Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Daily chat thread Click here for today’s chat thread Chat thread – Sunday 26th May

  • Swifty 36 posts

    Strickers: never got AARP to work and didn’t find a work around 😉
    Travel insurance will cover delays, claim on that the nationwide one is excellent and includes Flyer points!
    I’ve discovered a shampoo soap which is glorious, also same for conditioner, I have processed hair and it’s amazing, and eco friendlier, even deodorant comes in cardboard tubes so is lighter. And I bought a lumin offer for my son and they come in really great sized pots. Reusable and easy to refill apertures. Stuff inside is great.

    yorkshireRich 225 posts

    I’m the third poster on Insta tonight, I am proud. I’m looking forward to the article soon.

    A very enjoyable day in Bucharest today marred by a pitiful football performance from my local club. No bar was prepared to put the sound on as the F1 was showing, but my HFP resistance and normal stubbornness pursued resulting in the end preparing to accept that they could put us in the basement with HD and sound on.

    The Therme spa tomorrow awaits

    LD27 202 posts

    I’m the third poster on Insta tonight, I am proud. I’m looking forward to the article soon.

    A very enjoyable day in Bucharest today marred by a pitiful football performance from my local club. No bar was prepared to put the sound on as the F1 was showing, but my HFP resistance and normal stubbornness pursued resulting in the end preparing to accept that they could put us in the basement with HD and sound on.

    The Therme spa tomorrow awaits

    Been reading all your helpful tips for my upcoming trip to Romania and stay at Athenee Palace. Originally 2 nights on points but have now added 3rd paid night. Rates were between 33k and 65k a night with some nights hotel fully booked. My Romanian friend also told me not to use cabs. Enjoy Therme spa tomorrow.

    Last year travelled around Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Bulgaria. I think @JDB did similar and totally agree now’s the time to visit. Didn’t get to Serbia so went earlier this year. Definitely worth a visit too. Can’t understand why Belgrade has been dropped from end of September. Flights in both directions were full. I notice Sofia is no longer 2 flights a day 7 days a week. Those flights were full too.

    Changes to winter schedule still taking place. Got an email this morning informing me one of my cheap CE flights – to Oslo towards end of year – is cancelled. Think I might take the option in MMB to go on Finnair via Helsinki arriving and departing at similar time. Hopefully will get tier points for that route! Slightly concerned flights to Gothenburg might also get cancelled as CE and very cheap too. Maybe I could go via Tromso!

    JDB 4,643 posts

    @LD27 – I think the issue must be that the fares to the likes of Sofia or Belgrade are just too low to be very viable and may not provide much transfer traffic. If you look even at Thessaloniki, the Greek islands etc. let alone Athens which are fairly similar route lengths, fares are significantly higher and CE is busy. I can’t explain Bucharest which has two flights on most days but is still similarly cheap!

    BA’s European network struggles with profitability but covid causing many flights to move from Gatwick to Heathrow identified unexpected routes with higher value leisure customers that have stuck at LHR and these routes work well as did eg Nice historically. None of that applies to the East European routes. I can’t get my head around how the tier point runners on routes like Sofia ultimately pan out for BA, but I shall be finding out soon.

    davefl 1,413 posts

    It’s a Sunday, drivers aren’t contracted to work, so always mass cancellations on NR. Plus engineering works so be glad your train isn’t a bus.

    Some train operators do have weekend working as part of their contracts so thats wrong. They negotiated the contracts with the unions.

    The issue is that the train operaters simply don’t employ enough drivers to operate a full service without having to rely on voluntary overtime.

    Yes but we’re talking Northern Rail here and they aren’t (or weren’t) it may have changed since the operator of last resort took control

    davefl 1,413 posts

    I’d check if the US Dept of Transportation (DoT) has anything that can help you.

    There is a US passenger rights dashboard that tells you what each airline has committed to in terms of controllable delays and cancellations, especially over night ones. Info is here.

    https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/airline-customer-service-dashboard

    Not sure what the date the OP is talking about but it’s Memorial Day Weekend here, and on Friday the TSA processed a record 3 million pax on that day, so I’m sure there were lots of delays and cancellations. Whether they fall under the controllable heading I can’t tell from these posts.

    davefl 1,413 posts

    So with the new style scanners, the liquids stay in bags don’t they ? So they don’t even need to be in a plastic bag ?

    Correct, as long as you’re sure you’ll get a new scanner.

    Even bottles more than 100ml are allowed. I got told off at MAN last week for drinking all my water in the queue… Was told pointedly that I didn’t need to do that any more!

    NorthernLass 8,262 posts

    But the rules could have been completely different the next day @davefl!

    I concur re leaking silicone toiletry bottles. I buy minis of stuff like Tresemmé with decent screw-on caps then refill them.

    Also have the following in non-liquid form:
    Shampoo
    Conditioner
    Facial soap (L’Occitane do a nice gentle one, and also a shaving bar for the blokes)
    Tooth powder (which confuses MAN security no end)

    LD27 202 posts

    @JDB. Can understand issues regarding profitability on certain European routes. But EasyJet prices are often higher. Currently in Sorrento for a wedding. Half term. Bank holiday. Flights to Naples were extortionate. Just lucky to get a couple of Avios tickets.

