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Bits: Small Luxury Hotels leaves Avios, win a 1-year pass for Plaza Premium’s LHR lounges

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News in brief:

Small Luxury Hotels leaves Avios after launching its INVITED loyalty scheme

Small Luxury Hotels of the World is a consortium of 520 luxury hotels in 80 countries. These are primarily independent properties, many of which are well known in their respective markets.

Last Autumn SLH decided to beef up its own loyalty offering.  The previous scheme,called The Club was replaced by INVITED.  The details of how INVITED works are here.

Clearly taking their cue from the stupid tier names used by the new World of Hyatt programme (Discoverist, Explorist, Globalist), SLH now calls its tier levels Invited, Inspired and Indulged.  

What is interesting is that you get decent benefits just for joining.  As an ‘Invited’ level member, which is what you get for signing up, you will receive free continental breakfast, early check-in if available, late check-out if available and free wi-fi.

If you are not already a member of INVITED, this link for American Express cardholders lets you join at ‘Inspired’ level.  This usually requires one previous stay so it is useful if you only have a one-off Small Luxury Hotels trip.  ‘Inspired’ gets you all the benefits of ‘Invited’ plus a birthday gift and a one-category room upgrade if available at check-in.

Whilst there has been no announcement, it seems that the launch of INVITED has led to Avios – and other airline partnerships – being dropped.  You can no longer earn 500 Avios per stay when you visit a Small Luxury Hotels property.

The full list of remaining British Airways hotel partners is here.

Win a 1-year Plaza Premium Heathrow lounge pass

Heathrow Rewards is giving away two one-year passes to ALL of the Plaza Premium lounges in the airport.

Most importantly, because you cannot get access via Lounge Club or Priority Pass, is the new Plaza Premium lounge in Terminal 5.   You will also be able to get into their other facilities – T2 departures, T2 arrivals, T3 arrivals, T4 departures and T4 arrivals.

The winner will get unlimited visits until 31st March 2019.  Unfortunately no guests are allowed.

You can enter via this page of the Heathrow Rewards website (log-in required).  The closing date is the end of March.

PS.  Remember that you CAN access the Terminal 5 Plaza Premium lounge with an American Express Platinum charge card, even though it is not in Priority Pass.  Simply show your card at the entrance.  You can also bring in a guest.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. If you have a lounge pass can you use the arrivals lounges with no boarding pass? Sometimes if I use the T2 arrivals lounge they ask for a boarding pass and other times they don’t. When I was at the airport meeting someone (whose flight turned out to be delayed) it would have been handy to use the lounge but it just happened to be someone on the desk who insisted on a boarding pass (I think it’s to stop airport employees getting a PP card and getting a free lunch every day).

    As for SLH the early/late check-in/out and upgrades all have the subject to availability clause. Is Bon Vivant able to get decent benefits with most SLH properties?

    • Some readers have reported accessing landside lounges with priority pass before, I think it just comes down to whether they ask for a boarding pass or not. Is there an app for lounge pass? If so, I recommend you use it. I have found with priority pass that if you show them your app barcode, or even just a screenshot of it, they just quickly scan it and let you go without even asking for a boarding pass. If they have to start handling a physical card they probably expect you to be handing over a boarding pass too and porobably think it odc if yoh don’t.

  2. Early OT sorry. Long story short my travel plans were disrupted by BA and I have had to book alternative flights. The original flights have been cancelled, however just to be extra awkward, BA are insisting on refunding the fees back to the payment card, which is a basic Amex I cancelled some months ago. I have just spoken to Amex chat and they say the refund won’t affect the avios as these were posted to my BAEC account last October. I have taken a screenshot of this, however if they are wrong, do I stand to lose the base avios plus the 5000 sign up bonus which would have been triggered by the original payment?

    • There have been previous posts on this site about avios being clawed back when refunds are made to Amex accounts.

