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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club MAN-LHR return for 31,250 Avios + £1

MAN-LHR return for 31,250 Avios + £1

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  • Dare2Dream

    Good value?

    Roberto

    How much is the straight cash fare?

    Supergers49

    Unless you need a flexible fare, are travelling on peak dates or are AVIOS rich and cash poor… it looks poor value.

    NorthernLass

    Well it can be £3-400 in ET on the most popular services and £600+ in CE so the value depends a lot on what the cash price would be. I can’t see any circumstances where I’d pay 31k avios though.

    *Those cash prices are one way! Booking well out on a less popular service like 8 pm-ish can be around £150 return.

    Andrew.

    Depends on your values…

    You avoid the risk and cost of travelling on Avanti, but you will be suffering the UK’s worst airport instead.

    Have you considered driving? On a good day it’s only 2h45 from Heathrow to the Thelwell viaduct.

    NorthernLass

    You say that, @Andrew, but on a bad day it can be 6 hours or more to get to the other side of Manchester. If you have limited annual leave it’s just not feasible to add an extra day at either end of a trip driving to and from LON airports. Also not really feasible to take large amounts of luggage on the train (if there is a train when you need to travel, lol).

    Dare2Dream

    Thanks a lot guys for your suggestions.

    I’ve paid cash for the flights. It was around £200.

    Londonsteve

    I’m always stunned by what it often costs to fly domestic. If I had a couple of extra hours I’d use Megabus or National Express for a fraction of the price. Store luggage safely in the hold, guaranteed seat, turn up 1 minute before departure. I can’t use the coach to Eastern Europe or Australia, would rather use Avios (and planes) for journeys where I don’t have another option but to fly.

    Guernsey Globetrotter

    I’m always stunned by what it often costs to fly domestic. If I had a couple of extra hours I’d use Megabus or National Express for a fraction of the price. Store luggage safely in the hold, guaranteed seat, turn up 1 minute before departure. I can’t use the coach to Eastern Europe or Australia, would rather use Avios (and planes) for journeys where I don’t have another option but to fly.


    @Londonsteve
    This makes sense from an environmental perspective as well – win win!

    TimM

    It depends on many things. If the ultimate destination is central London, then the train would be cheaper, faster and more comfortable. Most people who fly from MAN live over an hour’s drive from the airport so it also depends on the origin. The East Coast mainline is fairly reliable now it is in Government hands.

    If the purpose of the journey is merely to change planes as LHR then it is a different matter. Unlike prior times when upon arrival at LHR you had to go through security again, now you just follow the signs and walk through a door into departures. So, once you have cleared the Cell Block H security at Manchester you are in the system and good to go anywhere.

    By Rob’s rough reckoning of 1p/Avios, 31,250 Avios + £1 = £313.50. Even the £200 return cash fare paid seems astronomic unless you live in Manchester airport and have a meeting you must attend in Heathrow airport. There are always good train fare discounts worth exploring.

    TGLoyalty

    Never thought I’d see MAN and the east coast main line in a single sentence.

    Londonsteve

    The East Coast mainline is fairly reliable now it is in Government hands.

    I thought reliability was precisely the problem, with Avanti running only an hourly service Manchester-London at the moment leading to overcrowding and so on? I’ve read articles in the media suggesting that railway reliability in the north is bad that people are turning to their cars en masse if they want to guarantee arriving at their destination.

    I can see how in such circumstances domestic flight prices have gone through the roof. They weren’t cheap to begin with what with two lots of tax to pay, doesn’t the government also charge VAT on domestic tickets? The airlines are competing with generally expensive (and now unreliable) trains, while congested roads and high parking costs don’t present much of a competition, unlike for example in Germany, where you can drive from Hamburg to Munich in some hours on smooth, high speed autobahns and won’t have to sell a kidney to park your car on arrival.

    I’m currently in Sofia having paid £161 in the sale for a return in CE after a £30 discount for 3000 Avios. The plane is the only realistic way to get here (or 48 hours on trains from London). Absolutely no way would I pay more than this to travel to Manchester. If the trains are up the creek and expensive, unless I’m on corporate expenses, I’ll take the bus. Failing that I’ll drive (leave the car in outer London and take the tube?), or find a car share with BlaBlaCar. So many options and they barely take more time than flying.

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer

    The main issue in the north is Northern Rail and Trans Pennine Express.

    LNER is run by an arm of the DfT but the vast majority of the staff – drivers and on board service staff were transferred over from whoever the previous franchise / contract holders were.

    The reliability is down to them and that it’s being run at arms length from Ministers is why it’s not seen the problems that Avanti have had which are mainly it’s own failures to recruit and train new drivers and that’s it failed to negotiate (unlike some of the other operators) contracts that require weekend work rather than rely on voluntary overtime.

