The board of Spanish based Vueling airlines voted yesterday to accept an offer from IAG, the owners of BA and Iberia.
The Vueling brand is not well known in the UK, but they do have daily flights A Coruna, Bilbao, Barcelona, Florence, Galicia, Majorca and Vigo.
Their route map is quite extensive, and they operate a mixture of A319 and A320 aircraft. Some routes are seasonal.
You can already earn points with Iberia Plus for their flights, although not on their cheapest fares – let’s hope Avios points will be added soon.
Their credit card charges are pretty steep:
If you convert your Worldpoints to Avios, you are recommended to do this by the 14th as there is a double miles offer at present.
250 Worldpoints are worth 600 Avios in the offer.
Buried in the latest BA newsletter is an announcement that Elite members of their Avios scheme will lose their Tier Bonuses (50% for Gold and 25% for Silver) on 31 March.
New earning rates at BA web site.
I was hoping to continue my series of interesting things you can do with miles, but came unstuck when I go to BA and their Avios scheme. There are really only options for Flights, Flight Upgrades, hotels and cars on the agenda.
So I thought I would look to see what value might be obtained by using Avios rather than paying for a room during my stay in Shanghai next week.
Options on the Hyatt web site were:
Each of the properties were available using Avios:
So, it looks like between 23.27 and 24.83 Avios per Yuan.
As MH joins OneWorld today, BA has announced which fare classes will earn Avios.
Let the Tier Point runs begin….
Hard on the heals of changes to the way BA operates it’s redemption site, AA has redesigned its booking engine for revenue tickets.
There has always been an odd quirk with AA’s UP fares – where you essentially get a free upgrade. These fares have always been popular with people looking for a few more BA Tier Points as the ‘free’ upgrade gets you in to a higher cabin and earns you more Tier Points too.
The new engine doesn’t, in my view, make it always easy to see what you’re getting in terms of fare class. This is essential if you are going to maximise Tier Points. For example a 2000+ miles flight in Business Class earns 140 Tier Points, where as the same flight in First earns 210. In the example below I searched and found these fares:
The Business and First Class fare is the same.
However, ehwne you click the [+] you notice that the Business Fare books in to I and the First in to A. Not only is the First Class seat on AA’s 767-300 much nicer than the business class, but it earns more Tier points. Of course, check and you will see that there is an all business ticket for $604.
Expanding the display shows the informaion you need:
So today’s tip is to make sure you check before you book these fares.
What I did notice was the difference between the desciption of the Instant Upgrade and Business Class fares. The Business Class fare says ‘Guaranteed Seat in Business Class’. The Instant Upgrade fare omits this line!
Qantas is partnering with Emirates and dropping their longstanding arrangements with BA. It seems that you can now book their flights to Australia from London, via Dubai, on Avios.
70,000 Avios and about £200 in taxes for the routing above – one way.
Other offers are available from 1,000 points upwards (5,000 and 10,000 offers also found).
Most deals seems to be on the O2 network – available here.
Cost of the 25,000 point offer is £864. 250 Clubcard points are exchangeable for 600 Avios or 625 Virgin Atlantic miles. Hence the maximum offer is worth 60,000 Avios or 62,500 Virgin Miles
You can also exchange them for a range of hotel vouchers:
I cannot find any publicity on the BA.com site yet, but a dummy booking reveals a discount being applied from today – about 25% on the example I found – LCY-JFK-MIA for February 2013. It took 12,500 points off a 65,000 point booking originally:
No discount off the taxes or fuel surcharge of course!
On the BA web site there is a small announcement that BA will be ending its long standing partnership with Travelex on 31 August.
Flyertalk talk reports Executive Club members are receiving emails advising that the new deal will be with American Express Travel.
I needed to get to Dublin later in August and decided to use some Avios. Although a terribly short flight I decided to treat myself to Club, if only to see what it was like.
Having selected the flights, booking, paying the fee and choosing my seats I received confirmation by email of my ticket being issued:
It says Economy and bmi as the Operating Carrier.
The seats seem OK:
so I imagine it’s just post-merger problems.