BA sale

Bits: 2-4-1 vouchers now working on Avios sale, Thomas Cook slots sold, Virgin Trains drops Nectar

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News in brief:

American Express 2-4-1 vouchers now working on the Avios sale

Avios is currently running a redemption sale, which we covered here.

World Traveller and World Traveller Plus seats are reduced by 50%, whilst Club World and First Class require 10% fewer Avios.  Normal taxes and charges still apply, unfortunately.

There were some technical issues on Thursday with the application of British Airways American Express 2-4-1 vouchers on sale fares.  This confused some readers because we had specifically said in our article that 2-4-1 vouchers were accepted.

The situation has now been fixed, and BA Amex 2-4-1 vouchers can be redeemed without problems against Avios sale fares.

Don’t forget that there is also a 50% bonus when you buy Avios, if you are a little short of what you need.  Full details are here and you can buy here.

50% bonus when you buy Avios

easyJet and Jet2 snap up Thomas Cook slots

A batch of Thomas Cook slot sales were announced yesterday by the liquidator of the airline.

easyJet has paid £36m for a package of slots at London Gatwick and Bristol.  It acquired 12 Summer and eight Winter slots at Gatwick as well as six Summer and one Winter slot at Bristol.

Jet2 has also announced the acquisition of some Thomas Cook slots at Manchester, Stansted, and Birmingham Airports.  The price was not disclosed.

It is not clear if this represents all of the Gatwick and Manchester slots, which were the most valuable assets, or just the short-haul ones.

The official statement is not totally clear and Cook was originally reported to have 15 or 16 pairs of Gatwick Summer slots.  British Airways was known to be interested in a handful of well-timed slots at Gatwick whilst Virgin Atlantic was keen on some of the Manchester ones.

Here is a photo that I took at Manchester on Monday (whilst been driven to my plane, full story on Monday!) showing part of the Thomas Cook fleet parked up awaiting collection by the leasing company:

Thomas Cook airport slots sold

Virgin Trains drops Nectar

A slightly odd email arrived from Virgin Trains West Coast announcing that it will no longer offer Nectar points on bookings from 5th December.

The reason this announcement is a little weird is that the Virgin Trains franchise ends on 7th December.  The email doesn’t mention that explicitly, except to say that “Claims for missing Nectar points can be made by contacting the train company operating the West Coast franchise”.

I had assumed that the partnership between Nectar and West Coast would continue.  After all, First Group – which is a partner in the new franchise – offers Nectar points via its other rail companies.  This news implies that it will not, although it is also possible that it is just a stopgap measure to avoid any confusion over whether Virgin Trains or First Group has to pay for points issued over the transition period.

Avios news, Club Suite roll out timetable and other IAG Capital Markets Day revelations
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Comments

  1. C F Frost says:

    The Morrisons 10% offer is now showing in NatWest. T&Cs there state gift cards excluded. Has anyone any experience to the contrary?

    • Shoestring says:

      Morrisons till system isn’t good enough to detect giftcards & exclude them from the 10%, your credit card just sees ‘general purchase at Morrisons’

      good enough to stop it working on petrol/ diesel but you just buy Morrisons vouchers (at the kiosk) to get round that, then you’ll get 10% off fuel as well, slightly better than 10% because you earn NatWest points and can get change in cash if the purchase amount is not a round £10 multiple (which is also why you don’t want to get £5 vouchers, just stick with £10s)

    • I’ve been getting the full funds back on total receipt value on LBG accounts and Amex.

      The InStore return on my last shop excluded the Gift Card element.

      Apparently the Scottish Government is concerned that these schemes are defeating the minimum alcohol pricing legislation. Locals will be familiar that threshold spend vouchers cannot be used for alcohol in Scotland – you don’t earn Nectar points on alcohol spend in Scotland either.

      • Shoestring says:

        is InStore something to do with NatWest/ RBSG? If so, just buy Morrisons gift vouchers (which aren’t giftcards)?

        • Uhm… Maybe.

          RBS & NatWest staff have access to InStore via their Perks at Work scheme operated by NextJump.

          They get funds back when they use any registered card at tills at Morrison’s, National Express, Waitrose and others and is paid in addition to the various LBG, RBS, Amex offers.

          It’s identical to the Virgin Atlantic InStore points scheme for Waitrose etc (Morrison’s has dropped off that one sadly)

    • Charlieface says:

      My big question is cash back at the till (up to £50 I think), haven’t been able to try yet but suspected they couldn’t tell the difference.

      • Shoestring says:

        cashback on a credit card? think again

        but sure, I’ve done £50 cashback on my Halifax debit card to get the 10% bonus and it counted as a purchase

        • Charlieface says:

          No, I’ve got it on my Natwest debit. I’ve also done it on Halifax but Natwest looked like they might track it better so wasn’t sure. Have you tried Natwest specifically?
          I also did Sky £50 for new TV sign-ups on Halifax by switching the direct debit for my existing non-TV broadband subscription to Halifax.

