Bits: win Heathrow Terminal 2 lounge passes, new HFP corrections page, 40% off Dream Lodge Holidays

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News in brief:

Win two passes for the United Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2

A reader has generously given us FIVE United Club lounge passes that he does not need.  This is good news for anyone flying out of Heathrow Terminal 2 before 30th June.

The United Club lounge is easily the best in Terminal 2 – I reviewed it here and here.  In fact, it is probably the best mass-market lounge anywhere in Heathrow.

You do not need to be flying United Airlines in order to use these passes.  Because the United lounge is in the 2B satellite terminal, it helps if you are flying long-haul from Terminal 2 because you are likely to be going from 2B.  If you are flying short-haul then your flight is likely to be from 2A.  You can still use the United Club lounge but you need to factor in 15 minutes each way to walk through the tunnel to and from 2B.

The passes can also be used at any other United Club lounge globally, as long as you use them before 30th June.

If you are interested in winning the passes (UK residents only, as we need to post them) please click here and leave your details in the Gleam widget.  You must say whether you want one or two passes.  Your odds are marginally better if you only ask for one pass since if the first two winners want two, we will keep picking the 3rd winner until we get someone who only wants one.

The deadline is midnight tonight (Wednesday).  Please only enter if you are sure you will have a flight out of Heathrow Terminal 2 by 30th June, otherwise you are depriving another reader.

We have added a corrections and updates page

The nature of HFP – a site which runs a large number of detail-heavy articles seven days a week written by a team of two – means that errors do occasionally creep in.

Whilst these are corrected on the site when they are flagged up, this does not help our email readers who will have received the original version.

As an experiment, we are trialling a corrections and updates pageYou will find it here.  Email subscribers will find the link under each article.  Desktop and tablet readers will find it at the bottom of the sidebar.  Mobile readers have no easy access at this time unless they switch to desktop mode but we will change that if it proves popular.

All factual corrections will be listed, as will major additions of new information.

We kicked this off last weekend and the only entries to date are a few changes to our Curve article from Sunday and a Hilton tweak from yesterday.  If we are lucky then there won’t be much on this page, but history shows life isn’t like that …..

Dream Lodge Holidays Easter offer

Dream Lodge Holidays have nothing to do miles and points, before you ask.  However, as they are advertising in our email newsletters this week, we thought we’d give them a mention to all our readers.

If you are looking for a family holiday or weekend away in the UK staying in a high-end lodge, Dream Lodge Holidays might have what you are after.

For bookings before 31st March kids go free when using the code KIDS at checkout and until 2nd April you get 40% off your stay when using the code EASTER40.

The Dream Lodge Holidays website is here.

(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.)

WEDNESDAY ONLY: London-Hong Kong £1420, Manchester-Cape Town £1350 in Qatar Airways business class
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  1. Genghis says:

    To potentially correct the correction on the Curve article, “The maximum spending limit is £3750 per day”. I have £5k on the personal debit card and others I know even higher but if you’re a new customer £3750 seems the max.

    • Agreed. I’ve held the corporate version since (almost) day 1 and my daily limit is £5k.

    • You are going to be reduced. Curve sent me an email, which is why I changed what I originally wrote (ie that I got £5k and others would eventually).

      • That’s a shame. I literally just got upgraded (on request) to a £5k limit yesterday.

  2. More info on the ‘densified’ BA A321 (G-MEDN). Based on the seatmap (see ) I’ve deduced the following.

    There appears to be one extra row before the 1st emergency exit. The ex-bmi midhaul fleet (which G-MEDN was one) only has one toilet in the front whereas the current BA shorthaul fleet has two. That means there’s extra space for a row here.

    That means the moving of the rear toilets from just behind the back row of seats to the rear galley only needed to make space for one extra row. The regular BA CY205 seatmap shows 35 rows and the densified 37.

    It should be possible to fit these two extra rows in without affecting seat pitch.

    So perhaps the reason they’ve not installed the thinner seats in this aircraft is they don’t need to. Is it possible that they’ve decided to keep the extra front toilet on the BA fleet that have one so on these aircraft they’ll need to reduce the pitch to fit in two rows? If that’s the case it’s still possible that those that said the rear section of refurbished planes would have the slimmer seats may turn out right when an original BA shorthaul gets refurbished.

    • I’d be interested to know what’s going on with the exit rows too, looking at the midhaul seatmap on seat guru it looks like these planes had the same exit row setup as the short haul A321 with masses of legroom, but only 1 row in economy due to the front one being in the club world section but that video just shows 2 seats in the exit row.

