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Bits: Yotel / Virgin partnership, my trip next Easter, 50% off Hilton points

News in brief:

Yotel / Virgin Atlantic partnership

Last weekend I ran an article outlining hotels chains which do not give Avios but which do give Virgin Flying Club miles.

I mentioned Yotel.  According to the Virgin Atlantic site, you only earn Flying Club miles at the new Yotel property in New York.

This appears to be a mistake.  If you visit the Yotel website here, it says:

YOTELAIR: 100 miles for a single stay of any duration, day or night for Gold, Silver and Red Flying Club members, Choose from our hotels at Heathrow, Gatwick, Amsterdam Schiphol, and Paris Charles de Gaulle airport hotels. 

A HFP reader confirmed to me that he has received Virgin miles for a stay at Gatwick.  The only rule is that you must have booked via the Yotel website.  Even booking with Yotel via the telephone does not count.

Yotel has also partnered with Flying Blue, the KLM / Air France programme – details via the same link.

yotel-gatwick

Our Easter holiday

Whilst I do tend to say to people that you shouldn’t rely on being able to get the redemptions you want over peak holiday periods, I have been lucky.

Last Easter we got 4 Club World to Abu Dhabi and 4 First Class back from Dubai.  We got the same over October half term.

And, this week, I managed to get Easter 2017 lined up.

I must be honest and say that I couldn’t do it exactly as I wanted.  My wife wanted to visit Japan.  What we have ended up doing is 4 x Club World to Hong Kong and 4 x First Class back from Beijing, where we will visit a friend of my wife who is working there.  In between we will pop over to Japan for a week.

These were peak Easter flights, with the return being Easter Sunday, using 2 x British Airways American Express 2-4-1 vouchers.

That said, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for any aggressive Qatar Airways ex-Europe sales early next year.  The taxes and charges for the BA flights came to £2,150 so if I can buy four revenue tickets for under £4,000 – which would also virtually guarantee BA Silver for the entire family including the kids – I will cancel and rebook.  I will also keep an eye on the Tokyo flights and drop the Beijing leg if a direct return opens up.

All I need to do now is sort out the intra-Asian flights, but with both Cathay Pacific and JAL being Avios partners that shouldn’t be a major issue.

Conrad Maldives restaurant

Buy Hilton HHonors points

Hilton HHonors has launched another ‘buy points’ deal.

Until 5th December, you will receive a 50% discount on purchases of 10,000+ points.  The maximum purchase is 160,000 points which will cost you $800.

You would be paying 0.5c per point if you bought the maximum, which is roughly what I value a Hilton point at.  You won’t lose any money on this deal and, if you redeem for higher value properties – such as the 5,000 point Category 1 or 10,000 point Category 2 hotels, or a luxury redemption such as Conrad Maldives (reviewed here, photo of their underwater restaurant above), you will do nicely.

The page to buy Hilton points is here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Bits: good SPG auction ends today, third runway to destroy BA HQ, new Gatwick route
SAVE THE DATE: HFP Christmas party, Tuesday 6th December!
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Comments

  1. Yeah I was chuffed to get First tickets to SEA and back club from SFO for a family of 4 over Easter. There has been a surprising amount of inventory popping up..especially on the new BA OAK route.

  2. At one point does it show the discount? I am at the page where its asking my card details but still showing full price?

  3. Is the other HHilton buy points offer still running too ? Not that I’m after any in particular. That was 100% bonus was it ?

  4. Cathay has a regional business class on some Asian routes I discovered during my research, but if you opt for a 3-class 777 or A330 you should get a flat bed.

    I spent 20000 Avios and about £15 in taxes each way to get from HKG-ICN and back in business this summer and consider this my best value redemption, certainly the one I enjoyed the most! Plus you get the Hong Kong lounge crawl option!

    • Mmm love those lounges.

    • Gavin,

      Could you elaborate on ‘lounge crawl’? What are the options?

      Cheers,
      Andrew

      • As a BA silver / J ticket holder you have access to The Wing / Bridge / Pier Cathay lounges plus a few other I didn’t find which all put Galleries to shame in terms of food, drink and showers / washing facilities.

        There are also two F lounges I believe.

    • Cathay use a mix of regional and international business class cabins on the same routes, so always worth checking the seat map prior to choosing a flight. They also sometimes switch the planes and put on a 4 class aircraft – got to sit in First Class seat 1A on a business class ticket for a flight from KUL – Hong Kong (still business class food and drink).

  5. Reviewing BA 241 options to Asia as BKK is very infrequently available, I was surprised how many redemptions there were available to Tokyo. As I used to live there and wish to return for a visit some day, I hope this continues.

    • I’m at BKK now having flown business ex oslo for less than £700 return each. wasn’t impressed that QR ran out of champagne AND chardonnay within 1 hr of take off!

