Qatar Business Class

Bits: Sunday Times, impressive TAP deal to Rio (£1349) for Christmas, last chance for Hilton’s Winter Sale

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News in brief:

HFP and a reader in The Sunday Times

Back in early December, I asked for volunteers to work with a national newspaper which was planning a big article of earning Avios from credit cards.

The article ran yesterday in The Sunday Times (see here, paywall) featuring myself and reader Paul, who had a fantastic story to share.  I can’t reproduce it but if you look at HFP on your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram feeds you may be able to expand the image I posted enough to read it 🙂

Head for Points in the Sunday Times

Excellent TAP Air Portugal deals to Rio from London, including Christmas

TAP Air Portugal is offering some excellent Business Class deals to Rio de Janeiro.

These flights are from London and Manchester, so no positioning is involved.  You will be routed via Porto or Lisbon.  You can add a stopover here if you wish for the same flight price, although obviously you are responsible for your hotel costs.

TAP has recently taken delivery of a fleet of A320neo, A321neo and A330neo aircraft.   It is the first airline in the world to operate the A330neo and this is what you will be getting to Rio in most cases.  You can find out more about the TAP neo fleet here.

Here is a typical fare to Rio covering Christmas, for £1349:

TAP deal to Rio

This price is available from September until New Year, albeit not every day. Similar deals are available to Recife and Salvador.

TAP Air Portugal is a member of Star Alliance so your flights will earn miles in any Star Alliance frequent flyer scheme.  This HFP article discusses which Star Alliance programme may be best for you.

Your best option to maximise your miles when paying is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold.  This offers double points – 2 per £1 – when you when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.

You can find out more on the TAP website here.

Hat-tip to Jack’s Flight Club.

Hilton winter sale

Last chance to book in the Hilton Winter Sale

This is your last chance to book in the Hilton Winter Sale and lock in decent weekend deals across Europe, Africa and Middle East.

Full details are on the Hilton website here.

The sale offers up to 30% off the standard Best Available Rate if you are a Hilton Honors member.

That said ….. basing the ‘30% saving’ on the Best Available Bed & Breakfast rate is not exactly fair. Sale rates are non refundable so it is cheeky to compare them to a refundable rate but these deals do usually offer a saving on the usual ‘advanced purchase’ price. Full pre-payment needs to be made at time of booking.

This rate is only available for weekend stays.  The good news is that you can lock in prices for stays between now and as far out as 31st August.  Rooms must be booked by TOMORROW, 28th January.

The 30% savings are for Hilton Honors members only. The normal sale discount rate is 25%. If you aren’t a Hilton Honors member – very unlikely I admit if you are a regular HFP reader! – you can sign up when booking your stay.

Hilton Points Unlimited

Don’t forget to register for the new Spring promotion!

Hilton Honors has launched its new Spring promotion, Points Unlimitedwhich is now open for registration.

To give Hilton credit, it is very straightforward with minimal small print:

You will earn 2,000 bonus Hilton Honors points for every stay between 6th January and 3rd May.

Even better, you will earn an additional 10,000 bonus Hilton Honors points for every TEN nights you complete.

There is no cap to what you can earn and there are no minimum stay requirements.  The bonus should also trigger on reward stays given how similar promotions have worked in the past.

You can register for the offer here.

Hilton winter sale

…. and also don’t forget Hilton’s generous status match offer

Finally, remember that if you have top or mid-tier status with another hotel loyalty scheme, Hilton will match you to Gold for 90 days and give you an opportunity to keep it until March 2021 or even be upgraded to Diamond.

Details of how you can claim your status match are in this article.

Top-tier Diamond status comes with guaranteed Executive Lounge access and (on request) late check-out at most brands.  Gold – which you are given instantly as part of the match – gets you free breakfast and some sort of upgrade.  If you have status elsewhere that you can match, and can pick up a sale deal at a property with a decent lounge, you should get a good deal.

Full sale details and the booking site are here.

