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News: British Airways adds flights to San Diego, Accor relaxes its points expiry rules

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News in brief:

British Airways resumes flights to San Diego

British Airways has announced a date for restarting flights to San Diego.

A thrice-weekly service (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday) will begin on 13th October, increasing to daily from December. It is, apparently, the first European service to resume flying to the city.

From an Avios point of view, San Diego was always a fall-back for anyone planning a California holiday who was struggling to get seats to San Francisco or Los Angeles. Pre-covid, BA also ran flights to San Jose and – when Norwegian was also flying the route – Oakland.

Accor formalises its points expiry policy

Accor Live Limitless did not cover itself in glory during covid, expiring the points of many members who were unable to stay in its hotels.

The official line on points expiry was that you needed a stay every 12 months to keep your points alive. In reality, this was not correct. Any earning did the job, although as Accor has few partners your options were still not huge. That said, if people had known that it was possible to extend their points this way I’m sure more would have done it.

Accor has now formalised this policy in an email sent to members this week. Any sort of points earning activity is now enough to stop expiry.

With restaurants and bars now open, it is possible to pick up points at participating hotels near you without a stay. You could also make a purchase via the Accor shopping portal (although these could make months to post) or transfer in some miles from a participating airline.

One option would be to move 3,500 American Express Membership Rewards points to Finnair Plus and then convert them into 500 Accor Live Limitless points. You are losing some value but it does the job in terms of keeping your existing points balance alive.


Accor Live Limitless update – October 2021:

Earn bonus Accor points: You can earn 6,000 bonus Accor Live Limitless points with the current global promotion, which runs from 23rd September to 31st December 2021. You must book by 4th November 2021. Full details are in this article and you can register here.

New to Accor Live Limitless?  Read our overview of Accor Live Limitless here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our analysis of what Accor Live Limitless points are worth is here.

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from Accor and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Comments (43)

  • Lyn says:

    BA is the only European airline that has ever flown to San Diego as far as I know.

    Apparently it used to be profitable based on cargo alone, even without counting passenger revenue, perhaps for this reason, although Brexit may have changed that logic.

    I”m still sceptical of the October 13 date for now. BA have been pushing this date back from an original August restart, although that was supposed to be daily, as it was pre-Covid. Three days a week is probably more realistic for now, like their restart of the Phoenix route.

    • BJ says:

      There were comments last night that Biden will not want to reopen USA until after the mid term elections in November 22.

    • Metty says:

      Lufthansa flew from Frankfurt (started 2018 I think)

    • David says:

      Hopefully it won’t be the dreadfully old 777s anymore (unlikely, I know)

      • Nick says:

        The ‘dreadfully old 777s’… you mean like the 77Ws that are less than a year old, having been delivered to BA around last Christmas?

        Yes some of the 772s are showing their age. Some have indeed recently been retired. But unfair to tarnish everything with the same brush.

        • David says:

          Having flown the route rehaulsry, Nick, I’m talking about the actual old 777s.
          Think you’d benefit from going back to bed and trying again today.

          • David says:

            *regularly

          • Nick says:

            @David one day we’ll be able to have a discussion without resorting to throwing around petty insults. ‘Attack the ball not the player’ and all that.

            But anyway, back to topic and trying to bring in some actual facts, it’s been a very long time since SAN was served by 772 – indeed, only when it was first launched back in 2010. All flights for the last 5 years or so have been scheduled on either 744 or 77W aircraft.

          • Lyn says:

            @Nick – just in case you are interested, the history of BA’s flights to San Diego go back well before 2001.

            That was actually the third incarnation of the route. The first was in 1988 but it didn’t last long. The second was the stop-in-Phoenix phase, which started in 1996.

          • Lyn says:

            Sorry, 2010 was the start of the third launch of the route, not 2001,

          • David says:

            @ Nick Maybe you consider how you post then, your message was condescending, rude and overly aggressive to somebody you don’t know and for something so inconsequential.
            I’m not a Boeing fan boy or AV geek and nor do I profess to know the flight schedule history of this or any route, and not interested either.
            However, my opinion stands. The 777 is an older plan vs 787, a350, a380 and many comments on here previously concur that these more.modern planes are superior, so yes I’ll stand by my view that the 777s are dreadful when compared to other planes in the fleet. My experience on board suggests they are old – tired, drab cabins with repair issues and IFE problems regular features of flights.

