January 28th, 2009
OpenSkies, British Airways’ Euro project is offering a very good deal on flights from Amsterdam to New York JFK. You can fly in premium economy for €750 all-in return whilst business class is available for €1,999 all in return. The flights are operated by a Boeing 757 configured to just 64 seats – 20 in business class (known as “BIZ”) with 73″ pitch and 44 in premium economy (called “PREM+”) which have a generous 52″ pitch and reclines to 140º.
The PREM+ offer looks excellent value – this is a superior product to BA’s long-haul World Traveller Plus which has 38″ pitch. (It would not be surprising if BA upgraded their WT+ cabins to something more like PREM+…)
If flying NY to Amsterdam the PREM+ fare is $1,000 return.
The PREM+ fares earn 125% miles with BA Executive Club. In comparison you could fly Amsterdam-New York on KLM economy class (31″ pitch) for €498 and earn a ‘whopping’ 25% Flying Blue miles.
Loads on OpenSkies have been poor – so you are almost guaranteed a quiet cabin – and BA has cancelled any expansion of the service for the time being. Having only 1 daily flight from Amsterdam to JFK is limiting to some business passengers. But at this price it must be worth a shot…
Book the PREM+ fare by Feb 28 2009 for outbound travel by May 31 2009.
The BIZ fare is bookable to Feb 09 2009 for return travel by Apr 30 2009.
January 19th, 2009
This new year’s special airfare offers continue to hit the market. Qantas has an excellent deal on flights from London Heathrow to Hong Kong – £299 all in return, valid for May 2009 departures. You can also find this deal cheaper on various US and Australian agents. For example, Expedia Australia are quoting the fare at AU$567 (which is the equivalent of £260, not factoring in any forex fees). Cheaptickets in the US has the fare at US $380 (again £260 at current interbank rates).
Qantas also has London to Auckland via Los Angeles (with BA) for £549 for May departures. This is pricing on some dates on Expedia Australia at AU$1,025 (which is equivalent of £470 – an awesome fare). Both sale fares are bookable to 21 Jan 09.
Cathay Pacific has a sale fare of £599 from London to Auckland, Brisbane or Melbourne. One stop is permitted in Hong Kong, travel 20 Apr 09 to 11 Jun 09, book by 21 Jan 09.
Alternatively Air New Zealand has a £632 fare from London to Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. Travel is RTW via Hong Kong and Los Angeles, no stopovers permitted, valid 20 Apr 09 to 11 Jun 09, book by 21 Jan 09. Note, this fare earns Air NZ AirPoints but no miles on other Star Alliance programs.
January 17th, 2009
If you are a member of Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club, they have a special mileage offer for flights from London Gatwick to Barbados. The cost is 17,500 miles for an economy return (normal redemption is 37,500 miles). Note, taxes and surcharges also apply. This offer is ‘in conjunction’ with the Barbados Tourism Authority and can be booked by phoning Flying Club in the UK on 08444 122 414, quoting ‘Barbados 25th Birthday’. (Thanks to reader Adrian L for the tip).
If you don’t have miles then flights on Virgin are available from £478 for various dates throughout 2009. Book by 27 Jan 09. British Airways will also get you to Barbados from Gatwick for £479 (travel 15 Apr 09 – 30 Jun 09, book by 27 Jan 09) – with one-way upgrades to premium economy WT+ from £135.
Cheaper fares are available on American Airlines if you connect in the US.
January 15th, 2009
V Australia, Virgin’s new trans-Pacific airline is offering non-stop flights from Los Angeles LAX to Sydney and Brisbane in Australia for just $549 plus taxes and charges ($100-$250 extra). This offer is limited to 2,000 tickets only for travel between 1 Mar 09 and 15 Jun 09 – you need to book by 18 Jan 09. You can also fly to Melbourne for the same price including a connecting flight with Virgin Blue.
The cheapest fare we found online came in at $672 all-in which is an exceptional deal on a route where airfares are traditionally around the $1,000 level.
Keep an eye on this market as V’s competitors Qantas (which fly the A380), United and Air New Zealand fight it out.