      Also are all these ex-bmi planes getting converted? What will happen to the routes that they’re on? Considering BA are asking over £500 return minimum in economy on the flight to Amman currently

      • Some of the seatguru maps are wrong, the ones on tend to be more accurate although thy don’t have the new config yet.

        As far as I know the plan is to convert some bmi A321 to shorthaul (a few were done last year such as G-MEDM) but some will remain in the midhaul configuration. At the moment there was too many of these aircraft which meant sometimes people were lucky and got them on a shorthaul.

        My worry is with fewer midhaul aircraft that the chance that a CW route such as AMM may get substituted with a shorthaul aircraft more likely.

        • Cate ⛱️ says:

          Following this with interest as we have two biz seats booked to AMM on an ex-bmi.

      • I’ll try and find out more about the exit rows as I can only speculate with the seatmaps as they don’t show the space available but it looks like they’ll have the same configuration as the current BA shorthaul fleet just with an extra row at the front (due to no 2nd toilet) and rear (due to relocation of toilets).

        G-MEDN hasn’t been running from Saturday-Tuesday but it is starting service again today and the flights for tomorrow are also on flightradar24

        14 March
        BA1432 London – Edinburgh 06:20 return BA1439 08:35
        BA1440 London – Edinburgh 11:30 return BA1449 13:50
        BA1488 London – Glasgow 16:55 return BA1495 19:15

        15 March
        BA1474 London – Glasgow 07:40 return BA1479 09:55
        BA1332 London – Newcastle 12:15 return BA1333 14:25
        BA1452 London – Edinburgh 16:40 return BA1459 18:55

    • I have been sent internal BA seat plans now – I just need to work out what they mean!

      • I’m at gate 10A at T5 waiting on a bus to board BA1440. There seems to be a technical issue so I might not get to fly on G-MEDN. Let’s see what happens

      • I’m on the plane. CE still has the middle seat tables which considering these are new seats (G-MEDN was a bmi midhaul) seems odd if the plan is to scrap them. Final row (37) has no window and the seats are slightly narrower in rows 36 and 37. It has a new plane smell. Legroom might be slightly smaller not significant (I deliberately chose a seat at the back) I get row 1 or an exit most times so can’t be sure if the legroom is worse.

        Despite no duty free carried on these planes there’s a copy of Highlife Shop magazine and despite being so far back Club Europe would never reach here there’s also a copy of Business Life magazine.

        I’ll write up a more detailed review if I have time.

        • Thanks

          I’ve flown every week (almost) since last Aug primarily across LHR, MAN, LBA, FRA and each time there has been a high-life duty free magazine and Business Life – even seat number 8 onwards all the way to the back

      • Here’s my review from row 36 (second from the back):

  3. When booking a lodge holiday, generally speaking they are priced per unit, therefore my question would be “How can kids go free”? If there are two adults travelling, the total cost would normally be the same as two adults and two children travelling.

    Incidentally, when I entered the Promo Code “Kids”, on a dummy booking to Suffolk in April, the total cost was reduced by 40% also.

    • JamesB says:

      A bit like the free HIX breakfast they got into hot water over. Might be that there are additional park services that are free for kids.

  4. a9504477 says:

    Best *A lounge at LHR is the SQ lounge…

    • It’s terrible! I even wrote a bad review of it on here somewhere. The F bit is OK but very small.

      • a9504477 says:

        Ever since you have been writing about it i haven’t understood why you like the UA lounge so much. It’s always very busy and the food is quite poor. The one thing it has is the bar which has a better choice compared to the SQ lounge (but no Singapore sling). It’s maybe the best UA lounge there is but not the best *A lounge at LHR.

    • I prefer SQ over UA as well.

    • Pangolin says:

      Check out FlyerTalk (Star Alliance forum) for a good discussion that’s ongoing about T2 lounges for *A.

  5. JamesB says:

    Unconvinced about a corrections page as this likely requires cross referencing with one or more articles. Personally I like your current practice of adding corrections, updates etc as an edit under the titles of articles in question. It might look less tidy but information is right where we need it.

    • That will continue to happen. It is just another ‘professionalising’ move ahead of the redesign which will be more serious than the current look.

      • JamesB says:

        Ok, look forward to seeing what you come up with. I think there is a natural tendency to resit change but despite that we usually end up embracing it.

      • imbruce says:

        I think that sometimes people want the ability to correct/delete their comments on
        the articles as I have seen people say that they have made an error

      • Cate ⛱️ says:

        I’d like to go back to the time when we talked more about biz and first seats and luxury hotel i.e. what the amuse bouche was like, on board wine pairings, eggs royale or the smoked haddock for breakfast. We seem to have gravitated to wooden sheds and the lavatories in economy.

