Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Black Friday deals: Avios-earning Finnair flights plus Opodo, Virgin, Uber, Radisson and more

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News in brief:

Good Avios-earning Finnair deals to Asia

Finnair has launched a Black Friday sale to Asia.

What makes this sale attractive is that:

you can start from London, Manchester and Edinburgh

Finnair flights earn Avios and British Airways tier points – and because you are changing planes in Helsinki, you earn 80 tier points each way for the connection in Business Class PLUS the tier points for the long-haul leg

Finnair is flying brand a new A350 aircraft on many routes with excellent business class seats

Compared to the Club World seat the 1-2-1 configuration is a major improvement. You can read my review of the new Finnair A350 business class seat here.

Click here to see the prices out of London, Edinburgh and Manchester in both business and economy class.  Highlights, in Business Class, include:

  • Beijing £1,445
  • Shanghai £1,495
  • Hong Kong £1,666
  • Xi’an £1,298
  • Krabi £1,649

Thanks to Tony for this.

Finnair Black Friday deals

Save on flight and ‘flight and hotel’ bookings with Opodo

Black Friday seems to have morphed into Black Week for 2019.  This is good news for us, as we can drip out the best deals over the week rather than having to ram them into Friday.

Next up is Opodo which is running two discount codes this week which might get you a decent saving.

The code is BLACKWEEK19.  You enter this right at the very end of the process – there is a box under the space for your credit card number saying “Add a promo code”.

It is worth:

  • £20 off flight bookings over £400
  • £75 off flight + hotel bookings over £940

You need to book by Thursday 28th November, which implies there may be a revised version on Black Friday itself.  Flights must depart from the UK.  The Opodo Black Friday site is here.

Opodo Black Friday deal

Other Black Friday deals …..

A lot of other Black Friday offers have dropped in this week.  There is a lot more out there but these companies contacted me directly.

Before we get into the travel deals, a quick reminder that – if you’re buying anything on Amazon this week – we earn a small commission if you start your purchase by clicking here.  It helps keep us ticking over and, as we’ll be paying 40% tax on the money, it puts more back into system than if you don’t use our link!

Back to travel. All of these deals are bookable now – you don’t need to wait until Friday.

Most are not worth discussing in detail but I will run through a few quickly:

Uber credit – Tesco is discounting various restaurant gift cards by 20% until 1st December.  Uber Eats (£15 only) is included as part of the selection.  However, as Uber and Uber Eats share the same credit pot, buying these gift vouchers in Tesco also gets you 20% off Uber rides.

Europcar – save up to 40% on worldwide rentals, book by 2nd December for pick-ups before 31st March 2020 – book here

Radisson / Park Inn / Park Plaza hotels – save up to 30% and earn 3,000 bonus Radisson Rewards points per stay, valid for weekend stays in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean for all of 2020 – book by 3rd December via this link

Virgin Atlantic ‘flight and hotel’ packages – save £100 on all Caribbean (Barbados, Antigua, St Lucia, Cuba, Mexico, Jamaica, Tobago, Grenada) packages using promo code BF2019, must travel by 31st October 2020, no minimum spend – book by 2nd December via this link

Virgin Atlantic ‘flight only’ – save up to £50 on flights to Asia, including India, and 20% off flights to the Caribbean – book by 2nd December via this link (Virgin Atlantic is adding new deals daily so it is worth checking their site regardless)

Airportr at Manchester Airport – save 25% with code BLACKFRIDAY19 on Airportr’s ‘we collect your bags from your home or office and check them in’ service at Manchester – details here

Priority Pass – save 15% to 40% on a lounge pass (discount varies by product) – details here

Millennium Hotels – save up to 35% (25% for non-members of My Millennium) at 23 hotels across Europe, book by 3rd December for stays until 29th February – book via the special page here using code LOVEFRIDAY

Hotels.com – save 11% on selected hotels (usually non-chain hotels) with code BLACKFRI, book by 2nd December for stays by 31st March, code may invalidate collection of Hotels.com Rewards credit (or may not, they wouldn’t say!) – book here

ebookers – up to 60% off hotel stays and up to £60 off ‘flight and hotel’ details, book by 2nd December – book and find more details here

We’ll do another round-up tomorrow and Friday of everything else that comes in, including the Air New Zealand LA offer and the Air China business class bargains.  Let us know if you see any other interesting deals.

Comments (173)

  • MarkZ says:

    Not sure if this is Black Friday-related, but early yesterday morning, one of the embedded advert frames on the HfP pages was showing a promotion for London to New York for £247 return, on Iberia. Haven’t seen it this morning though.

  • Benilyn says:

    Posted this a bit late yesterday so bumping, OT: First time going Japan

    1) 13 night itinerary recommendation for which cities to stay? Landing in Osaka, leaving from Tokyo. Going in mar/Apr

    2) any good Hilton hotels going during this 50% sale? Hilton Tokyo Odaiba any good, c£150

    • Genghis says:

      1. Spend more time in Kansai than Kantou. Eg. Night at Koyasan in temple then base prob in Osaka to see Osaka, Nara, Himeji, then go to Kyoto. Miyajima and Hiroshima v pleasant. For onsen, perhaps for simplicity one of the ones in Hakone. Enjoy.
      2. Local hotels are way cheaper than international ones.

    • TokyoFan says:

      Kagoshima is amazing if you get the chance to go down to the South West – a trip around Sakurajima is well worth it and likelihood of witnessing an eruption pretty high 🙂

      Nagano is also worth a visit, the Zenkoji Temple is spectacular, and you can easily get to Matsumoto for a day trip too if you fancy. We stayed at Matsuya Ryokan right next to the temple, and it was our favourite place to stay!

      • Genghis says:

        To add to these points if OP is interested:
        – Ibusuki sand onsen is a novel experience
        – Yakushima (really need to fly) is spectacular
        (Let me know if you’re interested in Kyushu as I could recommend stuff all day. Any future holiday in Japan for my family would prob spend most of time in Kyushu).
        – the monkey onsen not far from Nagano is v cool.
        Depends what kind of experience you want from a first trip to Japan.

        • Benilyn says:

          Thanks guys, as for onsen, me and wife won’t be too comfortable with the whole naked thing, is there such thing as a private one? I’m guessing it will come at a massive premium?

          How many nights for Tokyo? As that’s my departing location, could book that now already.

          • TokyoFan says:

            Some onsen will allow you to book a private bath for the both of you. But I would argue that’s not the real experience 🙂 Nobody there will bat an eyelid.

          • Genghis says:

            Many will. Ask for “kazokuburo”

          • Genghis says:

            Oh – and as for getting around the JR rail pass will likely save you a lot of money though run the numbers. Not valid on private lines (e.g. Kintetsu line to Nara). I’d plan your whole trip before booking. What you want to get out of Tokyo (and therefore number of nights) is not what I like. I prefer the “natural” side of Japan more than city life.

          • Rob says:

            You can’t avoid it. I was in a jacuzzi in Japan once, on my own and trunk wearing, when a group of naked guys suddenly appeared out of nowhere and jumped in with me, Alan Partridge style.

    • Mr. AC says:

      Both JAL and ANA have special “fixed price” tourist fares (around 100$ per longest possible segment including Okinawa). Low cost airlines cheaper, but, well, low cost. https://www.ana.co.jp/en/ch/promotions/share/experience_jp/

    • bsuije says:

      Recently returned from my first trip to Japan and my key takeaways were these:

      1. Tokyo is only really for shopping. Don’t spend more than 2 days there!
      2. Fushimi Inari shrine is worthwhile. If you think it’s crowded – keep going. The crowds lessen the further up the mountain you go. Allocate at least 2 hours here (that’s turbo mode; 3-4 if you want to take it more leisurely and want to stop off for food). Hiroshima not worth it, though nearby Miyajima has more to offer than just the red torii gate in the sea. Bamboo grove at Arashiyama was so-so.
      3. Japan Rail Pass made travel easy, but crunch the numbers (Hyperdia should help – http://www.hyperdia.com/en/). I think for us it was probably bad value, as we substituted some train travel for flights. JAL (and maybe ANA) have special pricing for foreigners (https://www.world.jal.co.jp/world/en/japan_explorer_pass/lp/).
      4. If you don’t want proper local onsen experience (i.e. segregated baths & naked bathing), look for hotels that have private onsen in the room. These can be pricey, but for me it was the best part of the holiday! We stayed at the ANA InterContinental in Beppu – a bit out of the way & expensive, but we did leave it very late to book.
      5. Levels of spoken English are low in most places. Google Translate app did a semi-decent job, though. For internet, look into portable wi-fi or a local SIM card ahead of time.

      Good luck with planning!

      • Cath says:

        Hiroshima not worth it?!?

        Whoah. Did you visit the Peace Museum? Did you take the time to witness the horror of 1945?

        In my opinion everyone should be obliged to visit.

        Thereafter, Tokyo is just for shopping?!?

        • bsuije says:

          No, didn’t visit the Peace Museum, but did spend some time around the atomic bomb dome. Yes, it was poignant (also because on that particular day there was a human chain around the site with peace messages on banners) but I don’t need to be staring at it in real life to reflect on the horrors that humankind can inflict on itself. It’s personal preference, but when I only have a short amount of time, I would choose other activities.

