Bits: Air China’s amazing £1340 Oz / NZ deals return, Flybe’s Black Friday sale, Loganair launches Bournemouth

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News in brief:

Air China bringing back its amazing Business Class Oceania deals for Black Friday

Air China is bringing back, for Cyber Week, the exceptionally strong deals it ran over Singles Day weekend in early November.  If you are happy to start your trip in Germany there are deals to be had.

Take a look here and see.  We’re talking, departing Frankfurt, Munich or Dusseldorf in Business Class:

  • Tokyo – €1,184 (£1,053)
  • Seoul – €1,186 (£1,055)
  • Singapore – €1,194 (£1,062)
  • Hong Kong – €1,133 (£1,007)
  • Sydney – €1,506 (£1,340)
  • Melbourne – €1,506 (£1,340)
  • Auckland – €1,506 (£1,340)

You must book from TOMORROW (22nd) and before 27th November (Tuesday).  You cannot book today.

Travel dates for the Business Class sale are:

  • 11 December 2018 – 3 January 2019
  • 29 January – 8 February 2019
  • 2 April – 21 April, 2019
  • 28 May – 24 June,2019
  • 28 June – 23 August 2019

Air China is part of Star Alliance so you could (depending on which booking class the ticket books into) earn miles and status credit with Lufthansa Miles & More or one of the other Star programmes.  Use to find the most generous programme – you are looking for ‘R’ class earning which is typically 125% of miles flown.  

I know very little about Air China, so do some research on what planes are flying which route and what kind of seating it will offer.  A typical Air China business class is pictured below.

Air China business class

Some flights use brand new A350-900 aircraft with the impressive 1-2-1 layout below.

Earlier this year reader Joel reviewed the Air China Boeing 777 business class service from Heathrow to Beijing for us – see here.

The Air China Germany site, in English, is here.

Air China A350 business class

Flybe launches Black Friday sale

Whilst admittedly less exciting than £1,340 return Business Class flights to Sydney (sorry Flybe ….), Flybe is running its own good value promotion.

The airline is offering 100,000 seats across its network for £25 one-way.  You must book between now and 26th November for travel between 8th December and 27th March 2019.

The routes included are:

  • Aberdeen – Belfast City, Birmingham, Manchester, Southampton
  • Amsterdam – Birmingham, Doncaster, East Midlands, Manchester, Southampton
  • Belfast City – Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cardiff, Doncaster, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Inverness, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Southampton
  • Birmingham – Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Belfast City, Berlin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hamburg, Hannover, Inverness, Isle Of Man, Knock, Lyon
  • Cardiff – Belfast City, Berlin, Cork, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Jersey, Milan, Paris, Rome
  • Cork – Cardiff
  • Doncaster – Amsterdam, Belfast City, Dublin, Jersey, Paris
  • Dublin – Cardiff, Doncaster, Exeter, Southampton
  • East Midlands – Amsterdam, Belfast City, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Jersey
  • Edinburgh – Belfast City, Birmingham, Cardiff, East Midlands, Knock, Manchester, Southampton
  • Exeter – Belfast City, Dublin, Glasgow, Guernsey, Jersey, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich
  • Glasgow – Belfast City, Birmingham, Cardiff, East Midlands, Exeter, Manchester,
  • Guernsey – Exeter
  • Inverness  – Belfast City, Birmingham
  • Isle Of Man – Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester
  • Jersey – Cardiff, Doncaster, East Midland, sExeter, Manchester, Southampton
  • Knock – Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester
  • Leeds Bradford – Belfast City, Dusseldorf, Newquay
  • Liverpool – Isle Of Man
  • London Gatwick – Newquay
  • London Southend – Antwerp, Caen, Groningen, Lyon, Rennes
  • Manchester – Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Belfast City, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Hannover, Isle Of Man, Jersey, Knock, Luxemburg, Lyon, Milan, Newquay, Paris,  Southampton, Toulouse
  • Newcastle – Exeter, Southampton
  • Newquay – Leeds Bradford, London Gatwick, Manchester
  • Norwich – Exeter
  • Southampton – Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Belfast City, Dublin, Edinburgh, Jersey, Manchester, Nantes, Newcastle, Paris

Your booking will also qualify for ‘double Avios’ if you travel during the right dates – we covered that new promotion here.

Full details of the Flybe Black Friday deal are here.

Loganair launches flights from Bournemouth

Scottish airline Loganair is adding two interesting new Summer routes from Bournemouth, to Jersey and Guernsey.

Flights will operate between April and October using a 37-seat Embraer 135.  Fares start at £47 one-way.

Jersey will operate three times per week – Monday, Friday and Saturday – with one flight per week to Guernsey on Saturdays.

