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Air Malta Business Class – a review

Not least in light of popular demand, we set out below a review of the Air Malta Business Class (or “Club Class”, as they call it) experience.

air malta business class

We hope this will give you a suitable taster of what you get for your money (or points), and while we trust our analysis is fairly comprehensive, feel free to ask any questions about the flight should you wish to know more. (more…)

Air Malta Business Class Upgrades – just €45

Air Malta has recently launched a marketing drive to get more people upgrading to Business Class (Air Malta “Club Class”) at check-in.

clubclass

Remarkably, prices for this upgrade now start at a very impressive €45 one way.

Available upgrade routes, and one-way costs are as follows:

  • €45 – Rome, Milan
  • €99 – Brussels, Paris (CDG and Orly), Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Moscow, Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester, Munich, Vienna, Zurich.

In their promotional material, Air Malta has actually said that you should contact the check-in agents for more details. Accordingly, even where the upgrade is not being advertised for the flight, if you want to upgrade then you should certainly ask.

(more…)

Yours if you want it – a free Air Malta discount code for 25% off flights

MaltaPoints has diligently entered the Air Malta World Cup competition day-after-day, and therefore has earned a large number of 25% off Air Malta discount codes.

world cup

While, as we have mentioned before, the Air Malta discount codes are all the same, we did not want to undermine Air Malta’s efforts by releasing the code. However, we are prepared to give the code out as many times as we have won it. (more…)

Malta airport – getting there and away

There are various options for travelling to and from MLA back to your home or hotel. This post looks at them and gives an indication of the value for money you get.

Frequent flyer points can only be earned on the car hire options (although you can pay for the taxi or maltatransfer.com with a KMiles-earning credit card, of course), but there are varying amounts of money you can spend for travel to MLA, depending on the level of convenience you want. (more…)

Air Malta 25% off – book by 30/12/12, travel by 30/4/13

Air Malta has just announced a week-long 25% discount on its flights from Malta (its “gift to you” this Christmas).

Full details are here, but to summarise:

– Air Malta are offering 25% off flights booked between NOW and 11:59pm (Malta time) on 30 December 2012.

– Travelling dates must be between 7 January 2013 and 30 April 2013 (inclusive).

– Discounts will be displayed in the price quoted when you book online.

For those not flying from Malta initially (e.g. people taking a return to Malta from Heathrow),  the good news is that provided your return journey from Malta is within the qualifying period, this element of your booking will get the discount.

So, all in all, a very credible offer from Air Malta, if only for a very limited period. Get booking, and don’t forget your Flypass card!

Happy Christmas to all Maltapoints readers.

Air Malta relaunching Flypass – initial indications

It has now been confirmed that Air Malta will be relaunching Flypass. From this website’s perspective, this is extremely welcome news.

Air Malta’s press release on the subject was somewhat vague, and interestingly not even picked up on by the Times of Malta (yet). That suggests to me that while Air Malta wanted to get this news out there, they did not wish to do so with much of a fanfare (probably because details of it, and the likely timescales, still remain extremely uncertain).

Rest assured that when the scheme comes into place, there will be much more publicity. Publicity that will be fully reported and analysed by maltapoints.com.

For now, I set out below the initial indications, and my initial thoughts, coming from the announcement.

Timing

The new loyalty scheme is “earmarked to be launched” in summer 2013. Given Air Malta’s current million-and-one priorities, I imagine this is very much a pencilled-in target date. I would regard it as a result if the new Flypass launches before the end of 2013.

A new name?

Air Malta’s press release headline is “Air Malta to Launch New Customer Loyalty Programme During 2013”. It is interesting to see that it then talks about a “complete overhaul of the Flypass frequent flyer programme”.  In light of this, my reading is that the Flypass name may well disappear. In particular, if Air Malta officially joins another “frequent flyer alliance”, such as Miles & More, the name will of course have to change.

Joining Lufthansa’s Miles & More?

Air Malta is already very well connected to, if not an official member of, Miles & More, the excellent Lufthansa frequent flyer scheme. This has previously been commented on. As such, it would not surprise me in the least if Air Malta integrated their frequent flyer scheme into the Miles & More network (currently featuring Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines,  Swiss International, Adria Airways, Croatia Airlines, Luxair, Brussels Airlines and Germanwings).

The benefits of this would be substantial: Air Malta frequent fliers would have a substantial range of airlines to spend their points on, while they would also have access to Miles & More’s first rate frequent flyer scheme, featuring top grade technology, special offers, regular news and all the other features of a high quality frequent flyer scheme.

Joining Star Alliance?

I suppose it is a case of “one step at a time”, but a possible addition to the Miles & More membership (or a result of a more sophisticated, revamped Flypass) may well be entry into Star Alliance, and access to the global network that this would bring to Air Malta frequent fliers.

