Offers & news: Double Avios, B777 new Club Gatwick seats & new Club routes, Iberia A350

Iberia a350-900 London to Madrid and new york 18Iberia A350-900

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Double Avios on hotel bookingsAvios bonus

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

BA Gatwick new B777 club world seat with bedding

The White Company furnishing in Club World on a British Airways Boeing 777 at London Gatwick on 04 March 2018
(Picture by Nick Morrish/British Airways)

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)

British Airways Club World B777 Mauritius Gatwick review

Seat 11A on old B777

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.

British Airways new Club World catering service review

Great definition Panasonic TV screen on refurbished B747

 

New routes for bedding and food

British Airways new Club World service food and bedding review

BA’s new White Company Club World bedding

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:

RolloutNew diningNew Bedding
BaltimoreAccra
CompleteChicagoAtlanta
DubaiBoston
Hong KongCape Town
Las VegasDenver
London City to JFKDubai
Los AngelesHong Kong
MontrealHouston
New York JFKJohannesburg
New York NewarkKuwait
PhiladelphiaLas Vegas
PhoenixLondon City to JFK
San DiegoLos Angeles
San FranciscoMexico City
San Jose (US)Miami
TorontoNairobi
WashingtonNew York JFK
New York Newark
Phoenix
Riyahd
San Diego
San Francisco
San Jose (US)
Seattle
Vancouver
Washington
From 21 March Bahrain
 Beijing
 Bombay
 Dallas
 Delhi
 Lagos
 Luanda
 Muscat
 Rio de Janeiro
 Sao Paulo
 Shanghai
 Tokyo (NRT +HND)
From 24 March
SeychellesSeychelles
July- SeptemberSingapore
Sydney
December- January 19Singapore
Sydney

Iberia A350 routes and a chance to try it on short haul

Iberia existing business plus seats

Iberia existing Business Plus seats (not A350)

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.

Virgin Upper Class sale

New York

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.

long haul aircraft on short haul europe

Plaza Major, Madrid

 

 

9 Comments on "Offers & news: Double Avios, B777 new Club Gatwick seats & new Club routes, Iberia A350"

  1. Lisa Larsson | 22 March 2018 at 10:14 am |

    I’ve been using the Avios eStore for the last couple of years for hotel bookings as well, and while booking.com and marriott are OK, lately Hilton seems to have gone into meltdown. None of my Hilton bookings since around last October have been registered properly in the Avios eStore system. The eStore can’t be contacted by phone, and getting an answer to emails can take several weeks, if at all. An enormous amount of time has to be spent chasing the eStore to get the points, and for hotels they now say that you can’t register a query until at least 3 months have passed since you checked out of the hotel! I still haven’t been credited for a Hilton stay where I checked out on 30th Oct, despite filling in the ‘Missing Points’ form, attaching receipts, and sending at least 6 emails! So I’ve now decided that although I’ll continue using the Avios eStore, I’ll just let what comes through come through, life is too short to get any sense out of them! 🙁

    • Hi Lisa. It is a very common issue that I have experienced myself and something I am looking into. I agree with you, I haven;t bothered chasing my outstanding ones as I don;t want to waste a hige amout of time and I would say around 80% come through originally but it is poor form from Avios and Hilton.

  2. I’ve been waiting for stays from last September for the points to be credited. They did track without issue.

    This is way over their own max 120 day stated delay. Avios customer service is abysmal and do not respond. I now avoid them. Just creates ill feeling towards Avios and Hilton.

    • Hi Stevie. yes I agree they do not stick to the timelines always. This is something I am looking into for a future article. My view is that I still use them as I have status and the best cashback offers (when very occasionally available) normally only give 1-2% for as stay so the Avios works out better. I believe that part of the issue could be that if you are upgraded or make any chances it can be rejected. Although I would say I get upgraded about 80% of the time but most of mine pay out eventually.

  3. We use Hotels.com a lot and usually go for the reward night option – so we get less than the maximum ‘up to x avios’ headline figure, but effectively get a 10% discount on the advertised room rate, with some avios into the bargain. There are lots of gotchas with reward nights and how you can redeem them but overall we like it. Worth bearing in mind though that hotels booked through a 3rd party will not necessarily get you hotel loyalty points – eg Hilton Vienna wouldn’t acknowledge my HH membership and even denied us the free wifi.

    Good movie choice by the way!

    • Hi Geoff. Yes it’s a great film. Good point re the loyalty programs. I don’t tend to use the on line travel agents for chains that I have status in for the reasons you state. It is all a bit of a mine field really! A lot of the time it’s a question of what’s the most important thing, status and Points, Avios or the cheapest price.

  4. Is there any way of finding out if our 777-200 from LGW – BGI will be refurbished in CW by Mar 2019?

  5. Andrew Thombs | 24 March 2018 at 2:25 pm |

    HI There

    I notice there is no mention of the LGW to MCO or TPA route for the upgraded Club with BA, do you know when this is happening? Thanks

    • Hi Andrew. The other routes will be rolled out across the fleet of 10 long-haul aircraft at Gatwick by summer 2019. The 3 class B777s will be done first and should be complete by winter 2018. They normally use the 3 class on MCO/TPA but winter 18 is pretty vague as the airlines winter schedules go until April. That’s all we know at present but if I hear any more I will post on it.

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