered and I received the credit next day. I think it was working initially but recently it’s not been triggering correctly, either way worth chasing them if you haven’t received a credit after a week.

      • The interesting bit was my spend was only actually less than the £600 limit. Strange but i’ll take it.

  12. Concerto says:

    If you’re into miles collecting, I’m not sure the SWISS Australia deal is that great. Codeshares are very tricky on Star Alliance. You won’t get any sectors towards FTL qualification and you might get very few, if any, miles. Remember, operating carrier counts with M&M and SQ is notably stingy, with CX not even being in Star. Not sure how that one works.

  13. Looking to book a redemption stay at almyra pathos in cyprus. Trouble is we are a family of four and redmeption rooms are for 3 only which seems to be the case at most european hotels. What is the way around this and plan of attack. should i try spg reservations or maybe the actual hotel reservations. I am gold marriot holder FWIW. Rob have you done an article about family of four hotels in europe. I looked but couldn’t find anything. Thanks

    • I would speak to the hotel. What I discovered at the Ritz-Carlton in Ras recently, when I met the marketing manager, is that whilst restricts bookings to 3 people, the hotel itself is happy to accept four IF the kids ages are low enough. The website is not flexible enough so by default it blocks bookings for four.

      If your kids are 12 and 10 then four will mean four. If your kids are 5 and 3 then you may find some flexibility.

      • Thanks rob 15 and 7 so not so little but will call the hotel. Cheers

        • Stayed there a couple of years ago with 2 v young kids (and enjoyed it – would like to return) – standard rooms aren’t massive, could poss squeeze in 2 kids, if they let you.

          We ended up getting interconnecting rooms – the second room was around half price + they threw in buffet dinner + extra discount (10%??) on top so worked out good value. So if you haven’t done so already worth comparing with cash price for 2 rooms + also figure out how much they charge for breakfast on a redemption booking.

      • Are there any good lists/posts on Flyertalk or similar of properties that have (say) 2 double beds as a standard redemption? Specifically for Marriott (IHG and Hilton would also be useful!).

        My children are 4 and 1.5 and there has always been flexibility when I’ve enquired at specific hotels but it would be handy when looking for inspiration – still not sure where we’ll use our Travel Package! (Old Cat 6 at the moment…)

        • Lady London says:

          Lots of IHG hotels (HIX, HI) in the mid-range have this option in the USA. Not sure about other places. It’s usually “2 Queen beds”. In the USA hotels seem more geared up for families of four travelling together generally. In Europe it seems you need a suite! (and also need to check the type of suite).

          I believe Hyatt Place may offer this too, I recall seeing it when searching.

        • In the US they are also far more amenable for putting rollaway beds in hotel rooms for extra children at minimal cost. Here in the UK they it’s not unusual to get charged £50 for the privilege!

        • thehornets says:

          Same view as others: Pretty easy to find family rooms using the standard search on Marriott and Hilton websites. Obviously there are fewer aspirational properties but there are lots of midmarket chains including HI Express, Courtyard, Residence Inn where family tootare available.

          Personally find that the USA is really good for bigger family rooms, more hotels and
          general availability, whereas western Europe has smaller rooms and less availability. Obviously YMMV.

        • Thanks everyone!

        • Domes of Elounda (Crete). All suites. Superb. Though if you don’t book for next year the points cost will rise dramatically…

        • I’ve got an old Cat 6 certificate and about 30k points so hoping to upgrade to new Category 5 but won’t be able to get any higher than that this year

  14. OT – Iberia miles transfers into BA
    I have the option to combine my Avios points from either the BA website OR Iberia, but both websites only let me transfer miles from BA to Iberia, NOT the other way around.
    I even transferred more BA miles by accident from BA into Iberia, so the transfer does work!

    Is there another way to transfer these miles from Iberia to BA?
    Getting a bit desperate here as the bonus miles expire end of Dec and not yet found a flight to use them on…

    • Update on this – managed to move some miles via, but given that is going to close in the next few weeks, this will mean that there is no way to move miles from Iberia to BA in the future, unless someone knows another way…

    • Lady London says:

      Dont; they actually expire on 1st December?

      • Yes! You have to have made your booking by then.

        • But what will happen if you make a BA/IB booking before 1st Dec, which you later cancel ?
          (I’m not taking any chances!)

  15. Lady London says:

    IIRC P class in the example on Swiss above, didn’t use to accrue any miles on many *A programmes. Particularly not in M&M? I’m not back to *A yet so unsure. But that used to be the case for P

  16. Roger1* says:

    Our LX LHR-ZRH-JNB flights in P earlier this year showed up in our M&M accounts..

    At least.3 of 4 did. It took an age and a half to get the fourth flight credited.

  17. Shoestring says:

    Could I suggest that some of you consider getting a place in the sun, if you have not already done so?

    You choose a place you like then buy a house there.


    Works out a lot cheaper than all this hotel malarkey where half the time you are staying somewhere hot but awful (Middle East) or American & awful.

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