Bits: BA cuts Club World baggage allowance, Hilton flash sale for North America and Asia, Luxury Travel Diary auctions

News in brief:

British Airways to cut Club World baggage allowance

British Airways is to reduce the luggage allowance for Club World passengers.  All tickets issued after 10th May will only allow you to check in two suitcases, each weighing up to 32kg.

The current limit is three pieces of luggage.

Any tickets issued before 10th May, irrespective of the travel date, will operate under the old rules.

Gold Executive Club Members will still be entitled to an additional free bag.  A third piece of luggage will now cost £120 if pre-booked online or £140 when purchased at the airport.

Waldorf Astoria

Hilton flash sales for the USA and Asia

If you are heading eastwards this Spring, Hilton is running a flash sale for the US, Caribbean, Canada, and Latin America.

Bookings must be made by 4am on Thursday (ie midnight Wednesday Central Standard Time).  Pricing details can be found here at

The maximum discount is 25% which is not huge but certainly better than nothing!  If you have existing Hilton reservations in North America for the next two months you may want to recheck them.  You will need to sign up for Hilton HHonors (free) if you are not already a member.

There is also an Asia-Pacific flash sale which I will cover tomorrow as it runs for a few days.  The discount here runs to 40% – full details are here if you want to take a look now.

Conrad New York

More Luxury Travel Diary auctions closing

The Luxury Travel Diary site dropped me a line about another wave of its luxury auctions closing this week.  These are often worth a look as there are often deals to be had.

Some of the cooler lots, although these are not closing this week, include a seven night holiday for six in Costa Rica and some interesting safari deals.

As usual, it is worth having a look to see if anything takes your fancy.

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  1. Are the auctions for charity? I feel like they were at some point and now there seems to be minimal mention of charity anywhere on the site.

  2. C Y S Yuen says:

    You know that I am actually feeling slight angry about the reduced luggage allowance…

    • C Y S Yuen says:


      • Sandgrounder says:

        The race to the bottom continues. Comparison sites have a lot to answer for.

    • BA is still the most generous in the world. Technically you can still bring two 23kg bags on board in addition to the 32kg checked bags…

      I’ve done it. Brought some very heavy gold bars from London to HK.

  3. Sorry- when is the Hilton USA sale ending, UK time wise ?? I can’t find it on the Hilton page and not so sure from what you have said above (midnight Tues / early Wed… Both of which have passed ?)

  4. Neil Holland says:

    Heading east to the US? For our Tahitian readers? :^)

  5. Yeh surely the Hilton sale is ongoing – it only appeared last night, and still showing on I can’t see anywhere the timeframe specified

  6. We finally booked a Club World 2 for 1 Amex Avios ticket to Asia for July and were quite surprised that the allowance was 3 x 32kg, meaning my wife and daughter could travel with 192kg plus 4 hand luggage between them !

    We have been used to Etihad and a (usually) flexible 2 x 32kg plus seemingly unlimited carry on luggage and of course been “stuck” with hand or 1 x 28/32kg on European routes.

    I am glad this will not affect us this year as I believe my wife has already been working out just what she can take to fill all of the 192kg and likewise on the way back !

    No wonder they are cutting back but we did pay them £1024 in spurious “taxes” and “fees” and “fuel surcharges” or whatever they like to call them thee days.

  7. Confused about the Hilton sale. So it was only valid until 4am this morning?

  8. So just to confirm, a biz class ticket from London to NY is going down from 3 X 32kg to 2 X 23kg?

  9. Genghis says:

    I don’t really understand why one would really want to take so much luggage! If travelling for work or leisure, one case plus hand luggage is more than sufficient. Perhaps if you’re moving home internationally and want to take loads of stuff with you rather than get it shipped…

    • +1. 3 cases = nightmare.

      • Every American seems to do it. I wonder what exactly is in there when I see them struggling on the tube.

        • Going by dirtyneedlebluesky’s comment, they are probably bringing in all the American groceries that they can’t get in Europe. Another thing I simply don’t understand – why go to another country and take all your home comforts with you? Isn’t the point of travel to broaden one’s horizons? And are these American groceries really so superior to their European counterparts that it is worth lugging them halfway around the world???

        • I’ll ask my wife… she packs 3 cases, but only ever uses half of one… Then she insists on washing everything that hasn’t been used… can’t find anything to where!

      • we take 3 and come home with for, plus our carry-on’s

    • Lady London says:

      I do have very good reasons for needing as much luggage as I can get. One good reason is all the presents I carry when I go to see family on the other side of the world. There are many other good reasons too. Luggage allowance is even more important than class of travel for me. I definitely choose my ticketing carrier/first outward leg, and routing (via US or via Asia?) accordingly.

      If you tend to need to carry a lot of luggage like me, the overriding luggage allowance conditions that apply for travel to or from North America are well worth familiarising oneself with, if you need to carry a lot of luggage. These regulations mean that if your ticket is to or from North America then the first ticketing carrier i.e. which airline’s code is on the first outward flight on the ticket, has the luggage regulations which will override any other airline’s luggage rules for all the flights on the rest of your ticket including BA’s. This can work for or against you. The outward segment does not even have to be on an aircraft belonging to the ticketing carrier – just which flight code is used on the first segment determines which luggage rules apply throughout the ticket. This override applies only to tickets falling under the North American luggage regulations.

      Whatever, the most generous luggage policy gets my business and this is another nail in BA’s coffin for me.

    • Obviously never seen a flight come in from Lagos!

    • flyforfun says:

      When the US dollar was 2 to the GBP, I went out with 1 case and came back with 3. The savings I made on clothes and other items meant it was worth it, despite the hassle.

      I’ve also known people who were moving countries fly the premium cabins so they could bring more stuff with them. I lad who’s parents had split up and got taken to South Africa with his mum as a child, built up enough miles for a one way F ticket when he turned 18 and moved back to start university here. He was just on his limit for each bag!

      • The seaplane to Rangali has a strict limit of 25kg per passenger so I’m governed by that :)
        Ps I like to take as little as possible anyway 😉

    • I must say that’s the only time I’ve done it. BA Gold got me 50% extra luggage allowance with QF, so I got 70kg in F – would have loved to have had the BA allowance as that would have been 96kg even under the new rules! Normally I don’t even go over 20kg on a single bag, when flying ex-EU from the regions you would end up paying a lot more for your positioning flight if you took lots of luggage!

  10. Managed to pack a summer segment on the Gold Coast and a winter segment in NZ for a one month trip, regularly washing my smalls when I shower; my bag was 0.5kg over at 32.5kg, no problem for BA who kindly tagged it as 32kg. Who would need more?

    • Women.

      • Well this woman managed 4 weeks split between hot Sydney and cold Dunedin with a 15kg carry on and moderately large handbag. And that included shoes for hiking and partying. It can be done 😉

        • Genghis says:

          I think my wife needs to take some lessons from you. I like to travel HBO but my wife doesn’t so we end up ‘wasting’ time with checked in bags.

        • if you don’t want to go out dressed up at night of course

          • Lady London says:

            and if you’re spending your days in just a thong… :-)

          • Andy – what makes you think we didn’t dress to go out? Lots of dinners and entertaining but frankly most people don’t give a stuff what anyone else is wearing as long as it is clean, tidy and reasonably appropriate for the setting. It’s easy to change the look of a plain dress/outfit with a selection of costume jewelry and a few different scarves/wraps. One bagging does take a bit of laundry and effort and won’t suit everyone but it works for me 😉

    • Last time I did a longish holiday (a 16-day escorted coach tour in America) there was one couple who had a small hand baggage case weighing just 7.5 kg between them. Yes, between them. The tour guide gave a prize each tour to the person with the least luggage, so had weighed them all – she said it was a record!!

      Of course, they had to find somewhere to do laundry every few days….

  11. r.e Hilton FS – The NZ offerings are really quite slim unfortunately although Aussie looks good over the coming months. Remember the additional 1.5% that needs to be paid at the hotel will still be added on top.

    • Just to say if you pre-pay in advance you won’t be charged the 1.5% fee, only when paying on-site at the property (had lots of stays last year). I’ve had fantastic upgrade at all my Hilton NZ stays – and I’ve been to all of them :)

      • Well done, we stayed at the Hilton Adelaide recently and got “upgraded” to the same type of room as we’d booked “but it’s on the club floor so you have lounge access” – which as Diamonds we would have had anyway. Great views from the lounge and very nice breakfast.

