BA Sale

Bits: Flybe saved in Government deal, you can fly Qsuite from Manchester, Qatar Airways sale extended

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News in brief:

Virgin Atlantic credit card bonus update

Yesterday we wrote about the impressive new sign-up bonus of 25,000 miles on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card.

The article contained two end dates, which was confusing!  The correct closing date for the 25,000 miles offer is 28th February.  Ignore the reference to 30th October which was an error.

Flybe saved

Flybe announced last night that it had agreed a deal with the Government to keep flying.  All flights are operating as scheduled and the company should hopefully have enough liquidity now to get through the Winter.

The exact deal has not been revealed.  The only public announcement is that the Government will launch a review of the impact of Air Passenger Duty on domestic flights, which adds £26 to every domestic Flybe return ticket.

It is also believed, but not confirmed, that the Government has agreed to defer its demand for over £100m of outstanding APD due from Flybe.  There is also talk of the Government potentially making a loan to the airline.

In return, Virgin Atlantic and other shareholders in Connect Airways have agreed to inject a reported £20m of additional funding.

So far so good …. but the airline is clearly going to need to make drastic changes if it is to return to break-even soon.

Flybe saved

Qatar to fly Qsuite from Manchester

Qatar Airways is giving Manchester and the north a Valentine’s present in the form of its excellent Qsuite business class seat.  From 14th February, Qsuite is scheduled to fly on at least one daily service between Manchester and Doha starting with QR27/QR28.

From 1st March this is set expand with QR21/QR22, which means that two of the three daily flights will have HFP’s favourite business class seat and service as voted on by you in the HFP Travel & Loyalty Awards 2019!

Qsuite was the first business class seat to have a door and, arguably, is still the best.  You can read Rob’s recent review of Qsuite here.

The only catch is that Qatar Airways has a reputation for last minute aircraft changes which means that you can never quite be certain what you’ll get.  Nevertheless this is a win for anyone who prefers flying from Manchester, as you’ll be able to experience a genuinely excellent product.

If you want to find out more about Qsuite, there is a special section on the Qatar Airways website here.

Qatar Airways sale extended by 48 hours

The Qatar Airways sale was due to end on Monday, but it has been extended by two days.  You now have until tonight (Wednesday) to book

Qatar Airways has some excellent deals if you are willing to start outside the UKcheck the list in this article to see if you can save even more money by flying from Stockholm, Oslo or the many other European starting points.

There are a lot of other special offers linked to the sale, including:

  • Double Qmiles if you choose to credit to Qatar Privilege Club instead of British Airways Executive Club
  • Very low-cost Doha stopovers for up to four nights
  • Upgrades at the Oryx Airport Hotel
  • 25% off lounge access in Doha if it is not included in your ticket
  • 20% off excess baggage

Full details are on the sale website here.  If you are booking for flights from a European city, remember that the sale will end at midnight local time.

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Comments

  1. Chalieface says:

    Re FlyBE:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-measures-on-regional-connectivity

    Nothing like a government “review”. Sir Humphrey, here we come.

  2. Partly Qatar Airways, but OT:
    Just want to be 100% before forking out: Does Qatar and/or Qantas have a full refund cancelation policy within 24 hours of booking for non-refundable tickets, similar to BAs?

    • EvilDoctorK says:

      I don’t think so, but you can do a 72 hour ‘hold’ on an itinerary for a fairly nominal fee ( not refundable against the price I don’t think , but it’s not much – $ 15 maybe … comes up at the final stage of the booking process as an alternative to Paying with credit card there and then )

    • Qantas only provides the 24h cancellation if booked in the US, but not here

  3. There should be commensurate levels of APD for flights, it is unfair for APD to be imposed doubly for domestic returns compared to international returns. Considering flying is becoming increasingly political kryptonite due to its environmental impact, having less APD on international returns is a little odd and calculated on distance and/or fuel usage (cleaner propellor planes would benefit here).

    Flybe (amongst others) run certain domestic routes as the alternative is often the overcrowded Crosscountry train services which charge sky high prices (even when split ticketing); the government really should be sorting that out so people don’t need to rely on flying to get out of the West Country for instance.

    • Shoestring says:

      double APD on UK domestic returns is simply because the UK controls both take-offs

      if the rtn flight were UK-[any other country with APD], there would be double APD as well

      if it turns out the Govt reduces 2x £13 to 1x £13 on a domestic rtn, the logic is simply to improve profitability for the airline / make Flybe’s routes more viable

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Does anyone really believe APD has any effect on people taking less flights? I know for a fact it’s an excuse for people to take more flights to start their long haul premium flights in other countries.

        it’s just another way for the government to make revenue, which is fine but lets call a spade a spade

        • Catalan says:

          +1

        • Unless flight pricing ignores all well established laws of economics, higher prices equals lower demand.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            You are ignoring the elasticity, for uk regional flights I agree as there are many other ways to do it which are both feasible and perhaps cheaper. ie a £1 car rental + fuel etc

            Though for Europe and long haul most people will save elsewhere to afford the flights because they want to leave the country.

          • I agree TG, taxing per mile or per litre of fuel would be more efficient as it would encourage shorter, more efficient trips.

        • +1

        • If it doesn’t affect the number of people flying then keeping it makes perfect sense. Billions of taxes to spend on vital public services like the NHS and it doesn’t impact the airlines at all. Win-Win.

          It also makes perfect sense for domestic flights to be more expensive as a great deal of them have viable ground transport options.

  4. JeffStrongman says:

    OT
    I have an Avios redemption SYD – SIN rtn in premium economy. Reward flight finder shows business class availability on rtn leg but when I try to upgrade with Avios on app get ‘We are sorry but redemption bookings cannot be upgraded using Avios’ message. Is this true or I have to ring up UK?

