Bits: Who won our Premium Economy competition?, Accor APAC offer, Starwood article update

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News in brief:

Who won the two flights to New York in Premium Economy?

Earlier this month we ran another competition giving away flights to New York. This time in Premium Economy.

And the winner is:

Helen F.

We’ve already been in touch with the winner, so if your name is also Helen F. I’m sorry, you are not the winner. (And now I’ve got that song by Enter Shikari stuck in my head – not that anyone would know it …..)

Sorry for the delay in announcing this but for the first time ever we had to disqualify a winner for multiple entries (using the same name, using the same email address was not a problem) which caused a delay.

We hope to publish the results of both the Premium Economy and Economy surveys in the next week or so.  The article is written but we are trying to get a quote from the winning airline.  It makes very interesting reading and in one stark way – where a fantastic product got slaughtered by you, the HFP readers – shows “why we can’t have nice things”.

Good Accor Asia Pacific breakfast deal

A reader dropped me a note about this attractive Accor offer running for its Asia Pacific hotels.

You need a Mastercard to take part, in theory.  You will receive free breakfast on your bookings at any of the 500 Accor hotels (Novotel, Mercure, Sofitel etc) in 17 Asia Pacific countries until 31st May.  Rooms are cancellable too if a better offer comes along.

In some examples I checked, the price – with breakfast AND cancellable – was cheaper than the Advanced Saver room-only, non-refundable rate!

Starwood article update

We did a long article yesterday on excellent Starwood reward redemptions which will become possible in August.

There was a mistake in the article which was corrected by 7am online but missed the emails.

Rob should have said that, at present, some hotels are classified as ‘all suite’ and cannot currently be redeemed unless you pay double points.

These are St. Regis Resort Bora Bora, and Le Méridien Bora Bora; W Maldives; Sunset Key Guest Cottages, Key West; Mystique, Santorini; Pine Cliff Residences, Portugal; and Cala Di Volpe, Hotel Pitrizza, and Hotel Romazzino, Porto Cervo, Italy.

We do not know if this will continue under the new merged programme.  If it does continue, you will not to able to redeem for the above hotels for 60,000 SPG points.

As a reminder, we now have a ‘corrections and updates’ page which is updated during the day and can be found here.  This is mainly for the benefit of email readers who get the original version, whereas online readers see corrections in real time.

(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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Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    I think it also has the wrong Amex to SPG conversion rate? 40k MR = 13.3k SPG I think.

    • I think your mixing up the MR Marriott rewards conversion rate 40k = 13.3k spg with MR Amex membership rewards 40k = 20k spg

      • Andrew says:

        Hmmm… Is there a transfer bonus I’ve missed? Amex website is showing a 3 to 1 transfer rate.

        Would love if I’m wrong!

  2. Graham Walsh says:

    Looking forward to hearing about the results of the surveys.

  3. JamesB says:

    OT bit: Fan blade inspections ordered on thousands of CFM engines used on 737-7 aircraft. Potentially a much bigger problem than the RR engines on the 787.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-43846660

    • Alex W says:

      According to Wikipedia it’s the 5th time these engines have lost a blade. Although I’m sure they have many millions of hours safe operation too.

  4. OT straightforward question I think – will need to get to new york and back for a wedding on a may weekend in 2019. J or F. Based in London. Any redemption sweet spots, or is it a case if London to New York on Virgin or BA? Should have a 2-4-1 by T-365, no status with either.

    • Peter K says:

      If you can get seats and don’t mind going via Dublin then you can get pre-clearance plus lower fees going that way on Aer Lingus.

      • Just remember LON to NYC has to be booked as 2 separate tickets in order to avoid the taxes and so you would not be able to use the 241 on that leg. Of course if you don’t need the baggage allowance you could take the short hop in economy.

        LON DUB economy

        DUB NYC LON in J/F 241.

        • Only you can’t use a 241 starting from anywhere other than the UK (assuming this is a UK 241).

    • New York always has good availability in J and F on BA due to the sheer volume of flights plus 2 airports to chose from (JFK & Newark). Depending on which weekend the wedding is it could be peak or off peak (the bank holiday weekend at the end of May will be peak pricing).

    • My colleague uses his avios to redeem on the BA flight out of LCY and said he does pre clearance at DUB.