  2. FlyingChris says:

    O/T – Does anyone know a good (unlisted?) contact email/number at either Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Money who has the power to get things sorted re: credit card points. 25k of points have got lost in transfer from Virgin Money Rewards+ card spend to Virgin Atlantic. Having just spent 2 hours on the phone – both sides just blame each other with neither offering a solution to fix it. Any good escalation tips to anyone who has the power to fix it?

    • Shoestring says:

      David Duffy, CEO of CYBG PLC, the owners of Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank and Virgin Money
      [email protected]

      maybe! I’d have thought he’d have got a new email address by now

      don’t ever feel bashful about emailing the CEO as most of the time it’ll get dealt with by their office

  3. It’s not really a surprise, Virgin Trains can’t speak on behalf of the new operator and the T&Cs of most rail loyalty schemes say they’ll terminate at the end of their franchise. It’s highly likely FirstGroup will use Nectar but if they don’t you can still book tickets with another FirstGroup company (e.g. GWR) to get the points.

    Virgin and LNER only give points on their own services whereas FirstGroup give points on all tickets.

  4. James A says:

    Rumour has it that Jet2 are planning to acquire another A330 and start Orlando from Manchester.

    Jet2 are very disciplined but I do feel They could make Orlando work, so long as they don’t get carried away with long haul.

  5. Harry T says:

    OT:
    If I wanted to book a 241 redemption that flew out of Inverness but came back to Newcastle, would I have to call BA to book?

    Trying to get First Class to Hong Kong but also save on taxes and charges.

    • Genghis says:

      Yes. My advice though is to book at t-355 and benefit from the lower taxes applied to the single leg back (call morning after booked to get some avios back).

      • Harry T says:

        @Genghis thanks. In that situation, do you need the Avios to pay for both legs for two people without applying the 241?

        Sort of off topic, but I’ve not been to Hong Kong before. Is it true that October/November is the best time to visit?

    • Yes but if you wanted you could book the outbound online applying your voucher and then calling later to add the return. Just the same as when folks want to book both dates T-355.

      • Harry T says:

        Brilliant, thanks.

      • Anytime is the best time to go to HK except … errr…these days!
        Did you see reply from Jill yesterday that the new Courtyard is actually at INV airport and will be open next year? Handy for the 7am departure otherwise best to stay in town.

        • #WhenHampton

          • Thanks TripRep, fab news and a great location 🙂 Might just become my no. 1 use if Honors points. Hope they peg it at 20k but given hotel prices in Inverness I doubt it. With this and Courtyard the HIX magic money tree must be about over.

        • Harry T says:

          Yeah, might need to give it a while before visiting there to let things hopefully die down! That’s great news about the Courtyard, thanks for letting me know.

          So book the outbound from Inverness online and then call to add a return to Edinburgh? Form what Genghis is saying, could save even more tax by booking the return as a separate Avios booking (not 241) and then calling to add it to the 241 booking?

          • yorkieflyer says:

            Yes, it is priced as a one way from HKG and a separate booking and so the lower ex HKG taxes if booked online as a single using avios, then ring in following day and ask for the second half of the 241 to be applied.

          • There is some confusion here I think. HarryT suggested at one point he might have insufficient avios to book 2 x one way return sectors from HKG-NCL online using avios. Hence I suggested calling to add the return leg using the 241 and hence half the avios (Which he obviously has) over the phone. It seems Harry gets what Genghis and Yorkie are suggesting, but given the way BA CSA are currently processing second legs of 241s with 2 PNR not mean that Harry will still benefit from low tax/fees if he has to call because he does not have enough avios to book for two online?

        • Now is the best time it has ever been to go to Hong Kong in the past 15 years. Just get up early and don’t stay out late on weekends.

          • Good point, hotels have never been better value. The downside though is if the s*** really does hit the fan during a visit.

            Btw, it got very confusing over the past week, multiple people now seem to be posting under ‘John’.

          • We are going in January, booked on the Swiss/Lufthansa 2-4-1 sale. We’ve been a couple of times and as long as your vigilant as you should be in new locations anyway I can’t see it being a problem. In fact I suspect local businesses will be fighting over your money and some great deals and bargains can be had in all aspects.

  6. O/T Air France ground crew planning to join the French strikes in December.

    https://www.thelocal.fr/20191108/airline-ground-crew-to-join-mass-strike-action-in-france-in-december

  7. OT: (Don’t often post but always read, so Hi :-))

    I’ve upgraded a premium economy Lufhansa (FRA-ICN) to business, ticket has changed from N to P (business basic). According to the Asiana website (where I collect *A) P will now earn 0% of miles, yet N earned 100% of miles?

    Is this likely to be the case or would I earn the pre-upgrade miles or even the business miles? Seems odd that upgrading with cash from a fare that earns 100% of miles would then earn 0%.

    Thanks in advance

    • Did you check the Asiana website for Lufthansa’s fare buckets? They vary from carrier to carrier. 0% might be Asiana’s own P, rather than Lufthansa P

      • Yeah the Asiana website has a section for partner airlines. This is under the Lufthansa section. I’m hoping it’s out of date / inaccurate. All the listed business fares (C,D,J,Z) are all 125% miles. P is down the bottom in it’s own section of 0%.

  8. I can’t find the promised Monday article about being driven to the plane at Manchester – has it been published yet?

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