Bits: Plaza Premium lounge in T5 underway, Hilton sale on, 10000 new Avios seats

News in brief:

Plaza Premium lounge in Terminal 5 under construction!

As you can see from these two photographs, which I took yesterday, the new Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5 is now under construction.

Plaza Premium lounge Terminal 5 Heathrow

It is situated by Gate A7, which means it is in a parallel position to the Aspire lounge but at the north end of the terminal.   I have no idea how it is meant to hold the 175 seats promised by Plaza Premium – I can only assume it must wrap substantially around the back.

(The kids play area has been moved to Gate A2 if you were wondering.)

Lounge Club, free with Amex Gold, and Priority Pass, free with Amex Platinum or buy one direct, will presumably both be accepted for entry, given the usual Plaza Premium standards.

Plaza Premium lounge Heathrow Terminal 5

Hilton Summer sale now on

Hilton’s summer sale started yesterday with an exclusive preview sale for Hilton Honors members.

Until 19th June Hilton Honors members can book Europe and UK weekend stays at up to 25% off.

Included is for example the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice for £239 per night instead of £319 (the Hilton Honors changeable and refundable rate is £309).

That said, the 25% saving is on the Best Available Bed & Breakfast rate and is non refundable so it cannot be directly compared to a refundable rate.  These deals do usually offer a saving on the usual ‘advanced purchase’ rate however.  A full prepayment needs to be made at time of booking.

This rate is only available for weekend stays in the UK and Europe between 16th June and 8th October 2017.

If you aren’t a Hilton Honors member, yet you can sign up when booking your stay on this Hilton website.

HILTON PARIS OPERA

BA releases 10,000 Club World Avios seats over Christmas

British Airways sent an email out to some Executive Club members yesterday, but only a handful, to let them know that 10,000 additional Club World Avios seats have been released for travel over Christmas.

The dates covered are 18th December to 5th January.

10,000 Club World seats is more than 500 per day, so if you have tried and failed to find a suitable Christmas or New Year break destination it is worth having another look over at ba.com.

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Comments

  1. OT Apologies

    We are a family of 3 and have the two adults booked onto a 241 Amex over Xmas. However, we need to change that to 1 adult and 1 child.

    My understanding is that you cannot, under any circumstances, get the name changed, even when within the same family group.

    I also understand that there is no guarantee that BA will release the 2 seats immediately back to the pool for redemption.

    Thus, aside from taking a chance that they do release them back and timing it so that it is cancelled at say 4am UK time by using a foreign call centre to reduce the possibility of someone else beating me to the booking if they are released back, is there any other viable option to consider ?

    • Any reason you can’t phone up and book the child onto the same flight – explaining that the child will be accompanied by adults on the same booking?

      • Could do and the logic was to use the 241 to save on the higher adult fares and pay for the child separately but first, I don’t want to fly BA as they haven’t updated their 8 abreast in Club (no first) and the child cost at £2,612.87, when added to the £1050 “taxes” already paid and 165k Avios used doesn’t make sense versus the alternatives I have open.

        If we swap out one adult and put in the child the cost is still the £1050 plus 165k Avios but I can fly on a separate (better) carrier for less than the £2,612.87 child cost !

        Alternatively of course, we can get back the 165k Avios and £1050 (less 2 x £35) and go elsewhere.

        In truth, booked in haste when T355 and don’t fancy the “bang for buck” of a poor BA Club (largely for me !) over 12 hours.

        Wife and child going to try BA Club on another 241 in a few weeks as a trial as they would prefer direct but having reviewed the seating more, I simply won’t fly that configuration.

  2. Annoyingly the BA.Com Reward Flight Finder (ie the searchable map) seems to have been off line for at least 48 hrs

  3. Quark999 says:

    I think the lounge does “substantially wrap around the back” – it explains why there was boarding up when I last tried to make use of my favourite free quiet area in Terminal 5 – to the left behind Pret, no idea what gate that is. They had great comfortable chairs there and apron views, and no one knew they were there so they were usually empty.
    I knew it wouldn’t last in the madhouse that is T5. Luckily I got a Priority Pass when there was a sale on…

  4. OT

    Re BA buy on board, can you use avois from the household account or does it have to be from your personal account?

    (can the other half buy a G&T using my points as we are on the same household account? but she has a minimal amount of points)

    • Chris, if you have HHA, then a portion of avios are removed from both your accounts, regardless who wins them! So you would have to break up the account to stop OP using up your avios…good luck with that!

      • A BOB Avios purchase only takes Avios from the account of the person purchasing (from my own experience).

  5. Where has the searchable map gone? It doesn’t appear to be in the menu’s any more

  6. Glad there is another lounge opening at T5 the Aspire lounge had a 30 minute waiting list when I was there the other day!!

  7. Kilburnflyer says:

    Unfortunately the additional avios seats released in J have not included the LHR-YVR route before/after Christmas period. In fact, the availability seems to have decreased. Think I’ll have to book LHR-SEA then catch train up to Vancouver, not the worst compromise but means I’ll miss out on the new CX lounge @ T3 and also flying upper deck on 747 :/

    • And SEA’s British Airways lounge leaves quite a bit to be desired (very minimal). Just back from there, actually took a seaplane from Seattle to Victoria BC then ferry to Vancouver BC, just for fun (and something different)

    • And you should be able to fly upper deck to SEA on the 747, I did last week, 64A which I don’t recommend (too near the noisy galley)

      • kilburnflyer says:

        Unfortunately it looks like they’ve switched both SEA flights to 777 from early November-ish. Certainly all of December flights to/from SEA seem to be operated by 777.

        • BA52/53 (morning from LHR, lunchtime from SEA) seems to be a 777 over the summer. BA48/49 (later departure from LHR, evening from SEA) is mostly 747s.