Easier booking of rewards

Whether Flypass integrates into Miles & More or not, you can rest assured that a key feature of the new scheme will be easier booking of rewards. In particular, it would be an enormous disappointment if a revised scheme did not have an online booking feature, so that Air Malta frequent fliers were easily able to review options, and book flights and upgrades using their miles.

A refreshed, dedicated frequent flyer website

Tying in to the above, it is certain that Air Malta will offer better all-round web presence for its frequent flyer scheme. In addition to better functionality for booking reward (as noted above), basic requirements here include clearer explanations of the benefits and points earning opportunities, up-to-date news, and a far more sophisticated log-in and statement process. There are a number of areas here where Flypass can improve, and in light of the clear improvements to the Air Malta website generally, this is likely to be a major focus.

New, improved benefits and special offers

Again, even outside of Miles & More, a new Air Malta frequent flyer scheme should feature a clearer and wider range of benefits (in addition to flights and upgrades), and more places to earn points (a wider range of restaurants and hotels, perhaps).

In addition, the lack of any real special offers from Flypass appears to be largely a result of Air Malta’s slight embarrassment at the scheme (the last time I remember entering a Flypass promotion, it was to earn 100 free points when I bought some Cisk lager!). When Air Malta has a scheme it’s proud of (and I have faith in Peter Davies to deliver on this), it is likely to be much more actively involved in promoting the scheme via bonus point offers.

Decent offers on purchasing KMiles

Purchasing KMiles at the moment is little short of a joke. In addition to their prohibitive cost, the only way you can actually buy them is to send a cheque in the post. I do not imagine the trade in KMiles-by-mail is a roaring one.

Once it has a “valuable” frequent flyer currency, you would hope that Air Malta promotes this by setting a competitive rate for standard purchases, and offering periodic bonuses on mile purchases (most other frequent flyer schemes do).

Better customer service

To be completely fair to them, I have not had too many issues with Flypass customer services, but a lot of people have. Hopefully an automation of the rewards booking process will reduce the administrative workload of this undoubtedly understaffed department, allowing them to better assist frequent fliers on matters where such assistance should really be required.

I will continue to monitor progress here, and report back as speculation becomes fact.

Air Malta announces it is to relaunch Flypass

Coming very soon after the launch of this website, which amongst other things highlights the pluses and minuses of Flypass, I am pleased to say that Air Malta has publicly announced that it is to relaunch its frequent flyer programme, in 2013.

air malta kmiles 3

While details are understandably sketchy, this is great news, and hopefully will bring the Flypass (or renamed) frequent flyer scheme fully into the 21st century (online redemption anyone?).

I am not going to speculate too much on the likely contents of the new programme, but I would not be altogether surprised if it involved a more formal tie-up with Miles & More, possibly even with Star Alliance.

I’ll keep you updated.

Earn and redeem Miles & More with Air Malta, and KMiles with Lufthansa

I have already discussed the fact that you can now redeem KMiles on Lufthansa flights.

However, it is important to remember that as part of Air Malta’s de facto (i.e. unofficial) membership of the Miles & More collective, you can both:

Earn and redeem KMiles with Lufthansa AND

Earn (and redeem*) Miles & More points with Air Malta.

As a result, I would always advise any Malta-based or bound traveller to be a member of both frequent flyer programmes, and the general rule is that you should collect KMiles on Air Malta flights, and Miles & More points on Lufthansa flights.

*I should note that it’s currently far from clear to me how you do redeem your Miles & More points with Air Malta, but it’s apparently the case. I will be looking into this one and updating shortly.

Collect Nectar points with Expedia bookings

As previously detailed on euflyer.com, you can now redeem Nectar points for easyJet flights.

free-nectar-points

Linking in to this, Expedia is now offering Nectar points on certain bookings, at the following rates:

  • 200 points on Hotel only bookings
  • 200 points on Flight only bookings
  • 200 points on Car rentals
  • 1,000 points when you create your own package including air travel (i.e. flight + hotel, flight + car or flight + hotel + car) (more…)

Valuing KMiles

I often get asked what a Flypass KMile is worth. The short answer is it depends how you spend it.

However, it is helpful to have a “ballpark” value on KMiles, as it lets you better quantify offers and the value of your points haul.

My estimated “value” (and this is a very ballpark figure) for a KMile is €0.06c (so just over half a Euro cent per KMile). This is an educated guess and is subject to a whole host of variables (including, obviously, what you spend your KMiles on), but I think it’s about right when I’ve put it to the test. The main “reference” point here is based on the principal area of redemption, which is flights.

By way of example, this values an economy return from MLA to Heathrow/Gatwick at €300 (50,000 points), an economy return from MLA to Catania at €120 (20,000 points) and a Business class return from MLA to Heathrow/Gatwick at €510.

Hardly surprisingly, this is substantially below the outright purchase price of KMiles (which you need to obtain directly from Air Malta, by post and cheque), which values them at approximately €0.11 (just over one Euro cent per KMile).

Please note this “value” is in no way official, and is subject to change depending on Flypass redemption policies.

 

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