Bits: more Santiago and Washington Avios seats, Radisson sale, Conrad Maldives new underwater room

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News in brief:

Additional BA services to Santiago and Washington launched

British Airways has launched new services to Santiago (pictured below) and Washington for the Winter.

From 28th October, a fifth weekly Santiago, Chile flight will be launched.  This will operate on a Sunday.

From the same date, an additional three weekly flights to Washington Dulles will be added.  These will operate on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

The usual ‘two Club World’ Avios seats will be available on these new services.  If you have been looking for Avios availability to Santiago or Washington from November onwards you should take another look today.  You should find seats on these new flights.

Radisson Blu April sale – last chance

Radisson Blu’s April sale is about to end.  We didn’t mention it when it launched but handily it has now been extended by a few days.

Until Monday 30th April you can save up to 25% off the Best Available Rate at participating Radisson Blu hotels in Europe and get a further 5% off as a Radisson Rewards member.

This offer is bookable until 30th April for stays between 29th June and 26th August.

The offer page is here.

conrad maldives underwater residence

New underwater room at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

About a year ago we published a 4-part review of the fantastic Conrad Maldives written by one of our regular commentors.

The resort was already quite impressive but has now invested a further $15 million to offer guests the opportunity to sleep underwater.

From later this year guests will be able to book the underwater residence called Muraka (coral).  The Muraka will have two floors of which the lower one sits five metres below sea level featuring a 180-degree dome for panoramic views of the marine life.  The upper level will have a further two bedrooms, bathroom, gym, butler’s and private security quarters, a living room, kitchen and a deck facing the direction of the sunset. If you prefer sunrise, there is a further deck by the infinity pool facing the other direction.

You can find more information in this article by Hotel News Resource.

The Conrad Maldives site is here.

(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.)

Alex Cruz speaks about the new Club World and First Class seats
Should I do a Marriott Platinum Challenge to lock in the new benefits?
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  1. We witnessed recently the Muraka being constructed whilst on our stay at Rangali Island. The hotel industry in the Maldives has got very competitive and this was a big deal for Conrad Rangali to be the first with an underwater suite.
    Our host wanted to be become responsible for the guests for the Muraka, can’t imagine why? ????

  2. Even if I had the money I don’t think I could sleep in there for worrying that a crack would appear and water start gushing in! On the other hand, it would make a great setting for the next Jurassic Park style disaster movie!

  3. Off topic:
    Trying to use my Creation IHG Free Night at Kimpton Muse in NYC. Rewards nights are available. Customer services have confirmed Chase Free Nights are available too but not UK Credit Card Free Nights.

    Any idea how to open this up?

    • Odd. Did not think that Kimpton was restricted, unless the wording has not been updated from the time before they bought Kimpton and someone is taking it literally.

      • The other Kimptons in NYC are available. Muse and the new CP HY36 aren’t for some reason.

        Customer Services are telling me:
        “I would like to inform you that our credit card free night do not have blackout dates, the availability for such rate types are limited and subject to prior bookings. Our system rules state that when a hotel’s occupancy reaches a certain limit, the hotel may refrain from making additional credit card free night reservations. Further, while all calendar dates are eligible for such rate type, rooms are limited, subject to prior sale and availability of allocated resources, and may be unavailable during high demand periods. Once those rooms are reserved, the hotel can no longer offer free night rooms even if they have other rooms available for a paying rate or Rewards Nights reservation. Thus, we highly encourage you to book in advance.”

        I’m challenging that as Chase nights are available, so why not UK free nights? Seems like an inventory issue to me. This hotel has no availability all year despite Chase and reward night availability.

        • That kind of sounds like all the free nights have been earmarked for Chase credit cards and none for the UK card by the hotel.

  4. O/T I’ve just downgraded my BAPP to the free card and was advised on the phone I may not be able to switch back to the BAPP in the future. Is this normal and just standard amex blurb or should I consider cancelling the card if I want to get the premium card in the future? Thanks

  5. Off-topic: I’ve only been on the points and miles game for a few months, so when I started, the SPG/Marriott merger was already in motion. This held me back from getting the SPG Amex, as with the uncertainty about whether the mileage transfers would continue, I didn’t think I’d be able to build a large enough balance (especially since I never stay at either Marriott or SPG hotels) to get any worthwhile amount of miles if they were shut down.

