British Airways ‘Know Me’ Initiative – Let’s Google Passenger Photos

This should be nothing new to of my blog. Last month, I wrote about Starwood GPS’s (Global Personalization at Starwood) initiative to spy SPG member on their Facebook, LinkedIn, FlyerTalk et all profiles to “enhance” the stay experience.

Now, British Airways has started similar ‘Know Me’ initiative. Some flight attendants are armed with iPad’s that they are supposed to use to Google photos of the passengers to offer them more personalized service like welcoming them on board using their name etc. Also these iPad’s have information about passengers past and forthcoming flight activity and possible problems that they have reported previously.


There has now been number of pieces written on the British media about this including Evening Standard & Daily Mail. Even the Fox News picked up the story in the United States.


As was the case with the Starwood, I wouldn’t mind if I had given an explicit permission for BA to snoop me on Google et al. I do think, however, that the time would be better spent by enhancing the customer experience on the ground and on the board.

Transferring BMI Diamond Club Miles To British Airways Avios Now Possible (Maybe)


British Airways and BMI announced back in May that you could transfer BMI Diamond Club miles to British Airways Avios and vice versa starting on July 3rd, 2012. BMI just sent an email explaining the process.


I already did the status transfer from BMI (Gold) to British Airways (Gold) last month and that process was flawless, although not instantaneous. The status transfer took only few days. I decided to check out, how I could transfer some Diamond Club miles to Avios now that the transfer too is up and running.


First, I had some trouble finding the “Combine My Avios” link on my “Manage My Account” section of BA’s website.


The screen informing about the process was very straightforward and I decided to proceed.


Next I was prompted to fill out my BMI Diamond Club number and associated password. And then I was hoping for the best….


Here the problems started. The BA’s website just returned page not found-error message.


Decided to try again. This time combining Avios not available-error message popped up.


I thought that for sure BA and BMI had tested this few times before releasing and was presented yet another error message. This time my combining Avios was supposedly already open.


Maybe the problem was Firefox? No. Internet Explorer returned the 404 page as well.

Oh well. Nothing happening around BMI and BA can surprise me at this point. I am sure that the tool will be up in a day or two, but getting this right from the get-go shouldn’t have been too big of a task.

UPDATE: British Airways Executive Club BMI Diamond Club Tier Match

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British Airways announced back in April that they would tier match BMI Diamond Club members to BA’s Executive Club. You can also start transferring BMI Diamond Club miles and BA Avios between accounts starting early July. Later in the year BMI Diamond Club will most likely cease to exist and the Diamond Club miles will turn to Avios.

I had a dilemma back in May. My Diamond Club year was soon over, and due to uncertainty with the situation surrounding the BMI, I hadn’t credited that many flights into the program. My status was downgraded to Silver sometime earlier in the year. After BA announced the tier matching, I decided to credit enough flights to BMI to make it back Gold. Having BA Gold, which is the highest Oneworld alliance status, can come handy at times due to a first class check in and lounge access regardless of the ticketed cabin.

So, after I got my BMI Diamond Gold status back, I decided to do the tier match with BA. This was very straightforward. I just filled a simple form after being logged in to my BA Executive Club account.


It then prompted that it would take up to 21 days for Executive Club to confirm my BMI status, and another 28 days to receive my BA Gold credentials. Also, BA would email me about tier match success.


I am not exactly sure when the upgrade of my Executive Club happened, but when I logged in yesterday it already indicated the Gold status. The whole process took less than five days. No emails from BA, however.


As you can see, I haven’t really had too much activity on my Executive Club account lately. I had to convert one Hyatt stay from last year from points to BA miles to get the expired points reinstated once the stay hits my account.

Overall, this process was very easy. I am somewhat surprised, however, that it appears that BA gave the Gold status for basically two years. Great!

British Airways Avios Redemption Sale 25% Off Selected Destinations

British Airways is offering an award sale for number of destination where you can save 25% of the miles used for World Traveler (economy) and World Traveler Plus (premium economy). You need to make the booking by May 30th, 2012 for travel until the end of 2012. These discounted prices will automatically show up when you make a redemption booking using miles on


This offer also works one-way to/from London to any of the cities offered. Typically airlines price one-ways at much higher price than return tickets. So, if you happen to need an one-way ticket from/to any of these cities, it might pay to check out the availability using Avios as well.