      • More likely she does pre clearance in Shannon since that’s where the plane refuels!

    • Lady London says:

      Watch Iberia offers if you are prepared to fly out of Madrid, one might come along

  5. Peter K says:

    You never had the multiple entries problem when we just used the second half of our postcodes 😉

  6. callum says:

    I’m very intrigued what product is deemed “fantastic” (and by who!) yet hated by the readership here.

    • Yes, me too. Just skim read all the comments under both Economy and PE competitions and don’t get a general feeling of hate towards anyone particular option.

    • If there is a PE seat which is half as big again as any other PE seat, and has lounge access included, why would you not choose it?

  7. Sorry, I didn’t quite get what was and was not the problem – using the same name or the same email address for entries?

  8. OT: Can the lloyds upgrade voucher be used for an open jaw return? e.g. LHR-PEK and HKG-LHR, thanks.

    • I have done something similar in the past, but had to call. I don’t know if the website has been updated since, but hopefully they can process this over the phone.

    • Yes if you call them. I am using 2 of them for returns to fly into IAD and out of BOS this summer.

    • Awesome, thanks David and Anna!

    • Yes, you’ll need to phone Avios though, don’t believe it’s possible online

    • the_real_a says:

      Yes no issues via phone – but on this route if are traveling to the region again in the next 12 months you can do HKG – LHR / LHR – ASIA and add on two one way trips each side you can save circa £200 on the taxes.

  9. Alex W says:

    Love Enter Shikari!

  10. Jeremy says:

    What about the St Regis Maldives? That also looks to be all-suite.

    • It is not on the list on the Cat 7 page of spg.com. Not saying the list is necessarily correct but I am cutting and pasting from it.

  11. Cate ⛱️ says:

    ‘where a fantastic product got slaughtered by you, the HFP readers – shows “why we can’t have nice things”.

    Anika, the researcher in charge of the survey is responsible for controlling the variables – not the participants.

  12. Intrigued to see how a product can get “slaughtered” when it was a case of choose your favourite product. Choosing X does not mean I don’t like Y too…. Will read the results with interest, especially as PE is my preferred level if I’m paying for a daytime flight (I just don’t want or need Business to sit and read a book).

    Also in the spirit of science: You’ve prejudged the answer by assuming you already know which product is fantastic. The answer isn’t “wrong” just because it’s different to what you expected 😛

  13. Lady London says:

    OT Does anyone have any experience of using Firefly car rental (Hertz’s LCC car rental brand) in Europe? I’m getting huge prices for a public holiday weekend in Italy.

    For the first time ever, I’m looking at the kind of cheap car hire firms you can find on Skyscanner, but very fearful of what it’s like dealing with Firefly or cheaper car consolidators…

    Does anyone have any advice?

  14. Dirtyneedlebluesky says:

    Of all the things I didn’t think would be mentioned on here…. Enter Shikari!! ????????????????

  15. I got only SPG points collected via few stays. Would it be better value to transfer them to marriot points or leave it as it is?

  16. o/t BAPP

    I am just about to hit the £3k sign up bonus target for 26k Avios, but at the moment I don’t think I’m likely to hit the £10k 241 target in the next 11 months.

    Am I right in thinking I can downgrade to the free BA Amex now, keep an eye on my spending, and then if I am close to the £10k, then I can apply to upgrade to the BAPP again and trigger the 241 at £10k?

    • Yes you can. You can even upgrade after spending £10k and get the voucher. Though Amex may take a dim view if you do this too many times.

      • Great thanks.

        • JamesB says:

          There is a potential problem though Tom. With the cobranding issue the BA cards will likely change. The question is , when and in what way? I am due my next BA churn in a few weeks and would like to follow the same plan as you but I am now considering just swallowing the fee and holding onto the BAPP once I have it to be on the safe side.

        • There is a view, as I was discussing with a senior card industry on Friday, that Amex is going to start a very big push on Gold and Platinum. (We, separately, have been talking to Amex about some Plat advertising.) The problem is that Amex presumably cannot – for contractual reasons – have better BA transfer rates via Membership Rewards than it has via the BA Amex.

          If I were Amex I would also be doing deals with United, Lufthansa and American given that those MBNA cards are presumably heading towards closure now they are no longer available to new applicants.

        • Very true JamesB.

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