Bits: 100% Club Carlson buy points bonus, Cathay to leave oneworld?, Radisson and Park Inn Dream Deals

News in brief:

100% bonus when you buy Club Carlson points

Club Carlson, the loyalty scheme for Radisson, Park Plaza and Park Inn, is offering a 100% bonus when you buy points, however few or many you buy.

The link to buy points is here.  The offer runs TODAY (Tuesday) ONLY.

This deal does potentially offer value if you redeem in the right places on expensive nights.  

The maximum number of points you can purchase is 80,000 (40,000 + 40,000 bonus) for $280.  This is £209.  The key London hotels such as Park Plaza Westminster Bridge – a modern London property with a pool and next to the London Eye, London Dungeon, London Aquarium etc (photo below) – are 70,000 points per night, so £182.  I reviewed the hotel here.

The May Fair (which I reviewed here, and didn’t like much) is also 70,000 points.  The new Park Plaza Waterloo is 50,000 points which would be £130, and you don’t get much in London for £130 these days.

At the more prosaic end of the scale, there are various Park Inn budget hotels around the UK for 9,000 points per night.  Under this promo, 9,000 points would cost you just £23 based on the pro-rata price of 80,000.

Remember that you can also transfer American Express Membership Rewards points at the 1:3 rate if you need a few extra points for a planned redemption.  That said, as you would only be getting 0.78p per Amex point based on the bonus price, buying points today may be a better deal.

You can buy points via this page of the Club Carlson site. Remember that this deal is for TODAY, Tuesday, only.

Cathay Pacific to leave oneworld, China Southern joining?

As per this article from the South China Morning Post, speculation is mounting that a reshuffle of the big three global airline alliances in Asia is on the cards.

China Southern Airlines, based in Guangzhou (on the Hong Kong border) is believed to have decided that it is getting little benefit from its membership of the SkyTeam alliance – dominated by Delta and Air France / KLM – and would be better off alongside British Airways and American Airlines in oneworld.

American Airlines took a small equity stake in China Southern recently, and any attempts to set up code sharing arrangements or deeper partnerships would be easier if the two companies were in the same alliance.

At the same time, Air China is the 2nd biggest shareholder in Cathay Pacific.  Air China is currently a member of Star Alliance and would benefit if Cathay moved across to Star.

It is very unlikely that both Cathay Pacific and China Southern could co-exist inside oneworld, as neither would want a competing hub in the same alliance so close together.

If anything does happen, it is likely to take 2-3 years to complete.  There is no need for British Airways flyers to panic about losing their access to the Cathay Pacific lounge in Heathrow Terminal 3 just yet ….. although the opening of the new Qantas lounge this week may now take on more significance.

Radisson Blu and Park Inn launch ‘Dream Deals’ sale

Speaking of Club Carlson, as we were, Radisson Blu and Park Inn have launched their latest ‘Dream Deals’ sale.  The sale covers 350 hotels across the Europe, Africa, America and the Middle East.

Participating brands are Radisson BluPark InnPark Plaza, Quorvus Collection and Radisson RED.

The home page for the sale is here.

The standard saving is 30% off Best Available Rate, although your actual saving will be lower as these are non-refundable rooms and you should really compare it to the previous non-refundable price.

The discount for participating Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotels in London and the May Fair Hotel London may vary between 10 and 30%.

You need to be a Club Carlson member (free to join) to get the full 30% discount – the non-member discount will be 20%. The stay must be paid for in full at time of booking.

Even better, Club Carlson members get 2,500 bonus Goldpoints per stay in addition to the standard 20 Goldpoints per $1 spent. We would value these bonus points at £7-£8 which makes a real extra impact on cheap one-night bookings.

These “Dream Deals” need to be booked before 3rd December. You need to stay between 27th November 2017 and 28th February 2018, except for stays at Park Plaza which must be completed between 27th November 2017 and 8th April 2018 and stays at Radisson Blu Edwardian which must be completed between 27th November 2017 and 7th May 2018.

You can find out more about Dream Deals on the sale website 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.)

Good Best Western promo - £10 gift card for every stay
It's back: Get up to 50,000 Avios for investing with Nutmeg
About Head for Points

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  1. Broadly one world question; I flew into Helsinki and back a few weeks ago- one class d and one class I ticket and didn’t get my points into my EC. Submitted a claim and the reply was ”
    This is because the flight details you submitted do not qualify for Avios and Tier Points.” Had a similar response to a cathay flight earlier this year that I didn’t manage to overcome – even with a boarding pass they said I didnt fly. Any suggestions on what I should reply?