This sale is not that great to redeem for any of the competitive destinations. I just plugged in a RT trip to Dubai in some random dates in October and the savings using 30K Avios were paltry 71 GBP. Also, the revenue ticket would have earned some miles and TP’s (BA’s version of Elite Qualifying Miles) as well.

Avios 30K + taxes/fees of 407.36 EUROS for London to Dubai return


Price on 396.99 GBP for London to Dubai return


Then I tried to check out the one-way pricing from one of my favorite cities in the North America – Montreal. The was able to price the one-way correctly requiring 15K Avios and 199.86 Euros in taxes and fees. The same flight would cost $1379.70 on Expedia. So, there are definitely some savings to be had.

Avios 15K + taxes/fees of 199.86 EUROS for Montreal to London one-way


Price on $1379.70 for Montreal to London one-way



This promotion makes sense if you choose non-competitive destinations, where the fares are on the high side, or travel one-way. As my Dubai examples proves, it doesn’t make sense to redeem for some destinations at all, when the fares are low. The British Airways charges very high fuel surcharges even on award tickets.

Here are the terms and conditions of this promotion as they can be found on


Terms and conditions


All bookings are strictly subject to availability and Avios terms and conditions. Offers are correct at time of going to press, but subject to change. Single supplements may apply.


1. This promotion is only open to Eligible Participants. An Eligible Participant is aged 18 years or over, who is a member of the Avios scheme or British Airways Executive Club. Avios Group (AGL) Limited and British Airways reserve the right to verify the eligibility of Eligible Participants.
By taking part in this promotion, Eligible Participants confirm that they accept the terms and conditions set out below.

2. To participate in this promotion, Eligible Participants must log in and book by 23.59 on 30 May 2012, and redeem a Qualifying Flight using Avios or Avios & Money (subject to the relevant Avios price options as indicated on between 16 May and 31 December 2012 inclusive (the Promotional Period). The closing date of this promotion is 23:59 on 30 May 2012.

3. A Qualifying Flight is a single sector or return redemption flight in World Traveller, and World Traveller Plus cabins for the following British Airways routes: London Heathrow to Haneda, Tokyo; Narita, Tokyo; Shanghai; Beijng; Bangalore; Mumbai; Delhi; Boston; Philadelphia; Montreal; Toronto; Dubai; Bermuda; Newark and JFK and London Gatwick to St Lucia.

4. In relation to a Qualifying Flight, customers are permitted to fly on any BA mainline scheduled services with a BA prefix, but not on services operated wholly or partly by BA’s franchisees, codeshare partners or oneworld? alliance members. For the avoidance of doubt travel in First class, Club Europe, Euro Traveller or Club World are not Qualifying Flights and not considered as part of this promotion.

5. All Qualifying Flights (including any return leg of the journey if booked) must be completed between 16 May 2012 and 31 December 2012.

6. Eligible Participants who book and redeem a Qualifying Flight will qualify for the special rate of 25% less Avios.

7. Taxes, fees, charges and surcharges are not part of this promotion and must be paid in full at the time of booking.

8. If an Eligible Participant uses Purchased Avios to pay for reward flights, the reward flights are still subject to the applicable taxes, fees, charges and surcharges, which must be paid in full at the time of booking.

9. This offer only applies to new bookings made within the Promotional Period.

10. Flights are subject to availability and capacity control in redemption class, and are subject to Avios and British Airways Executive Club Terms and Conditions. Avios Group (AGL) Limited and British Airways do not accept any responsibility in the event that Eligible Participants are unable to book a Qualifying Flight.

11. Eligible Participants must quote their Avios Membership Number or their British Airways Executive Club Membership Number when booking their Qualifying Flights and also at check-in for both the outbound and return sections of their journey.

12. No cash or credit alternative will be offered.

13. Avios Group (AGL) Limited and British Airways reserve the right to cancel or amend the terms of this promotion, without notice, in the event of major catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, earthquake or any actual, anticipated or alleged breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other similar events.

14. This promotion will be governed by English law and is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts. Promotional materials form part of these terms and conditions.

15.The Promoter is: British Airways Plc (“BA”), Waterside, PO Box 365, Harmondsworth, West Drayton UB7 0GB. Registered No. 1777777.


Last Chance to Buy BMI Diamond Club Miles 20% Extra (Can Transfer to Avios) and Redeem on Star Alliance

British Midland is winding down its operations as BA bought it back in April. You can still redeem BMI Diamond Club miles for Star Alliance flights excluding Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian and Brussels Airlines) until the end of May. As a matter of fact, I need to get last few redemption bookings in rather sooner than later.


