Bits: Virgin pilots strike cancelled, new Hilton Curio opens at Canary Wharf, Virgin / Flybe talks continue

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News in brief:

Virgin Atlantic pilot strike cancelled

The proposed Virgin Atlantic pilot strike, which we covered last week, has been blocked in the courts.

The strike was due to run from today to Christmas Day and then on additional dates in the New Year.  It would only have impacted flights flown by the Professional Pilots Union.  As the court judgement was given on the grounds of an improper strike ballot, there is no risk of any action until a fresh ballot has taken place.

Lincoln Plaza London hotel

Lincoln Plaza London hotel at Canary Wharf finally opens

After what was, even by luxury hotel standards, an impressively long delay, the Lincoln Plaza London hotel has finally opened at Canary Wharf.

It is part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, which means that you can earn and spend Hilton Honors points here as well as getting your status benefits.  Curio is a group of high-quality independent hotels which use the Hilton ‘system’ to drive bookings but which operate at arms-length and are given more freedom to run as they see fit.  Looking at the pricing, it looks substantially more expensive than Hilton Canary Wharf.

To quote:

“The hotel echoes the sleek architectural cues of Canary Wharf, drawing inspiration from the area’s rich industrial heritage. In the lobby, guests are welcomed by polished concrete floors, a steel feature wall and steel-framed windows, allowing daylight to flood into the space. “

The dining options seem impressive.  These include:

Mr. Todiwala’s Kitchen, a pan-Indian restaurant from celebrated chef Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL

Food Store, a contemporary restaurant, bar and grocer where guests and locals can relax, dine and stock up on provisions

Jack Speak, a destination cocktail bar and terrace where “guests can choose from an extensive rum and gin selection in a setting that is a playful twist on a 19th century British Navy Officers’ Wardroom”.  This comes with an all-year heated outdoor terrace. 

There will be a pool, sauna and steam room but these will not open until April.

In terms of location, Lincoln Plaza is to the south of the main estate and just south of Marsh Wall and the existing Hilton Canary Wharf.  South Quay is the nearest DLR station.

Redemption rooms are 80,000 Hilton Honors points per night.  They still had availability for the London Marathon weekend when I checked yesterday.  You can find out more on this page of the Hilton website.

How to earn Hilton Honors points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Hilton Honors points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

Virgin Atlantic and Flybe ‘still in talks’

Virgin Atlantic issued a fresh statement, under Stock Exchange rules, on Wednesday regarding Flybe

It said:

“Following our statement on 23 November 2018, Virgin Atlantic confirms that we continue to review our options in respect of Flybe, including potentially making an offer for Flybe. Discussions with Flybe and its management are continuing. Virgin Atlantic emphasises there can be no certainty that any offer will be made nor as to the terms upon which any offer may be made.”

So …. something may still happen between the two companies.  There was some speculation that Virgin Atlantic was not serious and was simply taking the opportunity to have a good look at Flybe’s books, but this does not seem to be the case.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

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  1. I got a mail from Hilton the other day asking if i was interested in joining an online community. Did anyone else get this?

    Dear Stuart,

    The Hilton portfolio of hotel brands would like to offer you the opportunity to join an exclusive, online community limited in membership to 750 guests.

    I filled out the required survey and it mentioned that through regular contribution you would get some rewards, is anyone already a member of this group?

    • Not had this one, but I’ve been a member of various of these type of groups in the past. There are some that give excellent rewards and others that require participation for not a lot in return. Best ones were for The Times and Baileys, where I ended up with several hundred quids worth of Amazon vouchers.

      It’s generally worth signing up and then seeing what kind of contributions they are looking for.

  2. O/T, Miami Car rental.

    Looking to get a premium car from Miami Airport and I’m considering Sixt as they heavily advertise Merc’s etc rather than Hyundia/Ford, but they are getting slammed on review sites, this may be a bait and switch tactic? Any first hand experience?

    I’d usually use Avis as I’m normally not too bothered what I get and I don’t rate any rental company higher than another.

    • I have used Sixt many times in the US (FL/AZ) and had superb service. I matched my loyalty card to the Sixt programme, which gave me Platinum, and was often given a one or two car upgrade. Had Volvo XC90 upgraded from a GLA and also Cadillac SUVs which were brand new.

    • I used Sixt for the past couple of years at LAX. Both times for a Range Rover Evoke or Last year was the BMW 4 series when I only reserved a Ford Mustang.
      I think as they are newer they are trying to win the business from Alamo etc.

  3. Re. Amex Platinum Travel Insurance: I thought Rob has mentioned many times that you are covered as long as you pay with any Amex card? My flight is delayed and just called to ask about information, and was told since I didn’t pay with the Platinum card (I used the SPG card), I’m not entitled to any benefits.

  4. OT – What success have people had getting hotel loyalty numbers added to reservations made third-party (specifically Amex Travel)? I’m not really after points, more the status benefits.

    I just tried to add my Marriott number to a reservation, Marriott said their system wouldn’t do it and to contact the hotel directly. The hotel said it was added successfully.

    Has anyone tried to do this with Marriott/Hilton/Radisson? Would be interested to know of success/failure stories

    • I’ve had status recognised at the Hilton at Manchester airport, and the HGI we’re using in Rome next year has added my HH number and guaranteed 2 x free breakfast (4 nights so a decent saving). Both were booked via BA. It’s best to contact the hotel directly as HH will be quite aggressive about denying you benefits if you haven’t booked direct.

  5. Does paying amex with curve linked to virgin MasterCard attract any fees? I can not recall if someone said it did or not. I know ing card does not.

  6. Jumble Tales says:

    O/T again. Have some SPG/Marriott cash+points redemption options disappeared following the merger? I’m trying to book Turnberry, Scotland with c+p at the same (peak) time I did last year.

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