Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: Flybe is back, excellent Emirates (or Amex MR) redemption, win $1m with Qatar Airways

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

News in brief:

Flybe is back …. from Birmingham

Flybe has announced that it will soon announce that it is back ….

From early 2022 Flybe will relaunch, using Birmingham Airport as its base.

We know nothing more than:

“We plan to provide more information in the coming weeks and months about ticket prices, new routes and destinations, and other important news”

….. said a rather unhelpful media release.

The new airline is backed by Cyrus Capital, the investment fund which was also the largest single shareholder in ‘old’ Flybe, alongside Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Group.

The new airline will use the Dash 8-Q400 aircraft, which was also a mainstay of the old Flybe fleet. At least one aircraft is already painted, registered and ready to go.

More to come when we get it ….

Get 1.4p per Amex Membership Rewards point with Emirates

Emirates has launched a very generous promotion for its ‘cash and miles’ service – see here.

‘Cash and miles’ is the Emirates offer which allows you to reduce the cost of a cash flight by redeeming Emirates Skywards miles. As you are redeeming miles as part payment for a cash ticket, you can do this on any flight.

If you book in the next few days, you will get excellent value for your miles:

  • 0.7p per Skywards mile in Economy (2,000 miles for £14 off)
  • 1.4p per Skywards mile in Business and First Class (10,000 miles for £140 off)

Here are the key dates:

  • Book by 21st November
  • Fly by 31st March
  • Offer valid on all Emirates and flydubai services
  • Applies to “Special”, “Saver”, “Flex” and “Flex Plus” tickets 

Here’s the key point. American Express Membership Rewards points transfer 1:1 into Emirates Skywards, and the transfers are usually instant. First-time transfers may take 30 minutes.

Without wishing to state the obvious, getting 1.4p per American Express Membership Rewards point for a Business Class flight is outstanding value.

If the flight you want is available for ‘standard’ Emirates Skywards redemptions then you may get a better deal by booking a regular mileage ticket. That said, if you can find a cheap enough cash deal, ‘cash and miles’ may be better regardless of whether a Skywards miles seat is available.

The only issue is that Emirates is running a Black Friday event from 24th to 29th November. I haven’t got any pricing details yet, but there is a risk that a flight you book under the ‘cash and miles’ deal suddenly looks a poorer deal next Friday. Sadly the ‘cash and miles’ deal needs to be booked by 21st November so you can’t combine the two.

You can find details of the ‘cash and miles’ deal on the Emirates website here.

Thanks to Greg for this.

Win $1m with Qatar Airways!

Qatar Airways has launched a slightly OTT competition. Your chances of winning are pretty slim, frankly, but if you did …..

Here are the prizes:

  • $1,000,000
  • a Porsche Taycan or equivalent
  • Qatar Executive private jet charter flight from Doha to the Maldives (plus flights to Doha from your home)

You will be entered into the draw if:

  • you are a Qatar Privilege Club member
  • you register via the “Offers” page of your Qatar Privilege Club account (select the “Fly with the Best” offer)
  • you book and fully or partly fly by 31st January

This is not just a UK competition – it is open to travellers in various territories.

Full details are on the Qatar Airways website here.

With bad timing, Qatar has now placed the UK on its ‘Red List’. This means that trips to Doha are realistically off the table, given the hotel quarantine required, although you can still transit in Doha without any issues.

Comments (20)

  • Nick says:

    What a complex web has been spun in the history of these airlines by their owners/financer’s! It’s my understanding that up to around £650 million is being claimed by more than 900 unsecured creditors against the old company, and that, allegedly, the administrators for the old Flybe (now named FBE Realisations), may still make a claim on the new Flybe Ltd. company, depending on it’s performance.

  • Zed says:

    Cash plus miles is meant to be a better rate under Skywards+, does anyone know if it is against this promotion?

    • Frank says:

      No public information on how good the offers are on skywards+ yet they want 300 USD for lowest membership

    • Will says:

      I’d be very interested to know this too. Rob, fancy being the canary in the mine?

      • Zed says:

        Just tried a dummy run BHX-DXB return 8-13 Dec. It comes to £3172.63.
        With 10k miles applied as Cash plus miles, it deducts £153.82 to £3018.81.
        With Skywards+ aswell, it adds £84.60 to that sum. It doesn’t deduct.
        So with this promotion AND Skywards+ it comes to £3,103.41.
        That makes no sense…
        Why are you being punished for having Skywards+?
        Why doesn’t Skywards+ provide a benefit?

        • Will says:

          If you only signed up for skywards+ for that reason, I’d be screen shotting it and asking for refund and cancel ok basis it was false advertising.

          Presumably skywards+ rates are locked on a particular tariff and the current offer is running separately.

  • G says:

    Glad to see Flybe is returning in some form. Although, as someone who lived in Exeter for 4 years, it’s a shame it’s not returning to the south west again.

    The connectivity of Flybe from the south west was frankly amazing. I could fly to Schipol or Paris from Exeter and it was cheaper than the GWR to Paddington. I was once able to get from Tunis to Exeter within 6 hours…

  • Jimmy says:

    This is great news. Birmingham is a great airport. Where the train station actually goes right to the airport.

    • Aston100 says:

      Well technically you need to jump on that monorail, but yeah close enough.

      • ADS says:

        Last time I was there the monorail was closed, but it’s a pleasant stroll, or there’s a bus

        Maybe the monorail has reopened

        Living in London, I prefer Birmingham to Luton or Stansted

    • Will says:

      Yep Birmingham airport is a joy to get to by train, Manchester pretty good too.

      Heathrow on the other hand, particularly from the west, national disgrace.

  • Aston100 says:

    Qatar competitions and giveaways are (in my experience) misleading and borderline lies.

  • SH says:

    HfP team – any plans to run an article on POD Parking at Heathrow T5. The pods are being removed and replaced with a bus service from 22 November ‘until further notice’. Would love to know if this is end of the pods or if they are being replaced. Always found it a convenient place to park.

    • Rob says:

      We’ll mention it’s happening but we don’t know why – I imagine it is just due to pathetically low passenger numbers over the Winter.

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      Just booked the Thistle last night so as I could have a play on the pods! Aaarg!

    • Shad says:

      Thanks for the tip! I have been looking into staying at the thistle for a Feb 1/2 term trip… Don’t think I will bother now…!

  • Track says:

    With bad timing, Qatar has now placed the UK on its ‘Red List’.

    The current Gov.uk status is
    “There are currently no countries or territories on the red list for travel to England.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.