    Supergers49

    ’ve read articles in the media suggesting that railway reliability in the north is bad that people are turning to their cars en masse if they want to guarantee arriving at their destination.

    Anecdotally, a colleague of mine has twice recently taken a train from Peterborough (I think) to Edinburgh. On both occassions it has terminated in Newcastle with no prior warning from the staff or driver. This was a service scheduled to go through to Edinburgh, was on different days of the week, and at different times. On the first occassion it was the last train of the day, so he was stranded in Newcastle, and was provided with no assistance. He’ll be driving in future.

    QwertyKnowsBest

    It depends on many things. If the ultimate destination is central London, then the train would be cheaper, faster and more comfortable. Most people who fly from MAN live over an hour’s drive from the airport so it also depends on the origin. The East Coast mainline is fairly reliable now it is in Government hands.

    If the purpose of the journey is merely to change planes as LHR then it is a different matter. Unlike prior times when upon arrival at LHR you had to go through security again, now you just follow the signs and walk through a door into departures. So, once you have cleared the Cell Block H security at Manchester you are in the system and good to go anywhere.

    By Rob’s rough reckoning of 1p/Avios, 31,250 Avios + £1 = £313.50. Even the £200 return cash fare paid seems astronomic unless you live in Manchester airport and have a meeting you must attend in Heathrow airport. There are always good train fare discounts worth exploring.

    I agree BUT if changing from LHR T5 from a domestic to T3/4/5 you need to clear security again at LHR, all because Heathrow will not use ‘clean’ transfer busses for domestic arrivals.

    TimM

    QwertyKnowsBest, no. If you arrive at LHR T5 on domestic, you no longer have to clear security again to connect. I have done it several times of late. It used to be an absolute pain because MAN and LHR operate different security regimes. I have learned MAN security very well over many years but then connecting at LHR was totally different. What satisfies one lot of jobsworth folk does not satisfy another. All gone, as I said. It is now just a matter of following the signs and walking through a rather inauspicious (from the airside) door.

    QwertyKnowsBest

    QwertyKnowsBest, no. If you arrive at LHR T5 on domestic, you no longer have to clear security again to connect. I have done it several times of late. It used to be an absolute pain because MAN and LHR operate different security regimes. I have learned MAN security very well over many years but then connecting at LHR was totally different. What satisfies one lot of jobsworth folk does not satisfy another. All gone, as I said. It is now just a matter of following the signs and walking through a rather inauspicious (from the airside) door.

    This sounds good news Tim. So how do you physically get to T2/3/4 from T5? Bus?

    Of course T5 to T5 has always been as simple as passing through a check point.

    TimM

    TimM wrote:
    The East Coast mainline is fairly reliable now it is in Government hands.
    I thought reliability was precisely the problem, with Avanti running only an hourly service Manchester-London at the moment leading to overcrowding and so on? I’ve read articles in the media suggesting that railway reliability in the north is bad that people are turning to their cars en masse if they want to guarantee arriving at their destination.

    Thankfully, Avanti do not service the East Coast Mainline

    Rail reliability in the North? I have the privilege of the most unreliable train line in the UK (Huddersfield Line) and the most expensive per mile in all of Europe (Marsden-Greenfield). How do these combine?

    To add insult to injury, my former next-door neighbour at University College, Durham, the idiot, Huw Merriman, is now the Rail Minister. I desperately feel the need to emigrate.

    TimM

    Of course T5 to T5 has always been as simple as passing through a check point.

    No again. For many years you had to pass through security again – as I described!

    Londonsteve

    Arranging my emigration is part of the reason why I’m currently in SOF! 12 years ago when I first became a regular visitor to Bulgaria the differences were stark and it wasn’t an appealing country on many levels, other than everything being extremely cheap compared to the UK. I never imagined back then, that by late 2022 it would be the UK that would feel like the bigger basket case with the questionable outlook. Bulgaria meanwhile makes steady progress, growing healthily with dramatic improvements to living standards. The gush of EU money has unquestionably made a positive difference and having the EU looking over their shoulder keeps governments clean(er) than they might otherwise be. It’s still the poorest country in the EU (note, not in Europe as a whole) but living standards for the middle class in Sofia already exceed those of the (now heavily squeezed) middle class in London.

    ExpatInBerlin

    I paid £68 for a one-way economy plus fare from MAN to LHR yesterday, flying 5th Jan. The same flight the next day was double the cost. Would always pick train over flight but not risking it due to rail strike disruption. The cheapest fare I’ve seen recently is £47 one way economy hand luggage only.

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