News in brief:
Watch a YouTube series on planning a BA tier point run
HfP reader Matt Jones dropped me a note to highlight three YouTube videos he has published on how to put together a British Airways tier point run.
This is, for those of you unfamiliar with the term, a series of flights which are specifically designed to maximise the number of British Airways tier points earned. The route is normally circuitous, to put it mildly, but the cost is often less than a direct flight from the UK.
Historically, Hawaii was the archetypal BA tier point run. You would start in Helsinki, or somewhere else that got you 80 tier points to the UK. You would transfer to the A318 London City to New York JFK flight, which offered 210 tier points instead of the usual 140.
In New York, you would swap to an American Airlines flight to the West Coast, ensuring it was over 2,000 miles. This would trigger 210 tier points if it was a two-class aircraft with only a First and Economy cabin. You would change again to your Hawaii flight, bagging another 210 tier points for a 2,000+ mile flight on a two-class plane. This route would get you 1,420 tier points return and could cost as little as £1,000 in Business Class, although usually £1,500 – £2,000.
It’s a bit trickier these days, but the principle is the same. The big changes are the loss of the City – New York flight, meaning no more 210 tier point transatlantic trips, and the downgrading of two class American Airlines flights in First to 140 tier points.
What I like about Matt’s videos is that he is a middle aged guy like myself and his videos reflect that. He doesn’t jump around and shout as much as an oversugared teenager would, at least no more than he has to to ensure the videos are lively and interesting.
Part 1 is here and the other two parts follow on. The whole thing is 40 minutes long.
Book London’s Hard Rock Hotel from £99
Travelzoo has another good quality London hotel deal, this time at the Hard Rock Hotel near Marble Arch.
This was refurbished very recently – it used to be The Cumberland and only re-opened in May 2019.
Travelzoo is selling room vouchers for £99 for a Classic Double or Twin. I don’t recommend this, as the £119 Superior Room is better value, as it includes breakfast.
Importantly, you are guaranteed a 4pm check-out on these rates.
You can redeem your voucher for a room up to 31st March 2022. You can claim a full refund from Travelzoo if you never use it.
I strongly suspect that, by the time Summer and Autumn come around, you won’t be able to pick up a 4* hotel with breakfast in such a location for anything like this price.
Last chance for a 30% bonus when you buy World of Hyatt points
This is obviously worth a look if you need to top up your account. It may also be worthwhile if you are considering a post-corona stay in a top tier Park Hyatt such as Paris, where buying the points may be cheaper than paying cash.
This clearly won’t work at all Hyatt properties. However, if you are visiting an expensive city at peak season it is definitely worth doing the maths.
The chain has some excellent hotels, and I genuinely find Park Hyatt to be the best luxury chain which is run by one of the multi-brand groups. It doesn’t beat Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental etc but I’d take one over a Ritz-Carlton, Waldorf Astoria or St Regis any day.
Hyatt has recently started letting you book suites online for points and there are some bargains to be had.
PS. Don’t forget that Hilton is currently offering a 100% bonus when you buy Hilton Honors points. We also covered the new 40%-50% Marriott Bonvoy bonus on Saturday.