Bits: visit the McLaren factory with Hilton, SPG to American 30% bonus, Vueling sale

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News in brief:

Visit the McLaren-Honda factory with Hilton Honors

On Monday, Hilton Honors ran another of its occasional ‘behind the scenes’ tours of the McLaren-Honda factory at the Norman Foster-designed McLaren Technology Centre in Woking.

A photo from the day is below.  Amusingly, at least half the attendees were Head for Points readers who had redeemed their Hilton points for tickets after reading about it here.

Hilton is running another trip in November.  The date is Monday 13th November.  The cost is 75,000 Hilton Honors points for two people.

The factory is not normally open to the public so this is a rare opportunity to take a look inside.

The last two times I wrote about this offer, HFP readers had bought the available packages by 9am.  If you are interested in this – there are six packages still available at the time of writing – do not hang around.

You can redeem your points for a pair of tickets here.

20% – 30% bonus on SPG transfers to American Airlines

American Airlines is offering a 20% – 30% bonus when you convert your Starwood Preferred Guest points into AAdvantage.

Full details are on the American Airlines site here.  This is valid for transfers made up to 15th October.

You receive a 20% bonus on ALL transfers into American, with an additional 10,000 AA miles earned if you convert across the equivalent of 100,000 American miles.

The sweet spot conversion is therefore 80,000 Starwood points. This would get you 100,000 American miles (due to the 25% bonus on conversions of 20,000 points) and the base 20% bonus added by American and trigger the additional 10,000 miles. This is the only way to get the full 30% bonus.

However, it is NOT worth converting 80,000 Starwood points to AA under this offer because a Marriott Travel Package would be a better deal. As you can see here, 80,000 Starwood points get you 240,000 Marriott points. If you can get that up to 250,000 Marriott points, you’d receive 100,000 American miles plus a 7-night Marriott hotel stay at a Category 1-5 hotel.

I’m not going to discuss the pros and cons of whether you should or should not collect AA miles today. You get the same award availability as Avios offers across oneworld partners, with the added benefits of Etihad Guest as a partner and no fuel surcharges on American transatlantic flights. Some routes are massively cheaper in terms of miles needed, eg London to Australia, whilst others are not.

Unless you have a very large number of Starwood points, however, this is unlikely to influence you.  What you SHOULD consider, before taking advantage of this, is whether you’d get a better deal converting from Marriott Rewards. Starwood points convert at 1:3 into Marriott Rewards points. Marriott has different conversion rates to American based on the number of points transferred, so it worth checking what you would get going via that route. As I showed above, the Marriott route is a better deal for converting 80,000 SPG points. For small amounts, this promo should be better.  You can trigger an airline transfer of SPG points from this page of


Vueling flash sale – today only

Vueling, BA’s low-cost sister airline, is running a two-day flash sale which ends today.

Flights from the UK start at £23.  Vueling operates from many UK regional airports to a variety of destinations, primarily Barcelona, Alicante and Rome but there are others.

You need to book today for travel between 18th October and 20th March.  Full details of the sale are 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.)

Interesting niche anomalies in Avios reward pricing you can exploit
Hilton launches new 'double points + Diamond bonus' promotion

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  1. Would appreciate fellow HFP readers’ wisdom – I want to use my Lloyds upgrade voucher for a long haul 3/4 night break during the winter months next year. The plan is upgrade 2 of us to CW outbound then return in WT. New York seems an obvious choice but any other suggestions (would Dubai or Abu Dhabi be realistic for a spot of sunshine)? We like visiting museums and eating out etc as we will be child free! We have to start and finish in the North West – are there any airlines who do reasonably priced one-way tickets to MAN if we decided just to do the outbound leg on redemption plus voucher?

    • Just noticed Tomas Cook do one-way from MAN to NYC and Miami, quite reasonable.

    • Do you mean early or late next yr (Jan/Feb will be tighter than not-yet-released Dec)?
      Have you considered Cape Town: no jet lag because and lots to see, and overnight flights don’t eat into you break.
      Middle East I’ve done for 4 nights and it’s ok – you might consider Muscat too.
      If you did NY you might do CW on the way back (overnight) instead, and that’s a likely option for finding a cheap oneway.