          As for Tokyo – yes! It was a total let down. It may have been because we didn’t plan ahead too much and relied on just one guide book (which was supposed to be Best of Japan…) but I didn’t see anything in Tokyo that I hadn’t seen already elsewhere in Japan. Temples? Kyoto. Neon lights? Osaka. Crowds? Everywhere. Sumo wrestling? Aw shucks – they are all down south for a tournament!

          • TokyoFan says:

            The nightlife in Tokyo is superb and not to be missed – even if it means missing a day or two with a stonking hangover.
            Hiroshima is a remarkable place and well worth it in my view – only a one-nighter though (and good for a stop-off en route to somewhere else).
            Bamboo grove not worth it (Arashiyama) but the monkey park nearby is good fun.
            Most important thing is try to do as the locals do – especially when it comes to food and drink. It can be difficult with no Japanese but that’s all part of the fun, and in my experience the Japanese are incredibly polite and keen to help!
            Sumo is quite a spectacle and well worth it if it fits with your itinerary, but it’s by no means the be-all and end-all.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      My preference would be a slightly slower pace:

      3 nights Osaka, day trip or one night Nara, 4 nights Kyoto, 2 nights Takayama, 3 nights Tokyo.

      Working your way down south west from Osaka is great but I’d recommend that more for a three week trip.

    • Jon says:

      I did a fortnight in Japan earlier this year. Mostly based in Kyoto and Tokyo, with a couple of nights in Kanazawa in between, and day trips to some of the other places already mentioned (Nara sticks in the mind, and do seek out a lovely little cafe / kaleidoscope shop there called Shiloamu, a short walk from the castle down a little lane – amazing, quirky little treasure trove…).

      I’ve done two trips to Japan in the last few years, and both times Kyoto was definitely my favourite city. Worth a good 4-6 days, especially if you’ll spend a few of those on day trips. JR Pass is invaluable (Green Car is worth the extra in my view). Stayed at a serviced apartment place called Four Sisters Residence – highly recommended.

      I wasn’t enamoured with Tokyo on the first trip – but only spent a couple of days there, at the Hilton Tokyo (nice hotel, but I didn’t like the area much). Second time was much better – spent four nights at the Conrad Tokyo (excellent hotel and nice area, lovely park opposite) followed by three nights in Asakusa (Hotel B:Conte I think it was called – perfectly decent, one of the many smallish hotels located around the temple area, rooms quite large by Japan standards). Crowds aside, I liked that area a lot, and found it a good base for exploring further afield (mostly on foot in my case – my preferred way to see cities 😉

      Kanazawa was worth a couple of days of walking around. Not sure I’d go out of my way to visit if time was tight, but as a way of taking a different route back to Tokyo from Kyoto (the usual route being along the south coast past Mount Fuji) it was a pleasant train ride and a nice stopover.

      My overriding impression from both trips was “I wish I had more time (and money!) to explore Japan properly.” It’s an amazing country, and I’m not sure that even a month would be enough… Not cheap though 😉

      Probably worth getting a Suica card along with your JR Pass also, if you plan to use busses and subways much.

      • Jon says:

        PS. You say you’re going March/April, i.e. cherry blossom season – I haven’t checked for next year, but based on my experience of my two trips, I’d get your hotels booked in asap. The good ones seem to sell out fast well in advance, and prices can be astronomical if you leave it too late. Possibly a good time to use points… 😉

    • ankomonkey says:

      Adding my 2 yen:

      1. Kamakura day trip.
      2. Fuji should still have snow at the top so good views from nearby. FujiKyuu Highlands theme park was amazing when I went – if you like thrill rides.
      3. Nagasaki is more interesting for atomic bomb experiences.
      4. Plan some time for food experiences. From Buddhist multi-course sets to taiyaki, green tea ice cream, anko dango and sushi/sashimi cut to order. Then to an izakaya for beer, octopus balls, chicken cartilage and pig trotters. Then karaoke.

      • TokyoFan says:

        Fuji-Q Highland theme park (mentioned above) is well worth it – I’m not a rollercoaster fan, but was persuaded and loved it. The view of Fuji from the top of the ferris wheel is unbeatable – especially on a cold and crisp day!
        Finally, someone mentioned Takayama – I wasn’t a fan really (a little fake feeling) but if you do go, two tips – a) everything closes on one day of the week (I can’t remember which) but there is literally nothing to do when this happens! b) I thoroughly recommend the ‘Green Cooking Studio’ if you want a Japanese cookery demo/lesson. Two wonderful women taking you through traditional food, including buying ingredients from the market etc. A superb way to spend a morning!

