Welcome to our weekly newsletter.
Whilst we encourage email readers to sign up to our daily emails so that you don’t miss out on any short-notice deals or offers, we offer this weekly summary as an alternative. It also runs on the website every Saturday.
You can sign up to this weekly summary email by clicking here. Please forward it to any friends or family who you think may be interested in improving how they travel.
(If you want to switch from the weekly summary email to the daily emails, create a fresh subscription to the daily emails via this link. You will then need to unsubscribe from the weekly email by clicking the ‘Unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of the last weekly summary you received.)
LAST CHANCE: Get 30,000 Virgin Points with the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card
There are only a few days left to sign up for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard credit card and pick up an impressive 30,000 Virgin Points.
The offer ends on 6th June.
This HfP article explains how the card works and why this is a good deal. We haven’t seen a special deal on this card for six months and this could well be the last offer we see in 2022. The standard bonus, remember, is just 15,000 Virgin Points.
You can apply here. You can get the higher bonus until Monday night.
Our 10th birthday party – apologies
In last weeks newsletter we said that we will be celebrating our 10th birthday this year with a special reader party on the 21st June at the Renaissance St Pancras hotel.
We promised to email our Weekly Newsletter subscribers when tickets went on sale. Unfortunately, all 500 tickets were sold in seven minutes and we didn’t even have time to contact you.
We are running a waitlist via our Eventbrite page here although, to be honest, the chances of it clearing are not great.
When we have our next party we will structure it differently so that our Weekly Newsletter subscribers have an equal chance of getting tickets. This is, due to the pandemic, the first HfP party since we launched this newsletter in August 2020 and we misjudged demand.
The latest travel and aviation news:
Virgin Atlantic is offering selected flights to the US and Caribbean at up to £200 off, until 13th June.
Plaza Premium has open its first lounge in Germany, in Frankfurt, near the British Airways gates.
Virgin Atlantic has cancelled flights to Havana, Cuba before they even launched. The reason has not been disclosed. One rumour suggests it is linked to the fact that the Virgin Atlantic online booking system is actually the Delta Air Lines booking system in disguise, and that some US sanctions may be being broken.
Norse Atlantic is launching Oslo to Gatwick flights in August. Nothing special about that …. except that they will be on a Boeing 787 and have Premium Economy as an option. They are also very cheap, with flights from £65 return.
Norse Atlantic has also announced its flights from Gatwick to New York, using ex-Norwegian aircraft. There will be Economy and Premium Economy seating. Tickets start at £255 return but the extras – you don’t even get fed – can mount up.
British Airways news:
Iberia has fired British Airways from its ground handling role at Heathrow Terminal 5! Iberia will now bring in an external contractor to save money.
Comair, BA’s franchise in South Africa, has cancelled all of its flights after falling into another financial crisis.
JetBlue has announced a delay in the launch of its new Gatwick to Boston and Heathrow to Boston services, following the late delivery of A321LR aircraft from Airbus.
Desperate for cabin crew, British Airways will be handing some short haul flights over to Iberia to operate this Summer. This is on top of the flights now being operated by Finnair aircraft and crew on BA’s behalf.
What do you get if you spend your Avios on Qatar Airways Qsuite business class product? We took a trip to Doha to find out.
Credit card news:
American Express is running an offer for £250 cashback on a £500+ purchase with United Airlines. You won’t see this offer on your British Airways American Express card, for obvious reasons, but it seems very widespread on other cards. This is a good deal if you’re planning a trip to the US or Canada.
Marriott has launched a new bonus if you buy Bonvoy points – the exact size of your bonus is targetted. Details here, as well as our view on whether it makes sense. You can buy here.
Rhys visited the Sheraton Grand Doha Hotel in Qatar – an older property but with astonishing grounds and its own beach.
We managed to snag a £36 room (usually £300) at The Randolph Hotel in Oxford as part of the Graduate Hotels flash sale last week. We sent Rhys down to The Randolph to check it out.
The Park Hyatt Hamburg hotel is to close. When it eventually reopens after a full refurbishment, it won’t be connected with Hyatt.
The St Regis Venice is a new and hugely expensive hotel – you’re not getting in the door for less than €1,000 per night. Rob spent two days here and produced a ‘warts and all’ review which is well worth reading.
Other interesting articles:
Airalo is a way of beating roaming charges abroad by adding an eSIM to your phone, assuming you have a relatively modern smartphone. No physical SIM is needed and you can set it all up from home before you go. Rhys has used it twice on recent trips and been very happy. You can learn more about Airalo and how it works in this article.
If you are planning a stopover in Doha on your way to somewhere else in the near future, here are some sites that Rhys saw last week.
Thanks to our friends at American Express, we are giving away tickets to FIVE major concerts and plays in London this Summer. Click here to enter.
We finally got to try out the new partnership between the SquareMeal restaurant booking website and Virgin Flying Club. Rob earned 6,337 Virgin Points from our lunch!
Deals you missed:
eBay ran another ’25 Nectar points per £1 spent’ offer on Wednesday, for just one hour. This would have been an easy way to pick up a lot of Avios via Nectar.
See you next Saturday.
PS. Don’t forget that the offer of 30,000 Virgin Points on the Reward+ credit card ends on Monday! You can apply here.