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Bits: BA Amex offer, extra £100 off at BA Holidays, Eurostar drops Kent, Hampton Blackpool expands

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News in brief:

Update on the BA Amex ‘1,000 Avios’ offer

On Thursday we covered a new British Airways American Express offer. This gives all cardholders an extra 1 Avios per £2 spent until late October, to a maximum of 1,000 bonus Avios.

The original version of our article said that it applied to all BA Amex cards. This was wrong – it does NOT apply to British Airways Premium Plus American Express cards.

Amex told us that ‘the offer applies to all British Airways American Express cards’ which, in retrospect, can be interpreted in two ways. Sorry for any inconvenience.

British Airways BA American Express Amex credit cards

Save an extra £100 in the BA Holidays sale

BA Holidays is offering a further discount on bookings made in the current British Airways sale. If you book a flight + hotel or flight + car holiday before 8th September you can make the following additional savings:

  • £100 extra discount with a minimum spend of £2,500 per booking
  • £50 extra discount with a minimum spend of £1,250 per booking
  • £25 extra discount with a min spend of £650 per booking (flight + Car only)

The discount is valid on selected destinations for 2020 and ALL destinations for 2021.

The British Airways ‘Book with Confidence’ guarantee means that you can change your booking date and destination if you wish (obviously you need to pay any difference if the new holiday is more expensive) or even cancel completely for a Future Travel Voucher.

BA Holidays is offering complimentary access to the Galleries Club lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 5 when booking an economy flight + hotel package. You must travel for seven nights or more, before Christmas Eve. Minimum spend criteria apply.

You can find out more on the BA Holidays sale page here.

Eurostar to withdraw from Ashford and Ebbsfleet

Eurostar has announced that it will not be reinstating services from Ashford International or Ebbsfleet until at least 2022.

Eurostar has continually been the most pessimistic / realistic of the travel companies. It has already scrapped its Summer services to the south of France until 2022, and there will be no ski trains this year.

The decision to end services from Kent for at least two years has not gone down well with local politicians and the wider business community. Given that the trains are passing through the stations anyway, it appears a strange decision. I accept that the need to operate immigration and security facilities means that running costs are not cheap, however.

Hampton Blackpool hotel gets permission for major expansion

I wouldn’t normally run this story, but it ties in with my review of the Holiday Inn Express Bodmin in Cornwall from earlier this week.

In that article I said that three-star hotel operators like Holiday Inn Express, Courtyard by Marriott and Hampton by Hilton were facing an open goal at UK seaside resorts. They are up against the low quality and high cost of independent coastal bed and breakfast establishments.

The Hampton in Blackpool, on South Promenade, has just been granted planning permission for an extra 74 rooms to add to the existing 130. The demand is clearly there from people looking from clean, reliable and good value accommodation.

You can read more on Lancs Live here.

Comments (87)

  • Lady London says:

    sounds like a cheap hostel or a car is the way to go then. The savings on the air fare component might still allow you to come out ahead.

  • Nick says:

    Hello. I’ve got a BAPP that I just don’t need any more and want to cancel and reapply in 2 years. I’ve also got some unused 241 vouchers. What is the risk on doing this? Am I right in thinking that the voucher won’t be canceled? What about if I use the 241 after I cancel the card, but then want to amend my booking? And do I really need an amex to pay the “taxes” for the booking? Cheers.

    • Anna says:

      The vouchers won’t be affected if you cancel the card, even if you subsequently cancel a booking. But yes, you need an Amex to pay the fees, even if it’s someone else’s.

    • Geoff says:

      They will tell you that you need to keep the card, but in reality you don’t. We kept one until we had booked and paid to be on the safe side, then cancelled the card – and then needed to change the booking.

      Bear in mind that ‘amendments’ to rewards bookings are usually ‘cancel and rebook’ and any refund goes to the original card. The rebooking was no issue in terms of re-using the original voucher and paying taxes with a new card but the cash refund went back to the closed card – we then had to get on to Amex to recover the refund.

  • Henk says:

    Eurostar having just announced direct services to/from Holland is shooting itself in the foot. Living in Surrey, there’s no just way I’m going to go all the way to St Pancras to catch a Eurostar train to the continent – always went to Ebbsfleet, or Ashford before Ebbsfleet opened – or indeed Waterloo when the trains used to leave from there.

    And yes, not being in Schengen/EU does add extra costs to this business, whatever the political merits of the case, and I assume this will have played a role in their decision. Plus it will most likely reduce travel demand.

    • Genghis says:

      I used Ebbsfleet when heading to/from home as only 25 mins on the A2 and then straight to the lounge in about 5 mins. Heading to St Pancras from home is more of a pain (train or car) and then much more of a pain through security. Much better (almond) croissants though.

      • Louie says:

        My family are ten minutes away from Ebbsfleet so in the unlikely event that they or I want to use Eurostar, we’d probably get the train from Ebbsfleet to St Pancras and then back through Ebbsfleet. That extra pain would be reduced (at no significant cost to them) for many people if they would stop to let passengers disembark at Ebbsfleet (or Ashford). No chance of that of course.

  • WillPS says:

    Great news about Hampton Blackpool… I’m a bit dubious about the parking situation though.

  • mark2 says:

    I have now used my BAPP with the saved extra Avios offer and received an automatic email saying I will get the points.
    I have just upgraded so this may be the reason.

  • Anna says:

    What are you basing those figures on? The countries with the highest crime rates are those with the most robust recording measures; so you will see that Switzerland, for example, has a shockingly high robbery rate, but that’s not because it’s full of robbers, it’s because the recording and investigation of crime is meticulous. Other countries allow huge numbers of crimes to go unrecorded (and uninvestigated), so on the surface their figures look better.