      • When they say ‘ran out’ what they mean is they are keeping the remaining booze for the return flight, but then again perhaps they saw how little you paid!

      • BA are no better – ran out of champagne 2h into a 9h daytime flight to MCO. I suspect it’s another move from Cruz to cut costs – just load less fizz!

      • Drink the cognac then! Surely the best booze on board if it’s the Camus XO.

  6. I’m heading to Japan at the end of March, coming back early April. The agro I had to go through getting 2 seats in Business with BA was my first experience of a long haul club return. I booked the outbound at the 355-day point and planned originally to return on the 8th, I phoned as soon as they opened and all flights from both Tokyo airports had gone. Tried again then next day, same again, ended up with the last available at the third attempt. It was a good job I’d allowed a few extra days leave to accommodate this.

  7. My query is how to use the Amex 2-4-1 vouchers on open jaw tickets as per Rob above? The BA website allows for point to point redemptions only using the voucher and not multi – dest; does this need to be done over the phone?

    • Laura – it’s fairly easy
      You can book the outbound online (~1am when flights released for T-355), next day phone customer services to say you’ll add return flights when released; then, on appropriate day phone customer services (about 6.30am I think) and ask to add the return leg…

      • …. or ring an overseas call centre at midnight !

        • Simon Abrahams says:

          +1

          Did this last month myself on a 2-4-1. Called US call centre when UK was closed in order to book return leg: managed to add J (NRT-LHR) to an already booked F (LHR-HND), itself a J upgrade made over the phone when F space latterly opened up (thank you AwardNexus :)). Pre-upgrade J (LHR-HND) initially booked at +355.

          Rob — I will miss you by one week in Japan, it seems! As I used to live in Japan, happy to pass on any tidbits if useful. :)

      • You don’t even need to call them to say you will be adding a return the day after booking outbound – can just call up for the return and able to add it on – did this a couple of weeks ago.

    • Wayne Phillips says:

      Yes, on the phone. The two long legs need to be longer than the open jaw leg

  8. Can anyone advise why the Hilton points purchase page states: ‘You can buy up to 80,000 more Points this year.’?

    I have not purchased any points before. Thanks

  9. The Hilton offer must be targeted – I can’t see it anyway!

  10. I have pretty much the same holiday booked for Easter as well for our family. Going out to Beijing, over to Tokyo on JAL for just over a week and back via Beijing (making use of the 72 hour none visa transit in Beijing each way).

    • I am a bit worried about all the flights with the kids – may tweak the itinerary later!

    • We are using the MAN to PEK Hainan airlines route to Beijing.

      Now my next issue to try to find cheap(ish) accommodation in Japan. I am hoping the yen rate improves (it has a little recently). Beijing seems to have lots of cheap options for good hotels.

      There doesn’t seem to be that many of the international hotel chains hotels in Japan (especially outside Tokyo). There also doesn’t seem to be many family rooms in China/Japan. What are your plans for accommodation in Japan? We are planning on heading south on the Bullet train (Japan 7 day rail pass) down to Kyoto/Hiroshima and possibly down to Fukuoka/Kumamoto area before heading back to Tokyo.

      • We stayed in Hotel Monterey Ginza, nice area close to metro. And later in trip Ibis shinjuku. Neither are luxury but decent price and enjoyed both stays with no problems.

      • Colleague at work recommended Japan Rail’s own hotel company JR Hotel Group, prices were reasonable and hotels are well located.

      • I lived in Fukuoka for a couple of years so if you’re coming to the HfP drinks, happy to offer some advice.

        • Also – we were in Beijing in September just gone and stayed at the New World Hotel – not part of a chain (I don’t believe) but excellent hotel, excellent room, great food and excellent lounge. And was an absolute bargain!

      • We stayed in several of the MyStays properties back in August. It’s a surprisingly good “business hotel” chain with comfortable rooms, more free toiletries than anyone’s likely to need and complementary pyjamas that may be amusingly too small. The one in Kanazawa has standard rooms bigger that most anywhere else in the world.
        Hotel Sunroute Hiroshima was good, ask for a room facing the river and you overlook the Peace Park and get a view of the A-Bomb Dome further up the river.

  11. Went Tokyo in the spring using 241, used avios on JAL business Tokyo to Beijing and then used the return leg of 241 back to London. Preferred JAL experience, crew much better, BA crew seemed to have an attitude even towards the business travellers in first.

    Oh and my luggage was left in Beijing, and BA literally didn’t give a flying f…!!!!!

    Amazing holiday though.

  12. Still just showing as confirmed for me (which was at least a step forward a month or so ago!) – here’s hoping they move to payable soon!

    Overall I’m still finding Quidco have offered more helpful support and are more willing to underwrite things if the retailers mucks you about, but I do still make use of both of them.

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