    I’ve flown to Sofia a number of times in CE but always to stay/travel through region. I was surprised how many passengers up front were doing tier point runs with back to back flights. Have read many threads on FlyerTalk. Didn’t imagine you doing this. Sounds like a first. Is it back to back or will you actually have time to enjoy Sofia? I know you’ve been there before. Hope it goes well and please do tell us whether it was worth it.

    davefl 1,413 posts

    But the rules could have been completely different the next day @davefl!

    You mean the next hour right 😉

    LD27 202 posts

    @davefl. I also got told off last month at NCL for finishing the water in the bottle whilst in the queue. At that point I did not know they were the new scanners!


    @Annie
    . When I was last in T3 (March) the scanners were only at Fastrack, and fast it wasn’t. I think there were only 2 scanners and there was a queue to get through the barriers as there were so many people the other side waiting for scanners. Eventually people were stopped from using Fastrack and sent to other scanners, which were definitely quicker as I saw people landslide ahead of me who were turned away. So be aware if Fastrack busy you could be turned away so will probably not use new scanners.

    davefl 1,413 posts

    Re AARP membership, GDPR is most certainly not the reason a UK or EEA resident can’t join. Rather, laziness on the part of AARP to put the requisite legal terms in place.

    Indeed. I’ve started leaving 1 star reviews on the websites of companies that geo block UK visitors now complaining of the problem.

    Biggest issue I find are restaurants and transit. I want to read a menu before I arrive, not have to rush or drive around choosing something. Geoblocking menus for GDPR reasons is pathetic.

    I’ve had one apology so far and that was the Red Robin chain. At least 10 more are on my shitlist.

    NorthernLass 8,262 posts

    That’s MAN all over. 2 different sets of scanners, you don’t know which one you’ll end up putting your stuff through so you have to stick to the old rules anyway!

    Schroedinger’s scanners, in fact 😂

    Lady London 2,141 posts

    @daveflI too get h*cked off by stupidly kneejerk geoblocks.

    When reviewing though I try never to give lower than a 3 star – as many sites filter out low ratings. Then I add pithy grumpy comment and hope it’s not been filtered out.


    @NorthernLass
    I guess you do it already but the trick with plastic bottles in suitcases is to squeeze a little air out then hold it while you screw on the lid. Ideal is to squeeze it so the product inside’s not much lower than the top of the bottle. The vacuum this creates makes a huge difference to your chances of not finding it all over your suitcase (or all over the inside of the sealed plastic bag you wrapped it in).

    davefl 1,413 posts

    @daveflI too get h*cked off by stupidly kneejerk geoblocks.

    I’m not an apple person so I don’t know if they do it but Google’s geo fencing of apps is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever experienced on the net. CVS, Sunpass, quite a few local transit payment apps etc are all blocked unless you hold a US registered Play account.

    Drives me crazy. You can only switch Play regions once a year, so there’s no real workaround.

    ChrisBCN 293 posts

    You can only switch Play regions once a year, so there’s no real workaround.

    The workaround is to have two google accounts – one for each country you need. You just switch the account within the play store when you need to.

    SteveJ 1,004 posts

    @S879 it’s age at the start of the journey:

    https://www.britishairways.com/travel/pop_faretips/public/en_gb#why_young_adult

    I will be making a booking with BA. One child will be 15 years on the day of travel but 16 years on the return flight. Do I choose the 12-15 years option or put him as an adult?

    JDB 4,643 posts

    @JDB. Can understand issues regarding profitability on certain European routes. But EasyJet prices are often higher. Currently in Sorrento for a wedding. Half term. Bank holiday. Flights to Naples were extortionate. Just lucky to get a couple of Avios tickets.

    I’ve flown to Sofia a number of times in CE but always to stay/travel through region. I was surprised how many passengers up front were doing tier point runs with back to back flights. Have read many threads on FlyerTalk. Didn’t imagine you doing this. Sounds like a first. Is it back to back or will you actually have time to enjoy Sofia? I know you’ve been there before. Hope it goes well and please do tell us whether it was worth it.


    @LD27
    – I meant that I’m meeting someone from BA for lunch soon who knows about these things! I can’t say I have ever done the absurdity of a back to back tier point run which seems such an opportunity missed. I went to Sofia in 2022 for six very busy days travelling around, but based in the city and absolutely loved it and will return soon. Currently in Serbia, about to set off for three days around the country.

    LD27 202 posts

    @JDB. Maybe the person from BA you have lunch with will give you a few tips!

    I’ve been to Serbia and Bulgaria a number of times and there is something that just draws me back. The whole region is fascinating especially when one leaves the cities.

    strickers 720 posts

    @davefl Have a look at Windscribe, 10gb a month if you confirm your email address. It has a plugin for Chrome and is perfect for those low data tasks like booking a hire car or hotel without being pushed to the more expensive UK site.

    jek 123 posts

    Anybody knows if the Aizle restaurant bill can be charged to the room at the Kimpton Charlotte Square and triggers the Amex offer?

    Stu_N 117 posts

    Anybody knows if the Aizle restaurant bill can be charged to the room at the Kimpton Charlotte Square and triggers the Amex offer?

    Which Amex offer are you asking about?

    davefl 1,413 posts

    @Strickers Thanks but VPN can’t fix the play store region as it’s coded within your google account. I already have VPN.


    @ChrisBCN
    Thanks, I’ll try that with one of my old accounts.

    NorthernLass 8,262 posts

    @jek, when we ate at Baba (?) a couple of years ago we could certainly charge it to the room. They’re very helpful there so I’m sure they would confirm.

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