Bits: Yotel San Francisco opening, IHG buy points bonus, Virgin Holidays discount, Lucky Air ads

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News in brief:

YOTEL San Francisco opens 1st March

I did an article yesterday on the opening of the new Virgin Hotels San Francisco, which has special offers for Virgin Flying Club members.

At the cheaper end of the scale, YOTEL is opening in San Francisco on 1st March.  It will be in a refurbishment of a historic building on Market Street.  The YOTEL San Francisco website is here.

[email protected] is the loyalty scheme for the chain, although it doesn’t offer much in the way of benefits.  You can read more about [email protected] and sign up here.

You can also earn Virgin Flying Club miles when you stay with YOTEL:

You can find out more about earning miles with YOTEL on the Virgin Atlantic website here.

[email protected] is also a partner with Flying Blue, the Air France / KLM frequent flyer scheme.

75% bonus when you buy IHG Rewards Club points

Until 28th February you can buy IHG Rewards Club – the InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza etc scheme – points with a bonus of up to 75%.

You need to buy 20,000+ points to get the full 75% bonus.  Smaller purchases of 5,000 to 19,000 points only get 50%.

The page to buy points is here – log in and see what is available.

This is not the most generous offer IHG has had, with 100% bonuses occurring 2-3 times per year.  That said, if you need to top up your account in advance of a planned redemption in the next few weeks, you might as well do it whilst the bonus is on.

Intercontinental buy points bonus

Virgin ‘flight and hotel’ saving this weekend

As part of its sale, Virgin Atlantic is offering an extra £100 off all Flight + Hotel bookings this weekend.  

Enter promo code 100OFF when completing your booking.  There is a minimum spend of £1,500 and you need to book by 28th January.  The offer is valid for departures up to 31st December.

The ‘Flight + Hotel’ home page is here.

PS. Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

Lucky Air

Coming soon to an airline near you?

Finally, here is a picture I saw in my LinkedIn feed.  (You can connect with me on LinkedIn here – I do occasional bits of extra content on there and if you work in the loyalty industry you will get a 2nd level connection with a lot of key individuals.)

This is apparently from Lucky Air, a Chinese carrier.  You’ll see that they have a smart 1-2-1 business class product, identical to what Qatar Airways offers on their A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft.

And then, erm, you get McDonald’s ads on the luggage bins (click to enlarge) ……

(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.)

LAST CHANCE: EXCLUSIVE Marriott HFP offer – earn 10,000 points for a long weekend in Europe!
Bits: Lufthansa devalues the Miles & More reward chart, Finnair adds a 2nd long haul plane from Heathrow
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  1. OT

    Is amending the return leg of a return avios booking charged at 17.50 for the leg or 35 as it’s a whole booking

  2. MarkyT123 says:

    OT – BA to Istanbul in September there is no avios availability on the flight I want, though plenty still on the days roundabout.
    I’d prefer this particular flight though. Is it very common for availability to reappear between now and then? Just need one economy seat. Thanks!

    • Shoestring says:

      It’s very common for the standard 4+2 (Economy + Club) Avios flights to get snapped up early, then if the flight is not looking very full, BA will throw more Avios flights into the mix – unfortunately often quite late on, eg last 2-3-4 weeks before flight.

      So it’s a case of ‘are you feeling lucky, punk?’. September isn’t peak but with limited flights per day I’d have thought IST often runs close to full?

      And are you flexible enough to wait until a couple of weeks before your best date then make alternative arrangements if the reward flights don’t come up? When it could also be a lot more expensive. I can’t operate like that at the moment as I don’t want to waste a day of our fixed (school) hols. But I could easily change tack to save money once school hols are not in the equation.

      • Bonglim says:

        Could you book a reward flight on the best of the available days at the moment.
        Then pay the 35 pound fee and change if the correct flight appears.
        That is what I would do.

    • If you are BA Gold, you could force open availability, but it will cost you double Avios.

      Otherwise, agree with Shoestring that it’s a matter of chance and luck. There is a website ( where you can set an alert for when reward seats open up (think there is a nominal fee?).

  3. Interesting Amex are actually promoting Curve to be used in the future for ideas on increasing spend so they are taking them quite serious now!

  4. Re. buying IHG Rewards Club points – are the points reflected onto the account straight away?

  5. Re. buying IHG Rewards Club points – are the points reflected onto the account straight away?

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