  6. IHG has bought 51% stake in Regent Hotels and Resorts and will be bought into the group announced this morning .

    • WTF? That is NOT luxury.

      • they are also in the running for another group .

      • JamesB says:

        Was thinking something similar, stayed in a Regent that felt like it was abandoned in 70s.

      • IHG is not luxury! (As in they have other brands besides IC)

        For those who haven’t read the press release, the IC HK, which used to be a Regent, is going back to a Regent. Lots of Regents became Four Seasons.

        • … and some FS became Regents eg Berlin.

        • And Singapore is managed by Four Seasons!

        • OT but IHG. A new Holiday Inn Express is opening in Gibraltar this summer, however the maximum capacity for any of its rooms is 2 adults and 1 child. Is this the future? Most families are going to be forced to book 2 rooms in that situation. I normally like HI for its family rooms and breakfasts and was looking at Gibraltar for next year but not if I have to shell out double for the accommodation.

        • I can remember when the Marriott Manchester airport was a FS.

  7. InterContinental Hong Kong will become a Regent Hotel in early 2021

  8. Rob, I would be very wary about recommending the Dream Lodge Group – I work in the industry and they have a very poor reputation. They offer some very dubious “investment” opportunities without any FCA regulation. A google search of them will throw up plenty of red flags. I’m sure their holiday rentals are fine (although their tripadvisor reviews might suggest otherwise), but I understand that there is often quite a hard sell to buy lodges when guests are there. The group I work for sell lodges, but we would never market them as a financial investment – they are not, they are a depreciating asset, so I would say to anyone considering staying with them, please be aware. I won’t advertise my own company, but will say that there are far better lodge holiday options out there.

  9. JamesB says:

    Hampton Newport, dirt cheap points or cash. We loved it. Very convenient with interesting stuff around if you don’t need to be in Cardiff itself.

    • Thanks James. We need to be in the Cardiff city centre for better or worse.

      • That sounds expensive, what events are on in Cardiff on those days, If its a weekend i’d try and avoid those directly in the centre (to many fellow drunk welshmen), have you tried any of the independents on Cathedral Rd, or perhaps the Mercure on Newport Rd, both only 2mins from the centre, but will seem miles away from the nighht time noise.

  10. OT: Billhop, anybody has any tips on how to deal with them? Even paying my council tax into their bank account triggered their checking, so guess they manually check every transaction.

  11. you can book cheap hotels which cumulatively addd up to £250 which, going by past experience, will trigger the voucher. This is irrespective of what the T&C says

    Plus…if you’re spending company many…it’s free £50 in the pocket

  12. I find the four Radisson hotels very good value for redemption.

  13. O/T – am redeeming my Hilton Free Night voucher at the Waldorf Astoria and also booking an additional night via as have a 1-night credit to use up.
    Is it best to book the free night for the first night and the night for the second night with the hope they will link the bookings at check-in so I keep any upgrade I’m offered? I’m conscious that I may not get any Hilton Gold benefits for both nights if I book using for night 1.


  14. OT – I’ve just hit the £750 spend on the HH visa I managed to bag before they pulled it. I want to book the free night asap in either Washington DC or Boston in August. Will they email me the certificate and how long does this usually take? Will I then have to call them to redeem and is there a UK number for this?

    • I didn’t get an email but saw Barclaycard Free Night Certificate listed on my Hilton Honours account activity page. I just called the main Hilton Number and asked to book using it and they found the certificate number for me.

    • When I hit it, it took about a week to get the email to confirm I had been given it.

      The number to call was an American one, so I rang via Skype to ensure not to be charged an arm and a leg. Once through, they could see the certificate and it’s number on their screen. Whole process took maybe 5-10 mins.

    • The Hilton card has been pulled? When did this happen?

  15. Aftem: Have stayed in most central Cardiff hotels during a distance learning course. The ones that stick in my mind…
    Holiday Inn – could watch Cardiff rugby matches on a Friday night if you got a back room on a high floor, but the hotel was an absolute dump. Bad food.
    Park Plaza – very very nice rooms, and good restaurant, despite the exterior of the building looking like a run-down council block. V. good central location.
    Park Inn – nowhere near as nice as above – don’t be tempted to save money/points trading down from Park Plaza.
    Parc (Thislte) Great location. Pleasant, but not exceptional and a fair bit more expensive than similar options. Portions in restaurant were very stingy.
    Coldra Court (by Celtic Manor). On M4 near Celtic Manor. Used to be a very 3rd rate Hilton – hope they’ve spent some money on it!

    All things being equal, Park Plaza is the best choice.

    • Jon, Thanks for the excellent write-up. Good to read your first-hand experiences.

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