Bits: 2500 Avios off wine redemptions, Qatar’s Malta route confirmed – a good BA tier point run, Cathay lounge

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News in brief:

2,500 Avios back when you redeem for wine

Every year British Airways runs a Christmas promotion to encourage you to redeem Avios for cases of wine.

The 2018 version has not been widely advertised and appears to end today.  It is also a bit messy so you may need to keep a screenshot.

If you look at the ba.com Executive Club offers page, you see this:

“Now’s your last chance to stock up on any case of wine, champagne or prosecco for the Christmas holidays – order now and we’ll gift you up to 2,500 Avios back.

Why not try our surprise selection – a limited stock of 12 mixed wines carefully selected to offer variety and flavour for only 14,000 Avios.

Terms and conditions:
  1. Maximum award of 5,000 Avios per household.
  2. Award will be credited within 30 days of the end of the booking window.
  3. Offer applies to all 6 and 12 bottle cases of wine, Prosecco or Champagne.
  4. Surprise Selection is a limited stock case (500) and will be removed from sale when the stock has been sold.”

The problem is that, when you click through to the wine redemption site (I can’t do a direct link because you need to log in) there is no mention of the offer at all.  You need to trust BA that you will get your 2,500 Avios rebated.

I am also slightly concerned by the phrase “up to 2,500 Avios back”.  Does that mean some orders will get you fewer than 2,500 Avios returned?  Does a 6-bottle case earn a smaller rebate?

With so many question marks over the offer I wouldn’t redeem just because of this carrot.  However, if you were thinking of trading some of your Avios for a case of wine this Christmas, I would do it today – the offer ends today, 12th December – rather tomorrow as you may get a few points back.

Redeem Avios for wine

Why Qatar’s new Malta route is great for BA tier points

Qatar Airways confirmed on Monday that it will start flights between Malta and Doha on 4th July 2019.

The service will use a short-haul A320 aircraft but with fully flat beds in business class, using the seat shown in the photo below.  There will be one flight per day in Summer and four per week in Winter.

This page of the Qatar Airways website looks at the A320 layout in detail.

This is a very interesting option if you are looking for British Airways tier points.   London to Malta, on British Airways, is one of the few routes that earns 160 tier points return in Club Europe because of the distance.   A full list of Club Europe routes which give you 160 tier points is here.

Malta is also a cheap route.  Look at the BA Low Fare Finder website here.  Apart from August, you can get return flights for as low as £310.

From Malta, the route to Doha is over 2,000 miles so you will receive 140 tier points in Qatar Airways business class.  Any onward flight to Asia will also be over 2,000 miles, earning you another 140 tier points.

Let’s imagine you bought a Qatar Airways sale deal from Malta to Hong Kong, and positioned using a return British Airways Club Europe flight.  You would earn 80 (BA) + 140 (Qatar) + 140 (Qatar) + 140 (Qatar) + 140 (Qatar) + 80 (BA) = 720 tier points return.  You could – just about – get to British Airways Executive Club Gold with two runs like this over the course of your membership year.

It looks Malta is a route to watch when the next Qatar Airways sale comes around.  Thanks to Traveling For Miles for this.

Qatar Airways A320 business class

Sodexo takes over Cathay Pacific lounge catering

A few days ago we wrote about Plaza Premium being removed as the manager of the Cathay Pacific lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3.

It turns out that Sodexo has been appointed to replace Plaza Premium, which seems to be part of a global rationalisation of suppliers by Cathay.  Recent reports have been a lot more positive than the ones I heard immediately after the switch, so it seems that the new team is finally settling down.

(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. Hi all,

    Sorry for the OT but quick help required (possibly Rob). I have a friend who for personal reasons wanted to take advantage of the Avios 50% offer, but having only opened his BAEC account today and not having earned Avios, is not yet able to purchase Avios (including the offer). I do not have said problem, would I be able to buy the Avios and gift them to him or would there be restrictions?

    Many Thanks

    Guy

    • Shoestring says:

      Have a read of this https://www.britishairways.com/travel/share-avios/public/en_gb

      If you had Gold status, you could transfer them 162,000 Avios each year free of charge.