These flights are unlikely to be included in Loganair’s British Airways codeshare arrangement, but you can credit them to the Clan Loganair loyalty scheme.  We reviewed Clan Loganair here.

Review of the impressive new Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (International Satellite) in Kuala Lumpur
What is the best credit card for foreign spend when someone else is paying?
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  1. I know this question is asked a million times on here so sorry in advance! Best SPG hotel in New York for a redemption please?

    • For now, it has to be St Regis or Ritz based on value $/point

      • Does that make it the “best”?

        • Cheers Lee, I know it offers the best value rebate but I’m looking for a combination of location and a bit of space.

        • I’ve decided to go for the Conrad again for next year (obviously not Marriott) even though have around half a million Marriotts. Had a really good stay there in May.

        • That is Plan B – I have half million SPG points and half a million Hilton points. I was hoping to keep the Hilton points for another Maldives trip and I’m also Hilton Diamond as opposed to SPG Gold. Looks like it might be a few nights cash at the Conrad. Thanks Genghis

      • St Regis is clearly not the best if you look at my review ….

        • FlyingChris says:

          Anyone got any experience of the Ritz-C NYC? Booked the RC for a 5 night stay on points next year over the St Regis as couldn’t book the SR on Points Advance and the combination of the $50pn ‘destination fee’ and Rob’s review put me off anyway. On price alone (not that it matters) the RC is currently £900+ a night, so value wise looks great – but are any of the other options a better shout for a special occasion? Luxury Collection / Design / Edition?

  2. Eckhart O'Reilly says:

    OT – sorry! (not sorry),
    anyone know if I would be eligible for the Aer Lingus ‘bid for upgrade’ if I purchased the original economy tickets (Dublin > Toronto) with Avios?
    I’ve got two BA companion vouchers but I have to travel and return to Dublin so think this may be a cheaper / more convenient option if possible.

    • No i’m afraid not, you can however go to the ticket desk at the far right of the check in hall on the day and see if they’ll sell you an upgrade, you won’t be able to bid but its only a few hundred extra.

  3. Finnair went live with their Black Friday offers this morning, albeit only in economy at present. Destinations are Bangkok, Beijing and Hong Kong:

    • These fares are not special, routinely available on AY throughout the year and can be beaten.

  4. BluehorizonUK says:

    OT: Amex email arrived giving early access to the Selfridges annual 20% promo. Check your mail!!

  5. Not sure if anyone else had this email but AMEX has sent me a 50% bonus offer for transfers to Hilton from my Membership Award points. So 1 MRP = 3 HH points. From 21st November till 21st December.

    • Wow! When did the email arrive?

    • Does it show up in your membership rewards account?

      I can’t see any relevant emails, nor any sign of it on the hotel partners page, so looks like I haven’t got it. I would have used it to transfer all of my points. 🙁

      • I have just looked on my Amex account online and it doesn’t show the offer on the hotel partners page. The offer was via email and it didn’t say I need to opt in to use it other than needing to send a minimum of 1,000 across at a time to trigger the bonus.

    • I got this too. gold card. Never transferred.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      I’d have loved this but no email.

      Tried the online chat in hope rather than expectation and …. I was told that I have the promotion on my account. I was provided with the same T&C’s as others have posted. I asked if I need to enroll etc and was told:

      “You are not required to enroll in this offer, it is for all our following card holders–

      American Express Centurion Card
      American Express Gold Charge Card
      American Express Green Charge Card
      American Express Platinum Charge Card”

      I’ve saved my chat reference number just in case. Not sure if others are brave enough to act without confirmation but woo-hoo, Merry Christmas to me! I was scheduled to transfer 100k MR points next week anyway.

      • Encouraged by this outcome, I tried to replicate it but to no avail. The chatty man said he’d looked in to it for me but couldn’t see any record of a promotion.

        If there’s anybody else who didn’t get the email, but who does want to take advantage of this, then please could you try the chat route and see if you have better luck than me?

  6. Shoestring says:

    Got a couple of Avios reward flights coming up in CE! That’ll be a first. T3 so lounge hopping will be must.

    Anyway, how soon can you check in before flight? – no status for us Blueys.

    • 24 hours for on line check in. I find that a lot of people pre-book the seats in CE (whether with cash or via status, who knows), so you may end up with what’s left, but apart from the very front row all the seats are much of a muchness. The free middle seat is very handy for stashing books/magazines/ipads etc while you’re eating as otherwise there’s not a huge amount of room to spread out.

      • Shoestring says:

        Oh, I thought I’d maybe get a week. Yep I’ve recently flown CE, my wife got upgraded from HBO must have been Easter (only realised at check in at T-24, the other 4 of us took the 4 ET Avios seats on the same flight) and as she likes talking to the kids I thought I’d let her have my seat so I slummed it up front.

