Double Avios on hotel bookings
I book a lot of my hotels through the Avios eStore. This is because it can allow you to collect Avios up to 3 times on some hotels; once with Avios estore, once with the hotel loyalty scheme and with your credit card. On others, you get a good rate, extra Avios and all your usual Hotel loyalty perks. The ones I use the most are Hilton which usually has 6-8 Avios per £1 and IHG which has 3-6 Avios per £1 spent.
Between 22 March – 8 April 2018, you can collect double Avios on bookings made through the Avios eStore through booking.com and
Hotels.com. Traditionally rates of cashback are low on booking.com at an average of 4%. On a £100 booking, this would give you £4 cashback or 420 Avios. On the Avios eStore, you would get 8 per £1 spent – 800 Avios. Hotels.com is less clear-cut as you can currently get 9% cashback providing you don’t collect Hotels.com rewards on the booking.
New Club World seats revealed on refreshed Gatwick B777
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the refurbished B777 at Gatwick which is the first BA B777-200 to be refurbished. We now have more details about the Club World seat and I think it looks pretty impressive (above) compared to what it looked like before when I flew on one to Mauritius in November. (below)
The new seats are very similar to the A380 and B787 designs with a smart white and grey surround to the seats. The cushions have all been replaced (it needed it – you could see the bum imprints on mine it was so old!) with a smart grey/brown cover. The old lampshades have also gone to be replaced by mood lighting. There is a high-powered USB socket, multi-country power socket and a new entertainment system.
The new in-flight Panasonic entertainment system has the capacity to offer four times as many films, TV and audio than before. The seats have been updated with larger HD screens and gesture control to navigate the interface like using a tablet. This is the same system as on the refurbished B747s I have flown on recently. The HD screen is a massive improvement on the fuzzy screen before, though I wish they had added an HDMI connector like many airlines are doing now.
New routes for bedding and food
BA seems to be really expediting their new Club World bedding introduction and have just announced a whole raft of new routes including Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo which will please many of my readers. The Seychelles will be getting both the new food and the new bedding when it launches on 24 March. Here is the full list:
|Rollout||New dining||New Bedding|
|Hong Kong||Cape Town|
|London City to JFK||Dubai|
|Los Angeles||Hong Kong|
|New York JFK||Johannesburg|
|New York Newark||Kuwait|
|Phoenix||London City to JFK|
|San Diego||Los Angeles|
|San Francisco||Mexico City|
|San Jose (US)||Miami|
|Washington||New York JFK|
|New York Newark|
|San Jose (US)|
|From 21 March||Bahrain|
|Rio de Janeiro|
|Tokyo (NRT +HND)|
|From 24 March|
|December- January 19||Singapore|
Iberia A350 routes and a chance to try it on short haul
Iberia are launching their new A350 this July and they have now announced the schedule. So why should you care as Madrid is not the most convenient place to start a transatlantic flight? Well first, booking Avios flights with Iberia means lower taxes and charges. Secondly, their peak and off-peak charts are different to BA’s so it could help you save some Avios during BA’s peak periods. Finally, if you are a bit of an avgeek or are planning to go to Madrid this summer, they will be running the A350 on training flights on their regular Madrid-London route.
The 31 seats will be configured in a 1-2-1 configuration. They are very similar to their current long-haul business class seats which are pretty good. However, this version will be slightly wider, at 58cm across compared to 52.5cm on the A330, as well as having wider footrests. They have added extra storage space and an 18″ HD video screen compared to the 15.4″ on the older aircraft. There is also high-speed internet available. You can see more about Iberia Business Plus here. I shall be reviewing it later this year.
The A350 will be starting its proper route on 8 August for a daily flight to New York on the IB6251/6250. This changes to the IB6253/6252 also to New York from 1 September 2018.
If you fancy trying it out on short-haul this summer then it is currently filed to be on flights between Madrid and London 20 July – 31 August on IB3166 (Except 04 August – 16 August). They appear not have changed the IB3167 from Heathrow as it still shows the A340-600 but unless it is flying home empty I would assume this would be the A350 also. You can search and book all the Iberia flights here.