Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: BA £30 fares, enter our VIP distillery competition, HFP fit and well

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News in brief:

BA European flash sale

British Airways has added 250,000 seats at less than £30 to their current sale.

Until midnight on 19th September you can book flights from Gatwick to Europe in economy for less than £30 (‘hand baggage only’ pricing) on selected routes.

The destinations included are Innsbruck, Turin, Rome, Naples, Salzburg, Porto, Vienna, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Verona, Nuremburg, Faro, Glasgow, Malaga, Nice, Alicante, Genoa, Seville, Geneva, Amsterdam and Venice.

The travel period is 1st October 2017 until 8th July 2018.

The BA sale ends on 29th September but the ‘under £30’ flights are only bookable until midnight on 19th September.

You can find out more on the sale website which is here.

British Airways sale

Don’t forget to enter our VIP distillery competition

If you haven’t entered our Chivas Regal whisky competition yet, there is still time – it closes on Monday.

One reader will win a trip for two to Scotland to visit the Strathisla distillery where Chivas Regal is produced.  Flights or train tickets, hotel, spending money and transfers are all included.

Click here to see all the details and to enter.

Strathisla distillery

HFP now back up and working fine – and how to fix similar issues on your own sites

Apologies for the 12 hour loss of service on Wednesday.  We found a bit of malware on the site – actually, a reader found it – which was swiftly removed, but the cure caused some new problems which took longer to fix.  The source was almost certainly one of a number of site plug-ins I had been testing.

If you run a website, I recommend as a way of fixing any similar issues you may experience.  You can buy a subscription plan for your site but, interestingly, they are happy for you to sign up after you’ve got a problem.  This is how I initially became a customer a couple of years ago.  Once you’ve joined they will immediately assign you a technician to fix whatever problem you have.

The malware issue on Wednesday was fixed by them within 3 hours.  It took a further 10 hours or so for them to repair the site coding damage caused by removing the malware.  If I’m honest they became unresponsive during this time, but the issue was clearly being worked on as everything resolved itself overnight.  My biggest issue with Sucuri is that they do not notify you when they spot an issue with your site during regular scans – when I went onto their site yesterday it was clear that they had flagged up the issue already but not emailed me.

The other feature I recommend, if you use WordPress, is Vaultpress.  This is owned by the company that oversees WordPress and takes regular back-ups of your site.  HFP gets a back-up every hour or so, but you can pay different amounts for a less regular service (Shopper Points only gets a daily back-up).  If you have a problem with your site, you log in to Vaultpress, pick a back-up for any point over the last few months, and with one click it is installed on your server.

If Sucuri had not been able to repair the site code, my Plan B was to cut and paste the last few days of content into a document, reinstall a clean version of the site from earlier in the week and then add back the articles.  I have used Vaultpress three times to restore HFP when I have inadvertently killed the site by tinkering with the code and it has always worked fine.  It usually only takes 15 minutes from breaking the site to having it back up.

Comments (34)

  • Dave says:

    very much a case of what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger 😉

  • tom H says:

    O/T- my supplementary gold Amex to my wife’s platinum account has turned platinum on-line as of today. any ideas? (It has been gold for the last 10 months, and there is already a supplementary platinum card on the account)

  • Genghis says:

    Just released the cash today locked up in the Tesco gift card by buying Amazon gift cards. May have to restock…

  • New Card says:

    I don’t see Tesco on the TGC page… have they run out again?!

    • the real harry1 says:

      you’re right – it disappeared overnight a few days ago as well – bit odd, sounds like they have a defined ‘stock’ to sell through then need to replenish

      the £3 September bonus works on most other purchases eg Ebay – you MUST register first, though

  • h1tvd says:

    O/T Does anyone know if I can use Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts as a supplementary platinum holder or if it is only the main cardholder who can use it?

    • Rob says:

      If the supp has the card registered, then they would be able to log in to the Amex Travel website, see FHR rates and book (I imagine).

      • Tracy says:

        No, tried that. Error message that the card is not registered for membership rewards so cant book FHR…

        • Alan says:

          Just get them to call Amex Plat travel – my folks gave done it before (they have supp card on my account).

    • Alan says:

      Not an issue at all. Personally I always prefer booking FHR over the phone as (a) the FHR website is appalling and makes it difficult to work out what the difference is between different room types, (b) the agent can confirm which room categories you won’t be upgraded from – handy if you were considering booking something higher than a base room as less benefit if they won’t upgrade from it and (c) they can sometimes tweak the food credit – eg from one dinner for two to a lunch and dinner for one (sadly they can’t change the type of credit, eg spa to food).

      • Tracy says:

        Yes, did online chat with amex who confirmed that supplementary card holder can book via phone but not online, seems a bit odd but at least it can be booked

        • Alan says:

          TBH you’re not missing much – as I say even as primary cardholder I don’t try and book online. When I was looking at the most recent FHR property it gave me approx 20 room options with no clear difference between them!

  • panka121 says:

    Is it possible that the BA promo is over already?