      • Lyn says:

        Yes, it is a 777. But it was briefly showing as Club Suites before the most recent further delay in restarting the route and the change to 3 days of week. Perhaps it still is.

  • elt says:

    O/T Bits CURVE help
    My card has been declined ( for 3 x amounts under £5) and despite phoning and emailing Curve support I get no response.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks

  • Joe N says:

    Does anyone know if there’s still a way to transfer points from All to Iberia Plus without having the minimum number (I think the minimum is 3k, but I only have 2.6k)? I tried to follow the old articles on auto convert but couldn’t get it to work. It’s not a huge amount and might just need to give up on getting them out of Accor, but thought it was worth an ask.

    • Rob says:

      Not that I know. It was a trick that could be triggered during periods that Accor was doing special promos to encourage auto-conversion.

    • Ed says:

      Have you already done the Qatar 5000 bonus miles transfer into Accor? If not look for the recent article on it, sign up for the bonus points and transfer to Accor which would take you over 3000.

  • Zap says:

    Is it a direct flight to San Diego or does it stop off in Phoenix?

    • Simonbr says:

      It was direct in the past.

    • Lyn says:

      San Diego is showing as a non-stop flight in both directions. I doubt if that would change. The 3 days a week are even different days to Phoenix’s current 3 days schedule.

      It hasn’t stopped off in Phoenix in years. I think things changed when American Airlines started code-sharing the flight and BA were finally able to start filling the business class cabin. It was usually full in economy and half empty in business before that.

  • Adam says:

    For me the Accor points expiry is far to late in the day now. They wiped all my points and would only reinstate if I stayed at a open hotel during last year during the height of the pandemic without vaccinations being available, going against pretty much any governments advice about non-essential travel. I’ll never chose Accor again based on their response.

    • Lady London says:

      They did that to me in May last year too. After they expired all my points (my stay pattern being several stays annually centred in April), one week later, exactly, Accor extended everyone’s points till the end of the year.

      I got them back by doing one cheap stay. All my stays since I have insisted were entirely on points as I’m getting rid of Accor.

  • Toppcat says:

    “I genuinely find Park Hyatt to be the best luxury chain which is run by one of the multi-brand groups.”

    Rob – is this still true now that Six Senses has at least started to be integrated into IHG? Genuine question – I don’t have any experience of Park Hyatt, so trying to get a feel for what to expect / how much of an effort to make to stay with the brand vs others.

    • Rob says:

      There are only a handful of Six Senses properties in IHG Rewards so far. I agree that, once fully integrated, Six Senses will probably be equal – although there are not that many of them.

      • Toppcat says:

        Okay – that makes sense. Thanks. Sounds like I need to visit some Park Hyatt’s!

        • Matt says:

          Not convinced by this to be honest – I’ve stayed at the Park Hyatt in Dubai and Abu Dhabi while living in the UAE, and the Ritz Carlton and St Regis options are much better properties in my opinion, particularly at the top end. Might be different in Asia perhaps?

          • chabuddy geezy says:

            I think the Dubai one has not had a proper refurb in over 15 years. It is getting one soon apparently.

  • Doug M says:

    I like San Diego. Decent city for walking and public transport, given parking rates it’s good to not have a car. Great place to watch some Baseball.

    • David says:

      Easy to find free on street parking in the city and out at Corronado. Left my car there a couple of times for a week no problems.
      And agree, great city and vibe.

    • John says:

      Agreed. Better place for a visit than San Francisco in my mind, although I’ve spent a ton of time in SFO for work and so that may have coloured my view somewhat. San Diego probably has something of a novelty factor for me in comparison.

      • Doug M says:

        My issue with San Francisco of late is the extensive homelessness, which makes it rather unpleasant. All those tech companies forced up property prices, time they did something to address the problems that created.

    • Mattb says:

      We’re booked for Easter and summer holidays, fingers crossed but after the last 18 months I’ve learnt to have extremely low expectations!

    • ChrisW says:

      I read somehwere San Diego has one of the best year-round climates of any city in the world

    • Paul says:

      And a beer in the tilted kilt next door!

  • LessCleverAndrew says:

    The HFP article sent to my inbox says “Last day to book a BA Holiday and earn double tier points (travel by 30th September)” (implies 30 September 2021)

    But another HFP article says travel by 31 March 2022 for the double tier points offer.

    Since HFP is always right I must have missed something.

    • ChrisC says:

      There was an initial double TP promo then it was changed

      so depends on what was the date the first article you mention and the second.

      Both are correct for the date they were issued.

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