Bits: 20 Avios per £1 on Heathrow Express, a new ‘grown up’ Hilton in Ibiza

News in brief:

Earn 20 Avios per £1 on Heathrow Express tickets

It is kept very low key – and you need to book via a special website – but you can earn Avios points when booking Heathrow Express train tickets.

You need to book via and not the main Heathrow Express site.  The main site only gives you the option to collect Heathrow Rewards points.

The standard earning rate is 10 Avios per £1.  However, for tickets purchased before 31st October, this is doubled to 20 Avios per £1.  You would earn 1,080 Avios from a £54 return First Class ticket.

You cannot book cheaper Advanced Purchase tickets through the Avios site.  The only tickets available are fully flexible Standard and First Class.  Leisure travellers who have fixed travel plans and are booking over 14 days in advance will find better deals on the main site, even without any Avios.

PS.  You can credit Avios from Heathrow Express to BA, or Iberia Plus.  This is an easy way of activating a new Iberia Plus account, as you cannot transfer Avios in or out of Iberia until you have ‘earned’ 1 Avios point in the scheme.

Grand Hotel Montesol Ibiza Hilton Curio

A new ‘grown up’ Hilton hotel in Ibiza

If you enjoy the climate in Ibiza but don’t care much for the mass market hotels, Hilton has come to your rescue.

The Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza has joined Hilton’s Curio Collection of luxury independent hotels who have formed a marketing alliance with Hilton.  This allows you to book your stays via the Hilton website – and earn Hilton HHonors points – as well as redeeming.

Built in 1933 – it was actually the first hotel on Ibiza, photo above – the Montesol is an official ‘Property of Cultural Interest’.  In the heart of Ibiza, next to the harbour, it is on the edge of the ‘upper town’ World Heritage Site.

Full details are here.  It doesn’t come cheap – for a random date in October I saw rates of over €400 per night, which makes the 95,000 Hilton HHonors points required look OK.

My review of the InterContinental Geneva hotel
Why BA 'triple Avios' is worse than we thought
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. Couple of quicky questions please :
    1. Do individual BAEC accounts linked into a BAEC HH account “expire” ? ( I am trotting up miles easily but OH and 2 munchkins have minimal balances – all 2+ years ago since last addition ).
    2. If I dissolve said BAEC HH account, what happens to airmiles accrued ?
    3. Likewise, I have a Avios HH account but only with OH and myself in it (same 2 questions above)

    Tried to look answers up on respective sites but not clear – thanks.

    • 1. Yes. Expiry is based on the individual, not the household.

      2. If broken up, points stay with the individual who earned them. As kids can’t have individual BAEC accounts outside of a HH account you may risk losing points earned by the kids if you break up a BAEC HH account.

      3. Avios HH account is one number for the household so there is only the one expiry date.

      4. If you break up an Avios HH account you can choose how to allocate the points.

      • If you break up a BA HHA with kids, the Avios go to the parent and the kids accounts closed.

      • Q1. As far as BAEC household accounts are concerned, if the account includes a gold or silver member who has earned or redeemed in the previous 36 months then the balances of other members of the household account who have not earned or redeemed do not expire.

        Q2. When a BAEC HH account is dissolved, the avios of members who are under 18 pass to the account of the head of the HH account and the under 18s’ accounts are closed.

    • glad you raised Q1, Cuchlainn – I hadn’t even thought about it!

      Sunday Times Travel will have worked for us last week but I’d better bear that in mind for the future

      just out of interest, I broke up the previous HH a/c, grabbed all the points – then was able to re-start a new HH a/c within a few weeks – I think the rules say to wait 6 months but it seems this is not enforced

    • Thanks Tim, Rob and Harry.

  2. I’m pleased to see the price plummet once out of season to a much more reasonable Euro 135/night

  3. Sitting in Fairbanks Alaska waiting to check in to the Seattle flight, 9 hours behind London, there arent many comments yet, so to get the ball rolling:

    I don’t see how the Heathrow Express can charge such prices. From South London, the time it takes to get to Paddington means that the Piccadilly line is significantly more attractive. I dont think I would look at prices over £15 one way no matter how rich I was.

    • It depends where you’re coming from. I’ve only taken it once as just not that convenient for me. Bring on Crossrail. It’s uber today to LHR though

    • I think the answer is ‘because enough people will pay it’.

    • They can charge such prices because there are enough suckers who get drawn into the marketing speak – 15 minutes to Central London, they think, that’s great! As you say, if you then have to change to a tube or bus, dragging your luggage all the way, it doesn’t make it so great. And if you change to a taxi, then you’re much better off getting a taxi in the first place.

