Bits: more good KLM ex-UK business deals, Radisson Rewards launches a generous Spring promotion

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News in brief:

More good KLM business class deals from the UK

A few days ago I wrote about the aggressive business class fares from London to Seoul offered by Air France and KLM.  You can get as low as £1329 return for much of the year.

Having had a dig, it seems that this is not the only good offer out there.  Based on flights from London – although you can also get similar fares from KLM’s UK regional airports – I can see:

  • Delhi £1189
  • Mumbai £1300
  • Bangalore £1449
  • Bahrain £1200
  • Abu Dhabi £1149
  • Dubai £1249
  • Muscat £1400
  • Ho Chi Minh City £1410
  • Panama City £1548
  • Johannesburg £1719
  • Cape Town £1999
  • Bogota £1449
  • Seoul is also still there from £1329

These are the lowest fares for 2019 found when searching on and using the default departure period of ‘Between now and January 2020’.  It is worth noting that these fares are widely available throughout 2019.

These flights need to be credited to a SkyTeam frequent flyer programme such as Flying Blue or Delta SkyMiles.  However, if you are travelling from April onwards it is possible that you will also be able to credit them to Virgin Flying Club – it depends on the official start date for the new Virgin / Air France KLM joint venture.

Look at reviews of the plane you will be using before booking, as Air France still has some with sloping beds in Business Class.  I believe that KLM is now fully flat on all aircraft – see an example seat below.

Have a play around at and see what you can find.

KLM Business Class

Earn 120,000 bonus Radisson Rewards points with their Spring promotion

Radisson Rewards – the loyalty scheme for Radisson Blu, Radisson RED, Radisson Collection, Park Inn and Park Plaza hotels – has launched its new Spring promotion.

If you can push a lot of business their way over the next 10 weeks it could work out very nicely indeed.

It is a simple one, based on the number of nights you do between now and 31st March:

  • Stay 1 night, earn 1,000 bonus points
  • Stay 2 nights, earn 3,000 bonus points
  • Stay 5 nights, earn 10,000 bonus points
  • Stay 10 nights, earn 50,000 bonus points
  • Stay 20 nights, earn 120,000 bonus points

The bonus posts cumulatively.  You receive 1,000 points after your first night, an additional 2,000 (total 3,000) after your 2nd night, an additional 7,000 (total 10,000) after your fifth night etc.

I value a Radisson Rewards point at around 0.33p.  This means that you are getting a very modest £3.33 return if you do just one night.  If you do exactly 20 nights, however, you will have received a bonus of 120,000 points which is worth around £400 – that is a VERY attractive £20 per night!

Existing bookings WILL count.  Interestingly, points and ‘points and cash’ stays will count too.  This means that if you can find a very cheap 9,000 point hotel (there are none left in the UK but they still exist in other countries) and stayed there for 20 nights, you would get 2/3rd of your points back!

You MUST register in order to take part, which can be done at this page of the Radisson Rewards website.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

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  1. OT – Qatar just released a movie with all the hype and teasing. No sale then

    • Indeed. More of a ‘if you are a white family with children you can fly with us to more places and see more white people’. My, can’t imagine who the affluent target audience is LOL!

  2. Q: How long after closing an Amex credit card (taking me from 1 charge and 2 credit cards with them down to 1 charge and 1 credit) would it be safe to apply for another [differently branded] credit card with Amex?

    • What do you mean by “safe”? I’ve got 3 amex credit cards

      • Maybe I’m mis-remembering but felt sure Rob once said Amex think 2 amex credit plus 2 amex charge cards per customer is enough. Perhaps it’s not?

        • Since Gold switched to Credit that rule doesn’t seem to apply and was never a firm rule.