        • Agree, nice lounge at that property – I also found it in a good location for walking about the city :)

  12. Jordan D says:

    Disappointing to see that BA are cutting the CW baggage allowance – have not seen it trailed anywhere else. 3 x 32kg + 1 x 32 kg (Gold) was extremely useful, when travelling with my wife recently when they applied the extra bag to the booking so we had 4 x 32 kg per passenger, a total of 256kg uplift.

    Handy for bringing back items to furnish our house.

    • I have just booked a long haul flight in J on SQ, the luggage allowance is 40kg total. BA is extremely generous.

  13. Jordan D says:

    Separately: every time you mention Luxury Travel Auctions on here, I seem to lose the item I’ve been successfully holding onto in the bidding … You clearly drive a lot of their traffic!

  14. who needs that much luggage? Skiing 4/5 weeks per year and travelling with a lot of equipment I can appreciate 2 sets of luggage but 3…?

    • People have homes abroad and go to places such as Barbados for the season. I’d be interested to know what proportion of J passengers use their full baggage.

  15. We have only started to fly business class since coming across Rob’s advice first on paidtoshop and now here. Even a second bag we have only used once and that was because we knew we would revisit an orphanage in Sri Lanka, the kids loved all the brio train track and other stuff that filled the extra case. Meant we only needed to buy a couple of sacks of rice locally.

  16. I wish we could take less luggage, my wife takes pillows, hairdryer, kettle and on one occasion even sheets! I guess she likes home away from home!
    Rob you say gold still get an extra case, do silvers still get an extra case too? Thank you

  17. dirtyneedlebluesky says:

    Although I am only Silver I did contact with BA before I traveled (at the airport and via the contact centre). They confirmed the website is worded poorly/very unclear but a Silver member would also benefit from an additional bag (maybe this does change with the new rules).

    Who needs 3 bags? – I’m not sure. Who would like 3 bags? – someone like me. Maybe even 4. Having just completed a trip from North America yesterday I brought back 3 checked bags full of American groceries that either aren’t available here or cost at least 3x the price.

    As a first time Club Word user the baggage allowance was the highlight of the experience I really can’t say how disappointed I was with the product. Comparing to Qatar (and even some North American airlines) the experience is shocking. From the layout of the cabin (just who designed & approved this?!), to the standard and presentation of the dinning experience. Qatar even have it right with the private shuttle buses to the plane.

  18. Perhaps someone noticed that the luggage allowances for CW and First were the same and decided to differentiate the products.
    I have never used the enormous allowance although it is handy not to have to worry about the last few kilos. Being old now it is a struggle to handle one case and as soon as you start travelling on trains and internal flights you hit lower limits. My wife spent the whole of the last holiday worrying about these limits, but it did save her having to find something else to worry about.

  19. I use three to include charity items for kids in Nepal. Two are very large and the third fits inside nicely for the journey back home.

  20. OOH! nice reductions in Japan at Hilton. Wonder if it is too decadent popping over for a week just to use up the avios burning a hole in my pocket….

    • I can’t see much value in Japan. Standard rates are the same. Maybe depends on which hilton?

  21. Very much Off topic, does anyone know if Melia Gold status through Amex Plat qualifies for the 3 X 20% off vouchers?

    My account has been updated to Good but nothing in the post and no mention of vouchers at login.

    I’ve got Accor and Carlson cards through but nothing from melia.

    • I’ve just received my Melia Gold card in the post and the brochure that it was attached to clearly stated “3 discount vouchers for 20% off stays (1)” – the small print then said “(1) can be redeemed in one calendar year”. No actual vouchers provided, however if you login to your account and click on ‘My Promotions’ you should see the following – “20% discount
      Here is your 20% discount code which you can use for 3 different bookings during the calendar year.
      The discount applies to each of the bookings.
      Book with this code
      Valid until 31st December 2016
      Non-refundable reservation, changes and cancellations are not allowed”

  22. Lee Harris says:

    Great news on the Hilton deal. And it works into early summer, too – not just spring. I had a hotel booked in Manhattan for June 23-30, and it’s $400 cheaper with the flash sale. I checked if it would work for my next trip in August to Kansas City, but it doesn’t extend that far.

    • Annoyingly the non-refundable hotel room I have booked for this weekend is £60 cheaper in the sale. Oh well, I would have been having kittens if I hadn’t booked it by now!

