Bits: Amex backtracks on Gold referral bonus changes, £60 off Opodo, 17 hour Heathrow-Perth launches Sunday

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News in brief:

Amex backtracks on changes to Preferred Rewards Gold referral bonuses

Yesterday we wrote about apparent changes to the referral bonus on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold and Gold Business charge cards.

Instead of receiving 22,000 Membership Rewards points on hitting the spend target, the rules had been changed to say that you had to wait five months to receive your bonus.

As soon as our story appeared, American Express changed their website.

The Preferred Rewards Gold referral rules (click here) now say, as they used to:

“Please note, bonus points will appear in two instalments of 2,000 and 20,000 and can take up to four weeks to be awarded to your Account.”

The Gold Business charge card has NOT changed back click here to see.  It still says:

“Please note, bonus points will appear in two instalments of 2,000 and 20,000. You will receive 2,000 points when you reach £1,000 spend – these points will appear on your fifth statement.”

It isn’t clear what is happening here.  Did someone at Amex make a mistake, or was a change rolled out early by mistake?  Only time will tell.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Up to £60 off flights and hotels with Opodo

Opodo is running a money off promotion until 2nd April.

Using the code PROMO (very original!) you will get:

  • £30 off flights when spending £550+
  • £60 off hotel + flight when spending £700+

The £30 discount is valid on round trips departing from the UK.

The £60 discount is valid on flight and hotel bookings departing from the UK.

You can find out more on the Opodo home page here.

Opodo discount

Qantas launching Heathrow to Perth this weekend

This weekend will see the launch of the second longest non-stop flight in the world – London Heathrow to Perth, operated by Qantas using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with 236 seats.

QF10 will depart Heathrow at 13.30, arriving into Perth at 13.15 the next day.  Amazingly, the plane still hasn’t finished for the day – it flies on to Melbourne.   It is the first non-stop service to link Europe and Australia, replacing the existing Melbourne – Dubai – London service.

Qatar’s Doha to Auckland flight remains the longest flight in world.  Heathrow to Perth, at 14,498 km, is 28km shorter.

In theory this flight is bookable with Avios although I don’t know if seats are available in practice.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. The_real_a says:

    This is one flight that i would seek out a stopover in the usual places. Flying in biz or first is survival but i cannot think enjoyable. In Y it must shorten your lifespan considerably. Would anyone here do this flight?

    • Czechoslovakia says:

      I’ve done 12hrs in AF PE, with em. Exit / bulkhead seat. Whilst pleasant enough seat, 12 hours really is enough of plane air in any 24 hour period! Would agree, stopover necessary in any class.

      • Not sure it is necessary if the seating and service is as good as Qatar. Just returned from NZ on the Doha-Auckland route and found it very pleasant both ways. For me the seat on the 777 was more comfortable than the spangly new 787 from Oslo (although partner disagreed, and the toys are better on the 787) and slept for over 8 hours on the 17:30 flight back. Service was excellent throughout and, for us, a stopover would have been an unnecessary chafe. Can’t imagine doing it down the back though.

        Having thought we had been clever doing the ‘ex-EU’ thing, it was a bit galling to see the flash sale for less money from MAN while we were out there!

        • Alex W says:

          +1. We did the same route and preferred the Qatar 777 to the 787.

        • Alex W says:

          +1. We did the same route and preferred the Qatar 777 to the 787.

        • I think there’s a lot of love for the old 777 business class on Qatar, despite most reviews online criticising it. I agree that I preferred it over the A350 seats.

          I suppose the problem with it is the lack of aisle access from the window seats and needing to step over someone or be stepped over yourself if you have a stranger as a seatmate

  2. booked LON to MEL in ThaiAir Y forfamily of 4 this summer. 2.5hour stop in BKK to change planes.
    bring on the pain

    • Prior to getting into the points game we travelled MAN – LHR – BKK – SYD – WLG in economy with a 4 year old. Amazingly, looking back it actually wasn’t that bad and I think that must have been because the longest legs were overnight and we slept quite a bit. But there’s no way on earth I’d do that now, I am utterly ruined lol!

    • Lady London says:

      At least you can get massages and spa in Bangkok. Although 2.5 hours might not be enough if you get even a slight delay incoming to BKK.

