Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

BA news: Cruise118 Avios winner, half-term British Airways family treats

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We have a winner of our Cruise118 competition!

Thank you to everyone who entered our recent Cruise118 competition.

Congratulations to Ruth H, who was the lucky winner of 100,000 Avios!

If you or a family member are thinking about a cruise, remember that you can earn 3 Avios for every £1 spent with Cruise118.

There are some great February offers available at the moment when you book with Cruise118 including:

  • Up to $700 onboard spending included with Celebrity Cruises (that’s a hell of a lot of cocktails…)
  • Kids sail from just £99pp with Royal Caribbean
  • Save 10% with Silversea
  • All-inclusive drinks with MSC Cruises

Cruise118 also has a price-match promise – if you find a cheaper price elsewhere, they’ll match it, which means you can always maximise your Avios earning potential when booking a cruise. Use this link to the Cruise118 website to see how many Avios you’ll earn with any itinerary.

Ruth has been contacted so if there are any other Ruth H’s out there reading, I’m afraid it wasn’t you this time!  Thanks again for taking part and make sure you check out our new Qatar Airways competition to win two Business Class flights.

Earn Avios with Cruise118

British Airways running a new family promotion for half term

If you travelling through Heathrow (from 14th to 17th February) or Gatwick (from 14th to 21st February) with children, you may be able to take part in a new ‘I love to travel’ feature.

The check-in desks will be handing out blank cards headlined ‘I love to travel because …..’.  Your children will be encouraged to fill them in and hand them to the cabin crew upon boarding.

Assuming that flight conditions allow, the Captain or First Officer will read out as many of the cards as possible over the PA system during the flight.  Children who have their cards read out will, if possible, be invited to the flight deck on landing for a photo opportunity with the pilots.

Here’s one which I saw on Twitter yesterday although I have some doubts about its authenticity:

British Airways launches a great deal to ….. Shanghai!

Who wouldn’t want to travel to Shanghai at the moment?!

British Airways is keen to send you, albeit it doesn’t actually have any flights operating.  Don’t let that put you off though.

You can currently book British Airways flights from Madrid or Barcelona to Shanghai for just £1,100.  This is a great deal, especially as you will pick up (amongst other things you might pick up) 360 Executive Club tier points for the trip.

This fare is available virtually every day from 1st April which is when flights are due to resume.  Here is a typical fare at €1,270 (£1,094):

British Airways Shanghai deal

You can book on here.

PS.  If you missed it, take a look at our recent article on the top 10 reasons to apply for the FREE British Airways American Express credit card.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Comments (187)

  • DorsetFlyer says:

    OT: BA to launch flight from LHR to Newquay for Summer 2020. 5 times weekly.
    Presumably avios seats are now available

    • BJ says:

      Ohhh Harry, what have you done!? … and what are you going to do now?

      • Lady London says:

        personally I can’t wait to hear what Harry will do now 🙂

        • Anna says:

          Where is he anyway?

          • Lady London says:

            probably he fainted with the excitement and is still ‘out cold’ somewhere.

          • Shoestring says:

            fairly tempting as regards timing & price (£58) – would give me a couple of hrs to get from T5 to T3

            8000 Avios though!

            shame I couldn’t see it earlier and get both flights on 1 PNR, which would probs be the main drawback as we book flights T-355-ish

          • Anna says:

            Where are you getting your prices? I’m getting over £100 one way in August and nearly £400 one way in CE! I just get a blank screen if I search other dates.

          • Shoestring says:

            my son & I are heading out to the sun pretty early this year, 11th July, so that would be non-peak I guess or just £58 because nobody else bought a ticket yet

  • Mike says:

    My experience is that Cruise 118 is not particularly competitive for cruises.

    Recently I asked them to quote for an upmarket cruise.
    They gave me 2 options
    1. Generous Avios but very uncompetitive pricing
    2. No Avios but maximum of 10% off the basic price of the cruise less port taxes.