BMI just emailed an offer to buy Diamond Club miles and they will throw in 20% extra. During the sale 24K BMI Diamond Club miles will set you back 255 GBP that is around $400. Note that there is no special link for this offer. It will show up automatically, when you go and buy the miles.


Later in the summer you can freely transfer BMI Diamond Club miles to British Airways Avios. You can think of this BMI offer as if you are buying Avios, if you happen to need more after beginning of July.

There are great bargains from Europe to burn BMI miles to places like Maldives that I wrote about, and for intra-Asia/Pacific C/F. You will pay hefty fuel surcharges, but the number of miles needed is much lower compared to other programs.

Fare War Over the Atlantic: Most US/Canadian Cities to London in Business Class for Less than $2K RT

There seems to be a flash fare war brewing over the Atlantic. AA and BA were advertising Queen’s Jubilee two day sale and soon other carriers were matching as well. The last day to book these is today 17th of May.


You can now find airfares to London on Virgin Atlantic, Air Canada, United Airlines, Delta, Air France, American Airlines, Iberia, and British Airways and probably on few others as well for less than $2K return in business class.

Most of these fares have relatively tight outbound window from North America to Europe, but the return can happen within the ticket validity/fare rules.

These $2K fares out from the eastern seaboard are not that common during holiday periods. They are, however, rare from the west coast.

BMI Diamond Club Status Now Transferrable to British Airways Executive Club

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British Airways bought BMI back in April. The airline withdraw from the Star Alliance on that date, but the Star Alliance benefits i.e. lounge access and extra luggage allowance as well the ability to earn and redeem on Star Alliance except Lufthansa Group of airlines will continue until the end of May.

Now, you can transfer your BMI Diamond Club status Silver/Gold to British Airways Executive Club Silver/Gold status. BMI and BA haven’t publicized how long this offer will last, but I would expect it to go to the very end of BMI’s existence that is at least to the end of October.


You need to fill out the form on BA’s website and include your BMI Diamond Club as well as your BA Executive Club numbers. BA will then confirm the status of your BMI account and match it to the Silver or Gold level.


The BMI status transfer to BA is valid for 12 months. If you apply i.e. after 8th of May the status will be valid until the end of June the following year. You lose a month if you apply between the first of month and 8th. You need to qualify for the BA status on your own during the membership year period.

BA’s Silver is comparable to AA’s Platinum status (Oneworld Sapphire). It will give you access to business class check in desks and lounge access if you are ticketed in economy. BA Gold is comparable to AA Executive Platinum (Oneworld Emerald). You will get first class check in and first class lounge access regardless of the ticketed cabin.

Star Alliance doesn’t have equivalent status to Oneworld Emerald. Star Alliance Gold i.e. BMI Diamond Club Gold is closed to Oneworld Sapphire status than Emerald.

I am still crediting some Star Alliance flights to BMI’s program and expect to make it back to Gold before the end of the month. I will do the status transfer to BA’s Executive Club later in the year. I have lifetime Platinum status with AA that gives me the Oneworld Sapphire benefits.

Hyatt Gold Passport Summer 2012 Promotion for up to Five Times the Miles


Hyatt has teamed up with number of airlines; Air China, Air France-KLM, ANA, American Airlines, British Airways, China Eastern, Delta Air Lines, Etihad, Lufthansa, Qatar, Southwest, and United to offer up to five times the miles or points.


This promotion starts on May 1st and end of August 30th, 2012. You will receive the normal number of miles or points for the first stay, triple bonus for stays 2 and 3, and quadruple miles or points for the stays 4 to 11.


Please note that this promotion is NOT based on nights but rather on stays. You will receive the same number of miles or points regardless how many nights you stay. The promotion is capped at 11 stays.

The cumulative maximum number of points that you would earn by having 11 stays on Air China’s and China Eastern’s programs would be 39200. By crediting 11 stays to Southwest’s Rapid Rewards would earn you 29400 points. In all other programs the cumulative number of points after 11 stays would be the grand total of 24500 miles/points.

This promotion quite frankly works for me. Most of my stays are for one night. Getting 2500 miles for a one night stay is a rather good deal. Maybe I will finally set my foot to Hyatt property this year.

Air China – Phoenix Miles


Air France-KLM Flying Blue



ANA Mileage Club



American Airlines AAdvantage



British Airways Executive Club



China Eastern



Delta Air Lines SkyMiles



Etihad Guest



Lufthansa Miles & More



Qatar Airways – Privilege Club



Southwest Airlines – Rapid Rewards



United Airlines – Mileage Plus


Here are the promotional terms and conditions of the United offer, but they are basically identical for each of these airlines.

