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. Malcolm’s new monthly forward-looking Travel News Update launches tomorrow at travelnewsupdate.co.uk.

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’.

British Airways Airbus A350 Aircraft

The latest UK business travel news:

Book 20 new Gatwick routes for next Summer. British Airways has finalised its Summer 2023 schedules, with 20 routes – to be flown by the new BA EuroFlyer subsidiary – put on sale this week.

Heathrow lifts its passenger cap from the 30th October. Airlines should be free to operate full aircraft again, although in practice the winter period tends to be quieter. Heathrow is also threatening to reinstate more targeted measures during particularly busy days in the run up to Christmas.

Flybe has cancelled its two new routes to the Isle of Man – just 48 hours before they were due to launch.

Priority Pass increases fees by 20%. The lounge access operator has raised prices to £24 for customers who buy a pass directly, and will likely follow through with similar rises for Amex cardholders. LoungeKey will be impacted too.

Virgin Atlantic extends its codeshare agreement with IndiGo. The Indian airline now offers over 20+ different connecting flights to other cities from Delhi and Mumbai.

Greek airline Aegean will return to Birmingham Airport next Spring with its first service to the city in five years.

IAG confirmed an order for 37 additional A320neos, adding to the 22 it confirmed earlier this year. We speculate about where they may end up.

Virgin Atlantic has changed the access rules for Flying Club Gold members at its Clubhouse lounges.

Ryanair has adopted the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme across its entire network.

Luxair is to launch flights from London City Airport to Antwerp in April, providing the only UK service to the city.

Business travel stories we recommend from other sites:

Air Canada announces significant cabin upgrades includes Acqua di Parma amenity kits (Simple Flying)

AC Hotels by Marriott has opened in Inverness, its first site in Scotland (Inverness Courier)

Aeroitalia launches Milan Bergamo-Heathrow route (Business Traveller)

Orient Express reveals the interiors of its new trains, launching in 2025 (Dezeen)

Loganair to fly from London City to Orkney from April (TTG)

The latest travel reviews:

Review: Finnair’s Platinum Wing lounge in Helsinki. On a recent Finnair press trip we enjoyed one of the only airside saunas at any airport worldwide in Helsinki. How does Finnair’s flagship lounge (only for oneworld Emerald members inc BA Gold) match up?

We also reviewed Finnair’s Schengen business class lounge in Helsinki.

The latest UK travel loyalty news:

Earn 5 Avios per £1 you spend at Pret! A new offer has appeared for a 2-month trial period that should sweeten your lunch breaks.

Get a 50% rebate on ALL Virgin Atlantic redemptions. An impressive new offer from Virgin Atlantic means that you can save 50% of the Virgin Points required for redemptions in economy, Premium and Upper Class to the US and Caribbean.

Get up to 10,000 Avios with household, business, medical or landlord insurance. Alan Boswell Group is a long standing Avios partner and reader feedback is generally very positive.

MeliaRewards reveals how big hotel loyalty programmes work. A peek behind the curtain suggests there are 20 Silver and 5 Gold members for every Platinum member, with some other interesting data on ‘stays by tier’.

Redeem IHG One Rewards points for concerts. IHG One Rewards has uploaded its latest batch of concerts to its events platform IHG Access. Concerts in Birmingham, Manchester and London are available.

Next on Netflix: “Pepsi, where’s my Jet?” In 1996, Pepsi launched a brand new campaign that let you collect points to redeem for prizes. The top prize? A Harrier Jump Jet priced at 7 million points – which Pepsi execs though was unachievable ….

STILL RUNNING: Get 60,000 Membership Rewards points and an annual £200 travel credit with the American Express Business Platinum Card if you apply by mid November.

Thank you for reading

Thank you for reading. Please drop me a note at rob@headforpoints.com with any feedback.

The Head for Points website and newsletters offers a unique opportunity for brands to connect to almost half a million highly affluent, travel-motivated readers every month. We have unrivalled audience engagement and a range of bespoke advertising opportunities including sponsored content, product reviews, tenancy placements and multi-channel promotional campaigns. Please contact sinead@headforpoints.com for more information.

We will be back next Monday.

Rob, Rhys and Sinead @ Head for Points

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