Bits: eTA mandatory when travelling to Canada, £100 winner, Hilton sale link

News in brief:

Get your eTA before travelling to Canada – and BA issues for permanent residents

Canada has changed their entry requirements.

Since 10th November most passengers travelling to Canada need an eTA to enter the country, even if they are just transiting. You can check on this website whether you need an eTA.

This new requirement has caused issues with the BA online check in system.

As BA currently doesn’t have the option for Canadian residents to enter their permanent residency details when booking a flight, passengers who have a permanent resident permit and therefore do not need an eTA will receive a ‘eTA needed’ response when checking in online.

For now the only way of dealing with this is to check in at the airport in person …..

Heathrow parking

£100 Heathrow shopping voucher

On Monday we ran a one day competition in association with Heathrow Airport Parking.

Official Heathrow Parking is the dedicated airport parking service run directly by Heathrow Airport letting you park as near as 45 metres from the terminals!

To promote their services, one lucky reader could win £100 of Heathrow shopping vouchers, valid at any participating shop, restaurant or bar at Heathrow Airport.

And the winner is …………….. drum roll ………………….

Graham Peel. Congratulations and have fun spending the £100 Heathrow shopping voucher.

You can find out more about Official Heathrow Parking here.


Corrected link for the Hilton sale

For the benefit of our email readers, there was a dead link in our article on the new Hilton sale on Wednesday.  The special landing page for the new Hilton sale is here.

As a reminder, whilst it is nominally called the Winter Sale, you can book for any weekend between now and the end of 2017.  The sale offers a discount of up to 30% off the standard Best Available Rate if you are a Hilton HHonors member, albeit that sale rates require prepayment and are non-refundable.  You receive a smaller discount (25%) if you are not logged in.

This offer is for all Hilton Group hotels, including Hampton, Conrad, Waldorf-Astoria etc, in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

(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. This hilton sale is slightly dubious with all of the dates I need to decide on going up in price.. it’s a swizz ….

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      The ASA love hearing about this sort of thing – takes under five minutes to complain online. You’ll get a case worker who will investigate (require Hilton to substantiate the savings) and keep you up to speed and ultimately Hilton get a rather public telling off if the ‘savings’ are found to be misleading.

    • The Hilton 30% sales are generally a joke. I’m sure there are some bargains but I bet in general prices are more or less the same today as they were last week.

      • The last sale that was on I got a cheaper room later a few weeks after it’d finished for the same date next Spring. I guess they have a room booking release system like airline seats, + so many different advanced rates vs “sale” rates

  2. Does anybody know the rate code for the hilton sale so we can use it via the app for triple points and 5000 visa bonus? Thanks.

    • In my experience, you don’t need a special code for Hilton sales – the rates tend to appear on the normal booking page as an option, unlike with IHG or Accor. Not sure if that applies this time – check it out on the app and see.

  3. …slightly OT: any idea if there will be an IHG winter sale? – there’s usually a ‘flash sale’ at the beginning of Nov.

  4. As this is Bits…Very off topic, but it will impact probs 20% of readers or spouses, assuming you’ve all seen the 3 – Three Mobile hack?

    Nothing on their own website or FB page, not a great day to work in their Customer Services…–six-million-customers-private-data-at-r/

    • Fortunately, in the UK you don’t need to give lots of personal information to get a mobile phone… but I bet Mrs May wants to change this.

  5. Does this stack with the ‘5000 points for paying by Visa’ promo? The terms for that promo state:

    “This offer may not be combined with other select promotions, offer or discounts…”

    Somewhat vague.

    • Can’t see it being an issue TBH, as long as you pre-register for the Visa one and use the app I can’t see them minding which rate you pick. It’s not like there’s a special promo code for the sale.

  6. Wally1976 says:

    OT – anyone any thoughts on when/if Amex might do another Holiday Extras statement credit (usually 15%)? I’m waiting to book some airport parking! Thanks

  7. Georges Pharand says:

    A word of warning to people who hold dual nationality (UK-Canada), you will NOT be able to obtain an eTA on your British passport if you also hold Canadian citizenship. Those people can only enter Canada with their Canadian passport. Therefore if you happen to have an expired Canadian passport and think you can travel on your British passport, you’d be stuck here.

    • the real harry says:

      how do they know you have an expired Canadian passport? if there is a nationality question you could presumably truthfully just put down UK

      • It specifically asks if you have any other nationalities and gets you to list them so you’d still have to tell them!

        • the real harry says:

          perhaps you forgot you were born in Ottawa?

        • Lol personally I tend not to take risks forgetting key details for immigration. Although when Aussie visa folk wanted to know everywhere I’d visited in the last 10 years I did probably miss out a few European countries but that’s because without stamps in the passport it can be difficult to quite remember!

        • the real harry says:

          anybody got a good reason why UKBA doesn’t check us all in & out? just the cost?

        • Dunno, they’re slow enough on the way back in so glad that’s the only time. Given most places seem to need you to add your passport number to your booking I’m not sure it would add much though anyway…

    • Well, it’s not true that you must use a valid Canadian passport to enter Canada – you can still use a different passport plus an expired Canadian passport, citizen card, or even your old PR card to enter Canada – but airlines will not let you fly to Canada without an eTA which you rightly say citizens cannot get.

      If you don’t want to renew your Canadian passport then the only option would be to fly to the USA with your VWP-eligible passport and travel overland.

  8. OT
    We have an Amex statement credit offer for Whole Food Market, mostly in London but there is one in Cheltenham. Excellent food etc. so expensive but £10 back when you spend £40.