More stays means 5X more miles and even more rewards

ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible to participate in the Hyatt Summer Airline Promotion (“Promotion”), you must be a member of Hyatt Gold Passport and a member of United MileagePlus.

HOW TO REGISTER: Between April 1, 2012 and August 31, 2012 (“Promotion Period”), you can register for Promotion via or by calling 1-800-228-3360 and requesting enrollment code UA12S. You must register in advance for stays to qualify. Stays completed before registration are not eligible. You only need to register once.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE: After registering for the Promotion, complete two (2) or more stays at any participating Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Place® , Hyatt House™ or Hyatt Residence Club™ hotel and resort worldwide between May 1, 2012 and August 31, 2012 (“Stay Period”) and request United MileagePlus miles for each Eligible Stay. You must provide your United MileagePlus member number at check-in for each Eligible Stay. For each Eligible Stay during the Stay Period, you will earn the award miles as summarized in the chart below. A Eligible Stay is a stay at a participating hotel during the Stay Period with at least one (1) Eligible Night during the stay and request United MileagePlus miles for each stay. For the purpose of this Promotion, an “Eligible Night” is defined as one (1) night at any participating hotel or resort at an Eligible Rate when choosing United MileagePlus miles as the method of loyalty reward upon check-in at a participating Hyatt property and paying an Eligible Rate (as defined below). Award nights do not constitute an Eligible Night. Hyatt Gold Passport members will only receive eligible night credit for the room they physically occupy, regardless of the number of paid rooms. Only stays that occur after registration for Promotion will be counted as Eligible Stays.

British Airways & Hawaiian Airlines Awards Now Bookable on

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American Airlines has now made awards on British Airways and Hawaiian Airlines bookable on If you search for itineraries, results including these two airlines and Alaska Airlines will automatically show up among American Airlines’ own flights.

Note that there are sometimes glitches on award pricing on as I documented recently. On the following example the return 5K is priced correctly due to HNL being a stopover. On the way to JNB, however, I don’t think that there should be 5K charge for the feeder flight.


The real shocker is the fuel surcharges on flights involving BA. AA lumps these to taxes and surcharges and doesn’t itemize them. If you click few times around AA further explains about “carrier imposed surcharges”. On my example above the BA “imposed” fuel surcharges are about $1400.


It is easy to find the real taxes associated with the itinerary. As I was only interested about the BA fuel surcharges, I constructed an itinerary using ITA to find out the actual fuel surcharges on the four BA flights.


Constructing an itinerary like the one above was fairly easy. You just plug in the origin and destination and AA will display the flights that it can find. You can then choose the ones that suit you best, if there are multiple options.


This ability to book increasing number of partners on without having to talk to the reservations, is a welcomed feature. I hope that they would get other partners online as soon as possible as well.

BMI Diamond Club Update – British Airways Executive Club Status Match


The deal between the Lufthansa and IAG, the parent of British Airways and Iberia, closed yesterday. Today is the first day that the British Airways is in control of the BMI and the following announcement about the future of the BMI’s Diamond was just emailed:



Based on the previous announcements made by Lufthansa, BMI, and Asiana, I already predicted earlier that the Star Alliance status & ability to earn and burn on Star Alliance carriers (excluding Lufthansa group of airlines) would stay in place until the end of May. This was the case.

The new twist was the instant equivalent status in BA’s Executive Club for BMI Diamond Club members, and the ability to transfer Diamond Club miles and Avios points between accounts starting from July.

Also, the partnership with other airlines including Virgin Atlactic, BA’s bitter rival, will stay in place for now.

I would encourage everybody to take advantage of status match opportunity from SAS.

BMI has a very useful timeline on their website:


Overall, I think that this is an amicable solutions for winding BMI Diamond Club down. BA matches status and you can freely transfer your Diamond Club miles to Avios. Eventually BMI Diamond Club will cease to exists and merges to Executive Club.

Here are Frequenty asked questions:

My Award Booking Problems Today with United and American Airlines to the Rescue


I am currently here in Kuala Lumpur, but will make my way to Europe next week after few days in Shanghai. I will land in Rome where I will spend few days, and then need to make my way to Stockholm from where I have unused business class return to Dubai via Addis Ababa on Ethiopian. To make things more complicated, I need to briefly visit Finland for few hours somewhere between.

