BA Sale

Bits: we’re nominated for some prizes, Vueling sale, Virgin to Sao Paulo now bookable for cash and miles

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News in brief:

HFP nominated for four Business Travel Journalism Awards

I’m pleased to say that Head for Points has been recognised with four nominations in the 2019 Business Travel Journalism Awards.

These are:

Best Newcomer to Business Travel or Meetings & Events Journalism (Rhys)

Best Use of Digital in Business Travel or Meetings & Events Journalism 

Editorial Team of the Year (Rob, Rhys, Anika)

Features Journalist of the Year – Accommodation (Rob, for this)

Winners will be announced in early October at a gala dinner at the Corinthia Hotel.

It could go either way – we won three in 2017, including ‘Editor of the Year’ and, for Anika, ‘Best Newcomer’, but last year came away with nowt …..

Business Travel Journalism Awards

Big Vueling sale now on

Just a quick note that Vueling, BA’s very low-cost baby sister, has launched a short 2-day sale with flights from €12 each way.

These seats are for travel between 2nd November 2019 and 28th February 2020.

Current Vueling routes from the UK include:

Edinburgh to Barcelona

Manchester to Barcelona

Birmingham to Barcelona

Cardiff to Mallorca, Alicante, Malaga

London Gatwick to Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Asturias, A Coruna

This article explains how to earn Avios with Vueling.  There are basically two options – into Iberia Plus or into Vueling Club, both based on price paid unless your flight has an IB flight number.  You can transfer the Avios into British Airways Executive Club via ‘Combine My Avios’.

You can book the sale fares on their website here.

Vueling UK sale

Virgin Atlantic tickets to Sao Paulo now on sale

We mentioned yesterday that Virgin Atlantic had added the new Sao Paulo flights to its booking system but was not yet selling them.

Seats are now on sale for travel from 29th March 2020.  The service is daily.

If you want to redeem Virgin Flying Club miles, it will cost (off peak / peak):

Economy: 36,000 / 50,000 miles + £360

Premium: 72,000 / 110,000 miles + £493

Upper Class: 140,000 / 170,000 miles + £596

If you want to book for cash, you can get £150 off a ‘flight and hotel’ booking for 2+ people booked here.  You must book by 16th September, for travel between 29th March and 31st August 2020, and use code SAOPAULO at check out.  Because of the £150 discount, booking a ‘flight and hotel’ package may be cheaper than just booking flights.

PS.  The first commercial flight of the Virgin Atlantic A350 took place yesterday from Heathrow to New York JFK.  For reasons unknown, the official launch event is not until next week.  Rhys will be heading over to New York on your behalf to check out the new seats.

How to earn Virgin Atlantic miles from UK credit cards

As a reminder, if you want to redeem for this flight there are various ways of earning Virgin Flying Club miles from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles.

Get up to 50,000 Flying Club miles with Virgin Money International Money Transfer!
How to book Avios Reward Flight Saver flights on BA 'Fifth Freedom' routes
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  1. Frank de Jongh Swemer says:

    I though flights with Vueling from London to Amsterdam left from Luton and not Gatwick.

  2. Congrats on the nominatoons. A little surprised there has been nothing on the strike. I think the articles on it and associated comments have been excelent, providing more practical advice to real travellers than that to be found in other media.

    • Shoestring says:

      With the 14 day notice required to avoid paying EC261 compo on the strike-cancelled flights on 27th September, we can expect cancellation emails pretty soon – maybe tomorrow 12th?

      Not much of a window to negotiate a settlement without sending out the cancellation emails – though of course it’s feasible to reverse all those emails if settlement is reached in the next 12 days or so.

      People on long haul BA should actually perhaps welcome getting a cancellation email as you can now re-ticket on LH, AF & KLM 🙂 – so don’t hang around if you get one and fancy trying a different airline. You’ll still get your BA tier points and Avios (original routing credit).

  3. Does anyone know if I cancel my BAPP AmEx card, will I loose my 2-4-1 voucher?
    I would like to avoid the £195 annual charge due next month.
    Thanks, and good luck with the awards.

    • Titus Adduxas says:

      Robert; Once you’ve got your 241 voucher you don’t lose it by cancelling your BAPP card, but remember you must pay any fees with an Amex card.

      • thanks, maybe they’ll charge me anyway, for the previous year, even if I cancel.
        The woman I spoke to when I rang them to make a payment said I would loose the voucher but I didn’t think that was the case. She said I can downgrade to the blue card but don’t see the point in that card.

        • You pay the fee at the start of the card year, so you shouldn’t be charged again if you cancel before the start of the next one. Also, if you’re planning to use your voucher soon you could use your BAPP to pay the taxes and get a few more avios, then cancel for a pro-rate refund. I’ve done this and can confirm nothing happens to your booked tickets!

          • thanks for your advice, I tend to use my vouchers last minute so probably won’t gain the extra Avios by using the BAPP again.