    I’ve been thinking of getting the Amex Gold Companion credit card, for the MR bonus, and I’ve already have the BAPP, but now I’m wondering if there’s any change of the earning rate on the Amex SPG being grandfathered in, and maybe I should get that one instead? Any advice?

    • In the US Amex is losing the personal card in the new scheme. It only has the small business and ‘premium / high fee personal’ contract. It is not clear how that impacts the UK. The Creation mastercard returns – fact. What is the point of an Amex which would have the same interchange fee?

    • my wife received today replacement Hilton cards today, which means very little of course.

    • I forgot to add Rob’s favourite BMI card that lasted for years that Rob used for his tax bill……

  6. AndyGWP says:

    OT – who wants to mention their billhop referral code for me to use? (also, remind me what benefits I would get from using it) 🙂

    • Lucinda says:

      Unfortunately the referral bonus scheme has finished 🙁

      • Peter K says:

        It closed on 31st March, though people were bandying codes around after this point for some reason.

        • AndyGWP says:

          Ah – well I’ve got a few weeks till I need to use it, so will wait around just in case something pops up 🙂 – thanks both

        • Scallder says:

          indeed it stated a finish date of 31st March, however I had a succesful sign up after this date which triggered the amount. Shame it’s closed now!

  7. OT flying AUH-LHR Economy Saturday BA Blue, what are chances of getting an op-up or availability of AUP ex-AUH? Tried to UUA to WT+ but message came up saying fare class not eligible for upgrade using avios

  8. Given the ongoing 787 blade issues, it seems bold to be scheduling an additional flight to SCL as I can’t imagine it will all be sorted by October.

  9. OT – Can anyone remind me the process for booking using a 241 and initially just booking the outward leg and then booking the return at T-355? Thanks

    • Book outbound online. Then call up T-355 to add the return when the dates are released. BA may need to call you back to confirm taxes but that’s how I’ve done it twice (albeit not at T-355).

  10. Adrian says:

    O/T Should I do a Marriott Platinum Challenge or Hilton Diamond?

    Rob/guys, following on from your post yesterday. Like a lot of guys on here I’m gold with the AmEx plat card for both Marriott and Hilton. As you have said from 2019 the Marriott status becomes useless.
    Marriott requires 9 stays and Hilton 8, Marriott doesn’t include reward stays on points, does Hilton? Can i book some reward stays and they will count towards the diamond requirements?

    My own circumstances, i have way more Hilton points than Marriott, I’d be staying in the USA in Sept (then the far east in Nov), so either chain will be easy to do the challenge (I’ve had permission from my wife, which is the really important part) and the coverage for both chains is good. I know the diamond benefits aren’t much over gold but i’d enjoy the guaranteed lounge access, i’d be interested in people’s thoughts, thank you

    • Pangolin says:

      Reward stays count for the Hilton Diamond challenge so it will be easier in that sense, especially if you have a ton of points to burn.

  11. OT: does the Amex annual cap on referral points run per card year or per calendar year?

  12. Was a bit late to see this, but managed to bag a 31st out, 7th return in Club World for the two of us, and daughter’s ticket coming in at £1,865.41. Unfortunately, first availability didn’t match our dates. Still, 1.796875p per avios in business isn’t too bad a deal (with the 2-4-1 voucher).

  13. Nick Burch says:

    OT I’m in a Hilton Garden Inn tonight, in a “PROTOTYPE BRAND REFIT” room. General design is very nice, quite a lot of wood, fair bit of metal, quite a lot of yellow and green, but it all fits together nicely. Bathroom is very nice too, way better than most UK Hiltons have, and a big step up on the old HGI bathroom. Huge TV, nice sofa / chaise-longe thing.

    One big complaint – the desk has gone! 🙁

    • Lady London says:

      And which Hilton Garden Inn would that be, please?

      • Nick Burch says:

        Hilton Garden Inn Luton North. Only 2 rooms in the new style, and I believe they’re only being assigned to regulars and Diamonds. Rooms pre-assigned a week or so out, and you get a survey. Mine said nice room, shame about the missing desk…

  14. CountryKerry says:

    OT: Has anybody seen or used the Founders Card? For $395 it seems one can acquire the equivalent of BA Silver and other benefits such as 10% off flights and Hilton Gold…

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