      • Probably Dec 2018 or Jan 2019 (not Xmas/New Year). Ideally don’t want the long-haul sector to be much more than 8 hours. I’m not bothered about CW for a 6 hour overnight return leg, I don’t think it’s worth the avios or money. We did our return from the Caribbean last month in WT, paid for exit seats and slept fine! Also very limited on premium cabins returning direct to Manchester.

        • Different strokes for different folks but I’d much rather have the CW seat for the overnight rather than for the day flight there. For me, the point about having access to a lie flat bed is to be able to sleep, not lounge around during the day drinking champagne.

          • Ah now, it’s all about the lounging and champagne for me! Plus being able to watch a couple of films that aren’t rated PG or 12 🙂

    • the_real_a says:

      Don’t forget you can peg on a domestic transfer for ZERO extra avios (+£50 in taxes) from a regional UK airport to LHR when redeeming long haul flights (inc with the llyods voucher)

      • It’s zero avios, Harry, but they’ve whacked up the taxes and charges. If you prefer spending avios to money it’s cheaper to book them separately. It’s also a LOT of hassle having to get off and re-connect, and adds hours to the journey.

  2. What’s the rule for HHA avios expiries:

    Account 1: 100k avios (collected 1,5year ago)
    Account 2: 200k (collected 1 year ago)
    Account 3: 400k (collected last week)

    Total: 700k – are HHA avios aggreated and expire together or do they expire individually?

    • the real harry1 says:

      individually so you need to keep all a/cs current

      • That is HHA. However …. as any redemption takes miles from EACH account, it would create activity on all of them anyway.

      • When you redeem, they take some from each account pro-rata, so wouldn’t any redemption keep all the accounts active?

    • Does any member of the HHA have BA status? (Bronze, Silver or Gold)
      If so, if that member has activity in last 36 months, all members are fine.

  3. Is it prudent to transfer SPG points to AAadvantage now, wait for SPG to run a similar offer and then transfer them back to SPG?

    • Can you go AA->SPG?

      • According to webflyer you have to go AA-DinersClub-SPG. The rate’s not good though although if you need them then they’re there to be had.

        • So AA->Diners seems to be 2:1 and diners to SPG seems to be 1,250:750.
          So starting with 80k SPG -> 110k AA. This could then get you 55k diners and then 33k SPG, so a loss of 58% or in other words there would then need to be 142% bonus just to get back to where you started. I think it’s prudent to leave the points where there are if this is your plan…

          • I don’t think it’s that simple.

            This assumes you go from AA to SPG via DinnersClub. There may be better routes when other airlines/hotels announce transfer offers. I, like many other new people to the game have many bits of points which are just sitting there gathering dust. If i can get just one SPG point for them I’m a little nearer to my goal and learnt a little more about point collection. And then there’s the SPG/Marriot merger, we don’t know what further incentives they have in the pipeline to launch which may sweeten/sour the deal: do we know if the reward package’s are going to stay or get ‘enhanced’?

            I agree at this stage it doesn’t seem to have strong legs but think it’s too early to completely write off.

        • Not sure that Diners Club UK works the same way as Diners Club US.

  4. For those F1 fans who missed out on this trip. Keep an eye on SPG moment for more experiences. On Sunday the OH and I went to the Mercedes AMG Factory in Brackley for a similar thing; hospitatlity in their corporate lounge, a tour of the factory and then watching the race in their theatre with commentary hooked up to race control etc etc. A fantastic experience, especially as the champagne was wheeled out after the Mercedes victory!! And I only used 9500 SPG points for the priviledge. I did see they do actual vists to the races, where you will be a VIP guest of Mercedes but these were going for 160k points…too rich for me.

  5. the real harry1 says:

    O/T compo – interesting one in the Grauniad
    ‘BA’s well-publicised IT meltdown over the May half term meant we had to abandon our family holiday to Sweden. The airline refunded our flight costs and paid the €750 EU-mandated compensation, but we were still £800 out of pocket. You were kind enough to publish my letter about this – BA told you (as it had us) that it was not liable for our consequential loss.

    Other readers in a similar position may be interested to know that we have since pursued a claim through the CEDR resolution scheme to which BA subscribes. The airline has not admitted liability, but it has reimbursed our airport car parking (£110) and given us an e-voucher for future flights worth £625. ‘

    • the real harry1 says:

      interesting because BA will always normally deny claims for consequential loss, not that we know how many they settle on the quiet

  6. Just seen on another blog news of an Etihad devaluation in January.

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