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Bits: Virgin update, 300 bonus Accor points on your next stay, Cardiff Airport pulls out of Priority Pass and Lounge Club

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News in brief:

Quick update to our Virgin Atlantic article yesterday

We did a round-up of the Virgin Atlantic route network yesterday – see this article.

We missed out the recent relaunch of Mumbai.  Due to a bizarre editing error, Tel Aviv ended up under the Americas list!  Both are now corrected.

300 bonus Le Club AccorHotels points

Get 300 bonus Le Club AccorHotels points on your next UK stay

(EDIT: there is NO ‘register now’ button on the landing page!  This is despite the fact that the rules say you must register before booking.  No idea what Accor is playing at here …..)

Accor Hotels has launched a new offer for stays in the UK and selected parts of Europe.  Stays in the UK plus Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden are eligible.

You will earn 300 bonus points on your next stay in these countries at these brands: ibis, ibis Styles, Mercure, Novotel, Novotel Suites, Pullman, MGallery and Sofitel.

There are three key points to note:

300 points is OK given that each point is worth 2 Eurocents if you redeem for Accor vouchers.  You would get €6 back in total for your next stay.  300 Accor points is also worth 300 Avios if you convert them to Iberia Plus (but only 150 Avios if you convert to BA Executive Club!).

You must register and book before 27th November, and stay before 31st December.  Existing bookings made before you registered will not count

Don’t forget to register via this special page on the Accor website BEFORE you book. 

Executive Lounge Cardiff Airport food

The Cardiff Airport lounge has pulled out of Priority Pass and Lounge Club

The 51 Degrees lounge at Cardiff Airport has withdrawn from Priority Pass, Lounge Club and Mastercard’s LoungeKey – the three airport lounge schemes runs by Collinson.

This was effective as of 1st October.

DragonPass, which is not part of the Collinson empire, is not impacted.  The airport website does say, however, that “only bookings made via Cardiff Airport guarantee access to the lounge – access with Dragonpass is subject to availability.”

It isn’t clear why this happened.  One possibility is that the daily Qatar Airways service, which departs at 4pm and so requires lounge space between the usually off-peak hours of 1pm and 4pm, has led to overcrowding.  It may, of course, also have been due to a falling out with Collinson over money.

We have an updated reader review of the Cardiff Airport lounge ready to go which we will hopefully run next weekend.  It seems that fewer of you will now get a chance to try it out, however.

The airport lounge page of the Cardiff Airport website is here, although it doesn’t add much to what I wrote above.

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Comments

  1. Spaghetti Town says:

    Space is very limited in the Cardiff lounge now. It’s been split up and 2/3rds of it is now sectioned off for Qatar and KLM passengers

    • Yep, to be honest this isn’t a big loss, you aren’t even allowed to use the toilet unless you are in that section of the lounge! Certainly wouldn’t pay cash or use a visit for it, only used it because we have unlimited PP cards

    • Jessiefan says:

      Wasn’t sectioned off on Thursday, but that was about 4.30 so maybe only before Quatar plane has left. But it’s a crappy lounge, unless you really like jacobs mini crackers, which is about all there is to eat. Got in on Dragonpass but non acceptance of PP is not helpful, and further devalues AMex Plat.

    • Qatar flight departs at either 8am ish or around 4pm ish. Alternates each day. It’s not the greatest lounge in the world but I can’t understand why they would pull out, I’ve never seen it bursting in there. Makes no sense to me.

  2. Morning All

    There is no ‘register’ button on the site when I click on the link

    Can someone direct me to the page where I can find my registered offers please?

    The Accor site is really poorly designed in places 🙄

    Thank you 😊

    • I shouldn’t worry – once logged in, the “book” button does nothing either (at least on iPad). Grrr.

    • Same here. The link brings you straight to the booking page. And no mention about the need to register. Rob, can you please 2xcheck?

