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Bits: 10% BA flight discount!, BA brings back online cash refunds, new Hilton LXR in the Seychelles

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News in brief:

Save 10% on British Airways flights with Monzo Plus or Monese

British Airways has launched a promotion for Monzo Plus and Monese account holders. This is for people who pay the £5 monthly fee for the new premium Monzo service or have a Monese account.

Code MONZOBA10 or MONESEBA10, used on ba.com via the normal booking page, gets you a 10% discount on any British Airways flight over £200 per person.

It applies to the total flight cost and not just the base fare. Seat selection etc is not discounted. London City Airport flights are not included.

You need to be a Monzo Plus or Monese account holder to get the discount, although ba.com lets you pay by any method you want, including American Express – you are not restricted to your Monzo Plus or Monese Mastercard.

The quickest way to meet the requirements of the offer is to click here and apply for a Monese account.

The code can be used multiple times but bookings must be made by 3rd December.

Monzo Plus British Airways offers

British Airways finally brings back online cash refunds!

Back in March, British Airways blocked online refund requests, forcing you to call the (extremely congested) call centre and ask for one instead.

(One of our most read articles this year, with over 100,000 page views, was how to work around this block by disabling javascript. Unfortunately, this too was eventually blocked by BA.)

Exactly eight months later, it has decided to re-instate refund requests to its website.

You can now request a refund for a cancelled flights with this form on ba.com.

At the moment, the form is only available for cancelled flights.

If you have an Avios booking and your flight is still operating, cancellations still need to be made by telephone if you want your cash returned. You can request a voucher online but, for Avios bookings, there is little benefit in doing this unless you want to artificially extend the life of your British Airways companion voucher to 30th April 2022.

Mango House Seychelles LXR Hilton render

New Hilton LXR to open in the Seychelles

A brand new fourth Hilton property will open in the Seychelles. This is a relatively late signing as the hotel is due to open in March 2021, which suggests that it is already close to completion.

The Mango House Seychelles is a new-build property on the southern coast of the main island of Mahé, along Anse aux Poules Bleues.

Hilton already has three properties in the Seychelles (including a DoubleTree) but Mango House will be its most luxurious offering on the archipelago.

The resort will join Hilton’s LXR brand, of which there are just four currently open. (The Baltimore Mayfair re-opened as an LXR property in 2019 after a big refurbishment.) Four more, including Mango House, are due to open next year.

LXR is a ‘collection’ brand comparable to Marriott’s Autograph Collection. It lets individual boutique hotels join the Hilton Honors network without having to implement any fixed brand standards.

The Mango House Seychelles will feature just 41 guest rooms including nine suites. It will offer three different pools and five different cafes, bars and restaurants.

Hilton Honors has yet to decide what category of hotel this is so we don’t yet know how many points per night it will be. It may be on par with the Waldorf Astoria Maldives which goes for 120,000 points per night but it is more likely to be at ‘standard’ luxury level of 95,000 or 80,000 points. Status members receive ‘5 for 4’ which effectively knocks 20% off this price for a five night stay.

It is not currently bookable but you can see more renderings of the resort on the Hilton website here.

Comments (54)

  • Tom says:

    How would BA know if you had an account?

  • Simon says:

    I have a booking with Avios and a Lloyds upgrade voucher. Does cancelling online also automatically extend the Lloyds upgrade voucher to 30 April 2022 given that the booking had to be made through Avios and not directly with BA?

    • Mikeact says:

      I think it’s bad wording, the Lloyds voucher is not exactly a companion voucher. Still, it would be interesting to know the answer to your question.

    • Pierre says:

      Based on only a single conversation I had with Avios, the answer is apparently ‘no’. I was told that since Avios cannot issue the BA vouchers, it is not possible to extend the expiry of a Lloyds voucher in the same way as a 2-for-1.

    • Alanr says:

      I had a flight for this month booked nearly a year ago using a Lloyds upgrade voucher that expired in March 2020. BA cancelled the flight in October and when I phoned to get the Avios and fees back, the agent extended the upgrade voucher to the end of this year, giving me just over two months to use it. Don’t know if this is their policy but he refused to extend it into next year.

      I wasn’t able to do any of this online because I made the original booking by phone with avios.com and had to do the refund through them also.

  • Anna says:

    You raised my hopes then dashed them 😒. I’m probably going to need to try and get a refund for Easter flights in the next few weeks and it’s outrageous that it’s still not possible to do this online. The outbound to NYC may well still go ahead so I can’t rely on BA cancelling it. Fortunately it’s in F so YouFirst should be able to deal with it instead of having to navigate the 7 circles of hell which is the BA phone experience 9 times out of 10!

  • Cat says:

    It’s worth noting that, while you will be close to some of the loveliest beaches on Mahe at the Mango House, Anse La Mouche really isn’t as spectacular as the best of the beaches. You’d need to have a car, or get overpriced taxis every day to get to those beaches, unless you’re willing to hike for an hour and a half each wag.
    There are stunning places to stay right by the more beautiful beaches on Mahe, or there’s always the option of a cheap B&B or an apartment on La Digue or Praslin, just a stone’s throw or a short bus ride away from some of the best beaches in the world.

    • meta says:

      Agreed. Mahe is not really good for beaches or swimming. You also need to bear in mind that some of the beaches are not for swimming during certain periods because of currents and there are periods when beaches and sea are completely covered in seaweed. I’d do 2-3 days on Mahe then move to Praslin/La Digue, certainly not 5 days.