For the past couple of months I have been reading customer service and other service failure horror stories about United on FlyerTalk. It is understandable that some things can and probably will go wrong when you are merging two large airlines like United and Continental. I have been mostly shielded of this wreckage as I have been traveling mainly in Europe, Asia, and Australia for the past six months, and haven’t set my foot on any of the US carriers for a while.

My status will most likely drop from Premier 1K to Platinum or Gold with United next year. It cannot go below Gold due to me having more than a million flight miles on the United’s program. I have the same situation with American where I have a lifetime Platinum status due to 2.7 million miles that I have collected.

So my goal today was to book FCO-XXX-HEL-ARN on Star Alliance using United Mileage Plus miles from my account. This award should cost 12.5K miles in economy. American also offers similar awards for intra-Europe travel, and the cost for oneway is 10K AA miles.

So, using KVS Tool I identified the flights on Lufthansa FCO-MUC-HEL and on Blue1 HEL-ARN that had award availability in economy.



For some reason DBA was not able to price it correctly. It was able to price the transfers correctly tax wise, but was requiring double the number of miles than it should have.



I dialed the ATT USA Direct access number here in Malaysia (free) and inputted the number for the 1K desk. This way I don’t have to pay for the call at all. The call was promptly answered, but for some reason I was immediately transferred to some award rewards phone tree. Second time the same thing. This time, however, I waited for few minutes and listened to the music before hanging up. Apparently some agents are not keen working on award reservations. But, I have zero patience working with United’s outsourced call center workers in Manila or India. It is like banging your head against the wall.

Third time I got an agent that was willing to do an award reservation, but appeared to be challenged when it came to Star Alliance member airlines and transfers vs stopovers.

1. According to the agent Blue1 is not affiliated with United or Star Alliance and they cannot book them. I pointed out the that airline is listed as a Star Alliance carrier on and maybe she should check her info.


2. Agent was referring a transfer of less than 24 hours as a stopover, which is incorrect. She was probably confused with domestic US transfer/stopover rules versus international ones.

3. Supervisor refused to ticket it because of the “stopover” and not a valid route. There is a valid MPM based YY fare that has an MPM of 1477. FCO-MUC-HEL-ARN is 1681. This is within MPM + 15. On paid itineraries you can exceed the MPM up to 25% by paying extra.

Overall, it was just a miserable experience with United’s supposedly 1K desk. Was transferred twice and the third agent was obviously very confused. I still have few tricks on my sleeves to get this itinerary ticketed.

Now that I had already wasted about an hour of my time and made three fruitless phone calls, I Decided to have a look at Finnair options using my American Airlines AAdvantage miles. Although I am a Finn, I really prefer flying on Lufthansa, especially if I end up in economy. Last time I flew on Finnair, maybe five years ago, was from Berlin to Helsinki in business class.

As is the case with United, I always want to know the award availability and my preferred routing before I call AA, although I have find it far more pleasant to deal with award reservations with AA than United.

Tried to use my British Airways Executive Club account first to identify Finnair award availability on the route.

The BA’s engine wouldn’t show Finnair availability on the Rome to Helsinki route as they fly it on themselves as well, although it would be quite a detour. Also the number of required miles would be 30K BA & 100+ euros in fuel surcharges etc.


But because British doesn’t fly Helsinki to Stockholm, you can pull up both the economy and business class availability on that route using



ExpertFlyer does show Finnair’s award availability for economy, but won’t for business. It was easy to identify that I would get from Rome to Stockholm in Economy via Helsinki. Couple of hours would be enough, but I would prefer an overnight transfer.



Unfortunately at the moment Finnair doesn’t have any economy award availability on Friday 27th from Helsinki to Stockholm. They do have business availability on quite a few flights, however. I made an ExpertFlyer alert for all the Friday flights that I could take, to alert me when there is availability on the X-class (the fare class that economy awards book into).


I haven’t received my new Platinum AAdvantage card so decided to call the Executive Platinum number for free using the ATT USA Direct Service, the same service that United also uses. Lady who picked up my call transferred it to the “Platinum” desk. The gentleman was able to book the Finnair flights that I had identified to have economy availability and put in on hold for me. The call to AA took 337 seconds. I got the record locator and was able to easily pull up the itinerary on The taxes were $57.90 and the number of miles required 10000.