      Otherwise, depends how good a friend they are! Adding them to your Household a/c would work, no need to transfer points in that case.

    • From the BA website:
      “You can pay to transfer up to 162,000 Avios, with a maximum of 27,000 Avios to any Executive Club Member, in one calendar year.
      Once you reach Gold membership, you can transfer 162,000 Avios per year for free to eligible individuals who have been added to the Sender’s Family and Friends List, with the option to pay for a further 162,000.”

      So unless you hold BAEC Club you’d end up paying twice for your Avios, once to purchase and once to transfer, so it really makes no financial sense.

      • Thanks both Rhys and Shoestring. I know there are restrictions on sharing, what I am actually proposing is “Gifting” the Avios (the 50% offer page 2nd button), but maybe this is affected by the same rules

        Just had a look at the small print in fact but it says I cannot gift to an account until it has received 1 avios (by which point the offer will be gone) so still at square one!

        • Shoestring says:

          Gotcha. See the T&Cs – 5 – The Recipient will be able to spend Avios points when they appear as credited in the Recipient’s Executive Club account.

          So should be OK regardless of your friend not having earning a point yet

        • Shoestring says:

          Didn’t see that bit. Right – add them to your Friends & Family list, transfer over 1 Avios then see if you can gift the other Avios using the 50% offer.

        • How soon does your friend need the avios? This offer tends to come up every few months.

        • Lady London says:

          Would a Tesco transfer still work?

        • Shoestring says:

          Sure, Tesco £2.50 transfer would do the job in a couple of days

  2. O/T I will be staying in Intercontinental Park Lane for one night on Saturday. I will be paying for lounge access. Question is, if I have ambassador late check out until 4pm, can I use lounge until 4pm on the Sunday too? Thanks

  3. Shoestring says:

    Woohoo wife just spent £15 @WHS, so we’ve got £5 back – not that she knew about the offer lol – now what’s she doing spending £15 @WHS at 19.45 🙂

    I have also secretly tracked her 3 times spending money in Morrisons on the 10%.

    • The Original Nick says:

      Like it Harry!
      5000 IHG points have hit my account for the recent twitter promo. I know it’s been mentioned in comments but just a reminder to people who maybe don’t use AW.

    • TBH Morrisons offer has been the best one in my book! Brilliant it’s right through to the end of the year too – just a shame dropped from 15 to 5 More points!

  4. Despite both my wife and I having our own Amex Platinum cards, we’ve received no information at all about the pop-up lounge in Covent Garden. Is this the same for others?

    • Raving Shoes says:

      Your name’s not down. You’re not coming in.

    • Shoestring says:

      Platinum Card and Centurion members can visit a pop-up Centurion Lounge in London’s Covent Garden, Dec. 13–16. The pop-up lounge is located at Unit 6, Langley Street and is open 11 a.m.–6 p.m. every day. Visitors will enjoy complimentary beverages and appetizers, gift wrapping services, charging stations and family amenities. Members can bring up to two guests to the pop-up.

      • I accidentally popped in today – I got the day wrong. Walked in to wonderful chaos as they were putting the place together. Looked quite fun but not a huge venue. It’s a discrete door opposite the roadworks(!) on Langley Street. Inside, a reception desk directly opposite the entrance then the space opens up to the left. Maybe they’ll add some curtains around the entrance.

      • Wow, sounds great. Think I’ll bring all my gifts along for them to wrap for me !!

  5. How long will Qatar flights remain TP earning though (OneWorld exit rumours).

  6. Hmmm… Not very convinced Sodexo, the company that is responsible for the terrible reheated crap in our public hospitals can be good for the CP lounge or that they could do it better than Plaza Premium – I expect the food will be going downhill…

  7. OT: My Curve card linked to my IHG premium MC was rejected twice at aa.com yesterday, where I was trying to buy some top-up AA miles. The system required me to reinsert my card details ‘for security reasons’. I did so, but no go. So I used my gold Aqua MC which worked perfectly.

    Checking my Curve account online, I was surprised to see the ‘rejected’ AA transaction there! Curve CS assure me it was only pending and I won’t be charged.

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