  2. OT – but had an email this morning to inform that MyFlights will be no more with effect 31 December 2017. Shame about that as I found the app quite a useful tool.

    • Actually, just catching up and note that this was already reported by another poster yesterday.

      • Is also one of the main topics in another post today 😉

        • I was in there before the article appeared, Alan. Seven hour time difference between UK / Thailand. 😉 Probably why I only saw the email this morning, too.

    • I saw their Facebook post before getting the email too – gutted! However it seemed like the usefulness of the app was becoming watered down by muppets like Lufthansa, KLM(?) etc blocking access to their data. It’s sadly a thing that apps which bring all your ‘stuff’ together in one place are slowly becoming useless (see parcel tracking apps – Royal Mail just pulled access to their data via TP apps for ‘security reasons’) …. progress eh?

      • Tina Hammond says:

        Amadeus are blocking access to en masse information from January. Hence MyFlights having to close 🙁

  3. Sad news in Cathay if true. My favourite airline by quite some margin.

  4. China Southern works for me (huge route network). But I’ll miss grabbing a bottle of bubbly and relaxing in the bath at the CX First lounge in HKG.

  5. Love2Travel says:

    OT so in bits: Has anyone used Hilton Premium Asia to book discounted room at Conrad Koh Samui? I know there won’t be any points but will I get Diamond benefits. The terms say no Hilton benefits and hence they are quoting rate with B&B. I want to book room only as I do get breakfast for 2 people as a Diamond. My initial nights will be on points for which I will get my benefits. Also they have an app now so do we still book through them or can do directly via app? Thanks.

  6. In the original Dream Deals HfP article, the one only sent by email a few days back, there was a rather lovely looking photo of a Club Carlson Property. Can anyone tell me which property it is?

    • Was it Berlin with the aquarium in the lobby? Don’t have access at the moment to the email system.

    • Cat if you right click the picture you get a menu one of the options is find this picture on the internet. You can get it from there. I’ve had the same problem to as some of the properties look lovely 🙂

      • I never know how to do that on a macbook…

        It wasn’t Berlin, it had some lovely looking poolside rooms with lots of blue sky!

  7. My heart sank when I read this about China Southern. We flew with them to Thailand a couple of years ago and would never use them again! They are the worst airline I have personally ever experienced! Tiny seats, rudestaff, disgusting food, no snacks and warm drinks. I wouldn’t fly with them if you paid me.

    • My niece agrees with you. She flew with them to Australia in Economy with a long stop at Beijing.

    • I’ve only flown them once SH within China but didn’t have a very good experience.

    • Indeed, have never heard positive things about them – can’t see OW being keen on them replacing Cathay. Seems to be a recurring idea from time to time but don’t think it’s too likely, HKG is quite a different market to mainland China and already plenty of other OW airlines in the region so can’t see that itself being the only reason. Guess we’ll see!

    • Thank the Lord we’re returning to UK on Thursday on the mighty EVA Air in biz. China Southern? Would rather gouge my eyeballs out with a rusty teaspoon.

      • Michael C says:

        Hi Delbert – I’m looking at EVA biz as a possible option for the LHR-BKK direct flight: a decent experience? From your other post, better than TG?!

      • Pangolin says:

        There are some things you might try once – just to see if it’s really as bad as you thought, like eating insects in Cambodia, and there are some things you shouldn’t even try once, like China Southern.

        I spent 6 months in China and if they were the only flight option I’d be checking the bus and train timetables for alternatives!

        Even Air China is something I would prefer not to fly in J (if I had any alternative), but it’s definitely better than Southern.

        @Michael C: EVA is way better than TG (J or Y). It’s just their colour scheme I’m not a fan of!

        • Michael C says:

          Cheers, Pango!

        • I like EVA but on BKK-LHR Thai wins easily IMO, reason being a380 and soon a350. Both have good business class seats and both aircraft are massively better than a 777. I have not flown it but I fail to see how Y in a 777 can ever be a better experience than an a380. Service food etc are pointless comparing in Y, minor variations of the same thing across all airlines. In First Thai still wins by a country mile because in addition to above you have first lounge and spa alomg with other ground services.

    • I took 5 flights with them last year whilst travelling around China and found them ok. The planes were dated and the staff were as friendly as any service staff in China but other than that no real complaints – the food was inedible but I think that may have been my western pallate rather than low quality in the food. However this was only SH so no idea what their LH offering would be like.

      • No it’s not a “western vs Chinese” palate thing. It’s inedible even for Chinese people.

    • I agree completely. Not of good enough standard for OW in my opinion. Cant even begin to compare the quality of lounges at CAN with cathays offerings in HK .