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  1. The TAP deal is valid for economy and one-ways as well. You can add a stop-over in Portugal and that even makes the ticket cheaper due to no APD.

  2. Riccatti says:

    TAP fare is good though ex-EU 1200-1300 EUR to GIG/GRU can be met.

    TAP should amend fare rules for this fare to be used multi-city. Straight LIS departure should save 200-300GBP on APD and such. 1000GBP return to LHR fare will be news.

    LHR – LIS is the usual “economy” business.

  3. Direct flights to Seoul can cost “up to” £1200 in J???

    Slightly odd wording at the bottom of column 4…. sounds like the author thinks that households pay for everything except “shopping”, holidays and insurance using cash.

    • To be fair, by the standards of national press articles on miles and points, this one is substantially above average in terms of its accuracy. At least the author isn’t saying a Seoul flight is ‘worth’ £6000 because a fully flex J costs that …..

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Would love for business flights to cost up to £1200 to everywhere all the time.

      I assumed they meant PE

  4. Shoestring says:

    Direct Mail – Try Clubcard Plus free for two months (Tesco) – unique code

  5. OT – looking to book a intra US flight for August, price $99 each so for the 2 of us total approx £150-£160 on current xrates.

    Would this be covered by S75 as item price individually sub £100?

    • Why would you need S75 protection? Highly unlikely that most US carriers, being some of the most profitable in the world, would go belly up this year.

      • Shoestring says:

        lots of reasons – strikes/ cancellations etc

        @MattB it’s not the individual components that matter – they can be under £100 – but you must pay it all in one credit card transaction (& Amex splitting it by person on your statement wouldn’t put them in the clear for S75 liability before anybody asks)

        • On a strict interpretation of s.75, s.75 wouldn’t be available as each person ticket is under £100 which is the threshold regardless of the overall value.

          • Shoestring says:

            true but sometimes the ombudsman has ruled in favour of the claimant in similar cases

            eg Bott & Co say paying £300 for 6 chairs (£50 each) wouldn’t count if one were deficient – but you could conversely argue to the Ombudsman that it was a set of 6 & win (on a good day)

          • Shoestring says:

            [The single-item loophole
            Something that often catches people out is what constitutes the £100 minimum. It’s not based on your total spend with the retailer in a transaction – instead, it’s per single item.
            So if you buy four of the same item at £30 each, although you’ve paid £120 to the retailer, you won’t be covered.
            But if there was a multipack of those same items that came in at £100, then you would be covered.
            Transport such as train and airplane tickets is one to really watch here, with two singles – one outbound and one return – which are less than £100 each not providing the same protection as a return ticket that costs more than £100.]

        • What does S75 give you when a flight is cancelled? (Assuming the airline already books you in another flight)

          • Shoestring says:

            1. often an airline will prove intractable about booking you onto a competitor airline, which might, for example depart at a similar time to your cancelled flight & be convenient – whereas your original airline might want you to wait a day or longer so that you fly with them (to save money)

            under S75, the credit card co has a contract with you to fulfil the terms of your original ticket, so you can ‘insist’ through discussion that it pays the difference between the 2 tickets, ie you get a refund on ticket 1, buy ticket 2, the credit card co paying the difference

            2. consequential losses – often a cancellation means you will have paid and lose a day’s hotel night/ car hire at destination – no airline will refund this whereas a credit card co will under S75

            3. not every airline will provide duty of care whilst you wait to leave on the new flight – the credit card co will pay your hotel/ food etc if the airline refuses

          • Shoestring, in light of these points (which I agree with), what are your thoughts on purchasing a flight on an Amex Platinum (Charge) – where S75 doesn’t apply? Some of these are explicitly covered by the Platinum travel insurance, but would Amex honour something like a new flight booking on a new airline, or are you better using a cc instead where S75 applies

          • Shoestring says:

            I’d prefer the certainty of law/ S75 – which is why I am cancelling my Gold charge card and replacing it with a Gold credit card

            having said that, people say Amex/ Plat insurance are good at looking after you – but how are they going to respond if (say) the costs start to mount up? you’re there ‘by their grace’ so to speak

            I was kicking myself the other day as I forgot to use a credit card for my wife’s Ryanair flight out to our place in the sun for 5 days over late May bank hols, I just automatically paid on Gold (charge) Amex

          • Thanks for the explanation Shoestring.