    • Nick_C says:

      Personally, I wouldn’t stay in Kyoto at all. It’s less than 30 minutes from Osaka and easy to do on day trips. Osaka hotels are much cheaper.

      Flying into Osaka and home from Tokyo, the JR pass probably won’t be good value. Consider flying from Osaka to Tokyo; 6000 Avios plus £4 redemption fee. Download the Navitime Japan app to price up journeys.

      Look at Japanese hotels. I looked at the Tokyo Hilton for next week but its just not worth $280 a night to me when I get a good Japanese 3* for less than £80 a night. (Take a look at The Knot in Shinjuku (Tokyo) and Monterey Le Frere in Osaka. Clean and comfortable, their largest rooms are 20 Sq metres, but storage space is limited so you need to be prepared to live out of a suitcase).

  • Rob mc says:

    OT amex referral, anyone else still waiting ? A friend took out a card two weeks ago. If I chase they will say wait 8 weeks so no point in asking.

    • Amit says:

      Still waiting from 2 referrals, 5 and 3 weeks ago. Called amex, and online chat and told nothing they could do and would have to wait

    • Dave S says:

      Still waiting for my bonus 4 months down the line. Have contacted Amex 5 times. They are going to ring me tomorrow to sort out. Not got high hopes.

    • Mike says:

      Yes – seems to be a huge wait currently for referral bonus . Which is most annoying as that is how I now generate most (85 %) of my AVIOS for my annual Club/First trip (with BA 241). It is bad enough that churning is now 24 monthly and the Plat referral bonus has dropped from 18,000 MR.

      • Rob says:

        It is not delays, it is tracking issues. You will realise this when your friend hits the spend target and does not get the higher bonus.

    • Jon says:

      Nope- referred wife and points came before card and that was after Amex wanted to confirm address as was for business card. Yes, 25,000 lovely jubbly points + 9000 for me with no 2 year wait.

  • Sandgrounder says:

    Manchester have 30% off the new private terminal service today. Might give it a go.

    • Anna says:

      Thanks for this, I will have a look. OH’s 50th in July shortly before we fly to AGP so might treat us as otherwise no lounge access.

  • Ben says:

    Ebookers has 15% off hotels this week using code CYBER15. Probably non chain hotels only, though i noticed it seems to be working with Ibis. This stacks with the 5% rebate you get for booking using the app.

  • SG says:

    Hilton has emailed me with a new 5000 points after two stay now through 31Decembe 2020(2000 first stay +3000 second).If it stashes with the 7500 points for 2 stays until the end of January(60 days from registration) makes it a good deal.My partner could not register so seems targeted!

  • Shoestring says:

    https://uk.hotels.com/hotel-deals/uk-secret-prices/ + giving them your email address

    this really does unlock secret prices in *some* properties – we booked an apartment in Malaga last weekend for the February half term hols and it was 7% cheaper than anywhere else for the same property

    • Shoestring says:

      pop up
      Unlock secret prices and see them change on selected properties when you enter your email address
      Unlock Secret Prices now
      No thanks, I want to pay full price
      By giving us your email address you agree to receive great deals and sale alerts via email. You can unsubscribe at any time.
      By continuing, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

    • Doug M says:

      One if my few issues with hotels com is this. They’ll spam you mercilessly. I know you can turn it off, but then you miss real gems. The problem is that 90%+ of their special offers and secret prices are rubbish. Glad it worked for you, but mostly it’s just an incessant stream of dross.

      • Shoestring says:

        they’re sending all their emails to an unused email address – but the secret prices were on the ordinary hotels.com search, just needed to log in

      • Rob says:

        Agreed. Although, when we reviewed the Atrium at Heathrow, their secret price was lower than booking direct.

      • Anna says:

        +1 – I have never, ever, found a hotel where I wanted to stay at “50% off”, despite what feels like near-daily emails promising me this!

      • Dave says:

        One issue I had with hotels.com is when they specifically told me my £1700 hotel bill in Whistler would be charged on arrival, when in fact it was processed 45 days prior. Due to various reasons did not have sufficient credit on the card used at that time and because I was in Italy having fun times and ignored my email for a few days, resulted in booking being cancelled and loss of deposit. Thankfully Canadians are a friendly bunch and the people at their end reinstated my booking at no cost apart from some very expensive panicky phone calls. Hotels.com did not help at all and we were very lucky as there was barely any accommodation left with it being peak ski season!

  • Cat says:

    Rocketmiles sent me a teaser for a bonus 5000 points with any “eligible” hotel stay booked on Friday, but said details (presumably of how many nights would make it an eligible stay) would follow on Friday…