        • Along the same lines, can anybody tell me can I refer myself the BAPP from my Amex Platinum to get the Amex 18k as well as the 26k Avios? Thanks

        • Bonglim says:

          Olly Yes (as long as you have not had any BA cards in the last 6 months)

        • RussellH says:

          I currently have three Amex credit cards.
          I suspect that compared with a significant number of readers my income is low – I struggle to get the £1000 / 3 mth spend without making carefully timed charitable donations and/or resorting to Billhop to pay a bit of income tax.
          Weirdly, the SPG card (my newest) was the first one in years to be approved immediately.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Immediately, you can have 2 charge, 2 credit (although others have even had more than that).

      • That rule is now dead, and I doubt it was ever alive. Many of us had more cards than that.

    • You should be fine with just one conbranded card. I was informed by a CSA in November it would not be wise to apply for a third cobranded card. I have no idea if this was just her thoughts or policy but I erred on side of caution and will only apply for SPG after cancelling nectar later this month.

      • I was declined for a third cobranded (credit) card a couple of months back, my first-ever decline in all these years of churning. I was shocked 😉

        TBH I was more surprised that Amex still haven’t closed all my accounts and told me never to darken their door again. We’ve done quite well out of them despite never really spending large sums.

      • Thanks? proves it is still possible at least.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Sorry, I know this has been queried before but looking for recent evidence. Are HMRC payments being treated as cash advance by Creation (IHG) or Virgin through Curve. Have put small trial payments through but not sure if fees & interest would only show up at statement date which would be after 31st Jan. Thanks in advance

    • Did this in September, all good. Have just done it again in January for a substantial tax bill but haven’t had my statement yet but don’t see why it would be different to September??

    • Same question but for Hilton Visa please.

    • Stephan says:

      All clear on my “Crv*Hmrc London” transactions too (November).

    • Peter K says:

      Did Virgin through curve in December for HMRC and went through with no charge at the time and no fees on the statement that came through this week.

      • Froggee says:

        Yep – paid HMRC 6th January with Virgin via Curve and no charges on statement issued yesterday.

  4. OT hoping for some Singapore Airllines advice if possible. I’m looking to build a balance of miles / points that can be redeemed for SQ premium cabins. Primarily I’ll need to earn via a UK issued credit card. I already have SPG Amex but am looking at an alternative Visa / Mastercard option. As far as I can tell there are two options. The new Miles and More card and the HSBC World Elite card. HSBC would require me changing banks for my current account so my preference would probably be to go down the Miles and More route (the ongoing earning rate is also better and a lower annual fee). However could anyone advise whether Miles and More has full access to Singapore premium cabins (unlike Virgin for example), if so does M&M have access to both Saver and Advantage seats? If the answer to either of these questions is ‘no’ I’ll plump for the HSBC card instead. Many thanks.

    • New Card says:

      Availability on Singapore flights (inc suites) is better for KrisFlyer members than members of any affiliate airline’s loyalty program. If Singapore is your goal I’d go with the HSBC card notwithstanding the lower earning rate (partly offset by the better sign up bonus). HSBC points are also more flexible.

  5. OT Marriott questions: 1. I have been trying to cancel an old MTP cat7 (new cat5) for 105k points with a view to transferring 120k to LH to facilitate a First redemption. Agents yesterday and today both refused saying the certificates can no longer be cancelled. Is this true, something new? Only last month I was assured it was possible. 2. I already merged my MR and SPG accounts. When applying for the amex SPG card do I just quote my Marriott account number when it asks for SPG number?

    • 1. Still possible for old certs AFAIK – worth HUACA or trying a diff call centre? May be more data points in FT thread
      2. Yep

      • Thanks Alan, I’ll keep trying until I find one that cancels. Hopefully by time I get new SPG card all the points transfer issues will be resolved.

  6. OT: 1st churn, seven months from cancellation date. How long for a progress bar to sign up bonus to appear? Ta.

    • Don’t think the churn matters, the progress bars just come and go. Maybe try app instead of website to see if appears there?

  7. Activated Radisson offer the same day I checked out after spotting this on Loyalty Lobby when in the airport lounge -was a points stay (Park Inn Oslo Airport, very nice upgrade, would recommend!) – wouldn’t say no to free 1k points though! Shame they didn’t advertise it better in advance of the start date.

