Bits: Amex rolls out its spend-based bonus promo to more people, Finnair adds Busan, Iberia adds Cairo

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News in brief:

American Express rolls out more spend-based bonuses

10 day ago we wrote about a new spend-based bonus promotion launched by American Express for many people – but not everyone – who have Preferred Rewards Gold or The Platinum Card.  The deal may also be available to Green, Centurion and Amex Rewards Credit Card holders.

It is a very simple ‘spend this, get that’ offer.

On my Platinum card, I have:

‘Spend £6,600 betweeen 11th July and 11th August and receive 6,000 bonus Membership Rewards points’

My wife has a more reasonable offer on her Gold card:

‘Spend £700 between 11th July and 11th August and receive 1,000 bonus Membership Rewards points’

A lot of HFP readers said that they had NOT received this offer.  If this was the case, check again.  A lot of people had it added to their accounts yesterday.

There is a slight difference to the existing version.  Whilst my offer runs from 11th July to 11th August, the new round seems to run from 13th July to 13th August.

Remember that you are not automatically registered.  You need to go to the ‘offers’ section of your Amex online statement page and click ‘save to card’.

American Express bonus points offer

Finnair launching a new route to Busan – bookable on Avios

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.

First look at the new British Airways lounge at San Francisco International Airport
Bits: BA Beijing flights moving to Daxing, Miles & More launches miles transfers, YOTEL opening in Edinburgh
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Comments

  1. Doug M says:

    Rob. Did you have a view in the court case the AG in DC is bringing against Marriott over Resorts Fees? I thought the third reason of presenting fees as taxes in a confusing way could have airlines attention. Appreciate DC is not USA, and USA is not the world but these things tend to bring the attention of other authorities and gain traction.

    • The UK already bans resort fees but it has no real impact on airline fees, because the airlines already display pricing properly at the point of purchase.

  2. davef says:

    I had an amex offer in my account yesterday, spend 4300 get 3000. This morning it’s been removed.

  3. OT unable to check in via app or website for our Flybe flight tomorrow, at the last screen it points us to airport check in. I have engaged with them (Facebook messenger) they start asking for all details etc (as if they might be able to actually help) then point to a known IT issue. Unable or unwilling to check us in. No data available about average customer wait times to check in at the airport,
    Only booked this after checking online check in was available at Alicante. I’m somewhat cynical wondering if this is all about another baggage check / revenue generating opportunity.
    Looks like the alarm for tomorrow needs to be set an hour earlier.

    • Just a quick question is it illegal for an airline to check you in for a flight?

    • Zoe, I’ve had this in USA when i got the dreaded “SSSS” ticket online check-in was unavailable. Similarly in Russia, when selected for “random security checks” , online check-in became unavailable a week before the flight…

      Might just be they wanna search your bags, etc.

    • Stu N says:

      I’d try checking in online later – the website is better than it used to be but still a bit temperamental. If that doesn’t work, just give up and sort it out at the airport.

      They really are a shambles of an airline and their website is appalling.

      • Thanks, we tried again a little while ago after I’d started to panic that not being checked in could be a disadvantage on an overbooked flight. It worked on the app, same phone etc as earlier.

    • allycat says:

      I flew EDI-EMA on Flybe at the weekend. It was a small plane with small bins and the gate staff were ruthless about charging £50 for gate checking a bag which wouldn’t fit the gauge. Probably 10-20 people got caught. In Flybe’s defence they had warned about this in 2 or 3 emails in the week before the flight, but they were ruthless nonetheless. Space freeing or revenue raising ? You decide.

      • Chris L says:

        They’ve recently changed their enforcement to be much stricter, claiming passengers value consistency and fairness. It’s clearly a revenue grab as they’ve had the small aircraft for years but only just become strict on sizing.

      • It will mean plenty of room on their planes in the medium term as those people never book with them again.

        • Stu N says:

          Definitely revenue raising, the £50 charge bears zero relationship to actual costs. Nab 10-20 people on a flight and you’ve made yourself an extra £500-£1k. As Flybe tend to operate on routes with little or no direct competition, they get away with this sort of thing.

          I don’t think anyone would actively choose Flybe.

          • Inspite of asking them multiple times they are unable to clarify how many customers have asked to be charged extra for hand baggage or to give the wording of any question used in a passenger survey.

  4. Doug M says:

    I had spend £500 get a 1K MR on my Plat in the original stage a week or so ago. Put most spend through Gold or SPG as Plat seems a pointless card to spend on. Gold has the 10K MR at £15K bonus, additional point on airline spend, SPG for 3 Marriotts to the £ is a good option for me as I’m Avios rich compared to hotels.