          We are flying out on BA53 in F (777) and back on BA48 which in CW upstairs. Looks like ours is a refurbished one as it has the 80-odd seats.

          When we booked our August trip almost a year ahead it was all 777s (one of the flights was a newer 777-300, for a bit at least) but equipment swaps came through early this year. You might be similarly lucky.

  8. Simon Schus says:

    I booked a £1 one way car rental with Europcar, using the deal mentioned on HfP every so often (there is an article).

    Does anybody know the likely car that one would get? I presume it is based on what needs moving but I though perhaps some cars are more likely than others.

  9. OT sorry): anyone know the Emirates points required for the box at the Emirates Stadium for Category C and Category B games? Just planning a trip next season. Thanks in advance.

  10. AndyGWP says:

    re: Hilton – but re: the Barclaycard Hilton free night, is it fully refundable / cancellable?

    • It should be – I have never heard of anyone having a problem, put it that way.

      PS. It is raining in New York. It NEVER rains when I’m in New York :-)

  11. Moktar says:

    OT:
    Upgraded from Amex Gold to Platinum via secure message route. Got offered 10K points with no spend requirement. I am now trying to enroll my hotel accounts for the status update. However, on the enrolment page, its giving me the following error:
    “Sorry, Hilton Worldwide have been unable to process your enrolment request. This normally happens because there is already a member registered with the email provided or, if applicable, the existing Hilton Honors membership number is incorrect. Please provide an alternative email address or your existing Hilton Honors membership number and re-submit your request.”

    Am I not supposed to match existing account details into this form? Receiving the same error for SPG as well.

    • What are you trying to do? The hotel upgrades need to be done via americanexpress.co.uk/platinum where there is a special form. You give your existing member number on that form.

      • Moktar says:

        Hi Rob,
        I am trying to upgrade my existing accounts with Hilton and SPG. I think I am on the same form as you are referring to. On the form where Amex asks for personal data which they will pass onto hotel chain, I have exactly the same details as my hotel profile. But on submission, the form gives me an error and states that there is already a member registered with the same email address or membership number (which is obviously me!)
        I thought Amex upgrades my existing hotel accounts rather than create new ones?
        Thanks for your help.

    • Mzungu says:

      Thanks – just received the same offer (10K with no spend requirement) via secure message. Last week I tried the same by phone, and was turned down flat.

  12. JamesB says:

    OT amex travel offer (£50 credit on £200): Received this offer after upgrading my PRG to platinum. Just curious if other HFP readers are managing to squeeze any value out of this offer? My first effort was flights from Edinburgh to Dublin for a weekend break but same flights on Stobbart Air are ca.£76 each way versus £47 on Aer Lingus web site (and just for info £93 at BA!). Second effort was car hire in Thailand but price almost double that which can be obtained by calling avis direct in Thailand. Chain hotels seemed pointless given status benefits and points are unlikely so I tried a few independent or local chain hotels in Thailand. Prices were more comparable than flights or car hire but difference small when considering cashback, value of Kaligo points etc elsewhere. Am I missing something obvious or is it generally difficult to get value out an amex travel offer?

    • You need to book a long-haul flight (I always book my ex-EUs via Amex Travel) or use an airline which sells the same tickets via OTAs as it does on its own website – mainly Star Alliance but not LH group, i.e. SK, A3 in Europe.

      BA and friends only sell their cheapest booking classes directly.

    • I got a great Genoa hotel deal, where it was already on sale (about £30/night cheaper than hotel’s own website) and the £50 as a bonus!

    • JamesB says:

      Thanks guys, the offef still has two weeks to go so I’ll keep looking for something interesting.

    • Louise says:

      Experiences seem to be good value,
      I am looking at booking boat tour and A few other things for trip to Boston

  13. Wally1976,
    Thank you very much for the link, greatly appreciated.

  14. As usual, it’s worth taking the Hilton “sale” with a large pinch of salt. Prices for Hilton Berlin in September are coming up over EUR100 more expensive (per night!) than when I booked them 2 weeks ago at a fully refundable advanced HH rate.

  15. Andrew H says:

    Groupon.es alert! The 2000 avios packs for 19 euros are back again!

    They are only there for a limited time – do not dawdle if you want one. I repeat, do not dawdle!

    Don’t forget to go via Iberia Store who are offering 10 avios per euro spent.

    These 2000 packs were initially available the Friday before the Tesco ink error, but someone in Groupon made a titanic mistake and allowed unlimited purchases on those packs. Everyone was too busy with the ink to be disappointed. I managed to bag a pack on Monday morning when they were very briefly available and got the avios in my account today (so it took nine days).

    Instructions for anyone new to the Groupon game:

    Once you’ve made your purchase, it will show up in your Groupon purchase list after a few minutes (you should get an email to confirm that the Avios are ready).
    Click the green button and you will be taken to a new page to get the Avios.

    On the left side there should be a green button underneath a picture of an Iberia plane. Click the button and a pdf file will open in a new tab. At the top left there should be a security code and a coupon code. You will need these codes so make a note of them (ignore the ‘ref’ code).

    Towards the bottom of the previous page, there’s a set of instructions. In the first paragraph there should be a small link. Click it, and you’ll be taken to a new page with some fields to fill in.

    Add the security code, the coupon code, your email address, click the tick box, and hit the ‘validate coupon’ button. It may not work first time, and will just reload the page – this always happens for me. It will eventually work, just be patient. On the second attempt, it worked and took me to a new page asking for my Iberia Plus number. Enter it, hit the button, and you should get a confirmation message on the next page – your avios will be uploaded in 15 days.

  16. Andrew H says:

    The direct link is https://www.groupon.es/deals/avios-group-iag if you don’t want to faff with Iberia Store.

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