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Bits: Finnair restricts Avios reward bookings, a (pricey) Hilton / McLaren factory visit, see Morrissey with IHG

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News in brief:

Finnair restricts Avios business class availability

One Mile at a Time is reporting that Finnair has started to block its business class availability for partner airline award redemptions beyond 60 days in advance.

This means you will no longer be able to book Avios tickets on Finnair as soon as flights are released. Other oneworld and Finnair partners face the same restrictions.

Whilst this is annoying, Finnair is not the first airline to do so. Lufthansa, SWISS and Singapore all restrict First Class availability to their top frequent flyer members up until a few weeks before departure (or, in the case of SWISS, never offer it at all).

It looks like Finnair may be limiting availability for all but its top tier Platinum and Platinum Lumos members.  Unfortunately there is no formal announcement of these changes that clarify the exact restrictions that have been imposed.

Economy does not appear to be affected by this change – these appear available beyond 60 days in advance.

Here is an example – Helsinki to London is available for 22nd March in Business Class:

Finnair Avios availability

…… but not 23rd March, or any day thereafter:

Finnair Avios availability

Hilton launches another McLaren Technology Centre tour – but pricey

Hilton Honors has arranged another tour of the McLaren F1 factory at the Norman Foster-designed McLaren Technology Centre in Woking.

The date is Thursday 19th March.  The cost is 130,000 Hilton Honors points for two people and includes a buffet.  There were four packages left at 10pm last night.

No time is given, annoyingly.

The factory is not normally open to the public so this is a rare opportunity to take a look inside.

Note the price, which is now getting a little steep in my view.  These packages were originally 50,000 points, then 75,000 points and then 100,000.  Given my 0.33p valuation for a Hilton Honors point, you are effectively trading off £430 of free hotel stays by going.

You can redeem your points for a pair of tickets here.

Hilton Honors McLaren Factory Tour trip

See Morrissey with IHG Rewards Club

Finally, if Morrissey’s recent political proclamations have not put you off him, IHG Rewards Club is offering tickets to his SSE Arena (Wembley) concert on 14th March.

The cost is 20,000 IHG Rewards Club points for two general admission tickets.  Given my 0.4p valuation, you are effectively ‘paying’ £80 for the pair.

This is a ‘buy it now’ deal which you can get here.

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  1. OT: any bonus available to upgrade from ba amex to amex bapp?

    • Some people get 6000 avios but most seem to get nothing, just your luck. A case of try and see I think, I don’t recall anybody being offered them or successfully requesting them as a condition of upgrade.

      • Nothing on mine today. More worrying the tracker missing from the home page. I had 9.5k spend on the bacc which is supposed to be continued with my BAPP. Will check see if it appears tomorrow. Need my 241 with 2 yr expiry.

  2. Harry T says:

    OT, as bits:
    Heading to Sydney on 3rd March for two weeks in Australia. We were planning to do a road trip from Sydney to Melbourne but it looks like everything we want to drive through will be on fire or a pile of ashes! Can anyone recommend some good day trips and excursions out of Melbourne? We are now thinking of flying from Sydney to Melbourne after a few days and exploring the areas around Melbourne. I know Phillip Island was mentioned previously. We want to see the best of rural and coastal Australia in that region.

    Flights booked with Qantas (Avios) and the shiny new HIX is booked for Melbourne on IHG points.

    • We drove to the 12 Apostles one day – long drive and early start to do it in a day but worth it. Next day Philip Island to see the fairy penguins but you need to prebook that.

    • Mornington Peninsula to the South – walks, tranquil bay beaches and “back” surf beaches (and a walking trail joining them), views from Arthurs Seat, kangaroos at dusk at Sea Winds, the Moonlit Sanctuary (conservation) for day and/or evening visits – koala, kangaroos, birds etc., boutique wineries, art galleries (including glass blowing), Ferry from Sorrento across the bay to Queenscliff.( the start of the Great Ocean Road).

      Wilsons Prom (south east beyond Phillip Island) for walking especially, more coastal scenery. Phillip Island as mentioned, a bit more touristy. The Dandenongs and Yarra Valley (more boutique wineries) east of Melbourne. The tourist information centre opposite the central Flinders St station has a lot of useful information.

      • Harry T says:

        Thanks, @Liz and @Lyn
        Looks like there’s plenty to do outside of the fire stricken areas!

      • Lady London says:

        I recall old comments that the Great Ocean Road has a high rate of accidents. Is that old / not true?

        • I’ve driven the GOR a fair few times. The accident rate is higher than average on account of the volume of tourist traffic (there’s ‘drive on left in Australia’ signs everywhere, which aren’t the norm), but I’ve never witnessed anything. There’s a general issue here (Victoria) with overseas drivers and their inability to drive, the concentration of tourists in that area just concentrates it.

  3. Look closely:

    Tomorrow’s Times “Flybe will tell the government that it needs a £100 million loan to survive the winter, on top of the £106 million tax bill deferrment it has received”×900

    • Lady London says:

      I’ve been quite surprised it’s only £100m. Does not seem anything like large enough to rescue it.

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