New oneworld routes for Avios redemptions …… Finnair adds flights to Busan whilst Iberia adds Cairo

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Finnair announced yesterday that it is launching a new route to Busan in South Korea next year.

This will be the first direct flight to Busan from anywhere in Europe.  As Finnair is a British Airways partner in the oneworld alliance, you will be able to earn and spend Avios on this route, and earn British Airways Executive Club tier points.

The first flight will depart on 30th March.  Amazingly, this will be Finnair’s 20th Asian destination, capitalising on the fact that Helsinki is ‘on the way’ to Asia from many places in Europe and so a convenient place to connect.

There will be three services per week, using a brand new A350.  Connections will be available via Finnair’s existing UK routes from London, Edinburgh and Manchester.

My review of the impressive Finnair A350 is here.

….. and Iberia is launching Cairo

Iberia announced a new route to Cairo yesterday.  Flights from Madrid will start on 2nd March and operate four days per week.

It will be an almost five hour flight on a shorthaul A319 aircraft, so it isn’t a hugely attractive alternative to the British Airways direct flight which uses a long haul Boeing 787 aircraft.  There isn’t much arbitrage when looking at an Avios redemption either.

However, if you want to go to Cairo on Avios and there is no British Airways availability showing, you do now have a new option.

(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.)

First look at the new British Airways lounge at San Francisco International Airport
American Express rolls out more spend-based bonuses

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  1. illuminatus says:

    OT – what’s the best approach to getting delayed flight compensation from BA? I have generally been very lucky with my flights over the recent years (~50 min delays max and rare), but last Thursday my wife’s flight to Tenerife was delayed for 4+ hours. All BA has bothered to do is send some rubbish email not so much apologising but rather explaining how they cared about our safety etc.

    Should we email BA first for some friendly settlement? Or follow the EU guidelines straight away?

    • Shoestring says:

      definitely engage with the online complaints & compo system, if you get the usual BS reply saying ‘sorry about that but we’re sure you understand’ cut & paste blah blah blah, reply using your case reference saying in black and white that you are not satisfied with the reply and you expect appropriate compo, with delays you would be citing EC261 legislation & level of compo required given the delay

      see CAA

    • What was the reason for the delay?

    • I can see from Flightradar that the BA2664 from LGW to TFS on 4 July 2019 departed at 19:06 instead of 14:05 and arrived at TFS at 22:53 instead of 18:40. Is that the flight? If so you should definitely contact BA and claim under EU261/2004. The following is a guide for when your flight is delayed or cancelled:

      You can complete an online claim on the BA website here:

      It is very straightforward. I used it to claim for a delayed flight from Seville on the day of the EU referendum in 2016. We were delayed by over 5 hours. The claim was acknowledged by BA and paid out in less than two weeks, received over £800 as they also compensated our taxi which cost over £100 at 3am.

      I also helped a neighbour do the same for a delayed flight from Athens a year ago, he received a similar amount within 2 weeks of me completing the form.

  2. robman says:

    If I upgrade a cash economy ticket to business class using Avios – do I earn the tier points of business class? Thanks for your help.

    • No. Used to happen occasionally by accident but BA seems to have sorted it.

    • Unlikely you would buy an economy ticket that can be upgraded to CW, not sure that’s even possible if the route has WTP.

      @Rob, thanks for update on the CW avios, I was unaware it had been fixed.

      • TokyoFan says:

        We got J tier points and avios in March when we upgraded WT+ to CW JFK-LGW

  3. James says:

    Still don’t have that spend x get y offer. So obviously not all cardholders still (platinum).

  4. Navara says:

    Good news! You can now collect 10 Avios per £1 spent when you buy tickets and refreshments at ODEON cinemas across the UK and Ireland (excludes online bookings).

    It’s so simple to collect Avios at ODEON – just register your credit or debit card(s) once and you’ll automatically get Avios added to your AerClub account every time you spend on your registered card. And it’s not just at ODEON

  5. Nick_C says:
  6. Harry T says:

    BA are sending out an email advertising:
    “As a member of the British Airways Executive Club, you will collect 30,000 bonus Avios when you spend £3,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership. That’s enough for a Club Europe return flight to Rome or Barcelona. Just be sure to apply via the link in this email before 28 July 2019.”

    So that’s an increase of 5k Avios over the usual sign up bonus, presuming you’re not referred.

    I want to get the BAPP in the next couple of months. I could refer myself from the Platinum for the usual bonus, but this BA offer is only via an email link.

    It’s 30,000 guaranteed bonus Avios if I hit the spend Vs 26k guaranteed Avios + possibly 12k Membership Rewards if I self refer for a BAPP.


  7. Graham Walsh says:

    Think it was mentioned the other day. I called virgin to cancel my rewards + card as cant use up the vouchers etc. Was told I can’t until I clear the balance. She said she could put a termination on the account but couldn’t confirm if the annual payment would be charged or not. I had to clear the balance. So I paid online via debit card to clear it. Not sure how you can terminate a card and yet they might charge you. Not good in my view.

    • Louise says:

      That was me, I have cleared my balance but left the £160 fee that they put on a month early.
      I am going to ring up again tomorrow to cancel and argue they shouldn’t have charged the 160 a month early anyway, plus why should I pay it and then wait for a refund!

      • Graham Walsh says:

        Totally agree with you Louise.

      • Doug M says:

        I was charged the £160 in the month before the month of the charge last year too, month early as I saw it. I cancelled, was cancelling anyway. Agent couldn’t clear the charge but said it would be done and I’d get the confirmation email when it had been processed. Couple of days later the email confirming cancellation arrived. Virgin card is great the first year, so so after that. That voucher just doesn’t do it.

    • Nick_C says:

      It’s better to pay Virgin MC by faster payment. Goes through in a couple of hours. Debit card payments can take a couple of days.

  8. BA has suspended flights to Cairo for seven days from today to allow for an assessment of security there, giving no details about what had prompted the move. Three Egyptian airport security sources told Reuters that BA staff from the UK were checking security at Cairo airport on Wednesday and Thursday but provided no further details. The British Foreign Office has not issued warnings against air travel to and from Cairo.

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