  8. Concerto says:

    Sounds good enough for oneworld.

  9. Hugely disappointing if CX leaves OW, not least for the numerous sweet spots for avios redemptions within Asia and further afield. However, the other dimension to this story is SQ, I imagine they will try to block CX and may leave *A themselves if they cannot.

    • Tina Hammond says:

      Absolutely correct. ☆A could not warrant 3 excellent east Asian airlines (CX, TG, SQ).

      I will be surprised- and disappointed – if CX leaves ow

      • Sorry but TG are well past their former glory. Mrs Delbert and I positively avoid them at all costs.

        • Depends, on regional flights in Asia I would still choose Thai for premium cabin over both CX and SQ because you get longhaul aircraft most of the time. There is also the chance you might get lucky and get First for Business. . Longhaul it is a different story, now too many types of aircraft with varying products which is frustrating, particularly if you draw the short straw and get a 777 with angle flat seats. which I presume they are still using.

      • China airlines biz class looks very nice.

      • Pangolin says:

        Totally agree with Delbert – TG are nothing special and even 10 years ago I thought they were mediocre in comparison to the other Asian airlines (obviously not counting Chinese ones, which are always the worst by a country mile).

        • When I was using *A a decade ago I routinelh flew both TG and SQ. The food and service I experienced were generally better on Thai than SQ, especially on regional flights. Never really had much joy with book the cook on SQ, and they were delayed or went tech so often you could rely on it. The arrival of the a380s with their new premium cabins was a game changer for SQ though but I still prefered Thai within Asia. Now…I prefer paying £20 for short flights on Air Asia 🙂

  10. Londonbus says:

    “At the same time, Air China is the 2nd biggest shareholder in Cathay Pacific. Air China is currently a member of Star Alliance and would benefit if Cathay moved across to Star.”

    And Qatar is the third biggest shareholder in CX. So it’s by no means a foregone conclusion.

  11. My heart leapt into my mouth as I saw CX’s Pier First lounge disappearing over the horizon with my BA2-4-1 from HKG next year! Relieved (partially) that it would take longer than that for CX to exit oneworld. That said I was wondering what a likely SQ response would be and I also question how the lounge situation would pan out at HKG. Only thing I can say about China Southern is that their J revenue flights seem to be cheap. The loss of CX would be even more reason to hope the Virgin/Flying Blue venture turns out to be a goer.

  12. OT – BAPP sign up bonus. I can reapply in just under 6 months. Odds on there being 20k+ sign up bonus still being offered?

    • Recently the bonus of the BAPP card has been increased with no end date – looks like it should be around close to when it’s time for you to reapply…

  13. Doesn’t QR now own a bit of CX?

  14. I think Cathay feels unloved given it has no joint ventures (BA, JAL, American and Qantas all have nothing to do with it), and used by people (like myself) who take full advantage of their amazing lounges, I don’t think they would seriously leave.

    • I think they need to focus a bit more on their hardware – ensuring it’s up to scratch and working. Might attract people back onboard instead of just in their lounges.

  15. Pangolin says:

    I’m going to be Mr Unpopular here and say how great it would be if CX came over to Star Alliance!

    Of course, if SQ decided to jump ship in response it wouldn’t look so smart (I’m Kris Flyer Gold currently).

    • I’m wondering if Singapore are considering releasing a UK credit card. I have no basis for this apart from how they are shaping up.

      • Pangolin says:

        Can’t see it happening myself but a Singapore Airlines equivalent of the BAPP would be fantastic!

        • Well I wouldn’t rule it out completely just yet but totally agree with you on Singapore releasing the ‘SAPP’ 🙂

  16. Ok so if we go with this as a definite maybe what does that mean for award flights pending? I have two tickets on CX to LGW next year on points. Will they be honored?

    • Pangolin says:

      As Rob says, even if it came to fruition it would be at least 2 years down the line before it affected pax, so you shouldn’t worry about holding award tickets for 2018.

  17. starfall says:

    > Remaining in Oneworld with China Southern would bring the two carriers’ home bases of Hong Kong and Guangzhou too close together, with destinations they serve overlapping and the airlines competing for the same pool of long-haul travellers.

    Actually, that’s probably going to result in less price competition and better margins. It’s similar to how IAG’s Atlantic strategy with Iberia and Aer Lingus.

    Plus, China Southern is the best of the mainland Chinese carriers, so I can see the logic in joining OW to capture more of the premium market from the Pearl Delta region and transit traffic from Taiwan.

    Airline alliances are going to increasing rely on clustering to keep competition away from their profitable routes, so I think the article’s analysis is completely flawed.