  3. The plaza lounge at Heathrow is easily the best lounge at T5

    Still ridiculously quite and free with your platinum card

  4. signol says:

    Youtuber “Inflight Video” is on the inaugural southbound. He’s coming back via AKL and DOH. All in Y.

  5. Darren says:

    OT Hilton Honors quick question – does gold get free breakfast at Conrad. I can’t see it on the benefits on their site.


    • Genghis says:
      • Darren says:

        Thanks, that will help if I switch a stay in NYC to Conrad as I’ve seen some reasonable rates there recently.

        • Genghis says:

          We’ve got a stay there in May. Already upgraded to Hudson River view as Diamond.

        • Darren says:

          We usually stay in lower Manhattan but I need to check out the location for nightlife.

          • Why? It is peanuts in a cab down the East Side Parkway (or whatever its called) and with virtually no traffic lights it is lightning quick as well in the evenings. Unless you’re going higher than the south end of Central Park all the time it wouldn’t concern me.

        • Darren says:

          I see where it is now and have stayed close by in the past. The all suite aspect is nice compared with the shoebox rooms in some places in the city.

          I like to walk and was concerned that it was too low down in the business district. We’ve covered touristy NYC a long time ago and would not stay in midtown, much prefer Greenwich, Soho etc.

        • Staying at the Conrad next Saturday. Managed to get a Best Rate Guarantee so we have the room for 4 of us for $200 Inc taxes. Looking forward to it! Anybody know what breakfast is like for Hilton Gold?

  6. Jimbob says:

    OT – planning 20th wedding anniversary long weekend break in NY, budget reasonably generous, can anyone give me some personal recommendations for nice hotels?

    • Really enjoyed soho house when we stayed there a couple of years back. This was the middle of a heatwave in June, so the rooftop pool was stupidly busy, great decor / rooms / dining options, and they come round every evening and make a pre-dinner cocktail in you room!

      Was about £400 per night if memory serves, which isn’t horrific for somewhere nice in Manhattan.

    • Soho House (meatpacking) suite if summer.

    • Darren says:

      The Greenwich, The James and Crosby Street.

    • Darren says:

      If you need restaurant recs then Gramercy Tavern and Locande Verde are nice. Or Eleven Madison Park if it’s very special (pricey).

  7. Dartmouth says:

    OT- Now that Airportr doesn’t pick up luggage for collection at Heathrow – I was looking to use Transferbags. Does anyone have any experience of using them? Or any alternative for the London area?

    • Reeferman says:

      Airport does still offer this service – coincidentally, I asked them just this week. They replied:
      If you would like to do it yourself you would have to enter your flight details or a flight departing on the same day similar to yours on the website when making your booking and when the driver comes you can tell him you would like your bags to be reassigned meaning you will collect them at your departure terminal before your flight. Using this service you will not need to show driver your boarding pass as you will not be checking your bags onto a flight.
      Obviously a ridiculous system – and I have no idea why the on-line booking option has been removed. I gather a booking can also be made via the phone.

      • Dartmouth says:

        That seems ridiculous. I was told absolutely not a few days ago. The reviews for Transferbags is absolutely shocking! Better go back to Airportr again!

        • Reeferman says:

          I totally agree – a crazy system. Regardless, I’ve made a booking and will see what happens. I’ve kept a copy of the “procedure” as sent by Airportr so if there’s an issue when they come to pick-up the bags, I hope it will be sorted.
          My booking is for 9th April – will report back.

  8. Dartmouth says:

    I am due to fly on the 28th of March – will come back as well.

  9. AndyGWP says:

    Not sure if people read comments on old articles, but this seems appropriate for here! I keep getting an error when I submit an Amex Eligibility (soft) check. Never done it before – is it known to be flaky (or can anyone else get it to submit properly)?

    I plan to phone in the next few days, but its easier if I don’t (girlfriend is happy to get the Amex, but doesn’t want to faff with the ‘management’ of it!)

    (It has failed in Chrome & Safari)

  10. It is saying ‘PROMO’ is not a valid code for an £830 flight.

    Any reason why this is?

    • No idea, as long as the flight starts in the UK. I assume full T&Cs are on Opodo, we didn’t get them.

  11. Can I self refer myself to Amex Gold Business if I have Amex Gold personal?

    • You can’t get a Business bonus if you have a personal card. You may get the bonus yourself for making the referral.

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