      • And also worth mentioning that for any more than one person to just about anywhere it’s often cost-effective to let uber or a private hire take the strain and get from door to door in comfort and stress free. There always seems to be someplace you can get an uber promotion these days, and they are IMO preferable to private hire as no risk of waiting time charges at airport. Anybody in the know does not use HE unless it works for them, the service is kept going at current fares simply because they rip off visitors. Then there’s heathrow connect that they do a good job of hiding from visitors.

        • HEX is good for consistency – I live in East London and work in the City and I value being able to accurately estimate the journey time pretty accurately meaning I can happily leave work around 2 1/2 hrs pre flight and arrive at LHR between T-90 and T-60. Plus anything to avoid the Piccadilly Line of slow torture, and an Uber all the way East can be quite expensive. Always book in advance where you can though, the 90 day advance fares for £5.50 are good value.

        • Simple Airport Transfers work for me – about £30 to SW London for 3 people plus luggage and no waiting charges. If I am staying near Paddington and have an early flight, HEX is the way forward, especially if you can plan ahead. Otherwise, avoid.

  4. I HEX a fair bit but I live in NW3 so it’s fairly convenient. If HBO I will occasionally take the tube depending on time of day. I’m just about to head to Hilton Mallorca from Madrid. I didn’t book HEX in advance this trip and we were flying midweek in the morning so I couldn’t use my railcard. Net result 2 standard walk on singles on HEX cost more than a cab from Heathrow Cars! Taxi it was then.

  5. What really gets me about HEX is the sales people as you walk out of customs offering “trains to to London”

    How many buy tickets then without knowing the options.

    At very least they should be forced to give the price of tube/taxi for reference.

    • In JFK there are huge posters clearly showing the subway price to Manhattan as $7.75 as you leave the airport.

  6. Hilton (redemption) feedback so only mildly OT.

    Realised Free Night certificate from HHonors Barclaycard rapidly reaching six months in age. Unable to use beforehand as in SA visiting family so would raise ire if booked into the local Hilton..

    Old threads suggest both that extension requests not to be relied upon and that US call centre usually more helpful (e.g. Happy to book stay for someone other).

    Rang up US line today who gave an expiry date 12 months from date of issue and happily made a booking for me..

    • I am currently in Sydney on the March Etihad sale, and used my HH Plat free night voucher last night for a room at the Sydney Hilton on the last weekend possible,

      Hotel Reception superb … ExpLained that the booking needed to be via US centre, which was fine booking from a seat in the foyer. US HQ forgot about the dateline and booked me a day back in time. Took some time to resolve but I ended up with a corner suite with a harbour view and enough points in compensation for the 1hr wasted to let me do it again next weekend.

      Cheers to R for the articles.

  7. Lloyds upgrade voucher query: I have a CPH to LHR coming up, 2 of us travelling. i bought the economy Plus fare because that flight is a connection (different booking/ANR) from non-BA flight, and the Plus allows me to select a later (or earlier) CPH flight if i’m on time or delayed. I have an expiring voucher that i might as well use to boost to CE for the two of us. Questio: Does that mean i will lose my flexibility? the T&Cs for a CE ticket bought with Avios in full seem to state that i am stuck with that flight, reagrdless of availability. (i’d need to pay service fees to change). is that really the case or can some of hte flexibility of hte original Plus booking somehow carry into my voucher-upgraded ticket? Thanks

    • Lloyds voucher is for use on reward (Avios) tickets only so you can’t use it on to upgrade your cash ticket I’m afraid

  8. O/T Bits: Apologies if anyones else has already reported this. Having made 5 sub £10 transactions using the Tesco PayQwiq App my 500 Clubcard Points Bonus posted 1st Sept.

    Knowing it works now and is posting its worth registering again with the OH’s card as there is still a good few weeks until the promo ends from memory (Oct?)

  9. OT: Hilton related. Finally made it to the Sa Torre Mallorca. Not overly impressed. See how it goes may improve – was told I would get “free breakfast” as a Diamond – er no that was included in the rate anyway. Could only upgrade me for 1 night out of the 7 – “Would you be happy to move rooms?” Er no – not for one night I would not – I’ll stick with what I booked. Staff all perfectly nice but….

    • Get down to the pool for a complete chill out and if your into running there’s s lovely little track next to the car park which is amazing at sundown.

      I disliked the property when I got there and left loving it. A week is a long stay there though.

      • Glad to see it’s a grower! I think there will be a lot of miles driven and a lot of beach time with this as a base.

  10. Michael Birchall says:

    I stayed at the Montesol a few times in the early 1980s as it was a ‘cheap’ but well located hotel that had single rooms. All the package holidays then went to Playa D’en Bossa or more usually San Antonio. Think I had to get a ‘flight only’ deal with Thomson, as LCCs didn’t exist. I absolutely loved the hotel’s location, but spent as little time as possible there as it was a very ‘tired and worn’ property. Memories eh!?!?