    • Kevin C says:

      Interesting. What are people’s favourite hotels in the Seychelles then? Doesn’t need to be chains- indies are good too.

      • meta says:

        My favourite is not a hotel, but a villa with a small private beach on Praslin close to Constance Lemuria resort called Villa Belle Plage. There are 3 villas in the complex and owner lives in one. You are right on the beach. Villa also has a free pass to Anse Georgette (my favourite beach) part of the resort. This is because the owner’s family used to own part of the land in the resort. I would also either rent a car on Praslin or use buses and do beach hopping.

        On Mahe, I also stayed at the Doubletree which has the best beach out of all Hilton resorts. It is great both for swimming and for snorkeling as there is a recovered coral reef just a few meters further.

        • Kevin C says:

          Thank you.

        • Cat says:

          There are no private beaches by law on the Seychelles, but there are private islands (which cost an awful lot).
          It’s likely that if there’s no land access to the beach you will probably have it to yourselves, but there are many lesser known hiking trails criss-crossing Praslin in order to gain access to the beaches that are difficult to access . You could also have other people coming from another beach by boat and staying for the day.

          It’s just worth bearing in mind, in case you’re expecting to have the beach just with you and a couple of other families – you might be lucky and find that’s the case, but there’s nothing you can do about it if other people access the beach.

          Everyone has a free pass to Anse Georgette (which I absolutely agree is a divine white sand vision of perfection) – you either have to phone a week beforehand and get your name added to the list (places fill up), or you need to hike in, without booking.

          • meta says:

            For Anse Georgette, it changed last year. You can only go with a restaurant reservation or with a pass offered through some private accommodation. Constance Lemuria blocks land access and they put gates all around. You can obviously hike to there from the other side (Anse Lazio I believe), but it’s a bit far. And the private beach at Villa Belle Plage is definitely private. You cannot enter unless you have a boat and even then it’s going to be very difficult due to rocks around. Land access is obviously blocked due to private properties.

          • Cat says:

            Yes, but all private accommodation offer this Meta – my friend went in January, stayed in the Anse Volbert area and got her B&B owner to book her a couple of day passes.

            There’s a well known hiking path from Mont Plaisir to Anse Georgette that completely bypasses the Constance Lemuria resort (which has always been surrounded by gates), and connects with the hike from Anse Lazio to Anse Georgette, so it’s possible to hike to the beach from the terminal bus stops at Mont Plaisir or near Anse Lazio. Both routes take roughly an hour (Mont Plaisir is slightly shorter) and make for a lovely hike. The reward at the end is paradise!

      • pauldb says:

        I echo the above: concentrate on Praslin and La Digue if you plan to explore. We stayed at Constance Lemuria and Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie – both very good.

      • Cat says:

        I just tend to go for whichever B&B or small hotel on hotels.com or AirBnB is the best combination of
        – close to the Veuve reserve (I like that end of La Digue and it’s close to my favourite beaches) or Anse Volbert (convenient for everywhere on Praslin island, including the best beaches, lots of food options without having to take a taxi, as the buses stop early evening)
        – well reviewed
        – cheap
        Ideally with a basic kitchen, if I feel like cooking for myself and ideally locally owned.
        I’ve not gone wrong yet!
        That might not be everyone’s cup of tea though.

      • Gavin says:

        We used two free night certificates (signup bonus for the old Hilton credit card) at the Hilton Northolme on Mahe. The standard room is a large villa, and Gold status gave us an excellent free breakfast (but no upgrade), it was a fantastic stay. I wouldn’t pay the cash prices, though. The bulk of the trip we spent at basic B&Bs in Praslin and La Digue, and that was the best part of the trip (especially La Digue).

      • RH says:

        My 2 favourites are Hilton Labriz Resort (fairly good value and great little island) and the 4 Season on Mahe. Both have great beaches. I did a week at each.

  • Harry T says:

    Godspeed to anyone buying flights on a debit card during the pandemic.

    The only potential smart way to play this is to put the £300–350 deposit for a BA holiday on a credit card, and pay the balance with your debit card to get 10% off the rest. I reckon that should offer you section 75 for the whole amount.

    Barclaycard is also offering 10% off at BA and it applies to credit cards.

    • Harry T says:

      Apologies, barclaycard offer period is over.

      • Bonglim says:

        The article says you can get the miners discount and use any card you like – I.e. get the discount by having monese then use Amex or other credit card to pay.

    • Lady London says:

      If you pay even £1 on a credit card, the whole amount of what you bought is covered by Section 75 for a UK credit card even if you pay the rest another way.

      If you’re a real perfectionist put £101 on the credit card as IIRC the minimum value purchase covered by this section is £100?1

  • Tracey says:

    Problem with the Seychelles at the moment is getting a covid test result within the required 48 hours of departure, even then you need to allow time to submit online and get your approval back.

  • ee says:

    We have cancelled flights to Edinburgh booked with cash that we can do nothing with online (the option to rebook disappeared in the last month or so).

    So I’m resigned to calling them up. What is likely the best time on a Saturday?

    We originally booked LGW-EDI-LCY, but the booking currently stands as LHR-EDI-LCY after BA initiated changes which we didn’t accept (which in themselves were then subsequently cancelled!)

    Am I correct that we can select new dates within 365 days of ticketing? Should I be allowed to choose any London airport for the flights?

  • George K says:

    Semi-Seychelles related: my former SPG favourite, Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove is leaving the Marriott fold in 5 days’ time… (as announced in their social media channels)

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