  5. Is it possible to retieve a boarding pass on virgins mobile app after landing?

    It seemed like the passes vanished after the flight has landed, which makes it a bit useless if you need to show a pass for an arrival lounge?

    • KevMc says:

      Take a screenshot of it?

    • Add it to Apple Wallet

      • android 🙂

        Screenshot is an option yeah, but the mobile passes dont have all the details on the one page on virgin – for example I was asked to open the ‘more details’ page when going into the centurion lounge in vegas as she wanted to see the date. Tho she was a total jobsworth and wouldnt let me in to the lounge 10 mins prior to the 3 hours before flying restriction that they have put in place now.

        Example not related to the vanishing boarding pass as such, but when arriving at LHR lounge she wanted to see the pass and it was no longer available.

  6. OT -re our recent 5 hour delay on BA, they have now sent us an email saying they will not change their position that we are not eligible for compensation, or enter into any more correspondence about it. Can I take this to be their final position so I can move on to CEDR, even though it’s not been 8 weeks yet?

    • Jay H says:

      If you ask them for a final response they normally send you one which includes your rights to take further etc

    • Shoestring says:

      that’s deadlock

      remind me what their reason is for no compo payable?

      • They said there was an issue with the jetbridge at JFK, which is rubbish, and you also kindly directed me to a previous ruling which held that issues with jetbridges do not constitute extraordinary circumstances, so thanks for that!

        Anyway, I’ve filed with CEDR now, we’ll see what happens…

    • Alex M says:

      You don’t need to wait for 8 weeks as you already got their final answer. Just file MCOL.

      • I think you have to pay for MCOL? If CEDR gets nowhere we may be able to proceed via the legal cover we have through our professional subscriptions.

        • Alex M says:

          yes, fee starts at £25 but gets refunded by the airline if they lose.

          • Lady London says:

            ‘when’ they lose, in this case.

            I would go straight to MCOL not CEDR

        • Lady London says:

          And also if laying out the fee is a problem, as there are 3 of you, you could just do a claim for 1? Then when you win, request same again for the other 2 from British Airways referring to the judgment obtained.

          At least you have their ‘final answer’ which is deadlock so go ahead. Again, my pref MCOL due feedback on here that CEDR process can be flawed.

  7. Sorry if someone has already mentioned this.
    I got an email saying 40% bonus on Clubcard to Avios until the end of 2019. I assume this is for everyone.

    • LewisB says:

      Where is this? can’t seem to find it

    • Shoestring says:

      can you copy & paste the T&Cs pls?

      • This promotion is only open to Eligible Participants. An Eligible Participant is a person aged 18 or over and is a British Airways Executive Club (“BAEC”) Member (membership Terms and Conditions apply).
        By taking part in this promotion, Eligible Participants confirm that they accept these Terms and Conditions.
        To qualify for the 40% bonus Avios the Eligible Participant will need to have collected Avios with Shell Drivers Club in the last thirty-six months.
        From 11 July 2019 any Tesco Clubcard points converted to Avios in your Tesco Clubcard account by midnight on 31 December 2019 will qualify for 40% bonus Avios. Any points earned after this date will not qualify for the 40% bonus.
        You can automatically convert your Clubcard Points into Avios by signing up to your ‘My Clubcard Account’ and ticking the box to opt in the ‘My Preferences’ page, under ‘My Account Details’.
        This promotion cannot be combined with any other offer.
        Base Avios will be earned during the promotion in addition to the bonus Avios.
        And base Avios is non-redeemable for cash.
        Bonus Avios is issued subject to BAEC Terms and Conditions.
        Bonus Avios will be credited to the Eligible Participant within 1 month of the base Avios being credited to their BAEC account.

        • We have all used Shell (3 accounts in our family) over the last 3 years and none of us received the email. We have £700+ clubcard vouchers so this would be great for me but looks like we are not targetted unfortunately!

    • Er, no it’s not. Read Clause 3.

  8. I wonder though if the Iberia A319 is their mid-haul A319! Same as used on Tel Aviv etc.

  9. I have had a message from CEDR – “Sufficient evidence for claim to be accepted tomorrow.” Not sure why tomorrow?!

  10. Simon says:

    Forex help please!

    I’m about to head to Paris and usually use Curve abroad, but I am tempted to try Curve AND Revolut this time around (on account of various HFP comments this week). I must admit to total ignorance about the mechanics of this, however — could any HFPer advise me?

    Do I :-

    (1) Add funds to Revolut (in my case, via Virgin cc)
    (2) Do I then use the “Exchange” feature within the Revolut app to turn £s into Euros (in my case)
    (3) Do I then select “Revolut” within Curve
    (4) Do I finally withdraw whatever Euro funds I know have in Revolut via my Curve card at a Parisian ATM?