  8. OT – I had to cancel some (non-refundable) FlyBe flights SEN-MAN due to a bereavement last summer and the flights were “put on hold” for me to rebook at a later time – provided I send them a copy of the death certificate, I’ll just need to pay any fare difference. I have just started to look at dates but it appears that FlyBe no longer fly this route… does anybody know what my options might be?

    I imagine I could be offered a refund/credit to use on a different route, but was wondering if there is anything else I could be asking for?

    • Lady London says:

      As they probably technically did not have to make any concession to you I think you’ve done rather well. It was very nice of them to do what they did.

      Personally I think this would be most effective if you find what other route you would want, and call them and explain that as they’ve stopped the route could you please use the one at the date and time you want to book instead.

      Somehow I just feel asking for a “blank” refund/credit to be issued or held for you, is pushing the favour you’ve had just a bit too far…. I would just work out what you want and ask them for it directly. Also don’t expect to be able to change again after that.,

      I may be wrong on this but just my twopenceworth as it’s very nice of them to be so kind to you.

  9. OT: Considering hotel hopping between the Hilton and Doubletree in Sukhumvit to maximise promotion points and more importantly meet my Diamond challenge. Has anyone done this? Any pitfalls with this? Is there a chance status will be refused despite hitting the stay count?

    • Simple, go for it. Hotels are next door to each other so it’s easy. Biggest problem might be whether rooms are ready. If not, just leave your bags and come back at end of the day.

    • I did that on Hilton & DT in Sukhunvit last year without any issue.

  10. Anyone have a decent equivalent of the old Avios zone map that would show you where you could fly and availability?

    The old link was

  11. OT but think the new white colour scheme gives a retro feel to the rebranding.

  12. Totally O/T just looking for some advice really. Thinking about my summer 2020 holiday (i know its ages away lol). I have a BA 241 and enough avios for most places. I also have about 150k virgin miles between me & OH. We usually head to the US but are considering Asia this time. I would like to do Beijing and Xi’an, first timers to China so just the usual tourist stuff. We are hoping 14-16 days in total but would like to start or preferably end the trip with a relaxing beach holiday too. Any flight itinerary suggestions?

    • Richard says:

      Beijing and Shanghai are very good for availability in F for two (and more) seats on BA to use the 2-4-1. Hong Kong isn’t terrible but is less open.

      • Thanks Richard, any ideas about the beach part?

        • Take a flight to Malaysia and either go to Penang or Kota Kinabalu (Rasa Ria or Tangung Aru). Have stayed at all 3 Shangri La hotels. Penang is my personal preference as food is best but if heading to th east coast I prefer Rasa Ria resort.

        • Thanks Tilly, already been to Penang many moons ago as a side trip from Kuala Lumpur. Dis enjoy it but want to try somewhere else…..

    • Time as usual will be the problem but if it allows consider Guilin area, or perhaps Shaolin by train from Xian.

      • Genghis says:

        We went to China for 3 weeks in 2016. Highlights included Hua Shan (near Xi’an), the Great Wall at sunset at Jinshaling, walking around the Ping’an rice terraces (north of Guilin) and seeing a viewpoint at Xianggong (Yangshuo) at sunrise.

        The country in places is beautiful. We didn’t like the people much – many were actively racist, but prob OK if all in party are white. We wouldn’t return for this reason alone. And food was a disappointment on the whole.

        • Thanks Genghis, very honest opinion. Will bear it in mind. For me it’s more the ticking off the bucket list of the Great Wall of China. As we will be taking two teenagers it will have to be a mix of culture and relaxation, hence the push for a few days at the beach too.

    • Jake Mcloughlin says:


      We did exactly this last summer. Into Shanghai on virgin miles (good availability in upper), bullet train to Beijing (wall, tiananmen sq etc), fly to zhangjiajie on air China (amazing cloud forest), overnight train to Guilin (go to the countryside in yangusho- best part of the trip). There is a lovely hotel called Aliya in yangusho. Would highly recommend. Then fly to Hong Kong (can use Avios to book expensive internal flight. We saved about ~£700 for 5 people)! If you want beach you could go to Sanya. Didn’t go myself but called “Chinese Hawaii” so could be fun!