        • The advantage of downgrading to the free BA card is that you (1) continue earning 1 Avios / £, which is a decent rate for a free card, and (2) in your next card year, you can spend £9k on the free card, upgrade to BAPP (if its still around), spend £1k to get another 241 voucher for a low fee.

    • Cancelled a month ago, the voucher is still in the account despite what Amex said when I cancelled.

    • I also plan to downgrade/cancel the BAPP, are there any benefits of keeping it or should I go ahead and downgrade for now?

      • No benefits, unless it’s your only Amex, then you will get the Amex offers. And also longer you hold it, the longer you wait to sign up as a new customer to get the bonus

        • Thought as much, I’ve got the Amex Platinum so have offers through them. Recommend downgrading to blue or just cancel outright ?

      • Currently asking myself the same question, I think only worth keeping if you are going to put a £10k spend through it and therefore pick up a 2-4-1 voucher. As Rob has highlighted many times it is the best offer of any UK credit card and well worth the £195 fee.
        I might just talk myself into keeping it and use it for the grocery shopping.

      • What is the preferred method for downgrading from BA premium to the standard BA Amex card?

        By Phone? or is it cancel and apply for standard one?

        Also, when uograding – what is best process?

        I still hold an Amex plat – so would like to maximise “self” referrals if possible

      • If value of points not yet transferred > pro rata fee amount saved by waiting, wait it out till next transfer date

  4. Vueling flights (VY) pay Avios into IbPlus based on price. only when your Vueling Booking is an IB Codeshare, you get Avios based on distance in IbPlus.

  5. I looked at Vueling LGW to Vienna using Rob’s link.. A couple of direct flights most days and others with connections at BCN, some overnight. So what is the airline for LGW-VIE direct? Is it Vueling? No, it’s Level, operated by Anisec. What’s Anisec? Apparently an IAG Austrian airline, a subsidiary of Vueling. It has a fleet of 6 aircraft – 3 ex-Air Berlin A321-200 and 3 ex-Vueling A320-200.

    I couldn’t find any €12 flights for anywhere near my preferred dates. My ideal dates produced a basic price of €275.98 return for two. Apparently using Avios could ‘save’ me up to €1,023.92. Er … (I didn’t bother to check.)

    I found my online experience frustrating. The clunky IT beat me. I didn’t buy.

  6. I booked 4 redemption tickets with Virgin and paid the taxes and fees’s on my Virgin Premium Card (to get the bonus miles for Virgin spend)- flight is next month.

    I completely neglected to use my Amex Plat (which I always always use)

    Have I now lost out on potential trip delay, postponement insurance from Amex?

    Any way to still be covered for that? Ie pay for all my accommodation / car hire etc on the Plat?

  7. Re: Kids APD on a Virgin redemption
    In the last 24 hours, I booked 2 kids redemption tickets to join our trip to USA. Myself and spouse already had tickets purchased a while back.

    Phone agent said APD of £70-£80 per child will be refunded to the credit card I used to pay the taxes/charges (how their system work -, they have to charge for it upfront and then refund later).

    Anyone know the exact amount to be returned and when it happens?

    • Charlieface says:

      Considering APD was remoeved for under 12s on 1 May 2015, and under 16s on 1 March 2016, it’s ridiculous they are taking so long to make that change to the system.

  8. OT
    Has anyone received more than one bonus on converting Tesco Clubcard points to BA miles? (40% Shell Promotion)

  9. A new BA call centre ‘rule’. I have an existing open jaw companion voucher booking – LHR to SYD, HKG to LHR. Availability from SIN to LHR has opened up so I called up to change the return flight. They said not possible if I wanted to use companion voucher as any changes to existing open jaw bookings must remain in the same zone they’re already booked in. Seems inflexible – I’m obviously ok with paying additional avios for change of zone!

  10. As expected, these prices aren’t available from Edinburgh to Barcelona.

    • Best avoid them anyway. I had a flight booked with them from Edinburgh to Rome a couple of years ago, after the fourth significant schedule change in a few months I gave up and took easyjet to Milan.

    • The Edinburgh fares aren’t that shocking though.

      Outbound from EUR 25.00 and inbound from EUR 18.00

  11. Off Topic..

    My BA Tier point collection year ends 8th January 2020.. if I fly on 8th January, will the tier points fall into the current year or next year?

    • If your flight takes off on the 8th (local time) the tier points will credit to the previous year. If it takes off on the 9th it will be the new year.

    • You can ask for a 2 week extension to credit flights in the new year to the old one – see here

    • As Matt says above. But if the TPs fall into the new earning year you have the option of requesting a temporary two week extension of your year so that they will count against the old year. Best requested after you’ve flown and the TPs are credited.

      Another option to consider though is to drop a tier and then earn in the new year if you have a few flights early in the year as then an upgrade to the new tier e.g. blue to bronze or bronze to.silver your new tier statud will count for nearly 2 years.

      Also don’t forget that the card only expires at tge end of the following month so lounge access status with Silver would last to end of Feb with a TP earning year end date of 8 Jan.

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