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News: British Airways closes Houston lounge, Virgin returns to Havana, Courtyard Exeter opens

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News in brief:

British Airways closes its lounge in Houston

Whilst British Airways is investing huge sums in a new lounge complex at New York JFK Terminal 8 in advance of its move in December, other parts of the network are not so lucky.

BA has permanently closed its lounge in Houston. It was, by all reports, outdated so potentially not a major loss.

According to the oneworld alliance website, British Airways customers will now use the HAS Executive Club in Terminal D. Interestingly, oneworld partner Qatar Airways took a different route and has a deal with Air France KLM to use the Crown Lounge in the same terminal.

Virgin Atlantic to resume flights to Havana

Virgin Atlantic to resume flights to Cuba

Virgin Atlantic has announced that flights to Havana will resume this Winter.

The service is due to resume on 1st November from Heathrow. It will use a Boeing 787-9 so you won’t be getting the latest Upper Class suite.

There will be three flights per week, departing on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

You can check prices and flight times on the Virgin website here.

Courtyard Sandy Park Exeter hotel restaurant

Marriott opens Courtyard Sandy Park in Exeter

The first Courtyard by Marriott hotel in the South West of England has opened in Exeter.

The 250-room Courtyard Sandy Park is designed for easy access to the Sandy Park conference and banqueting centre, which also happens to the home of the Exeter Chiefs rugby club. The club is the owner of the hotel.

The hotel offers three dining outlets including The View, pictured below:

Courtyard Sandy Park Exeter hotel restaurant

….. which is on the rooftop and opens during May. There is also an all-day restaurant and The Match Day, a dedicated bar for days when there is a rugby fixture.

You can find out more on this page of the Marriott website.


How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (May 2022)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 bonus points and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (22)

  • Paul says:

    I thought Virgin were meant to be cutting routes not increasing routes, according to Mr Woke Branson 😉

  • Charles Martel says:

    Isn’t this the sort of airport that would suit a joint Oneworld lounge? It’s serviced by Alaska, American, BA and Qatar but it’s not a hub for any of them.

    • Rhys says:

      Yes, although Alaska and American have very different needs vs BA and Qatar. You would probably want/need separate domestic and international lounges.

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Went to Cuba flight only with Iberia on the 90,000 avios deal.

    Havana a crumbling wreck of a once fantastically beautiful place.

    The country is wrecked. Healthcare collapsed. Non-taxi public transport almost non-existent.

    People outside the tourist areas wonderful.

    Embargo? Come on, what do we buy made in the USA that can’t be bought anywhere else in the world, such as China?

    It is an excuse for the endemic corruption.

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