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Bits: BA cancels one daily Hong Kong flight, BA launches Newquay, a good value Marriott New York redemption

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News in brief:

British Airways cancels one daily Hong Kong flight

In a not-very-surprising move, albeit one that has not been publicly announced yet, British Airways has cancelled the daily BA31/32 flights to and from Hong Kong.

The last departure was last night.  It is timetabled to return on 1st May although that could easily move backwards or forwards before then.

The remaining service is an A380 with, I have been told, pitiful load factors in recent days.  It is almost certain that passengers from BA31/32 will be moved across to this flight.

The only thing that is surprising about this is that I would have expected both flights this weekend to be full with children returning for half term, although many schools have told children that they may not be readmitted without a quarantine period.

British Airways cancels a daily Hong Kong flight

British Airways announces Summer flights to Newquay

In a surprise move, British Airways has announced a limited Summer service to Newquay.

Regular readers will remember that Flybe currently runs a Newquay to Heathrow service, subsidised by the Government.  This service is moving to London Gatwick at the start of the Summer timetable at the end of the March, as part of a deal which saw Flybe add additional Manchester flights and a new Newquay to Amsterdam service.

The timetable is all over the place because British Airways has created the Heathrow slots by very carefully pruning of its existing short-haul network.  I am guessing that five different routes have each lost one flight per week.

Flights start on 2nd July and will end on 7th September.

Here are the times:

  • Monday – outbound (from Heathrow) 18.05, returning 20.15
  • Thursday – outbound 07.00, returning 09.10
  • Friday – outbound 18.05, returning 20.15
  • Saturday – outbound 06.40, returning 09.55
  • Sunday – outbound 19.10, returning 21.25

To be fair, the times are great for a Thu-Sun, Thu-Mon, Fri-Sun or Fri-Mon short break.

Here is our review of the Executive Lounge at Cornwall Newquay Airport – don’t get too excited.

Flights were available for booking on  The usual 2 x Club Europe and 4 x Euro Traveller seats are available on every flight so you might want to lock in a short break now.

Renaissance New York Chelsea Marriott Bonvoy

A good value Marriott Bonvoy New York redemption

Marriott has just opened the brand new Renaissance New York Chelsea hotel.

This is a new-build property and, at 39 floors, is one of the tallest buildings in Chelsea with excellent views.  The hotel even has a (modestly sized) rooftop pool.

A quick look at the Marriott website shows why there are good reasons to be interested in this hotel, apart from the fact that a brand new hotel generally offers a better stay than an old one.

The hotel is Category 6 in Marriott Bonvoy, which is unreasonably low.  This was presumably done to help drive redemptions in the early months.  A room will run from 40,000 points to 60,000 points per night depending on seasonality.

In late February, for example, I saw cash rooms at around $400 including taxes, compared to 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for a redemption.  This is well above my target valuation of 0.5p per point.

In June, when the weather is far better, cash rates are over $500 but redemptions are capped at 60,000 points.

Even better, you can book standard redemption rooms with two double beds and a maximum occupancy of four.  This makes the hotel a good choice for a family stay.

You find out more on the Renaissance New York Chelsea website here.

Come back at 11am for full details of Air France and KLM redemptions using Virgin Atlantic miles!
Virgin Atlantic is (re)launching flights to Cape Town this Winter!

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  1. Spurs Debs says:

    O/T. My Cruise around Japan has been cancelled by cruise company, I’ll be cancelling my reward flights to Tokyo later. In case anyone is looking for reward flights details are depart LHR to HND 19/4 @ 11.35 return 3/5 @ 13.15. Hope info useful if you are looking for reward flights. Both flights in First class for 2 people.

    • Sorry to hear that…. But silver lining is you will be here for Spurs/Arsenal on 25th !

    • Why not just go ahead with your trip and go someplace else for the duration of the cruise? IIRC you would bd missing out on excellent hotel deals too. AirAsiaX wbd Scoot have cheap business (poor but ok for the price) to Bangkok, KL and Singapore.

      • Spurs Debs says:

        The whole point of doing cruise is because I can’t walk far, to travel round Japan would require me to use wheelchair, trust me that’s just miserable for me and person pushing me. I’m off to see my travel companion now to make final decision on what to do.

        • Sorry to hear that Debs, I trust you will have other opportunities in the future that will more than compensate for this disappointment.

          • Spurs Debs says:

            Thanks BJ I did look into if it was at all possible to do the trip, but had to be honest with myself body wouldn’t hold up. Fingers X going to Norway instead, not quite the same but somewhere I’ve never been and at least it’s an adventure. Being pragmatic I’ll get all my avois back and 241 voucher so should have enough points to take family to Hawaii. Now I need to read up booking reward flights on partner airlines lol

          • I’m sorry to hear that Debs.
            It must be horribly disappointing, but Japan will still be there when the coronavirus madness dies down. In the meantime Norway is absolutely breathtaking, and Hawaii’s been on my list for a very long time, I’m dead jealous!

    • What a shame. Which cruise line have cancelled. Could you choose another cruise.

      • Spurs Debs says:

        Celebrity. They have cancelled all future cruises to Asia and agent said they aren’t the only cruise line to do that.

        • Not sure how widely you have travelled in Asia but for future reference both Bali and Vietnam are really cheap places to hire independent self-employed driver/guides with their own cars. Two great places to visit and I am sure they could get you up close to most stuff to see by car or van. Rates in Thailand are not too bad too. The driver/guides would I am sure be much more receptive to your needs and caring than on any group tours and also help you see and do stuff group tours never do. Norway is stunning, enjoy.