    • To be on the safe side request a refund via a cheque as opposed to a credit against another amex card. However, in my own experience, you have no cause for concern. Last year I was in a similar situation and refunded about £900 from BA, credited it against another card without any effect on my avios or the new card points. I also used the £100 amex BA offer on the transaction and they did not even adjust my refund for that so no complaints from me. I think it’s best you say as little to amex as possible, avoid the chat service, just call in a few days and simply request they send you a cheque, don’t ask about avios etc.

      • Thanks – yes it’ll have to be a cheque anyway as a transfer can only be made onto the same type of card which I don’t have just now. I wouldn’t have minded if I’d decided to cancel my flights because it suited me but this was all BA’s doing!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          If you have another AMEX open there’s no issues having credits transferred against an outstanding balance regardless of which family it is. For example Had my BAPP credit transferred to my SPG no effect to points earned.

        • The credit can be made against any card in my experience. I have done it several times but the BA refund was the first substantial sum.

      • The chat rep said it had to be the same type of card, but I’m going to take JamesB’s advice!

        • TGLoyalty is categorical and consistent with my own experience, I’m sure it will be fine.

  3. Just to add – BA were insisting that I would forfeit the RFS fee on my 3 LHR-MAN seats, even though they were forcing me to make the changes! I pointed out that they are currently selling those seats for £343 one way and said that if I was going to lose the fees I would just keep the seats so they wouldn’t be released back to BA. The CS lady then went off to speak to her supervisor and when she came back they had suddenly agreed to refund the avios and the fees!

  4. OT

    I would like to make an avios Qatar booking to fly around Christmas time, do you know when they are likely to release the award space (CPH-DOH-MNL)?

  5. OT Bits – new Curve Terms out today, most look fine but beware of new expiry setting for Rewards – “Unredeemed rewards will expire 6 months from the date they are added to your virtual Curve Rewards card in your Curve app (you can view your current Rewards balance anytime by scrolling to your Rewards card in the Curve app).” I’ve asked them to see if something could be added to the app to make it clear when points are due to expire.

    • As soon as I get rewards points they’re getting used as an Amazon top up from now on.

  6. I’ve been using SLH for some time now and had positive experiences with upgrades in the UK, breakfast is also nice. Less upgrade success in Thailand and the US and late check out at the last place was refused even though the hotel occupancy was not high.

    I still value the benefits and check out hotels in an area I’m looking to stay.

  7. O/T Did Heathrow Rewards drop Etihad Guest as transfer partner? I just wanted to transfer some points, but didn’t realise they were gone.

    • Yes, but I don’t know who droppec who.

      • Thanks, hadn’t seen that.

      • There has been quite a few changes at Etihad Guest so it was probably from there end. I had some points and miles I wanted tidying up and used. That was when I discovered changes relating to gift cards and HR. In the end I blew my remaining miles on on the January mega Apple bundle lottery, needless to say I din’t win.

  8. off-topic – i rented an Avis hire car under the Black Friday with BA promotion, which should have earned me an additional 5,000 bonus Avios points. I have not received the bonus Avios and the eight week period since the rental has now passed. Has anyone received their bonus Avios from this BA Avis promotion? i always have difficulty triggering the receipt of the bonuses, even though i’m sure that I have met all the terms and conditions of the promo.

  9. OT: my Amex account is showing that I have received a companion voucher but it is still not showing on my BA account. How long does it usually take?

  10. OT what’s the going rate for a broken USB socket on BA these days?

    • Not heard of anything for that, it’s not a guaranteed facility anyway, but good luck asking! In any case they would give nothing for a dodgy seat if there was a spare (in the same cabin) you could have been moved to – and they can check against the AML to make sure you definitely reported it during the flight in question!

    • Probably 0.01 avios, good luck and let us know please.

      • All ok in the end. A lounge agent came up to me and said, “Mr Genghis, your upgrade has been denied” (I didn’t ask for one) and “your usb socket isn’t working” (it was). Unless there was another Mr Genghis on the flight…

  11. Froggitt says:

    “Remember that you CAN access the Terminal 5 Plaza Premium lounge with an American Express Platinum charge card”

    I have an Amex Platinum Credit Card…..does that count?

    • so have you got Platinum credit but not charge?
      If so, why? This prevents the six month wait from starting.

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