  6. Can the Capital On Tap Visa card be used to top up Revolut? and avoid cash fee’s interest?

    • Pangolin says:

      CoT blocks Revolut, according to an HFP commenter who posted last weekend.

      I don’t have this card myself so maybe others will confirm.

  7. OT: I’ve been offered 2500 avios for a broken headrest on a recent LHR – JFK. This one was an economy flight and I’m only BA blue. Fair compo?

    • Shoestring says:

      what did you pay – £250 rtn? so getting back £25 from £125 would seem fair

      • My partner booked us the £399 3-night NY flight and hotel in the sale last year.

        • Shoestring says:

          nice BA deal you got, I think 2500 is OK, going back & asking for more/ discomfort factor & no sleep etc might work but there’s a personal limit and I wouldn’t

  8. Nick Burch says:

    OT Just had an email from BA

    We’re looking at trialling a new system that will allow you to pre-order your M&S on board food before you fly. We would like to invite you to take part in the trial.

    All you need to do is choose from one of three meal deals from the M&S on board menu, which will be free of charge for the trial.

    Taking part is simple:
    Just select your flight and order your meal at least 72 hours before your flight departs.

    Meals are subject to availability so first come, first served.

    Link is personalised, so I can’t share it, sorry! 3 options given are:
    * Meal Deal 1: Tapas Platter and a choice of wine, beer, hot drink or a soft drink
    * Meal Deal 2: Sandwich, snack and choice of wine or beer
    * Meal Deal 3: Sandwich, snack and a choice of a hot or soft drink

    • Shoestring says:

      definitely not (3)! 🙂

    • Does it tell you what sandwiches?

    • No chance. If I think I’m going to need to eat on a short haul flight I pack my own gourmet picnic for substantially less than BoB prices, and don’t have to wait while everyone else is served!

      • Lady London says:

        If BA was offering us to order from Do & Co I’d happily order and pay up.

        M&S… no chance. Not even f.o.c.

        • Genghis says:

          Tried the afternoon tea for the first time last week. Good idea, “best of British” kinda thing, really badly executed.

  9. Spurs Debs says:

    O/T. Is there a way I can get points credited to BA executive club with Blacklane?


  10. OT – I’ve booked a night at the Durham County Royal Marriott for Feb half term. The only room showing for 3 was a rather expensive suite, however the system let me book a room with 1 king bed and request a rollaway bed. I called CS to ask if a 3rd person (our teenager) was ok to use the rollaway and they said no, the room is only for 2 and the rollaway is for if the 2 don’t want to share the king bed! This sounds utterly ridiculous – will we have any issues showing up as 2 adults and a child? We are both Bonvoy gold so should they offer to upgrade us if they won’t let 3 of us use the room?

    Data point – adding a supplementary card to Amex MR gold still triggers 3000 MR points, I wasn’t sure if they still did this.

  11. Michael C says:

    OT and I know it’s vague, but: I can upgrade my return BCN-LHR this week to Club for 100 GBP (can’t use Avios). The main thing for me would be going from 5 to 40 tier points. Bearing in mind I justttt about scrape Silver each year, would you say the upgrade is worth it?

    • Shoestring says:

      not when for £160 you can/ could get 160 TPs going to Helsinki! (obvs there would be a hotel & time commitment)

      all the T3 lounges (BA/ AA/ Qantas/ Cathay) to trash on the way out as well

    • Is that £100 for the return or each way? Flying to Frankfurt next month and it was £119 outbound and €80 inbound to upgrade to business

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