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Bits: Heathrow domestic fees cut again, new Tallinn hotel option, Accor Plat status retained?

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News in brief:

Heathrow cuts UK domestic landing fees again

As of yesterday, Heathrow Airport has reduced the passenger service charge on UK domestic flights by a further £5.  This follows an initial £10 reduction last January.

This is part of a series of moves by the airport to shore up support for the 3rd runway.  By encouraging more domestic flights to the airport, the project can be seen as having UK-wide benefits.

The plan is to increase the number of UK destinations served from Heathrow to 14 from the current eight by 2025.  To encourage this, Heathrow will be providing £10m to subsidise five new domestic routes, although this pot will be of little use to anyone except British Airways if airlines cannot also get well-timed slots.

The passenger service charge for a domestic flight (shown as ‘UB’ on the breakdown of your ticket price) is now £14.30 from Heathrow.  This compares to £19.30 for a European flight and (according to ITA Matrix) a whopping £44.91 for an economy flight to New York.

Hotel Telegraaf Tallinn

New Tallinn hotel option

Tallinn was a popular destination for Head for Points readers last year.  No sooner had we run our review of the brand new Hilton Tallinn Park than British Airways launched direct flights for the first time.  There was also, for a while, an opportunity to book business class on Finnair via Helsinki for just over £200, creating a good ‘tier point run’.

Reader Thomas dropped me a note to point out that the Hotel Telegraaf in Tallinn is now a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.  Autograph is a collection of luxury independent hotels who market themselves via Marriott but retain full operational independence.  They will recognise your Marriott Rewards status and, more importantly, you can redeem Marriott Rewards points there.

Opened in 1878, Hotel Telegraaf – website here and photo above – is situated in Tallinn’s old town, unlike the Hilton, so it is an interesting option if you want to stay in the historical centre.

A free night is 30,000 Marriott Rewards points per night, which is a decent deal over peak Summer weekends.  Larger ‘Executive’ rooms are available on points, as well as smaller ‘Cosy Comfort’ rooms.

American Express Platinum

Accor Platinum status retained?

Until mid 2016, American Express Platinum cardholders received Platinum status in Le Club AccorHotels.  This was worth having, because it was the only top tier hotel status provided by Amex.

The benefit was dropped – you no longer receive any sort of Accor status via American Express Platinum.  Those of us, including myself, who had the status were due to lose it on Sunday night.

And yet ….. if I log into my Accor account I see this – I am still Platinum, apparently:

If I click ‘Print My Card’, on the other hand, it shows a Platinum card but with an expiry date of 12/17.

Accor has in the past rolled over status, apparently at random.  I did a grand total of zero Accor stays last year.  I would be surprised if my status was rolled over because Accor went out of its way to make requalification harder for 2018, stopping bonus points from counting towards the total required.  Will I drop down to Gold, or even Classic, at some point this week?  Let’s see.

(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.)

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  1. Accor have caught up – Platinum now downgraded to Gold for me – a soft landing.
    Effectively it’s no more invitations to the Exec Lounge – there aren’t that many! So not too great a loss.

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