    Is this the correct procedure?

    Many thanks in advance! !!

    • Nick M says:

      No… Curve and Revolt are separate products – no need to have them linked…

      EITHER use Curve connected to your choice of credit card and pay using chip & pin or get cash if you prefer

      OR top up Revolut with an appropriate card/bank transfer, you can then choose to leave the funds in £ or transfer to €… then pay with chip and pin or get cash out. If you have sufficient funds in the € wallet these will be used, if you don’t then it’ll take it from £. Transferring in advance means that you know the exchange rate used, and will also have a lower spread if done on a weekday

      • Simon says:

        Many thanks indeed, Nick — I greatly appreciate it. 😉

        (I had actually thought it was either Curve or Revolut originally, but then I saw a couple of comments about using Curve *with* Revolut for forex, which is what prompted my original question above, mainly as I couldn’t honestly work out the benefit of using Curve with Revolut from a forex perspective. Perhaps there is one, but I can’t identify it.)

        Nonetheless, many thanks once again, Nick.

    • Sandgrounder says:

      One more thing to do Simon, add step 3a becasue the Revolut card will default to GBP in the Curve app. Change the card currency to EUR in this case, then Curve will treat it as a debit card in the same currency, and you can get the ten withdrawals a month with no charge (if that’s still the rule?). Always make sure that the currency the funds are in on the Revolut, the card currency of your Revolut in Curve and the currency you are withdrawing all match. In the Wallet view in Curve app just press the cog symbol next to the Revolut card and choose from there.

      • Simon says:

        Many thanks indeed, Sandgrounder — that’s really useful to know and much appreciated. 😉 I’d have likely neglected to ensure everything matched up, knowing me.

  11. OT – re the possibility of pilot strikes next month. I was browsing the FT compo thread and this is the case which upheld the view the strikes do not amount to extraordinary circumstances –
    Helga Krüsemann and Others v TUIfly GmbH, case C-195/17
    Moreover, this was a “wildcat” strike and not one notified in advance as in the case of the BA pilots – it was ruled that only 3rd party strikes are now classed as extraordinary.

    • Shoestring says:

      I still don’t buy this logic where BALPA/ pilots are concerned, if there is in effect a general strike of a high % of BA pilots. (There’s no precedent set from the case cited, though it is of course of interest.)

      Underlying the extraordinary circs argument in EC261 is the concept: [an air carrier is to be released from its obligation to pay passengers compensation under Article 7 of Regulation No 261/2004 if the carrier can prove that the cancellation or delay is caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.]

      I just don’t see how more pilots could be found for more than a few flights, even if BA have (say) 2 weeks to plan for the strike.

      I definitely don’t agree (and I don’t reckon the UK interpretation of EC261 will, either) that in all cases, in-house strike never equals extraordinary circumstances. Ie BALPA/ pilots strike is a very different situation to cabin crew strike.

      • Shoestring says:

        You could ask yourself: does a widely observed BALPA strike over pay sound similar to this situation?:

        [Article 5(3) of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91, read in the light of recital 14 thereof, must be interpreted as meaning that the spontaneous absence of a significant part of the flight crew staff (‘wildcat strikes’), such as that at issue in the disputes in the main proceedings, which stems from the surprise announcement by an operating air carrier of a restructuring of the undertaking, following a call echoed not by the staff representatives of the company but spontaneously by the workers themselves who placed themselves on sick leave, is not covered by the concept of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ within the meaning of that provision.]

        • The ruling was quite clear that “extraordinary circumstances” only applies to 3rd party strikes (e.g. I suppose, ATC). It didn’t differentiate between types of in-house employees. But, proof of the pudding and all that…

          • Lady London says:

            I think a new ruling would be distinguished from the case you mention – and thank you very much for finding and sharing it Anna – and not give compo due to the factors mentioned by Shoestring. Duty of care looks like it will apply but not compo.

            One could argue that an irreplaceable pilot is no more irreplaceable than a needed aircraft part (which is 100% the airline’s fault and gives compo under EU261). But I think enough of the judiciary may view that a strike by a union the great majority of pilots belong to is not necessarily the fault of the airline.

            We don’t want to see EU261 become too unfair to airlines otherwise it will be repealed or diluted out of existence.

      • Sussex Bantam says:

        Presumably the argument is that the Airline should maintain decent relationships with its workforce. If this relationship falls down to the extent that strike action takes place then the Airline must be at least partially responsible for this. This would differentiate from a third party strike.

        Not saying its right but there is at least some logic behind that argument…

        • Shoestring says:

          I’d like it to be true, ie that in-house strike always = NOT extraordinary circumstances.

          Jury still out on that. The cases are heading that way, to be sure.

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