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News: BA drops Manchester to Gatwick, Qatar Airways adds Dusseldorf, Marriott Homes & Villas

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News in brief:

British Airways drops Manchester to Gatwick

British Airways has brought forward its plans to drop the Manchester to London Gatwick service.

Flights were due to end on 29th October, at the end of the Summer flying season, but this has now been accelerated. The last flight will now be on 31st July.

This flight was apparently designed to feed the Gatwick to Islamabad long haul route, which moved from Heathrow to Gatwick in March 2021. With Islamabad flights now back at Heathrow, however, the justification for the route has gone.

Qatar Airways launches a new route to Dusseldorf

Qatar Airways has announced a new route from Germany to Doha. The carrier will launch flights from Dusseldorf in mid November, using a Boeing 787-8.

The main reason for mentioning this is that, as Qatar Airways offers two guaranteed Business Class seats for Avios redemptions on all flights, availability on this route should be excellent, at least once the World Cup is out of the way.

If you have been struggling to find Avios seats on Qatar Airways from the UK for specific dates next year, it may be worth looking at Dusseldorf as an alternative starting point.

Our most recent review of Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 business class is here.

Marriott Homes & Villas logo

Get double Marriott Bonvoy points on ‘Homes & Villas’ rentals

With self catering holidays set for another bumper covid-driven year, Homes & Villas by Marriott International has launched a double points promotion.

The standard Bonvoy earning rate with Homes & Villas is 5 points per $1. This is doubled to 10 points per $1 for all stays booked for dates up to 31st January 2023.

Bookings must be made by 29th July 2022 to qualify. A three night minimum stay is required. Existing bookings do not count.

As a reminder, when you make a Homes & Villas rental, you earn points based on your total spend less booking fees, taxes, cleaning fees and extra add-ons.

Elite members of Marriott Bonvoy will earn a status bonus:

  • Silver Elite: 5 base points per eligible dollar plus 10% bonus
  • Gold Elite: 5 base points per eligible dollar plus 25% bonus
  • Platinum Elite: 5 base points per eligible dollar plus 50% bonus
  • Titanium Elite: 5 base points per eligible dollar plus 75% bonus
  • Ambassador: 5 base points per eligible dollar plus 75% bonus

…. and Gold and above receive additional points as a welcome gift:

  • Ambassador Elite, Titanium Elite, Platinum Elite: 1,000 points
  • Gold Elite: 500 points

Each night you book counts towards elite status with Marriott Bonvoy but, oddly, does not count towards lifetime status.

You can find full details on the Homes & Villas by Marriott International website here.


How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (December 2022)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 bonus points and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

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

Comments (50)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Joanne says:

    I’m guessing that there wasn’t the same justification for keeping the Manchester to Gatwick flight to feed the Gatwick to Orlando flights that will be moved from Heathrow later in the year.

    • Nick says:

      EI serves MAN-MCO direct and is a sister company to BA. The ISB connection was competing against VS who flew direct.

  • polly says:

    Let’s hope for a QR launch sale then… just checked cash prices, around 3k return… that’s Jan Feb 23 peak times to kul or hkt…

  • Marcw says:

    Those 2 seats are only useful if you wish to travel to DOH.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, but the pinch point at present is Avios seats from the UK, home of the majority of Avios account holders, to Doha.

  • Mike says:

    “This flight was apparently designed to feed the Gatwick to Islamabad long haul route” – there are 100s of other flights / reasons pax required to fly Man to Gatwick not just to get on a single flight to Islamabad!

    • Hardpack says:

      Agreed. South coast, Caribbean sunshine, short hauls etc. and Jersey in the past although that’s permanently LHR now. Loss of NCL-LGW was a big miss for me, but I guess if jet2 and EZY couldn’t make it work it must say something. I flew out of T3 the other day and never again with queues everywhere, and depressing to be in the old BA lounge area

      • Harry T says:

        Why would you use the BA lounge in T3? You could use CX or QF!

      • ADS says:

        i just looked up skyscanner to see if any other airline flies MAN-LGW direct

        apparently the cheapest flights are via Dublin !

    • Rob says:

      No, a BA employee told me it was primarily there to feed Islamabad – in the same way that the Gatwick to Glasgow flight is there to feed the Caribbean flight bank.