      Flew back from Hong Kong also on virgin in upper. Remember to book separately to save £££ on “taxes”

      • Some good ideas, thank you. Did look at Sanya, seems like it would be nice…..

        • Both Beijin and xian are great places to visit with lots to see and do. Flights to Shanghai with Virgin – than you can take the 2hr express train to Beijing. I’ve been Beijing in several occasion and had the pleasure of spending 4 days in Xian. I personally found Chinese very friendly and nice people. Have been there many times and have a number of native Chinese fiends from my time at University in the UK. The culture is very different however that is part of the beauty of going to a different country. Highlights in Xian include the TErracota Warrior, cycling around the old city wall, drum and bell tiers and one of my favourite the Muslim street full of amazing restaurants serving lamb dishes and street food stalls. There is also a beautiful historic mosque built in Chinese style architecture – one of the highlights of my trip to Xian. In Beijing I recommend the Forbidden City, Summer Palace along with the Great Wall. Watch out for the tours that take you for a pit stop to “silk museums” where the tour guides make a cut in any purchases.

    • Whenever visit China you better to avoid their public/national holiday, otherwise you will end up in queuing an hours wherever you are going to visit!

  13. Chelseafi says:

    O/T I have a stay in Brussels in FHR to pay for next week is there any extra points when paying with any of the following amex? Between us we have Plat, Gold, BAAP & SPG. Thanks

  14. I don’t get why airlines charge approx £1,000 more for staying one less night. It’s criminal pricing. Flying a plane from A to B shouldn’t have anything to do with the fact if you stay 5 nights or 6 nights. Why are they allowed to do this and get away with it?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Becuase they are free to price their fares as they wish? If they impose conditions they publish and stick to them then shouldn’t be an issue? Also for example including Saturday night usually means it’s leisure and not business.

      Though let’s be honest how many business customers aren’t buying flex tickets, I know we have to regardless of how firm our plans are.

      • Interesting. I think some take a different view – for trains at least (which can still be hundreds of pounds within the UK) – book discounted non-refundable then if meeting runs over reimburse that and extra walk up fare. Compared to everyone paying walk up rates there are still significant savings to be had.

    • it’s bcos too many want to fly on the same flight and they need to keep space free for those who really, really need those seats on that particular flight and are therefore prepared to pay what they’re worth.

      ian. 🙂

    • Lady London says:

      It’s all about demand.
      If demand on a particular day/flight/route/aircraft type is low, airlines will price lower to fill the planes and recoup some of their fixed costs.

      And conversely, if demand is high.
      This is why airlines want to find out as much as possible about us and our travel needs. They want to know what exactly is the maximum you (or your employer) will pay for you for each flight. That’s one reason frequent flyer schemes are so useful – the data the airline gets both individually and en masse.

  15. i can also recommend hong kong, yangshuo and beijing as being top destinations. however, as a china first-timer, u might consider doing the trip in the reverse order to jake (but then, u don’t save £££), as most young hongkongers understand english and backpacker-friendly yangshuo has a very relaxed feel, while many beijing tourist-facing organisations make such a good living from the hordes of chinese travellers that they see no need to make a special effort to cater for the odd foreigner.

    some of hong kong’s outlying islands, such as lamma island, have a small beach and reasonably-priced weekday non-luxury accommodation; nearby macau has better beaches and hotels. there’s no special reason to go to sanya unless the plane from london happens to stop there (china southern airlines), penang beating it on most counts.

    i found xi’an a disappointment, four nights being one too many. the terracotta warriors are a must-visit, top-notch attraction if u do go to xi’an, but nearly everything in xi’an itself is modern except the city wall and drum tower. attitudes in xi’an are still stuck in the communist era and the locals expect to receive grumpy service, so don’t expect an easy resolution to any problems with ur hotel or transport, even if u manage to make urself understood.

    ian. 🙂

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