    Two other Cruise agents offered me nearly 12% of the basic price of the cruise less port taxes which I
    Cruise 118 declined to match. I followed through with one of these agents and now have a form deal
    at a price much lower than Cruise 118 were prepared to offer.

    • Dawn says:

      I’ve had a similar experience. They refused to price match a cruise on Vacations to Go saying they’d lose money on it. They gave me a better price on the cruise that they were advertising but said I couldn’t have the Avios due to the discount. And if I took the 0% interest payment option I couldn’t get any Avios. They were very chatty and helpful so I will look at them again in the future but it’s not quite a straightforward as ‘price match’ and ‘Avios’ on every booking.

  • yogi says:

    Congrats to Ruth H. Come tell us what you’re using them for

  • lebron 23 says:

    data point – amex self referrals are still working

    • Lady London says:

      Yes but unless you’re in so deep the only thing to do is ‘keep making out like a bandit’ until they stop you, wouldn’t you rather stop now in the hope you might preserve a relationship with Amex in the future?

      • Polly says:

        Agree, am not risking it.. prefer to wait til oh has a BAPP then do a referral back to me…long relationship with Amex, can’t risk jeopardising that…

    • GRIMZ says:

      Dangerous game!

  • Zara says:

    OT: has anyone managed to successfully avail the IBIS business card in the last week or so? I can’t seem to get beyond the first page and technical support are very slow at replying. I have no status with Accor but have a week long stay at a Pullman soon so I thoight the auto upgrade to Gold would help even if it’s just a room
    Many thanks

    • Lady London says:

      Call Accor UK Customer Services 01224 398802.

    • Lady London says:

      As a fallback an Accor hotel manager told me an Accor hotel manager can sell it to you. Btw: pricing on this one used to vary according to geography I think Asia Pacific was best

      • Zara says:

        Thank you Lady London. I have called the customer services line and they are referring it to the tech team but taking ages about it. They also did mention it can be sold by the hotel manager but I would ideally like to have the gold membership before I arrive so that the probability of the perks are more likely instead of delayed after membership!

        • Lady London says:

          You could phone the hotel and ask to buy it over the phone. Good chance you end up speaking to the hotel manager to get it done. And of course you’ll be mentioning your upcoming reservation number won’t you :-).

          Hanging around for Accor Customer Services to fix anything is not a good strategy. They keep their outsourced provider at Customer Services Level 101. Rule of thumb : if it’s not fixed on the phone at the time you call them it won’t be.

  • Boi says:

    OT: referred hubby for green card…after his 1st spend he got 2K MR as referral bonus. What’s that about?
    He has already upgraded it to platinum prior to any spend and the £4K spend progress is showing….

  • AJA says:

    O/T do you need a visa to travel to Israel if you have a UK passport? I have a 2-4-1 Avios redemption in First to Tel Aviv for July 2020.

  • WillPS says:

    O/T does anybody find their Hilton Gold status seems to hang around despite doing nowhere near enough to maintain it?

    I got it in 2016 in the days of the free Platinum bump ups from Gold (RIP). Since then I have done 3 stays and every time I look my Gold membership is set to run out the following January. But every February, I find I still have it…

    I’m not complaining, just wondering if this is a mistake or not.

    • Guesswho2000 says:

      My OH has maybe three or four lifetime stays on her HH account, and she’s been Gold for years, it just keeps renewing!

    • Anna says:

      Have you got the HH visa? This keeps me at Gold even though I don’t stay nearly enough nights!

    • Rui N. says:

      Hilton’s year actually runs until March, so if you are to be downgraded it will only happen in April.
      But I’ve had the same experience as yourself: I’ve had Gold via multiple credits cards in the US and in the UK, and have never been downgraded, even when I spent some years without any credit cards (right now I’m supposed to be Gold until 2021 as I had the Amex Platinum last year).

    • BJ says:

      I know why this happens. Hilton probably does too but it seems they have never done anything about it. Not saying in the event they don’t and somebody sees this. I just suggest readers fully engage with the hobby and follow the main recommendations on HFP and there is a good chance it’ll happen. Obviously the less that people highlight it here the better.