      • Contact the hotel directly and see what they can do. I’ve done this a couple of times with Pullman hotels – in both cases, they have issued me a credit for the difference for use during my stay. They can’t change the rate, since it’s non-refundable, but having the difference for bar drinks or restaurant spend is not a bad alternative. And you’ve got nothing to lose by doing so.

        • Thanks for the tip. I booked it through an agent, not direct (had gift vouchers to use) so I doubt they’d give me anything. Will bear it in mind in future, though.

    • Thanks for that !

      • no probs

        got a feeling there is gonna be a rush of hfp readers getting in on this who missed the one in dec.

        • Oh good lord, Hilton seems somewhat desperate with all this status matching.

          • Although it also seems to be getting a lot of folk trying them out and being pleasantly surprised with them and staying more!

            • Yup! Stayed at Hilton Metropole in Brighton this week for work. Never tried before had status and will now make it the hotel of choice. Upgraded 2 room categories and full breakfast in dining room. Very nice hotel.

    • Scallder says:

      Top of the page says matched to end of March ’18 but T&Cs at bottom of the page says to the end of March ’17. I got the last status match to the end of March ’17 so have taken a punt on it being until the end of March ’18, but not too hopeful

      • Ditto, I’ve just reapplied to see if I can get extended to March 2018. Had a fantastic stay at Hilton Frankfurt City at the weekend – best free breakfast buffet I’ve had outside Asia!

    • Status Match sign at the reception desk of the Hilton Bournemouth last week so it looks promising. Unless it wasn’t taken down from the previous promo. I did ask at the reception and wasn’t told it had finished.

    • Genghis says:

      Did it ever stop? I used the advice on status match and emailed them mid Feb and was matched.

  23. Any recommendations for a Hilton hotel in New York worth staying at with Diamond status? I was thinking the Conrad but the review on here is a bit underwhelming (no lounge and small brekkie).

    • Trade off is that every room is a suite and it was only converted a couple of years ago. You’d be a fool to take a tiny, tired room elsewhere purely to get a better breakfast you can anyway buy on any street corner for a few bucks.

    • Hilton New York Times Square gets reasonable reviews (decent-sized rooms for NYC, recently renovated, full breakfast) – I’m staying there on my Hilton VISA voucher in a month or so :)

      • We used our Hilton Visa voucher to stay here. Got a spacious room on top floor as Diamond upgrade with great view. While the breakfast is full, it is very disappointing compared to the room rates. More in competition with a HIX but it does do its job and given the location won’t mind booking there again if any free night voucher in future.

    • We’ve just completed a four night stay at the Conrad, the suite rooms are superb. I wasn’t expecting much based on reviews regarding the Honours breakfast offering but you have a choice from either a set menu or can use the vouchers as a $20 credit towards an item off the main menu, all those we had were suberb, in addition there is no additional charge for coffee, juice etc, that’s effectivly free you just pay any addition on the breakfast dish if its over $20. Location is good, nice and quiet away from the manic streets of the Times Square area.

  24. Seems to be zero discounts for me in New York for the Hilton flash sale.

    • Yeah it seems to be only a select number of hotels for my dates too (end of May). I checked the first 10 listed in NY for end of May and only 3 had 25% discount.

    • Ditto. Was thinking of cancelling my 4 reward nights at the IC to capitalise on HH Diamond status. It just doesn’t work out – no decent discount, no exec lounge in any Hilton save for the Midtown Hiilton which gets poor reviews and as Rob says sometimes a free breakfast just isn’t worth the trouble! Oh well….

  25. Only one of the three nights I need in Sydney are at the sale price, so not a good enough price drop to make me change from the Radisson @ US$ 80 per night using the Carlson F&F rate.

  26. Waiting with eagerness what IHG Q2 promo will be! Wifey and I managed to pick up 100k IHG points for trips we were already going to make!

    • My achievement bonus points for the Accelerate promo have posted this week as I’ve just checked so I am too.

  27. AmandaB says:

    Need to book 2 nights in Bali in September. Looked at Conrad. Not one single date shows any discount over rack rate. In the whole promotion period. Think might stay at the Fairmont after all

  28. Lochlann says:

    Appreciate the Hilton heads up – had been checking my BOS airport layover booking a few times to see if something cheaper was available, now I’ve got $60 back. Roll on my first Viking trip :)

  29. About time there was more soft product differentiation between J and F.

    Priority boarding, lounges in most outstations, baggage desks, spa showers etc. The list goes on of facilities that F passengers have to share with those further back.