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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. Andrew M says:

    OT. Doubletree Aberdeen Treetops closing today. Hotel owner has ceased trading. Source BBC News.

  2. Alaska Air joining oneworld

    • Yes just read. That’s going to take a bit of integration if they’re going to keep everyone happy. First thoughts will they keep Singapore and Emirates flights plus, are our points going to be switched to avios?

      • why should any program switch to Avios?

      • JAL is already a EK partner, so no news there unless someone throws a tantrum.

        OTOH, flights out of HKG is at fun times now, even if what happened last year didnt kill off the routes.

  3. Just booked 3 r/t tickets to Newquay for a Cornwall trip I’m planing with my mom and sister this summer… very convenient, saves the long drive from London and actually works out slightly cheaper than what we had planned (1 night in Premier Inn Exeter). Tickets with checked luggage worked out at around £120 pp.

    Anyone have experience with Newquay Airport car rentals? Hertz were the only ones with decent opening hours, so booked with them.

    • Michael C says:

      Rental sooo easy, Alex – step into tiny arrival place, there’s the desk, car outside, and about 4 mins drive to the coast!

      • Shoestring says:

        yep that’s where I pick up my £1 Europcar rentals

        Newquay Airport not exactly big so the car rentals are easy to walk to

        shame you only get 24hrs with the £1 rentals or you’d really be able to work out something hot, ie fly in, grab the £1 rental to zip around, do stuff then drive back and drop it at LHR

        • Shoestring says:

          someone young and mad could make it work! fly down, pick up your £1 rental (at say 8am on Saturday), go surfing all day at Polzeath or Fistral, grab a proper Cornish something or other, then grab a few hours’ sleep at Premier Inn/ Travelodge (can go as cheap as £30), then get up at 4am to dump the car back at Heathrow

          • Why waste £30 if can easily sleep in the car?! I’ve done it recently (for one night only).

          • Shoestring says:

            would be a shame not to sample (to safe limits) the local beers

            starting at 5pm, you could safely have 4-5 pints then sleep a bit and drive at 3am

            though I agree with you – when I was young & mad & no spare money – and had a company car with all fuel paid (the good old days), I used to drive up to Aviemore on a Friday, sleep in the car, ski all day Saturday then drive back south, stopping for a few hrs sleep on the way back – sometimes Saturday night in the car as well if the skiing was good enough for 2 days

          • This is the first time in a long time I’ve momentarily wished I could drive!

          • Shoestring says:

            Hey Cat when I was about 26 or so – 1990 – and I had to pay about 16% interest on my mortgage so obvs didn’t have much money – I had a brand new (company) Audi 80 so with 2 weeks of holiday drove down to the south of France with a sleeping bag, very comfortable night’s sleep after a £2 bottle of red wine (not driving of course & please don’t do that at home, kids) 🙂

          • Shoestring says:

            Ryan is the guy – LHR-Newquay £58, £1 Europcar 24hr rental, surf all day Fistral, 6 pints of Tribute, £30 Travelodge, dump the £1 rental back at LHR Europcar by 8am

          • Shoestring says:


          • Shoestring says:

            bring some mates, one of them can be designated driver, make it 10 pints Tribute?

          • I do enjoy hearing all of the “Back in the day…” travel stories Harry, that sounds like a blast!
            Respect Rhys, that does sound rather like how weekends on a budget should be done!

          • Too bad I can’t surf!

          • Lady London says:

            … said Rhys, just back from his private jet trip 🙂

          • That’s on Monday!

          • @Rhys – learn, it’s awesome!

  4. Shoestring says:

    Not sure how likely this story is to turn out true – but I inow it will interest a few people
    [Travel insurance shake-up could cut the cost of cover for millions of holidaymakers with pre-existing medical conditions. New rules from the FCA help travellers with pre-existing medical conditions.
    Insurers will direct customers to a directory of firms that can help them. The FCA said this could help holidaymakers save around 40% on their premiums ]

  5. OT

    Flying LHR – JNB – CPT//MRU – JNB – LHR on a VS ticket end of Feb with the JNB – CPT and MRU – JNB operated by BA comair. Online I’m given the option to miles booster all four sectors – I would’ve thought only the VS sectors would be possible and not the BA ones too. I can miles boost sector by sector if I prefer.

    Holding out for the next Miles Booster promo which is hopefully not too far away!

  6. OT: Anyone had trouble with Amex for using it too much at the coop?

    I wonder who is going to get pissed off first among all parties involved?

  7. On the BA site, you can still buy a ticket for both BA flights from the 8th of April. Is there a source or is this from just scanning the BA site?

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