Bits: Concorde Room side door reopens, LATAM deals to Latin America, IHG 15-year bonus

News in brief:

The Terminal 5 Concorde Room magic door reopens!

When British Airways opened The First Wing at Terminal 5 earlier this year (review here), they simultaneously closed the direct entrance into The Concorde Room by the South security channel.

(The Concorde Room – reviewed here – is the lounge for ticketed First Class passengers, Gold Guest List members with 5000 tier points and Premier Executive Club members only.)

The First Wing actually made life harder for Concorde Room visitors as they had to use the First Wing, walk through Galleries First, leave Galleries First and then walk down to the Concorde Room side entrance.  Staff have been saying that a group of senior BA executives, who have Concorde Room access, visited recently and were unhappy with the new arrangement, so the side door has returned.

And, if you’re using the First Wing, the honeymoon seems to be over at peak times as the photo below shows:


New LATAM business class deals to Latin America

LATAM has launched some attractive business class fare to Latin America.

Remember that LATAM in a oneworld member.  This means that you earn British Airways tier points and Avios when you fly with them as long as you add your BA number to the booking.

Headline prices are (all flights involve changing in Santiago or Sao Paulo):

  • London to Rio, £1560 return
  • London to Sao Paulo, £2020 return
  • London to Buenos Aires, £1650 return
  • London to Salvador Bahia, £1560 return
  • London to Curitiba, £1560 return
  • London to Porto Alegre, £1560 return
  • London to Santiago de Chile, £1620 return
  • London to Asuncion, £1630 return
  • London to Montevideo, £1630 return

Here is our review of LATAM’s Boeing 787 business class, when we flew it from Madrid to Frankfurt earlier this year.  You are likely to be on a 777 which has similar seats.

These deals can be booked here.  You must be 9th July, book at least 31 days before you travel and stay at least 5 nights or a Saturday night.  Blackout dates apply to each route.

IHG 15 years

IHG giving out bonuses on your 15th anniversary!

Finally, a reader sent me an email he had received from IHG Rewards Club to thank him for being a member of the programe for 15 years.

It’s good to see this sort of data being tracked.  As a present, he was offered triple base points on a selected day during the next three months.

What was good about the offer was that it did not activate until the reader clicked a link.  This means that he can hold it back for a higher value stay rather than being stuffed if his next trip is a £39 overnighter at a Holiday Inn Express!

(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.)

Thinking caps on - how can you maximise Carlson's 'free Fridays' promo?
My review of the Park Inn hotel, Southend on Sea
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  1. Kevin says:

    Gold Guest List members are not all able to use the Concorde Room. They can on joining the GGL level which requires 5,000TPs but can renew at 3,000TPs so would then lose their Concorde Room card but retain GGL status in subsequent years.

  2. Typical of BA. Doesn’t matter what crap passengers receive but you can’t upset the executives on their free “bump commercial passenger” tickets. You can tell they never fly anything other than first or CE as if the did you would not have BOB or cramped world.
    I used First wing the day it opened and coincidentally my last day as a Gold card holder. It was the day of the PR stunt and I commented at the time that i had never seen so many staff at every stage of the process. It was never going to last.

  3. Beefy says:

    RE: IHG I had the same offer for 10 years back in March 🙂

    • I’m going through the wing tomorrow morning…..let’s see what it is like!

  4. Ist it still cheaper to book on LATAM latin american website

  5. i visited the concorde room for the first time on the 12th april and entered via this door near south security… the desk outside was manned by a staff member.

    pretty sure that was after the first corridor was opened. so has it really been shut?

  6. Jules M says:

    Haven’t seen queues like that, but using the First Wing has always been significantly faster to get to CCR than going through South security – where about half the time I’d opt to either use regular security or go North instead.

  7. Clive says:

    OT: am I right in thinking that, in a couple, only one of you needs to reach silver or gold for both to receive the benefits (lounge access etc) when travelling together?

  8. Mycity says:

    Hi, o/t has anyone used the Good to go travel insurance for pre existing conditions? if so any feedback please, oh and the person is over 72 thanks

    • Genghis says:

      That’s a very specific request but hopefully someone will be able to answer. My advice is to read the policy document very carefully.

      • Mycity says:

        I asked because Robs mentioned them on here a few times, only want feedback on how good they may or may not be. I can and have read the policy but in life things sometimes are different.

    • Kingy says:

      Just insured my mum aged 79 for our trip to Thailand.
      She had COPD and Vertigo occasionally.
      We used this site
      and got her insured for £220 single trip which is cheaper than 2 years ago.
      Easy to use comparison site

  9. JamesB says:

    OT: Just to confirm for others who may want to try, the HFP Iberia accor trick is still working well. Opened Iberia account following Mondays article, set up the accor autoconvert the same day, accor account zeroed overnight and my few hundred remaining points appeared in my Iberia acciunt this morning. All very easy, thanks again HFP 🙂

    • Mzungu says:

      I did the same on Monday when the article reminded me. The only difference from JamesB is that I have an existing, active, Iberia Plus account. My Accor account zeroed overnight, but points not arrived in Iberia account yet – fingers crossed!

      • the real harry1 says:

        Good to know it’s still working

        the reason many of us can’t do more than give links is because: when you’ve got it working, you don’t want to go back & fiddle with it 🙂

  10. Walty says:

    OT….I am looking to get from NYC to Las Vegas one way in Feb next year. No direct avios seats available. Economy flight cash tickets are cheap but would like to try something new. Delta has availability in First class but requires 90K points and $12 for 2 people. I do not have any delta miles so looking to maybe use Virgin. That would be 45K points and ???.

    Anyone know from previous experience what Virgin charge when redeeming on Delta?

    • JamesB says:

      Sorry, don’t know but be sure to get the most up to date information, the Virgin Delta pricing changed just a few days ago.

      • Walty says:

        Thanks. Just phoned them. Minimal taxes. Interesting though that they do not have the same access to rewards seats as Delta does. Delta showing first class on the date I was looking but Virgin only showing economy. That’s a pain when trying to find flights!!

        • JamesB says:

          Just a thought, if you have to go economy anyway and if you are not too fussed when you arrive in Vegas you could book a cheap cash ticket on a major carrier in the hope you get overbooked. Just keep your fingers crossed you get cash and not security.

  11. RussellH says:

    Wyndham Rewards

    I know that Wyndham is hardly a major player for most people here, but I have just received a targeted offer – stay once, get 3 000 points, which is enough for a points+cash stay – gets me a room for around £30 at the Ramada Dover which is find useful. Since I already have s stay booked at Burbank Airport that is easy points.

    For those who are Wyndham members, it may be worth keeping an eye out for the e-mail.

    • Wally1976 says:

      Thanks for the heads-up Russell. I’m an occasional Wyndham user…no email yet 🙁

  12. xcalx says: