Bits: BA bed bugs, Amex Plat Waldorf and Conrad offer, Thistle launches free breakfast

News in brief:

BA bed bugs story – does it have legs?

Metro had a story on Monday about a Canadian family who were apparently ‘attacked by bed bugs’ when they flew with British Airways from Vancouver to London.

You can read it here.

The whole story is suitably vague, not even mentioning where on the plane the passengers were sitting.  (Can they be bed bugs if they are not in a bed?!)   On the way back, they were apparently given “the best seats on the plane” without actually explaining where they were either.

Interestingly, the quote from BA is that “reports of bed bugs onboard are extremely rare.”  Not “unknown”, just “extremely rare”.  Which is comforting.

British Airways 787

American Express launches Conrad and Waldorf-Astoria offer

Amex has launched a new offer for Platinum charge card holders.  Until 20th December, you will receive either a ‘3rd night free’ or ‘4th night free’ at participating Conrad and Waldorf-Astoria hotels.

These properties are all part of the Amex ‘Fine Hotels & Resorts’ scheme.  This means that you will also receive free breakfast, guaranteed 4pm late check-out, an extra amenity (usually $100 of food and beverage credit) and a room upgrade subject to availability at check-in.

You will earn Hilton Honors points and stay credit as usual, even though you need to book via American Express Travel.  (Emyr Thomas, our luxury hotel booking partner – details here – can also book ‘Fine Hotels & Resorts’ stays for Platinum cardholders if you find it easier just to ping him an email.)

Participating hotels are:

‘3rd night free’ – Conrad Seoul, Conrad Tokyo (review), Waldorf Astoria Beijing (review), Waldorf Astoria Park City

‘4th night free’ – Waldorf Astoria hotels in Arizona Biltmore, Boca Raton, Case Marina, Rome, Versailles, Berlin, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dubai, Panama, Ras al Khaimah (review); Conrad hotels in Koh Samui, Maldives (review)

Thistle Hotels launches free breakfast

As their latest salvo in the ‘book direct’ war, Thistle Hotels has launched free breakfast for everyone who books directly via their website.

This would stack with the current Amex cashback deal of £35 cashback when you spend £100 at Thistle.  Details of that offer are in this article.

If you’re looking for a Heathrow hotel, remember that the Thistle Heathrow – whilst not being the smartest hotel at the airport – lets you access the driverless pods in the adjacent car park for £5, letting you glide effortlessly into Terminal 5 in the morning!

(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.)

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  1. Is anyone else having problems with the new Amex website? For three days now I’ve tried to transfer Mr Cate’s MR points to SPG and the system just won’t allow me to, saying we have to phone up and ask. The DD for the annual fee is due soon and I’m wondering what’s going on….

    • Have u done it before? Used to get that error when it doesn’t recognise the SPG number- have to put 4 zeros in?

    • Peter K says:

      Have you tried putting 0000 in front of his SPG number? I transferred my wife’s earlier this week and the arrived 2 days later!

      • Unfortunately it won’t let me get to the page to put 0000 in. Will phone tonight and see what the problem is.

        • Spoke to Amex and apparently we have to wait up to 14 days for SPG to confirm we’re with them, then we can start the trf process.

    • I had the same issue trying to set up a link to Club Carlson – just phoned up and the agent did it in no time.

  2. OT : Teenage child now has a school trip first 8 days of June, so the Mrs and I are looking at a week somewhere alone – found good deals using the 2 for 1 and avios to Dubai etc but it is Ramadan.

    Has anyone any experience of being in Dubai when Ramadan is on? If so is it harder to eat and drink generally that it makes the trip generally less fun?

    • Most places won’t serve alcohol until after sunset although you can usually get it in your room. Eating places in malls etc. will be closed during the day also. The weather will be awful too.

      • Cheers – appreciate it’ll be hot but even being northern I’m ok with that. Might look elsewhere.

        • I’m northern too. It isn’t the heat it’s the humidity that’ll get you. Italian Lakes are good then. Oman is so much better than plastic Dubai anyway!

        • Oman is on the list, just need to persuade her indoors!

        • the real harry1 says:

          why would you go somewhere horrible/ disgusting like Dubai in June? mid-winter I can understand, it’s nearby-ish heat out of season (if nothing else)

          but in June you have all the wonders of Europe to explore, best continent in the world & on your doorstep

  3. Quick OT query on (BA) Amex Offers.

    I saved the 500 Avios points for £10 spend as an offer. Two weeks ago a fuel purchase triggered the 500 points. Today I’ve bought an item from Tesco Direct and it appears to have triggered a further 500 points.

    I’m guessing they are coded as two different merchants by Amex.

    Are Tesco Supermarkets and Tesco Local also coded as two further merchants and thus potentially triggerable for 500 Avios?

    • the real harry1 says:

      certainly worth a try…

      I have this as well so will go get £5 of fuel to see (x2)

      • the real harry1 says:

        £10 rather (x2)

      • CountryKerry says:

        Have your credits for the Esso offer been added yet?

        I had the 2 unlimited use £5 offers for Esso. I hit a Tesco merged with Esso for £600 in gift vouchers and the credit was added in one go as £120 a few days later, but when I hit a standard Esso hard for paypoint transactions – £900 – all the emails came through instantly but no credits…

        Not sure I want to phone Amex just yet!

        • the real harry1 says:

          just sounds like you got 2x the first time – nothing the second time, probably the outlet not reconised

          I am getting 3x so £15 off £50

  4. For what it’s worth, I once had to have the exterminator round to deal with bed bugs. His #1 piece of advice for avoiding a bedbug infestation again? Don’t sit on public transport. Buses, London Underground…he said he’d rather stand in an empty carriage. They hitch a ride on clothing into the seats, apparently, and those seats never get cleaned, let alone bedbug-proofed.

  5. I stay with Hilton evey week for at least 3 nights. I never book through Amex Travel as I assume I would not get points or diamond benefits – I know this is true for expedia, etc. But your article seems to suggest otherwise. So if I book through Amex travel will I get the food credit and my usual points and diamond benefits?

    • I’ve read varying reports for non-FHR stays through Amex Travel – might be worth trying one on a cheaper stay to see though?

    • These are Fine Hotels & Resorts properties – that is the difference. You ALWAYS get points via FHR bookings.

      • Rob, so when booking a Hilton hotel, is it better to go via AMEX travel if the price is the same? Along with status benefits and points, you get the $100 credit too?

        • For the hotels on the list above, yes. You will be paying the Best Flex rate – no Advanced Purchase discounts.