    • Terms and conditions clearly say must register by pressing the “Register Now” button prior to booking in order to receive the bonus points. But there is no “Register Now” button 🙁

      BTW, anyone know whether the Ibis Business flexible rate should qualify?

  3. OT: FYI for anyone who booked the £999 HK fares on Swiss/LH. I credited the flights to United, having first status matched us from BA Silver/Gold. The P fares credit 100% mileage but the status match provides an extra 1.5x and 1.75x multiplier respectively (around 19k and 22k miles in total).

    Have already used 10k for two one way flights in Japan under 800 miles. Zero taxes/fees! BA charges 12k Avios + £4 (ish) for the same thing on JAL under 650 miles.

  4. OT: Just back from Lyon and Provence where we tried the IC Lyon (opened just a month ago) and IC Marseilles. Both treat ambassadors well but we had our share of snags in both (don’t see us returning in IC Marseille) . We highly recommend Lyon (which is so underrated) and IC Lyon for a weekend getaway. I am sure Rob will have an article planned for it in coming days. We did not have breakfast or use the smallish (we did see it) club lounge but can answer any other queries.

    A useful tip, if you are a true bargain hunter (I was going to say HFPer but I don’t want to offend the high rolling city types:)), you can go from Lyon airport to hotel with the 24h transport day pass rather than buy the outrageously expensive “Rhone Express” tickets. If buying a city card (with access to museums) then the combo may present good value as the Rhone Express does save time.

    • RussellH says:

      Please post details of your ‘snags’.

      I posted at length about the IC in Lyon a few weeks ago – it would be interesting to see if yours were the same as ours! (We stayed on an IHG Black Card free night, and my partner, who booked, is amb too.)

      • Please find below as requested (apologies for the long post )
        IC Lyon – Booked as IHG Credit Card Reward Night
        • Arrived at 11 am. Upgraded & escorted to duplex signature suite with river view. Not only was the room ready but really impressed that fruit platter, Evian bottle and local praline gift were already in the room.
        • Club access for €100 for Ambassadors (€140 otherwise) on weekdays. Weekend rates are slightly less I believe (€80) [We did not take it as we decided to explore local cuisine as much as possible]
        • 2 drinks voucher in the famous “Dome Bar”. Cocktails (€20 Euros) were included.
        • €15 Euro F&B credit valid everywhere including room service, breakfast & mini bar (Room service also provides the 3-course afternoon Menu served in the restaurant)

        Snags we encountered
        • We had opted for 4 pm late check out but between 12 and 16h, we were disturbed 4 times by housekeeping
        • There was no Wi fi reception downstairs in the Suite [the bed & bathroom is downstairs]
        • We had asked for something (which impacted our schedule) at reception and in spite of one reminder we never heard back from them regarding it.

        Other things to be aware of
        • No swimming pool
        • Access to the fitness room in an external spa (different building at 2 mins walk)
        • The upper level of suite has no water facilities at all so if you need to wash hands, get water for kettle you need to climb down the 20 stairs to lower level

        Why we loved the experience
        • Amazing Ambassador recognition & good service overall
        • Sipping (free) cocktails under the amazing dome
        • Higher end local provenance toiletries in the suite
        • Esthetical hallways highlighting the old pillars
        • Huge choice of restaurants for all budgets within 5 mins walk
        • Lots of high-end bakeries with amazing cakes nearby
        • One of the most beautiful buildings in Lyon (The Free walking tour infact ends at the Hotel and we strongly recommend it)

        Other Tips:
        • High end food hall in the Hotel complex (Pignol, La Mere Richard etc.) with suppliers used by Michelin restaurants. You can see (or even eat) the famous Bresse chicken (22 €/Kilo) or sample gourmet cheeses with wine at La Mere Richard
        • IC Lyon is situated in one of the most beautiful areas to discover at night when illuminated (Theatre building, Place de Jacobin fountain, Bellecour etc.) all within 5-8 mins walk of Hotel

        Airport Tip:

        The Rhone Express station is 10-15 mins walk from the Terminals. Instead, if you exit the Terminal, there is a bus stop and you can catch Bus 47 which will drop you at a stop on Tramway T1 (this stop is incidentally one of the 2 intermediate stops of Rhone express). From there depending on where you are staying you can go anywhere in Lyon. The bus journey takes 30 mins so it is slower than ‘Rhone Express’ but you can buy 24h pass for 6 Euros on the bus (cash only) whereas one-way Rhone Express is around 15-17 Euros depending on how you buy it.