It makes sense to participate to number of programs. Although I far prefer Star Alliance over Oneworld, sometimes the Oneworld carrier is a better option. Also, dealing with United can be very problematic and time consuming as I again found out today. Not sure where they find all these surly people to man their 1K desk?

I am almost certain that I will get my preferred itinerary booked using Lufthansa and SAS, but it will take few phone calls.

New Twist on the BMI Diamond Club & Lufthansa & Star Alliance & British Airways Saga


Earlier today, I posted a screenshot from Lufthansa’s Miles & More web page that indicated that BMI’s cooperation with Lufthansa would end effective April 19th, 2012. This is the case. The earlier information about the status benefits on BMI flights was wrong, however. Star Alliance status related benefits on BMI flights will be valid until May 31st, 2012.


The last day to earn and burn Diamond Club miles will end on Lufthansa affiliated airlines (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, and Brussels Airlines) on April 18th, 2012. This is also the last date to earn and redeem miles on Miles & More program on BMI operated flights.


Last week, Asiana posted an announcement on their web page about BMI’s removal of Star Alliance. According to the rough translation from Korean, the earning of redeemable and status miles on Asiana’s program on BMI operated flights would end on May 31st, 2012. That would also be the last day to redeem miles from Asiana’s program for BMI operated flights.


It has not been officially announced when the BMI will leave the Star Alliance. It is unlikely that they could announce on April 18th that the last day for redeeming miles and get status benefits on Star Alliance would be April 18th, 2012. But then, who knows exactly what is going to happen.

It is possible and I think likely, based on the announcements that Asiana  & Lufthansa have made, that the earning and burning miles on other Star Alliance carriers besides the Lufthansa group would continue until May 31st, 2012. Certainly, I would hope so.

Anyway, I am going to try getting in few redemptions before the end of the week. Those phone lines at the Diamond Club must be very busy this week.

BMI’s Diamond Club Likely the Last Date of the Star Alliance Affiliation is April 18th

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There has been lot of confusion about when is the exact date that BMI’s Diamond Club will exit from the Star Alliance. EU recently approved the Lufthansa’s sale of BMI to IAG, the parent of British Airways and Iberia. The expected date for this deal to be finalized was around 20th of April.


Last week BMI posted on their Facebook page that they intent to start withdrawing from Star Alliance upon completion of the above mentioned deal. Today, however, Lufthansa briefly posted the above announcement on their webpage. It was then removed, but you can still access through Google’s cache.

I would be prepared to have all the Diamond Club miles used by 19th of April, if you are planning to use them on Star Alliance. It does start to look as if the BMI’s Diamond Club WILL exit from the Star Alliance on 19th of April. The last date to use Diamond Club miles on Star Alliance carriers would thus be April 18th. You can ticket as far as there is availability and the award will be honored by the carriers. It is very unlikely that you can do any changes to awards after the exit from Star Alliance besides getting a refund of miles and taxes.

Strategy for 2nd Quarter Hilton Double Your HHonors Promotion – Virgin Atlantic, BMI, and British Airways


The latest Hilton HHonors promotion for double points or miles is valid until the end of June. If you are interested only about Hilton HHonors points, it makes sense to consider crediting stays to Virgin Atlantic and here’s why. With Virgin Atlantic you get 1000 miles per stay for Hilton, Conrad, DoubleTree, Embassy Suite, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations and The Waldorf Astoria hotels. Crediting Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites or Home2 Suites to Virgin Atlantic doesn’t make any sense due to lower number of fixed miles earner. I would credit these latter three brands to BMI’s Diamond Club.


Here’s the beauty of Virgin Atlantic’s program. You can transfer Flying Club points to Hilton HHonors points at a ratio of 2 Hilton HHonors points for 1 Flying Club miles. The minimum transaction is 10000 Flying Club points. Alternatively, you can use the miles to book Virgin America flights.



So, a night stay at any of the full earning properties would earn you 2000 Virgin Atlantic miles that would turn into 4000 Hilton HHonors points. This is better than double base points, if your folio amount is $300 or so, as you forego some points when you choose double dip option. This only applies to fixed mile option.


If you are really looking for Avios points out of Hilton, it makes sense to choose BMI as the partner airline. You will earn more than double the number of Diamond Club miles per stay compared to BA’s Avios at minimum. Also, you will earn 1000 BMI miles per DAY up to three days. You earn the same number of BA Avios regardless how many days you stay. British Airways’ parent is in the process of finalizing the deal with Lufthansa to buy BMI. The deal should close later this month. The Diamond Club miles will turn into Avios in not so distant future.

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