Bits: good news on BA and Heathrow strikes, Norwegian closing Irish routes, £10 via Amex for £30 supermarket spend

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

News in brief:

British Airways and Heathrow strike updates

There is some good news for anyone concerned about disruption from the threatened British Airways pilot strike and the Heathrow Airport employees strike.

As we reported over the weekend, British Airways mysteriously found some extra money when BALPA terminated ACAS talks on Thursday and started to type out the letter to order strikes.  Following new talks at ACAS on Friday and Monday, BALPA wrote to members yesterday to say that:

BA have put forward their final position which will now be considered …. and detailed communications will follow after.

This means that there will be no strike action until at least early September, and possibly much later if a proposed deal is put out to ballot.

Meanwhile, the strike by Heathrow Airport staff due for 23rd and 24th August has been postponed.  UNITE has not made a statement yet but it is on the Heathrow website.  A new offer has been sent to union members and the result will be known on 2nd September.

Norwegian closing routes out of Ireland

Norwegian to close all of its routes out of Ireland

Norwegian is pruning routes quite heavily as part of its ‘from growth to profitability’ initiative.

In simple terms, this means getting rid of routes where it is losing money.  Gatwick to Las Vegas was given the chop recently, for example, as we covered here.

The airline has just announced that all of its long-haul Irish routes are closing.  These are:

  • Dublin to Hamilton, Newburgh and Providence
  • Cork to Providence
  • Shannon to Newburgh and Providence

The last flights will take place on 15th September.

To be fair to Norwegian, this is a decision partly forced on them by the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX.  It was used to fly these routes which meant that Norwegian had already temporarily suspended or sourced alternative aircraft for them.

If the Norwegian story does not end well, people will be debating for years whether it was actually the fault of Boeing.  Norwegian planned to offer low cost long haul flights by investing in ultra fuel efficient new aircraft which would let it undercut its rivals.  Unfortunately, it chose two complete dogs – the Boeing 787 (Rolls-Royce engine variant) and Boeing 737 MAX – which has left large parts of its fleet unable to fly.

£10 cashback on £30 supermarket spend American Express

Get £10 or 1000 Avios for an easy £30 supermarket spend

American Express has launched one of its easiest ever conditional spend offers.

If you are targetted, you will receive £10 or 1000 Avios, depending on your card, when you spend £30 in participating supermarkets.

The chains included are:

  • Aldi
  • Asda
  • Co-Op
  • Iceland
  • Lidl
  • M&S
  • Morrisons
  • Sainsburys
  • Tesco
  • Waitrose

You need to save the offer to your card from your online ‘Offers’ page (remember to check for every card you hold) and spend the £30 by 13th September.

Online and instore purchases will count.  The offer is limited to the first 35,000 people to click ‘save’.

Don’t be too surprised if you don’t see it.  We only have it on one card – my wife’s Preferred Rewards Gold – across our household.

PS.  There is also a ‘£5 back on £20 Deliveroo’ spend offer just launched which may also be of interest

What can your business do with Amex Membership Rewards points?
REGISTER NOW (dead?): Get 7,500 Hilton Honors points across your next two stays
Click here to join the 14,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

IHG Sale
Amazon ad
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. I’m always somewhat irritated when I see bonus this and that for BA Blue when I pay for the BAPP and no offer. Part of the game though. I did get the Deliveroo one which will come in handy on the Friday.

    • wetboy1uk says:

      yes, no offers for me yet again. Seems they go to people with money

    • I recently switched from BA Blue to Black card and most of the previous offers disappeared…

      PS if you are thinking of upgrading/downgrading BA Amex, DON’T apply on the website as if it was a new application as advised on some websites (you are likely to get rejected, as I got). Call them and they will do an upgrade/downgrade for you quickly and efficiently.

  2. OT – wonder if anyone can help with two distinctly different questions:

    1) Just found out that my wife is pregnant with our first child. We have non-refundable Norwegian premium tickets to Buenos Aires this Christmas which we won’t now use. Am I right in thinking that we should just hold on to them until the last minute in case the flight is cancelled (which seems to happen semi-regularly) and we can claim comp? Due to come back BA CW with Avios, so no problems cancelling this bit.

    2) Thinking about popping over to Madrid for a few days instead (burning a couple of our remaining Lloyds vouchers on the 777 flights). Any tips for hidden hotel gems that are central, chilled but won’t break the pre-baby bank?

    Thanks everyone!

    • William Squires says:

      Can’t help you with your questions, but congratulations 🙂

    • Congratulations.

      ME by Melia has been our choice, headline rates are high but they often have decent deals. It’s on Plaza Santa Ana, about 5 mins south of Sol and 10-15 mins to Plaza Mayor and Mercado San Miguel.

    • Congratulations, I was in a similar situation couple of years back.

      I wrote a polite email to their CS and they asked for a letter from midwife/GP or MatB1 form as evidence and after a quick review offered full refund in voucher form valid for 1 year. Airlines are reasonably good on parental reasons is my experience.

      All the best!!

      • Roberto says:

        Congrats…..

        And we had a good stop in Madrid at Hotel Preciados in March this year.

      • The question is whether you gonna travel with a baby and use this voucher at all… could be a good face saving exercise for an airline which will pocket your money anyway if you don’t redeem your voucher

    • Thanks everyone. Very helpful and much appreciated.

      Good point, Alex. Perhaps we’ll leave it late to go down that route.