        Lyon General Tip:
        Take Furnicular 1 to visit the “La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere” but once you are done enjoying the views, don’t miss the Roman amphi theatres at 3 mins walk (free access to site) Walk down the stairs and you can catch Furnicular 2 to come back to old town.

    • Thanks. Details of your travel from/to Lyon airport using your 24h transport day pass would be useful.

      • Hello Lyn,
        Posted above in reply to RussellH

        • Thank you for the tips about the local area and funicular / ampitheatre as well as airport transportation and the hotel itself. I’m sure this will be useful for other people as well.

          I was pleased to see the Lyon flights departs from T3 until I checked the winter schedule and saw that it changes to T5.

  5. OT – Any airline status match opportunity using Amex Platinum?
    Looking to ultimately get BA Silver which I would achieve by flying over next 6 months but just seeing if I can leverage my Amex Platinum card.

  6. It’s an odd decision on Cardiff’s part. They sell access for 20 pounds – assuming that hasn’t changed. But I would agree it’s not worth it for the service provided. Might still pay it to avoid the rest of the departures area though, which is basically a massive beer hall…

  7. Travel Strong says:

    Cardiff lounge only boosts the BRS offering. I struggle to find flights that work from CWL already, and have to go to BRS instead.

    So now its a choice of (a) poor flight options and no lounge, (b) plenty of flight options and aspire lounge (never been turned away at BRS aspire with PP)

    The Cardiff lounge is very quiet in the mornings, usually 4 or 5 in there for breakfast. Shame they couldnt figure something out to make PP work.

  8. Very OT: I’m looking at booking my first ba 241. My voucher expires September 2020 but we haven’t been able to use it yet. We are 2 adults, a 2 years old and an under 2. We are looking at some options but as I noticed in Robs comments, there’s usually only 2 biz class Avios seats. Can anyone give me any kind guidance on what they do in these circumstances? Do you just wait until more availability comes up before booking any of the seats or book the 2 in hope another 2 pops up in the future?
    Any guidance on using the voucher much appreciated. Thanks so much in advance. (This has probably been asked several times already but trawling through comments I can’t find anything specific)

    • Have a look in reward flight finder for availability for 3 seats and go from there to see where you can go? (if your under 2 will be lap infant?)

      • Thanks Louise yes I’ve been using that without success on finding a suitable flight. The infant is only 9 months currently and really no point paying the taxes for him for an extra seat as he will likely not make much use of it in any case.

    • ankomonkey says:

      A couple of times I have booked 2 in CW and 2 in WT, then upgraded the two WT tickets when CW availability appeared. We are fortunate that extra CW availability did show up eventually. We needed a particular route on a particular date (+/- a day or two), so were probably lucky. I don’t bother much with BA and the 241 anymore due to high fees, change fees, seat selection fees and the need to check availability daily, but valued direct flights when our kids were young.

      • yes I definitely agree with that. We travel almost bi-monthly but have only ever flown Economy (although BA once did upgrade my seat to Biz when I had pains during a flight whilst pregnant).
        Direct really is a must with the kids and I applied for the 241 with high hopes but as I haven’t used it before, I am struggling to use it most effectively. Biz (or First) would be a dream with kids I’m sure!

      • If I book the outward flight in biz as there are no inbound, is there a time limit to then get the inbound ones booked? should i book inbound in economy (no premium economy showing either), or should i book one way and call up when/if inbound become available and is there a time restriction as mentioned? and if they do not become available, i guess i can cancel the outbound? TIA

        • Zara, where you you want to go? There are plenty of US cities with 3 or more seats available in CW in the next 11 months, also the Bahamas and Bermuda, I understand why you can’t see much availability.