    • Shoestring says:

      it’s true

      • it’s an amendment not an upgrade in this circumstance, need to call in

        • Shoestring says:

          got any link/ proof it works? ie I suppose you’re paying a *change fee* £30 and getting the agent to move you Premium Economy—>Business for the extra Avios

          I don’t doubt this can be done (ie fare class amended for the fee/ Avios) – but is it asking an agent to bend the rules or are they meant to do this on request?

          • It definitely can be done. I’ve done it a couple of times to upgrade from CW to F when seats come available. It takes a phone call and you’ll be charged a change fee (£35 pp), any difference in taxes, fees and charges between classes (NB this can include increases since time of booking) and the difference in Avios between your original and new booking. If they try to charge you a telephone service fee then push back on that, they should waive it for things that can’t be done online.

            It goes for manual ticketing so can take a few days for BA to process and you’ll likely see several redeposit/ redemption transactions on your Avios account. You’ll know it’s all gone through OK when they charge your card and you can see a ticket number in the BA app.

          • Lady London says:

            Yes its basically a cancellation and rebook for the relevant fee.

            Of course you would want to ensure the agent you speak to has got the seats you need held, before they cancel the ones you have. Most will do it in that order anyway I would guess.

  5. Shoestring says:

    British Airways’ owner IAG has filed a complaint to the EU arguing Flybe’s rescue breaches state aid rules.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51117885

    • RussellH says:

      EasyJet and Ryanair have apparently complained too.

      Not sue if any of this is logical, since they do not compete on the majority of routes, I believe.

      • What actually happens is that they watch Flybe routes and when they get to a level that can justify a jet aircraft they launch and try to force Flybe off with the benefit of a more comfortable journey.

  6. OT:

    Flying with Delta, booked through Virgin to Orlando from Edinburgh.

    It’s EDI – JFK – MCO and reverse on the way back.

    We’ve had a schedule change to the JFK – MCO flights which means we are landing at 19:15 instead of 18:50. I know it’s a fairly insignificant change (landing 25 mins later) but does a schedule change such as this give us the opportunity to ask to be rebooked on a different flight that would be more ‘convenient’ for us?

    There’s a flight EDI – MAN – MCO that would get us in at 15:00 rather than 19:15 and essentially give us more time on holiday so if them changing gives us the right to ask for a change, I’d certainly look to do that.

    Do I stand a chance?

    • Shoestring says:

      sure – it depends on the airline – eg Iberia let you cancel for refund if there is a 15 mins change whereas with BA it’s more like 2 hrs (from memory)

      you could look up the airline’s policy and even if it doesn’t look good, try on the phone

      • With IB you can change and cancel with a 5 min difference. Just need to call in the middle of the night when you get mostly ecuadorians on the line. Well, that’s true if you speak Spanish… not sure whether the same applies with English.

    • Delta let me change before for free due to insignificant time change.

  7. I was booked on Qatar Doha-Singapore in November and both directions were advertised Qsuite and I was able to select qsuites both ways. At checkin outward and return they had been changed to the (still OK) older business class seats. I guess I was a bit disappointed. A staff member told me that DOH-SIN was one of their premier routes for QSuite and that they almost always had it on that route but maybe I was just unlucky.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Qatar are notorious for plane swaps but I wouldn’t be too disheartened as all of their LH flights have very good business class seats.

    • I think you were unlucky, I flew to and from Singapore with them recently and it was Q Suites both ways

    • Have you tried filing a complaint with the airline? Something along the lines of “booked especially to try Qsuite and was very disappointed that the planes were swapped out, etc.”

      • That’s what I would do, especially since now they explicitly advertise that the flight you’re booking is QSuite.

        • I think QR have recently introduced a policy where you can move to a QSuite flight if you find yourself on a differently fitted aircraft which was advertised as QSuite. Personally though, despite the hype, I tend to select a non-QSuite flight as I find the seat less comfortable for sitting and sleeping and the service much less attentive (as they can’t see you so they forget about you).

  8. OT Hilton status: Are readers status meters updating ok this year? I’m missing 3 rollover nights but just wondering if this might be a general issue before I begin the soul-destroying task of contacting CS? Also, is there any way my partner can determine his status from 1st April 2020 other than asking CS? He did not qualify to retain Gold on stays but held amex platinum and requested Gold while he was already Gold so we are hoping that will ‘buy’ him another year year.

    • Mine refreshed today to show my correct status (it always seems to take a couple of weeks?)

      Re your partner, assuming he registered for gold recently via the plat then he should have it until March next year

      • Yes, he was already Gold last summer when he submitted the platinum benefit status request, so I figured that would still register and take him through March 2021. Thanks for confirming. Last time he checked his status was still updating but I thought only the counters were reset at this time and the new status level doesn’t change until 1sr April? I’m sure that my own counter is wrong but I’ll leave it a while before contacting them.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          My counter reset or updated and I still show gold. If its Been updated recently does this mean I’m gold through to Mar 21 as I was expecting to drop down to silver this year?

          • Don’t think so, I think your 20-21 status doesn’t update until 1 April but IIRC we get notified a week or two before that. That’s why I am trying to figure out if there is a way to find out my partners status before then. If it is simpky a matter of counting nights like mine it is easy but where amex platinum or Hilton card has been used then nothing is certain until late March which is a nuisance with decision making.

  9. Does a Virgin Economy Delight seat attract Reduced APD like other economy, or is it Standard Rate?

  10. It seems the Virgin – Air France – KLM earn and burn launch has been postponed.

  11. Sorry OT completely.

    I have just been accepted for the HSBC Premium card and IHG Reward card – does anyone have any idea if revolut top ups via curve are treated as cash advances? If people aren’t sure i will check when the cards arrive

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