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

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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!

Hotel offers update – October 2022:

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Want to buy hotel points? There are no special offers currently running for buying hotel points.

Comments (67)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • TripRep says:

    Bed Bug aircraft possibly ID’ed as an old 747 ready for retirement, mentioned on the twitter feed of a pax involved.

    • TripRep says:

      “Can they be bed bugs if they are not in a bed?!”

      Yes they can, they have legs, came out from behind a seat back TV apparently. The news article is hardly going to use this scientific name for them (Cimicidae)

      Sounds like the pax were in Y near the back.

      • Stephen Lee says:

        Every bed can have bed bugs but not just beds. The woman could even have brought the bed bugs on board with her unknowingly. BA need not really apologise because they have absolutely no control. To kill bed bugs would require the whole plane to be shut down and fumigated for 24 hours. We operate a fleet of sleeper coaches and every now and again someone gets bitten by some bug or spider. They had to have been brought on board by passengers. No other way to get on. Often the same passengers who got bitten. In the early days we used to panic and fumigate the coach. Now we do nothing and the problem goes away by itself !

  • JB says:

    I’ve had bed bug bites on an Oman Air flight to Muscat in business class. Really unpleasant and would stop me from ever flying with Oman air again, although I’m sure it’s an issue that effects most airlines. How often are the seat covers washed? I wouldn’t sleep in a hotel bed that had previously been slept in, yet pay several thousand pounds for the privilege on BA.

    • mark2 says:

      quote: ‘ I wouldn’t sleep in a hotel bed that had previously been slept in, ‘

      So which hotels provide a new bed for each stay?
      Presumable the bed bugs had been left by a previous passenger/guest

      • JB says:

        Bedding…I think you knew what I meant.

        • Leo says:

          I take your point. Thing is, it’s not just the bedding you have to worry about – the bugs can and do live in the mattresses (and presumably upholstery). A hundred years ago my university’s response to an infestation of bed bugs in halls was to tell us students to drag our mattresses out into the sunlight which would miraculously kill said bites….can’t remember now if that was successful.

    • Leo says:

      Bugs* sorry.

      • Crafty says:

        I had the misfortune to discover, initially through personal experience and then through follow up research, that the vast majority of student accommodations in the US are considered to have severe bedbug infestations, but it’s not economic to solve them.

  • Alex says:

    ‘Bites’ would be a more appropriate title for this article…

  • JamesB says:

    OT more on the new BA baggage issue: I reserved a WTP UUA – CW flight yesterday. Today 24h+ later, conveniently for BA interests, I received a very long email spelling out baggage allowance sector by sector. However, what caught my eye was the following statement highlighted in red in a separate box titled Very Important Information:

    “If you do not check your bags through to your final destination you may incure additional charges”

    What is this all about? Are they now hoping to raise extra revenue using Ryanair style approaches? Is it not the responsibility of check in or bag drop staff to ensure bags are properly tagged? I thought it a bit precious given their approach to interline baggage. Apologies if I am missing something obvious here, I have not checked a bag in for over a decade already.

    • Rob says:

      I think this means if you pay to check a bag but have a stopover in London and want the bag, you will be charged again when you check it in again for your next flight.

  • Nathan says:

    OT, sorry, but does anyone have any guesstimate of how busy the No.1 lounge in LHR T3 will be for breakfast (7-8am) on a Saturday (tomorrow) morning?

  • Cate says:

    Shame, the WA Versailles is on our todo list but we’re maxed out on holiday time for this year after a few weeks at the IC Madrid which was very nice.

  • Genghis says:

    OT @Anika. When can we expect your review of the IC in Ljubljana? We’re interested in a mini break to there and Bled next year. I’ve been before but wife has not.

    • RussellH says:

      Bled is brilliant! Stayed there twice so far; first time in the Youth Hostel in the late 1960s, second time around ten years ago in the rather tired 5* hotel whose name I forget (courtesy of the Slovenian Tourist Office). It was a case of extremes though!

    • Rob says:

      She is back on Monday but at a conference Tue/Wed so no guarantee it will be next week.

  • Cate says:

    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….

    • Louise says:

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

      • Cate says:

        Hi Louise – no haven’t done it before – you have to put 4 zero’s 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!

      • Cate says:

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

        • Cate says:

          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.

    • Kiran says:

      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.

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