          • Spurs Debs says:

            Thanks BJ, I’ve been to Thailand and hired private guides.
            Been to Hong Kong, I was more able bodied then and could manage on my own.

          • memesweeper says:

            +1 you can do the same in Jordan

            Petra is likely to be a severe challenge if you have limited mobility, but a lot of other sights are highly accessible.

    • Ah no, Debs, you’ve been planning this for so long as well! But I think you’re doing the right thing as no-one really knows what the next few weeks will bring and it would be dreadful if you did travel and were refused insurance cover if the worst happened because of whatever FO advice is forthcoming. I really hope you get the chance to take your trip in the future!

      • Spurs Debs says:

        Thanks Anna nearly 2 years in the planning!
        We are going to Norway instead brand new ship 25% extra off as compo and at least I’ve not been there and it’s a break for me.
        We have very good travel insurance but you just don’t know. Also being a bad asthmatic it’s a big risk to take, although ironically more chance of getting it at home as only 8 miles from Milton Keynes where they are quarantining people lol I’ve decided to be pragmatic about it all.

        • Have a great trip to Norway. A lot of Tokyo F reward seats have opened up for April and May over the last couple of days. We moved our May Japan trip to September (for other reasons). No one knows what future travel advice will be. A new ship at a good discount sounds like a great deal. Enjoy.

    • Lady London says:

      So sorry to hear that @Spurs Debs I know you had been looking forward to it.
      Let’s hope “One door closes, another one opens”.

      At least this way you’re avoiding the uncertainty. So I think you’ve made the right decision.

    • Jill (Kinkell) says:

      On the one hand very sorry your hols are cancelled, but …..better safe etc. My husband always says that even if the trip was crap, the anticipation was a real boost,

  2. My wife has £1 clubcard vouchers and 90 points that are part of those millions going to expire.

    Any ideas for cashing out? No Tescos nearby and not been to Tesco since last summer.

    I have Tesco debit card which I use for fuel if passing a cheap Tesco PFS, not sure how many points I would be giving up if I used wife’s clubcard to get her total up to £2.50 = 600 avios?

  3. OT – have just hit my BA Amex 241 spending voucher target (exceeded the target by £2 on the last day for this year, so just about!)
    Issue is that is have a £60 refund from M&S coming – which I can delay by a week but not more.
    Is this likely to result in clawback of my voucher?

    • In the past it was only if the transaction taking me over the threshold was refunded.

      You could just spend £60 on the card, or ask for refund on gift card, or (if in store) hope they don’t check and stick a debit card in the reader

      • +1, M & S will refund to any card if you return an item to store, although staff generally don’t know this! As per John with the debit card.

    • Safest thing to do is spend another £58-60 on the card before the refund comes through. Supermarket giftcard, amazon.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      No, similar happened to me a few weeks back. Once you see line in Amex account about voucher it’s yours & no refund under threshold will remove it.

  4. Hi.
    I am doing some referrals between my wife and I.
    She has a platinum and will be referring me to business plat. My question is can we get both ba cards at same time also plat, gold and basic amex cards same time. Just trying to maximise referrals.

  5. Wow finally got a decent offer on my Palt Amex spend £3.2k for 1.5k MR in March.

    • That’s a paltry offer compared to others

    • Is it sarcasm? 1.5k mr points is a 0.47% bonus in your case assuming each is worth 1 p. I’ve got spend 800 get 400, which is better but still carp.

    • mr_jetlag says:

      spend 3.6k get 1.5k. They’re taking the p. Should be the other way round IMO (spend 1.5 get 3), there’s too many reasons to divert spend otherwise.

    • Paltry as it may be… this is the first time i’ve ever received an offer like this on my Plat! Lol. Better than a slap in the face.

      • My wife got £5,900 within 31 days for 1,500 points. To put this in context, she only hit the £15k / 12 months renewal bonus on her Gold because I stuck the office rent on her card for a few months!

        Timing is also weird because there are a lot of half term holidays which may have gone onto an Amex otherwise. Although this would be stupid for my wife because the 3% FX fee on £5900 would be £180 which is worth far more than 1,500 points!

      • It is almost as good as a slap in the face considering the fee.

  6. mr_jetlag says:

    OT (now that I’ve checked Amex), do spend offers normally stack? I have spend £300 get £75 and spend £75 get £25 on Maybourne hotels. What happens if I spend £300, assume both would trigger simultaneously?

  7. OT – new offer on my Gold Charge and Gold CC – spend £6k in March and get 1.5k MR

  8. Does opening Halifax or any bank account affect your credit score?

    • Yes, it can. Better, worse or the same.

      Oddly none of my BoS Brand, or HSBC accounts are reported on any credit agency. My Halifax Account is, despite it being a white label BoS brand.

  9. Jonny Price says:

    “It is almost certain that passengers from BA31/32 will be moved across to this earlier flight.”

    The BA31 is the earlier flight (1825 departure from LHR). The BA27 is the later flight (2100 departure from LHR).

  10. Closing Hiltons…

    From the BBC site:-

    “Dozens of employees have been made redundant with the closure of an Aberdeen hotel.

    The Doubletree Treetops Hotel, on Springfield Road, is expected to shut on Thursday (13th Feb).

    Staff were told on Monday that the company that owns the hotel had ceased trading, and on Wednesday guests were told there was no food or drinks available.

    Between 75 and 80 employees are understood to have been made redundant.”

  11. Free Ideal Home Show tickets with code FIHS020ME

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