    I also notice that Gloucester Service on M5 (Southbound only?) is on Shop Small. Nothing like any other motorway services. High quality food and other goods if you are in that area especially if, like me, you have got a bundle of cards to use.

    • RussellH says:

      Gloucester Services on M5 is owned by Tebay Services on the northern M6, north of Kendal, roughly where the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales meet.

      Long-established family firm who also farm the area and have run the services at Tebay ever since they opened. They recently branched out onto the M5.

      Lost of gourmet stuff. Note that the offerings northbound and southbound are rather different. Southbound seels a lot of high class Scottish produce, for the benefit of those driving south from Scotland who have forgotten to buy Scottish goodies to take home.

      And yes, Tebay Services are on shop small.

      • Is this the same as Tebay truck stop? I have not been in for years but have fond memories of awesone food there, could not pass it. We planned our trips times around a stop there to avoid the horrendous fare on offer at the mzjor service centres.

        • RussellH says:

          No, I do not think so.

          IIRC the Tebay Truck Stop is just off the M6 by the Tebay exit, Tebay Services are apparently a typical motorway service area, run by Westmoreland Ltd. . You only notice the difference once you are inside. Gloucester Services is described on the latter website.

        • RussellH says:

          Just checked – the Tebay Truck Stop is now under the same ownership and named J38 Services.

          The family have also just taken over Cairn Lodge Services in Douglas on the M74. I must check it out next time I pass – it used not to be somewhere to recommend!

  9. OT. My wife and I each have 2,000 Melia points coming up for expiry in the next few months. got them when we signed up to Melia and got Melia gold with Amex Plat. What can we do with them? Can they be combined (transferred) to go towards something meaningful?

    • Can use them to save (maybe €40?) on a Melia booking, that’s about it I think. Bonus Melia points can’t be transferred out though they do seem to use them first against hotel bookings if you have a mix of bonus and earned points. Default airline option is transfer to Iberia who give twice the value cf BA, but think you can also send them to Miles and More

  10. Scallder says:

    Put the 10th digit in the second box – number of people have had the same issue

    • than you – that’s why I love this forum – peer to peer help!

      • You are likely too late for the bonus Mark as you normally cannot transfer for 72h after updating payment details. However, still worth trying, IIRC I got an email asking me to verify changes last time and I was able to payout immediately aftef doing so.

  11. OT – apologies – somebody posted some time ago about switching an Amex offer from one card to another. I’ve tried searching for this, but can’t find it. Is anybody able to remind me how it works, if it works? Thanks.

      • the real harry says:

        ie I’ve been having a play with the links on Amex offers. If you want to use an offer on more cards than it’s offered, or they offer it to you on the wrong card…
        If you hover over the “Save to card” buttons you’ll see the offers on each card share part of the link address “sorted_index=5”, the number being unique to each card. If you have an offer on card 4 say, but want it on card 5, copy the link from card 4, paste it in your URL bar and change the 4 to a 5 before hitting go.
        The webpage will probably error, but if you navigate back to card 5 you should see the offer appears to be saved under “My Offers”.
        I haven’t actually follower this through yet to confirm the offer credits. I have “massaged” the Starbucks offer on to another card so will give it a try when I can!

        I might try to get the Naked Wines offer onto 2 more cards 🙂

  12. William PH says:

    OT – Sunday Times Travel Magazine 4500 missing Avios

    After raising a case and waiting a few weeks, I’ve ust received an e-mail from the Sunday Times:

    Dear Subscriber,
    Thank you for subscribing to the Sunday Times Travel Magazine
    Your unique subscriber reference is {removed]
    We are writing to advise you that we are experiencing some delays in processing the Avios points that were included on our promotional offer.
    We are working hard with our partners and will update you very soon. Please accept our apologies for this delay
    Kind regards,
    The Sunday Times Travel magazine

    • I got the same email today after chasing 3 times. Harry reported the other day that ST ran out of avios as the offer was too generous. Allegedly they are negotiating to buy more. It’s not really ok to take the subscription payment in full and not deliver the points at the same time. If I don’t get the points by Christmas I may request a cancel and refund for breach of terms.

  13. OT: anyone know of reward credit cards for people in the Republic of Ireland? I am trying to introduce a friend across the pond to my hobby

    • In theory there will be an Aer Club American Express at some point.

    • For immediate options right now, they could get a UK Amex issued ICC card working in Euro. (Gold, Plat or Green).

      But with the AerClub launch so imminent, I’d be tempted to hold for now.

      I would expect there might ever be the potential for to launch in Ireland (in addition to UK and South Africa).

      Final though would be that I’m sure there will be a lot of customer pressure on Tesco Ireland to support Irish Clubcard transfers into Avios at AerClub.

      • I was told by someone VERY senior in Avios that the recent Amex / IAG contract includes Ireland, and indeed a Vueling card in Spain.

        Is is still the case that Irish residents – if they can get a UK Clubcard – can earn points at the Irish stores which they would then be able to send to BA? There was a time when Irish Tesco stores earned points in the UK scheme.

  14. A colleague of mine got told he needed an ETA by the BA website when checking in with a Canadian passport…

  15. the real harry says:

    tearjerker – Coming Home for Christmas | Heathrow Airport

  16. Thanks for the reminder, Raffles – upcoming Lloyds voucher trip to Canada and had forgotten this requirement had now become active!

    C$7 for 5 years isn’t too bad but quite a faffy form compared to the ESTA!

    • So not simply a self declaration that you’re not terrorist nor were involved in Nazi war crimes?