Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The weekly Head for Points travel trade newsletter

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Welcome to your weekly round-up of UK business travel and travel loyalty news from the last seven days, as well as our latest reviews and features.

As a reminder, you are receiving this as a previous subscriber to Malcolm Ginsberg’s Business Travel News newsletter.  Following Malcolm’s (semi) retirement on his 80th birthday, Head for Points has taken over responsibility for your weekly Monday morning dose of news and views. The BTN archive continues to be available at

Thank you to everyone who gave us positive feedback and support at the Aviation Club lunch in London last week. We will continue to tweak the layout and content over the next few weeks.

If you aren’t familiar with us, Head for Points is the UK’s largest business travel and frequent flyer website. Our website gets 2.3 million page views per month from 475,000 unique users. The majority of these are London-based professionals who travel substantially for business and leisure. We have won five Business Travel Journalism Awards, including ‘Editor of the Year’.

If you are already a subscriber to our existing Head for Points Saturday newsletter, we won’t be offended if you choose to tidy up your inbox and unsubscribe from one. For IT reasons it has not been possible to automatically remove duplicate email addresses.

Paul Johannes Cathay Pacific

Interview of the week:

Click through any bold link to read the full story on the Head for Points website.

In our interview this week we chat to Paul Johannes, the new Head of Marketing and Sales for Europe at Cathay Pacific, who is pictured above. 

The latest UK business travel news:

British Airways has moved 12 long haul routes from Terminal 5 to Terminal 3 – bad news for connecting passengers but great news for lounge lovers, given the excellent Cathay Pacific and Qantas facilities in Terminal 3.

The BA Manchester to Billund service is restarting, operated by franchisee SUN-AIR of Scandinavia.

Loganair has added an extra Manchester to Aberdeen flight.

Virgin Atlantic is reducing services at Manchester next Spring – Atlanta will be suspended for April and May whilst Orlando will be cut from 12 to 7 per week over the same period.

Rail-Air is coming to Manchester with Virgin Atlantic offering connecting tickets on TransPennine Express. This includes disruption protection. There’s a snag, however – you can only book these tickets via the Delta Air Lines website, not the Virgin Atlantic one.

BA CityFlyer is launching London City Airport to Aberdeen, initially for a 3-month trial between November and January 2023.

British Airways has culled three Southampton Airport routes next Summer, potentially linked to BA CityFlyer reducing its Embraer fleet by one aircraft. Our article looks at what remains.

British Airways has launched a new luxury sale with long haul business class flights from around £1,500+. There are also good deal on BA Holidays.

O2’s free lounge at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal has been extended until late October, perfect for anyone travelling over half term. Entry is free to O2 and Virgin Media broadband customers but you must book in advance.

Luton Airport’s DART – the new people mover designed to shuttle people from the train station to the terminal – has been delayed again, this time until early 2023. Image below – test running has been going on for some months but there are ‘integration issues’.

Luton DART

Interesting business travel news from other sites:

Virgin Atlantic launches its new Autumn / Winter menus (Business Traveller)

Lufthansa releases images of its new fully enclosed First Class suite (One Mile At A Time)

United Airlines to add a 2nd daily Heathrow to Los Angeles flight for Summer 2023 (Business Traveller)

Loganair has been put up for sale as its family owners plan to retire (The Independent, including comments from Head for Points)

Ryanair to launch Newcastle to Shannon (Business Traveller)

Wizz-Air to launch London Luton to Amman, in competition with British Airways and Royal Jordanian (Simple Flying)

The latest travel reviews:

This week we headed to Edinburgh to take a look at the Sheraton Grand hotel, following its recent refurbishment. It is worth a look, including the hydrotherapy pool below.

Sheraton Grand Edinburgh hydro pool

The latest UK travel loyalty news:

British Airways has launched a new way to buy Avios via monthly subscription, and the value is shockingly good. You can pay as little as 0.9p per Avios.

Few people know what Qatar Airways business class redemptions from the UK to Australia and New Zealand are just 180,000 Avios vs 250,000 to 300,000 when flying with British Airways. We explain how to book

Get 80% bonus Avios on your next car rental with Avis.

Hilton has cracked first and launched a second Autumn promotion for double elite nights. Will other hotel loyalty schemes follow? The ‘status cliff’ is coming with millions of travellers about to lose status at the end of the year.

Eight Hilton brands don’t give upgrades to elite members – do you know which ones?

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold now gives FOUR airport lounge passes (to any Priority Pass lounge) each year, and your first year is free. The sign up bonus is increased to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 8th November.

Barclays and Barclaycard have launched a fantastic new promotion with 100,000 bonus Avios up for grabs (150,000 Avios in total, if you include individual product sign-up bonuses). You need to take out the Barclaycard Avios Plus credit card and Premier Banking with Barclays Avios Rewards. If you already have one of these products, you need to add the other. Our introductory article is here, or you can check your eligibility directly on the Barclays website here. I know we mentioned this last week but it is a ludicrously good offer ….

Thank you for reading

Thank you for reading.

Head for Points is the UK’s largest business travel and frequent flyer website with 2.3 million page views per month. The majority of readers are London-based professionals who travel heavily for business and leisure. We have won five Business Travel Journalism Awards including ‘Editor of the Year’.

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We will be back next Monday.

Rob, Rhys and Sinead @ Head for Points

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