Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: Iberia launches Edinburgh, Singapore tweaks Manchester, Hilton’s Motto hits Europe

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

News in brief:

Iberia Express to launch Edinburgh to Madrid

Iberia Express has added flights from Edinburgh to Madrid for next Summer.

They are not exactly pushing the boat out. There will be a solitary two flights per week (Thursday and Sunday) between 18th June and 14th September.

You can, of course, redeem Avios for Iberia Express flights. An Economy return is 16,500 Avios + £54.75. Business Class is available for cash but I couldn’t see it for redemption – my pre-pandemic review of Iberia Express Business Class is here.

You can also choose to use fewer Avios in return for more cash, which is actually a better deal. 4,100 Avios + £124.75 is the sweet spot, although a cash ticket may be cheaper still if you’re not bothered about flexibility.

The Iberia Express website is here but as of yesterday the flight was not bookable there – it is available on iberia.com.

Iberia Express Edinburgh to Madrid

Singapore Airlines tweaks Manchester flights

Singapore Airlines has an interesting route which goes from Singapore to Manchester and then onwards to Houston.

Whilst many passengers fly the whole route, it is also possible to book either leg as a stand-alone flight, either for cash or for miles in any Star Alliance programme.

From the start of the Summer timetable in late March, two of the five weekly flights will terminate in Manchester and not continue to the US. This should open up extra capacity for good cash deal or redemptions to Singapore from the UK.

In other news, Singapore Airlines will drop the A380 from the Singapore – Frankfurt – New York JFK route, replacing it with a Boeing 777. This means that you will no longer have the chance to fly the iconic new First Class Suite to the US from Europe.

You can check prices and dates on the Singapore Airlines website here.

Hat-tip @SPD_travels on Twitter.

Motto by Hilton

Hilton’s Motto brand arrives in Europe

Back in 2018, we wrote about Motto.

Motto was a new hotel brand announced by Hilton. It “is a micro-hotel with an urban vibe in prime global locations”.

In plain English, Hilton believed that extended family groups or large groups of friends looking for rock-bottom rates are happy to share rooms.  However, they don’t want to stay in a traditional hostel.  This is a market which the Generator chain dominates, creating hostels with private rooms and funky shared spaces.

The mock-up Motto room pictured above explains it better.  The average room will be a super-small 14 square metres and may have bunk beds or beds which flip down from the walls.  The majority of rooms will connect so you can build the exact space you need for your group. 

London was due to be the launchpad for Motto. A 100-room hotel was planned for Marylebone, and the demolition of the existing building was already underway when the project was announced in 2018.

Motto by Hilton launched

As is very common with new hotel projects, however, it didn’t happen. Unsurprisingly, the developer realised that putting a budget hotel in one of the most expensive parts of London was a bit silly. I believe that a luxury boutique hotel is now being developed on the site.

Four years from the launch announcement, the first Motto hotel has opened in Europe.

Motto Rotterdam Blaak – website here – has opened in the Blaak neighbourhood (near the cube houses, if you know the city) in a conversion of a former bank. It offers 108 rooms, with ‘flexible sleeping setups’ including bunks and pull-down beds. Only 14 rooms connect, according to the press release, which seems odd as I though the whole point was to allow multiple connection options.

If you look at the website you get a better feel for how it works. Bookable room types include:

  • King Bunk Bed Room With Lofted Single Bed
  • Two Linked Rooms
  • Three Linked Rooms
  • Two Linked Rooms – King – King W/ Lofted Bunk
  • Two Linked Rooms – King – King Flex
  • King Room With Sofa Bed

….. as well as a standard King Room.

Motto is genuinely offering something new to the branded hotel scene so it will be interesting to see how it goes. We’ll see if we can take a look.

Comments (39)

  • Mikeact says:

    Iberia could be useful for connecting to a low cost reward to the US (separate tickets.)

  • Numpty says:

    As we in Bits, question: I’ve got a flight coming up with BA to NYC, MMB shows a covid form which i tried to complete. The form then says checking documents – but i didnt submit anything. When tracking status it states waiting on me submitting information – but no request made or method available.

    BA website, separate from MMB, still shows Verifly as an option.

    And BA CS says its just a glitch, and its not needed anyway.

    Anyone with recent experiences or similar issues?

    • NorthernLass says:

      You need to complete the attestation but it can only be done from a couple of days before departure, AFAIK.

      • Numpty says:

        Yes, tried that in MMB, never got to a stage for uploading any documents, but now states its waiting on documents being uploaded, but no option to do so. I’ve done Verifly instead, just in case. As mentioned, BA customer service said it was a glitch and might fix itself later in day, but that it doesn’t matter anyway.

        • astra19 says:

          I had this a few days ago. Verifly worked and I was able to check in fine on my phone when the time came. Never was able to upload the documents directly.

          • Numpty says:

            thanks for letting me know, disappointing that BA told me that maybe it was a glitch and to give it a few hours when it seems an on going issue.

    • Jill Rosenlund says:

      This is not a temporary glitch. It was a problem when we flew Gatwick to New York at the beginning of October. Nothing on website addresses this problem and BA customer service completely useless. Only discovered it wasn’t needed when I checked in. Really really annoying

  • Dubious says:

    Rob – off topic, but your other post:
    ‘Click here for the forum and Thursday’s chat thread’ doesn’t work. It just links to a regular post but without a comments function.

  • Chris says:

    Read the headline as Iberia launches Edinburgh, Singapore and tweaks Manchester. Was interested for about 3 seconds 🙁

  • Dominic says:

    OT question on Marriott Bonvoy status. I understand my current Platinum is valid until the end of February 2023.

    Does anyone know if I did, say, 30 nights in January and February 2023 and 20 nights in 2022 whether that would count as a renewal? Or does the stay count reset in January?

    • Rob says:

      It resets in January. The 8 week grace period is to allow late stays, retro claims etc to be processed before people are downgraded – after all, if you stayed for 2 weeks over New Year, you wouldn’t check out until, say, 10 January and Marriott wouldn’t process the stay until even later. The nights that happened in 2022 might be key for your requalification.

      • Dominic says:

        Thanks, Rob! Realised if I take out the Bonvoy Marriott, whilst I won’t retain Platinum this year, I’ll be on 45 nights by early February so should regain Platinum pretty swiftly (and still get the perks for the stays!).

        Much appreciated.

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.