  3. O/T thank you to @Shoestring for the RED link for earning 250 Iberia avios a few weeks ago. This has kept my husband’s Iberia account active for now.

  4. O/t any one know what time of day SQ releases spontaneous escapes? Pretty sure it’s 15th of the month, which means could be tonight depending on time.

    And how long for Amex to sq for points transfers please?
    Thanks 😊

    • I’ve got them transferred in 48 hours recently

      Have you checked the flights on Lufthansa website, some bargains available? I snatched edi-sin return for £750 in premium last week, with a £40 upgrade to business offer following after, on one of the sectors.

  5. Shuffled my flex J class USA-Far East ticket again but it’s disappointing that the likelihood of strikes are receding. The £20k spend on my BA amex is also a touch annoying. But the 50k Avios and TPs are a prize worth chasing. You’ve got to be in it to win it!

    • I assume you paid in USD. You might get a unpleasant surprise when you realise how much you’ve lost on the depreciated £ when the refund comes back. 2% on 20k is not nothing.

      • Er, if today you refund a USD payment that was orginally made a month ago you will get more pounds back than you spent.

    • You’re flogging a dead horse, you’d be better taking a few @Shoestring tips and building your balance bit by bit at next to no cost (ignoring the Xmas Saver debacle ofcourse, but we will forgive him that one, nothing lost)

      • TGLoyalty says:

        And £12 gained still.

        • Yes, plus I got refunded to my debit card so I guess a few free avios from my BAPP and no need to spend on Tesco, but then Harry was always big on insurance 🙂

      • Tesco saver, managed two out of three before Christmas . The third was used to buy 12 sim card deals . So Cheers Harry 3 out of 3 eventually.

        • I remembered you were the lucky one but didn’t know you wound it up with the mobile offer 🙂 I get the feeling that the manager at my local extra is a stickler for the rules and keeps their staff clued up so I’m using a different store from now on.

    • You are probably one of the few people disappointed that the strike threat is receding !

    • ChrisBCN says:

      Let’s hope you get screwed on the currency

      • £48 profit on the currency movement and they waived the £15 cancellation fee for some reason.

        Your comments seems a bit vindictive, I’m only making the best of a bad situation. No different from investing in a ftse tracking fund at the outbreak of the gulf war for example. (Made a few bob from that as well!)

        And don’t start me on the bargain skiing holiday I booked to California in early October 2001!

        • There are some moral crusaders that comment here. I was thinking of trying what you have, and in the end I didn’t because I’m very busy and was worried I might miss the cancellation deadline and lose the £11k. However, I discussed it here and all the hypocrites came out of the woodwork. You know the type; they’re happy to abuse the opportunties afforded by Amex, but balk at doing anything against the sacred airline celebrating its fake birthday, the shareholders of which drink Dom Pom courtesy of the money they stole from the pilots.

        • I’m no moral crusader but I don’t think your analogy to the gulf war is at all valid.

          You made a trade on the open stock market and took a view that differed from the one the market had legitimately set for the index at that time. Buying a flex fare with the intention to cancel is not a fair trade.

          Not saying I wouldn’t do it, but I wouldn’t claim I was doing something that is 100% morally sound.

  6. Just checking my facts, if an airline cancels and give you more than 2 weeks notice then you are entitled to diddly-squat? If that happens would travel insurance cover rebooking? Only asking because the family have flights to Tampa with Norwegian to meet up with us on a States trip. I would imagine last minutes flights would be very expensive..

    • Shoestring says:

      no compo but the airline must re-ticket you free of charge

      plus you’d be covered under S75 if you paid on a credit card (not charge card) and value was over £100, a form or free credit card insurance

      • Thanks Shoestring, I’m not worried about getting the money back, lots of options for that. I’m worried about the cost of replacement flights at short notice?

        • Shoestring says:

          that’s why I’m switching to buying all our flights on credit card, the S75 protection means the credit card co must pay for replacement flights at short notice, which can be expensive – they are also responsible for consequential losses involved, that might mean paying for a taxi to another airport and a hotel for the night, or refunding you for a hotel night you lost the other end

  7. The potential BALPA / pilot strike / BA pay deal settlement is good news as long as the new offer is accepted. I don’t think it’s surprising BA found some extra cash. The argument BA were pleading poverty is hardly believable. All BA has done is divert funding from somewhere else. Hopefully whatever it was earmarked for is not customer facing. If BALPA reject this latest offer then any goodwill towards pilots is likely to evaporate.

    I just hope that the rest of the staff at BA who accepted the previous pay deal as was recommended by the other unions don’t now cry foul and ask for more.

  8. OT – Has anybody here registered their cards on Aer Club? I visit Odeon pretty much every week and the last two months Aer Club have been offering 10 avios per £1 spend in store on tickets / drinks and snacks if you register your card on the website. I’ve registered all of my cards and have yet to receive a single avios. Can’t seem to get a response from Aer Club either. Has anybody had the same issue?

  9. OT: any Amazon Amex codes working today? 🙂

  10. O/T – HSBC Premier. 25% bonus points posted same time as points. Didn’t see any info on HSBC – not advertised anywhere on my account or during transfer. Thanks for the heads up everyone on here!

  11. Frankie says:

    Thanks for the information on the BA strike Rob. This is a relief for me as I fly on 31st August. The BALPA website and Twitter feed does not give as much information as you did, so your article has been a relief to read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.