  • FREEFLIGHTS says:

    In a few years time Manchester will be in the same boat as Blackpool & Doncaster airport…….SHUT.

    • Jonathan says:

      It’s far stronger than Leeds Bradford Airport, and that’s a strong northern start / end point

    • Mike Ward says:

      I think that’s quite unlikely – it is the country’s third or fourth busiest airport not some mini regional bucket and spade outpost!

  • TimM says:

    “British Airways drops Manchester to Gatwick”, you could have said “again”.

    BA moves what it considers ‘leisure’ routes to the cheaper Gatwick, fires and re-hires its staff as a separate airline using the pandemic as an excuse, then cuts off UK connecting flights. Do they have no shame? At what point is the ‘British’ stripped from this operation?

  • Tony says:

    A retrograde step from BA, makes flights from Gatwick inaccessible again, so much for levelling up!

    • dougzz99 says:

      Well the supposed levelling up is a government thing, not BA responsibility.

      • WaynedP says:

        A vital component of levelling up is the onus on govt to incentivise businesses to invest in previously underserved places.

        Otherwise it’s merely cheap talk with a catchy sounding hook that only benefits the political ambitions of the person uttering it.

        Oh, wait a minute …

      • Mike says:

        Hey levelling up is a Team effort

      • Mikeact says:

        +1

    • Hardpack says:

      It also makes it hard for people in the south or coming from Caribbean or other parts of Europe to reach us in the north. Even 1-2 flights a day would make all the difference. I don’t mind the lhr-lgw bus to be honest but I reckon from the north east, train to Peterborough and change for a direct Gatwick station might be reasonable and an easy transfer

      • John says:

        Peterborough to Gatwick direct takes just as long as Newcastle to Peterborough. There needs to be an easier way to transfer between Kings Cross and the St Pancras Thameslink platforms.

        • ChrisC says:

          It’s only a couple of minutes walk across the plaza between the two stations!

          How much closer do you want them to be?

        • Andrew says:

          Or change at Peterborough or – even better as no lift/stairs required – Stevenage.

    • Brian78 says:

      Presumably if the route was making loads of money they would have kept it. Blame the lack of demand

      • bafan says:

        Right. All most Northerners really want is their cheap fares. My sister has lived up there now for a while and swears by Jet2 and EZY. The money is in the South. Why even bother.

  • Jack says:

    There is many other routes served from Gatwick Orlando in particular that the Manchester service was useful for . This is a rather stupid decision considering the flights were always full when I flew them

    • Lady London says:

      Could it be that MAG that own MAN and STN, are alao such a pain for the airlines to deal with that flights to and from MAN are dumped sooner than other airports?

      • Ian says:

        What evidence do you have to support such a statement? Why would MAG be any more difficult to deal with than any other airport operator?

        • Chas says:

          It was a question, not a statement, so why would you expect evidence?

          • Ian says:

            Because it was framed as a statement.

          • Chas says:

            @Ian – time to revisit your English grammar. LL’s post starts with “could it be that…”, and ends with a question mark. That’s a question in my book!

    • Steve says:

      A full LGW-MCO flight suggests it doesn’t need the help of regional feed from MAN, it’s likely filled by own LGW catchment area (and Scottish feed), plus BA know there is plenty of other Orlando options direct ex-MAN including by their sister airline (EI UK) and from competitors at VS & TUI.

      • TimM says:

        What about the British catchment area? I would like to see a British Airways punished by not been able to use LHR and LGW for a year, or two or forever.

        • Catalan says:

          What nonsense!

        • Brian78 says:

          Punished by who and on what grounds?!

        • Chas says:

          Why on earth should they be punished? They’ve not been given the word “British” on license for representing the whole of Britain. They make commercial business decisions based upon the demand for their services and their ability to meet that demand. Right now it’s the supply side of the equation that’s causing problems. 2+ years ago it was the demand side that went haywire. It’s business, not a public sector service.

          • Brian78 says:

            There are other airlines available other than BA. I use whichever one is convenient at the time, which only happens to be BA now and again.

      • Jack says:

        It’s not just Orlando many short and long haul flights go from Gatwick and it’s a great feeder . BA should be wanting to keep people flying with them not allowing others to take their business. The cost to operate it is low and the flights as I say were both full

        • Brian78 says:

          “and the flights as I say were both full”

          Maybe they were for you but not the rest of the time?

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