        Perfectly fair as I’d otherwise have taken her rubbish HBO designated seat 🙂

        And of course I often get poor man’s CE when I fly with Avios in ET, anyway, as they seem to like blocking my middle.

  7. William Squires says:

    Tesco are moving Premium Card customers to a £36 annual fee, 2500 point bonus on £2500 Tesco annual spend. Travel insurance ends on anniversary date.

    Sorry if it’s been mentioned elsewhere.

    It’s a much better deal for me personally, £2500 Tesco spend is easy, £5000 is going to be a push. 2500 points (£75 for £36 essentially.

  8. Anyone any idea how to find out the expiry of Marriott / SPG status?

  9. Shoestring says:

    [This weekend, Rocketmiles is giving you the opportunity to earn 5,000 bonus [Virgin] Flying Club miles on every eligible reservation you make at hotels around the world.]

    Great if somebody else is paying lol

    • Unless the bill states “rocket miles” which surely will arouse suspicion in your travel department…

  10. O/T have a friend who has received notification of a schedule change on Norwegian from JFK- LGW. It was a 2230 Departure from JFK which moved to 1940 which doesn’t work with her schedule. Is she entitled to a refund or date change if the new timings don’t work? Online travel agent not offering anything.

    • Shoestring says:

      If the time of your flight is changed by more than 60 minutes, you have the option to change your flight free of charge or receive a full refund.

      • Shoestring says:

        Should have added that rules vary according to airline. There’s no legislation (EU) in place for minor schedule changes so you need to see what an airline’s policy is.

        • Thanks. Do you know if this applies to a flight that was booked via online travel agent? The agent involved was flysharp. Apparently not being very helpful at all!

        • Having looked into screenshots, it looks as if the original 2230 flight 7016 has been cancelled and she’s been moved on to 1940 flight 7018…

        • Shoestring says:

          I think a helpful agent would get you the same rights as a passenger booking direct with Norwegian.

    • ScienceTeacher says:

      It depends when the flight is scheduled to depart. Is it within the next 24 hours, 7 days, or 14 days?

      • It’s in the next 7 days – 28th nov

        • Shoestring says:

          Here’s the compo rule for LH flights which have been cancelled and re-ticketed (EU airline JFK- LGW would fall in this category):

          Seven to 14 days’ notice
          If you received seven to 14 days’ notice of the cancellation, you can claim compensation based on the timings of the alternative flight:
          If your new flight arrives more than four hours after your original flight, you can claim €600 – no matter what time it departs.
          If your new flight departs more than two hours before your original flight, and arrives less than four hours after it, you can claim €300.

        • Thanks Harry. Appreciated, will get on the case.

  11. The Original Nick says:

    O/T, Does anyone know how long Melia Rewards points take to hit account from check out?

  12. Cuchlainn says:

    Flybe related :
    Cannot book Flybe flights on Safari on iPad as no “booking engine” criteria showing !! Have even tried Chrome – same, missing booking details / engine. Have cleared cookies, rebooted iPad and still no “booking engine” on front page.

    Help please.

  13. O/T: Can I still try and earn another Lloyds avios upgrade voucher? Still have the account and not been told when it will be converted to their new cards so hoping to get another one before it closes.

    • somebody reported the other day that they had been told by Lloyds telephone support that it was no longer possible. but since Lloyds haven’t notified us of a change of T&Cs, this may not be valid. either way, you will probably have to fight for your voucher if you do manage to earn one !

    • Lloyds just issued me the Avios Upgrade Voucher (expiry date: 30.11.2019) BUT even before I hit the £7K annual spend – very unusual (just touched £6K only). Card anniversary: mid May (hope it helps).

      Still NO notification from Lloyds with regards to the changes on Amex card.

      • Interesting, still no voucher on mine, been keeping spend under £6.5k mark to ensure not triggered yet. No contact from them at all yet re any changes.

      • Did you also get the extra (mistake) voucher, or are they just issuing one late to you maybe?

        • No (mistake) voucher for me, BUT whether if it’s possible that this could be a delay on issuing me a “mistake voucher” – I wouldn’t know, all I can say – highly unlikely.

          Decided not to be greedy – since the Avios Upgrade Voucher have been triggered, I am not a high spender, (moving forward) going to divert all the spend on my Amex BAPP (for the 2-4-1 voucher).

  14. Tried FRA/MUC/DUS to SYD/MEL leaving 1 to 3 Jan, returning first week June. No sale fares available.

    • No, and where they are available (July/August for example) they are much higher than €1,500 and very long journey times at that (43hrs+).

      Anyone have any suggestions?

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