News & offers: ex UK business class from £1166, Curve card update, If it’s Boeing I ain’t going?


Ex UK business class fares

There are a few random business class fares from the UK which are good value if you take into account the money you spend positioning from the UK for an ex Eu flight. Here is a selection of some of the best:

Heathrow- Mahe, Seychelles £1704 (Qatar)

  • Travel: Mon- Thursday. Blackout dates apply
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights
  • Maximum stay: 1 month
  • Transfers: Unlimited
  • Stopovers: 1 free allowed
  • Refundable: For a fee
  • Changeable: For a fee

You can book direct with Qatar Airways here.

TAP to US from £1161 return (one way also available)

  • Manchester – New York £1166
  • London – New York £1308
  • London – Boston £1458
  • Manchester to Miami £1449
  • London to Toronto £1470

Some of the best deals recently to the US if you are not bothered about oneworld flights have been with TAP Air Portugal. TAP are rapidly expanding their routes to the US and have some fantastic new seats on their A330 neos. The good news is that you can use these fares one way as well which could be handy if you can’t get a mileage redemption both ways or have some other need for a one way. One way flights are normally very expensive.

Star Alliance member TAP has an impressive new business class product on their A330-900s but the catch is that at the moment some routes have their old business class product. This comes in a 2-2-2 configuration with angled lie-flat seats.

TAP A330-900 Neo business class

The routes that ave the new seats are:

  • Lisbon–Miami five times weekly.
  • Lisbon-San Francisco: Five services per week from 10th June 2019
  • Lisbon-New York (JFK): Twice weekly
  • Lisbon-Toronto: Three times a week
  • Lisbon-Boston: Six times a week from 7th July 2019
  • Lisbon-Newark: Three times a week

The rules are:

  • Book by: no date but won’t last long!
  • Travel: After 1 June 2019
  • Transfers: Yes 6 free in Europe
  • Stopovers: 1 free and 1 at €75
  • Refundable: For a fee
  • Changeable: For a fee

You can book direct with TAP or use Skyscanner to find the cheapest price online


If it’s Boeing I ain’t going?



Boeing seems to be lurching from one crisis to another at the moment. First came the B787 engine issues (although these were the fault of Rolls Royce the engine manufacturer rather than Boeing themselves, then the Boeing 737MAX crashes. At present, it looks like the MAX will be grounded until September 2019 at the earliest.

Now another potential defect has been found on the B787 with a switch that turns on fire extinguishers in the engines in the event of a fire. This switch has failed in a small number of instances. The switch also severs the fuel supply and the hydraulic fluid to prevent flames from spreading. The switch is prone to sticking after long term heating.

The FAA, the US Aviation regulator, has issued an airworthiness directive, (mandatory instructions to air operators) announcing that the problem is “likely to exist or develop in other products of the same design” and that “the potential exists for an airline fire to be uncontrollable”. Instead of grounding aircraft, they have ordered airlines to check the switch every 30 days.


Curve Card Update

Curve Card lost a lot of its appeal when Amex dropped them only a short period after Curve finally linked up with Amex again. After this, it was hard for some people to get any real benefit from it if your spend is primarily Amex based. Curve Card’s primary benefit for most people is the ability to link a number of Visa and Mastercards and not be charged foreign transaction fees when spending abroad or buying anything in foreign currency (like ex EU flights) most banks and credit card company charge fees of around 3% on foreign spending.

The ability to manage everything via the app is also useful as it will instantly show what you have spent in a transaction (handy when abroad) and if you lose your card you can instantly lock it from the app.

I have mine linked with both my Virgin AtlanticMastercard and my Lloyds Avios card. There are limits on foreign transactions for the basic card so you may need to do your sums and work out if the Metal or Black card are a better option as they offer unlimited fee-free foreign transactions. Both these cards carry a fee.

Curve now seems to be trying to make the card more appealing by offering 1% cashback with Curve cash. This offers 1% instant cashback at a selection of shops and retailers. Curve Cash introduces an extended list of 100+ retailers including Tesco, TFL, Uber, Amazon, Netflix, Pret a Manger, Carrefour, Aldi, Boots, McDonald’s and many, many more across the UK and Europe. The rewards are loaded instantly into your Curve Cash card and can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

This in part makes up for the hefty fee on the Black and Metal versions which many people signed up to thinking that they would use it with Amex.

It varies by the type of card you have (different rules apply if you had the card before Febraury 2018):

  • Curve Blue (free): 1% instant cashback on up to three pre-selected retailers for 90 days.
  • Curve Black: 1% instant cashback on up to three pre-selected retailers indefinitely
  • Curve Metal: 1% instant cashback on up to six pre-selected retailers indefinitely

If you apply using the code VIMI4 you can get £5 of credit to spend as you wish on your first transaction with the card. You can find more details and apply on the Curve website here.

16 Comments on "News & offers: ex UK business class from £1166, Curve card update, If it’s Boeing I ain’t going?"

  1. Male is of course the capital of the Maldives whilst Mahe is the main island of the Seychelles!
    Edit needed?

  2. And the benefit of linking your Lloyds Avios card to Curve is ?

  3. Malcolm Reed | 18 June 2019 at 7:53 am | Reply

    And on the Boeing list of woes, there was also the battery problem just after the 787 launched. Wasn’t it also Ethiopian who had the fire at Heathrow?

  4. Benefit on linking curve can be good esp if you are self employed, enables you to make payments to hmrc using credit card ( such as virgin) as hmrc treats curve as a debit card
    Of course the fee free fx albeit only £500 for free card is really useful too.
    Having said that, I am having a nightmare trying to set up my card and the response time of their CS is appalling. I will be taking my business elsewhere. Parts of the app feel we wre still on beta testing

  5. The main problem with Curve is that it doesn’t do what it says. It’s not “all your cards in one”, it doesn’t cover Amex. It’s not “fee free abroad”, up to 1.5% charge is added at UK weekends and Bank Holidays. That just means that I don’t use it abroad except to withdraw cash during the week. Tandem (for example) is fee free on spending abroad, plus 0.5% cashback, without having to worry if it’s past midnight on Friday in the UK yet.

  6. My curve card is linked to my HSBC world mastercard elite which also gives you Avios. I then pay my BA Amex bill using the curve card which obviously gets charged to my MasterCard meaning I can double dip in points 👍

  7. Darren Hackleton | 18 June 2019 at 9:54 am | Reply

    Paying credit cards is against their T&C’s, but if you’re getting away with it then bravo.

  8. On the topic of the B787, Qatar Airways has refused to accept delivery of the B787-10 aircraft from Boeing’s Charleston factory because of documented concerns related to shoddy production standards. It is a pity that a great company has gone this way.

    • Absolutely right to delay or cancel.

    • Lady London | 18 June 2019 at 1:16 pm | Reply

      Good job by Qatar.
      They ‘re being treated really badly by other Middle Eastern nations blocking them, officially for political reasons, in fact for comercial reasons to protect those other countries’ own airlines’ commercial interests.

      At least Qatar still has the courage to insist on safety for its passengers and crew.
      Good for them I am even more likely to fly Qatar again soon now.

  9. And Qatar just won best Airline by Skyrax, announced today – back on the top spot. And of course won best business class and best business class seat – but that goes without saying.

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