News & offers: BA A350 Madrid confirmed, Qatar from £1201, Avios offers & news + Air New Zealand’s great new video

BA launch Seychelles flightsAnse Source d'Argent - Beach on island La Digue in Seychelles

Hilton APAC

Qatar business class return from £1201

Hoi An

Hoi An lanterns

Qatar has another batch of ex EU business class offers including Da Nang, which for some reason is always very expensive. Da Nang is the gateway to Hoi An plus some great beaches. Hue is also within a reasonable distance too. You can read about my visit there in this article.

Whilst Sofia may not be everyone’s choice of departure point it is a direct flight with BA from London and gets 160 tier points return in business class.  The watch out is that it is an A320 short-haul aircraft from Sofia. Prague, however, is a good place to enjoy a night stop before carrying on to your final destination. Although it only gets 80 tier points on BA return in Club Europe. 

The fares are from:

  • Sofia-Bangkok £1313
  • Sofia-Singapore £1201
  • Prague-Da Nang £1516
  • Prague Ho Chi Minh £1496
  • Prague-Chiang Mai £1322
  • Prague-Seychelles £1444

The rules are:

  • Book by: 21 August 2019
  • Travel: Outbound – Permitted Tue through Fri.
  • Minimum stay: 7 nights
  • Maximum stay: 1 month
  • Transfers: Unlimited
  • Stopovers: 1 in Doha either out/in. A stopover may not exceed 96 hours. 
  • Refundable: For a charge
  • Changeable: For a charge

You can book direct with Qatar Airways here or find the cheapest online travel agent price with Skyscanner.


BA confirms the A350 Madrid flights, well sort of

BA A350

We have published the expected training flight schedule on here before which was first revealed on Flyertalk. Now BA have officially confirmed to Head for Points some of the flights that will feature the A350.

The A350 is expected to be on BA464/465 daily except 13, 23, 24, and 31 August. According to Flyetalk the  BA456/457 will also have the A350 on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday until 30 August. BA have not confirmed this just that there will be an A350 on some dates on the BA456/7.

As you will see from what happened when the A350 flight was cancelled on Friday, this is a very flexible schedule so if you book the flights just to see the A350 be prepared that it may not happen. 

They can be booked as usual via but as yet they are not showing the A350 as the aircraft type. 


Avios news and offersAvios bonus

Bicester Village is an outlet village that offers Avios on your purchases. There are with reductions of up to 60 per cent on the recommended retail price at more than 160 boutiques from well-known brands.

From 1 August to 1 September, Executive Club Members can enjoy a triple Avios offer at participating boutiques in Bicester Village: that’s 15 Avios for every £4 spent, subject to a minimum spend of £750, or 5 Avios for every £4 spent when you spend less than £750. To receive your Avios, simply present your shopping receipts along with your Executive Club membership number and this invitation at the Bicester Visitor Centre on the day of your visit. For full terms and conditions, click here

I have previously written about being able to collect Avios at all sort of weird and wonderful places by being a member of Aer Club, the Aer Lingus Avios scheme. This allows you access to the platform. Something odd has happened to the site over the last week and the majority of stores are now missing such as Hilton and Singapore Airlines. You can, however, still access those stores by going to

We are looking into why this has happened and will report back. In the meantime, you can read about how you can collect Avios from more retailers in this article.

Thanks to Tim for the information.


Air New Zealand’s new safety video

When it comes to producing safety videos, I love Air New Zealand for their innovative videos which often feature great places in New Zealand. The latest video has something for everyone, whether you are a Suits fan, love Rugby or just Rugby players ;-). The video features the All Blacks and actor Rick Hoffman, who is best known for playing Louis Litt in Suits. 

Hoffman plays a lawyer in the rugby themed video alongside a star-studded Kiwi cast which features several All Blacks including Head Coach Steve Hansen and Captain Kieran Read, actor Cliff Curtis, Former Black Ferns Captain Fiao’o Fa’amausili and members of the renowned 1987 All Blacks squad, along with former Wallabies Captain George Gregan.

The actor first visited New Zealand in 2017 and took to Twitter praising the airline as being “by far the most accommodating” airline in the world, and “insisting” on being Air New Zealand’s next spokesperson.

Hoffman says Air New Zealand’s reputation for making engaging safety videos was a huge drawcard to being involved. 

“Air New Zealand is renowned for its safety videos and for risk taking and creativity. People want to see something fun onboard and Air New Zealand just has so much fun.

“Kiwis are the nicest, friendliest, most laid-back crew. Air New Zealand has the most human customer service I’ve ever experienced – they’re incredible.”

Air New Zealand General Manager Global Brand & Content Marketing Jodi Williams says when Hoffman insisted on becoming the airline’s spokesperson it became clear he was going to be a fantastic ambassador for the next safety video.

“Rick’s on and offscreen personality is infectious and goes hand in hand with the character of our tongue-in-cheek safety videos. He was fantastic to have on set and we had so much fun teaching him the ‘Kiwi’ way of doing things.”

Thactor has been overt about his love for New Zealand in media and social media.

“It’s a love affair with New Zealand. It’s incredible – the food is amazing and the people are amazing. It’s the way it should be everywhere. I eventually plan on living there – not illegally but maybe becoming a resident somehow.”


6 Comments on "News & offers: BA A350 Madrid confirmed, Qatar from £1201, Avios offers & news + Air New Zealand’s great new video"

  1. Can you tweak the URL to the video? It’s not clickable and when you copy/paste it, it starts halfway through.

  2. Hi there, just wondered are you going to do an article about best use of Avios/deals between UK/Europe and Tokyo. Main reason I ask is I know several people and Avios collectors that are starting to book flights for next year’s Olympics.

  3. The Jetset Boyz | 2 August 2019 at 7:37 pm | Reply

    Can’t believe it’s already been ten years since Air New Zealands unique take on safety videos first took flight!

    Our favourite Air New Zealand safety videos…

    Fantastical Journey and My Little Corner of the World certainly put a smile on our faces. Summer of Safety also did an awesome job of showing off the beauty of New Zealand… sooo want to visit! We also have to the thumbs up to Safety Old School Style starring Betty White!

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