News & offers: UK to Bali from £1593, Etihad sale, BA car hire & hotels 20% discount & Emirates cut chauffeur benefit


UK to Bali from £1593

Unless we get a decent companion sale on Malaysia Airlines, Bali is normally a very expensive place to get to from the UK. China Southern are currently offering Bali for £1593 from Heathrow. Obviously, the flight is indirect but China Southern have decent business class seats and are still part of Skyteam although they are rumoured to be joining oneworld when they leave Skyteam at the end of the 2019. The offer is available on selected dates in April, May and June. To get the headline price it is best to use Skyscanner to search for the cheapest price. 

China Southern business class

If you don’t fancy changing aircraft in China then as I reported yesterday, Garuda are offering flights direct to Bali on the outward leg from Heathrow. On the return, you would have to change in Jakarata. Price start from £1950 which is not a bad price for direct one way.

You can also find the Garuda prices using Skyscanner. 


Etihad January sale

Etihad have started their annual sale which is available to book until 19 January 2019 for travel from 1 February until 3 December 2019. Compared to a QR Ex EU fare they don’t look great but if you want to fly from the UK the prices are fairly cheap for what is still not a good airline despite their cutbacks. The seat is one of my favourite business class products and the food was good although I had some service issues on my flight. To be honest these issues happen on all airlines, even Qatar. You can read my Etihad Business review here.

Etihad business class studio A380 review

Etihad business class studio bed

Business class starts from

  • Abu Dhabi £1,719    
  • Bangkok £1,799    
  • Manila £1,999    
  • Phuket £1,999    
  • Tokyo £2,149    
  • Melbourne £3,149    
  • Sydney £3,149    
  • Brisbane  £3,250    

Blackout dates for returns to the UK in business class are: 12-23 April 2019 or 23 August – 3 September 2019.

The sale page is here.


British Airways hotels and car hire 20% discount – but is it a good deal?

If you have a BA Amex you may well have received an email saying you have been selected to receive an exclusive 20% discount on your next hotel and car hire bookings. The offer applies whether you pay in full using Avios or one of the Avios and part cash options. The question is – is it actually a good deal with the discount?

The simple answer is no unless you are Avios rich and just want to use some up but read on as it does have some advantages….. As an example, I looked at the Hilton Metropole London for later this month. To buy for cash on the Hilton website it is £149 with advance purchase and non-refundable. If you book via BA it costs 19,900 all Avios or part Avios/cash starting at £135 and 1000 Avios. As you may know, I don’t tend to Avios valuations in the same way as some people as it is a personal thing. However, if you think about 25,000 Avios that would get you a return in Club Europe on a Southern European destination such as Malaga or Faro off-peak. I would value this around £250-300 unless it was a sale fare. Therefore you can see that paying nearly 20,000 Avios for a room worth £149 pay not be the best deal. BUT it can still be useful. If I was to use 1000 Avios + £135 it then is saving me £10 a night PLUS it is cancellable until 48 hours before for £35 unlike the cheapest rate on Hilton. Note this policy varies by hotel so make sure you check the details for each individual hotel.

The BA Avios hotel and car hire booking page is here.


Emirates cuts chauffeur benefits

Emirates has always been particularly generous with its chauffeurs. For example, on my upcoming trip in First with Roving Reporter we have tickets from Cape Town to London but are stopping over in Abu Dhabi for a night. We get chauffeurs not only in Cape Town and London but also to and from Abu Dhabi from Dubai which is about an hour and a half each way!

This benefit also used to include business and first class redemption flights. Unfortunately following most other airlines Emirates has decided to cut this benefit. Effective 1 March 2019, new Chauffeur-drive service reservations are not available in conjunction with Skywards Business and First Class Classic Rewards and Economy to Business Class Upgrades. Chauffeur-drive service will then only available to Emirates First Class and Business Class cash ticket passengers in selected cities in Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East. Service in Hong Kong is available to Emirates First Class passengers only. 

Hat tip: Live from a Lounge

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