        • On a random Wednesday in June 2020, RFF is showing 3 seats in CW to Boston, NYC, Baltimore, Washington DC, Atlanta, Tampa, Miami, Barbados, Antigua, St Kitts, Mexico City, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore plus several other African and Asian destinations!

          • Hmmm…. I might not be using it properly!! It’s the first time having tried RFF too! I don’t have anywhere concrete but when I tried to see where I could go with 3 seats, it only came up with Europe mainly and some US which I’m not keen on. Malaysia is worth considering. Does anyone have ideas of what I should use the voucher on – somewhere exotic and relaxing with two young kids… like I say I have no concrete plans just want a relaxing / good value flight redemption somewhere using the 241

          • Just checked KL and there’s outbound but no inbounds available for 3 pax. Am I missing something? June isn’t ideal timing wise though just wanted to check if I was doing something wrong but I can’t see any inbound for June aside from I think the 2nd June

          • I just picked a random day to show what is available – the following day also had Orlando and Johannesburg so you really need to do a bit of research to find something that suits you. I’d suggest picking your acceptable dates and destinations then looking for places with outbound and inbound availability. Another option as previously suggested is to travel back in a different class or upgrade if further seats open up.
            What we often do as a family is to use the companion voucher for 2 of us and book the 3rd person on a BA holiday so we don’t have to pay most of the cost until 5 weeks before travel and get some avios and tier points back. Did this to GCM this summer and it got my OH Bronze status plus 20,000 avios.

          • I don’t know what Malaysia is like in May but there’s decent availability out and back in CW.

          • Thanks Anna and sorry for the delayed reply. I’ll have a good (better!) look and see. I’ve never tried BA HOLIDAYS either so need to look into that. The wealth of knowledge on HFP! thanks so much. Hope I can find something

  9. fivebobbill says:

    O/T – Just a quick thank you to those that helped with info for my recent trip to Israel, just got home yesterday. To recap, having assumed the BA Tel Aviv flight would depart from T5B/C gates as usual, some of you recommended the 5B Galleries Lounge instead of the usual North/South options, others suggested we then also use the “tunnel” instead of the transit to get to 5B.
    Just to report, the tunnel was an excellent choice, we met no-one down there but the resident paramedic & bicycle! Leisurely walk time was about 10 minutes, and a novelty!
    The 5B Lounge was like heaven compared to North/South, lots of empty areas, and the girls got their Elemis treatment within an hour! An actual pleasure for a change.
    As it turned out however, the Tel Aviv flight was diverted back to 5A gates with a bus transfer to plane, but it still only took us 10 leisurely minutes to walk back to 5A through the tunnel.
    I have another 3hrs + transfer time later this month when off to Singapore, and for sure I will be heading straight to the 5B Galleries Lounge, I would highly recommend everyone else does the same if they ever have the time.
    Thanks to all once again for the advice.

    • fivebobbill says:

      Oh by the way, the “Dan” Lounge in Tel Aviv T3 Concourse C was grim …

      • fivebobbill says:

        … and Dublin T1 Lounge wasn’t much better, the food options in there have really gone downhill lately, awful, and it’s always packed.

  10. Neil Holland says:

    The Accor offer still missing a “Register” button at 15:20 on Sunday.

  11. OT re Hilton redemptions – if you book a night on points at an All-Inclusive resort, do you get the All-Inclusive package? I was looking at the Hilton La Romana but it doesn’t say whether or not there is an extra supplement to pay for F & B.

    • Hi Anna I haven’t tried this but we go to all inclusive resorts often and going to Hilton dalaman this week actually which is also an all inclusive resort. Tbh when the resort is all inclusive they can’t reallt administer anything else so I can’t imagine there’d be a charge for anything otherwise because they can’t police it but if you like I can ask at the front office when I get there later in the week.

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