Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • in reply to: No seats available to select ….
    Biki 117 posts

    If you download seat alerts (by expert flyer) to your phone, you can get a good idea about what is already taken or what is just blocked

    in reply to: Montevideo & Buenos Aires / Iberia or BA??
    Biki 117 posts

    I messaged Buquebus via whatsapp and they offered to call and book over the phone. They wouldn’t take Chse for some reason, but used HSBC visa credit card. I’ve had the email confirmation

    in reply to: Montevideo & Buenos Aires / Iberia or BA??
    Biki 117 posts

    Has anyone managed to book the ferry from BsAs to Montevideo lately? I was trying to book on the Buquebus website last night, but apart from it being pretty slow and clunky, I couldn’t get the payment to go through.

    I tried with Chase, HSBC visa and Amex, but nothing. It seems to suggest that only Santander and some other banks are accepted. Any ideas?

    It’s often difficult to book on Argentinian sites with a foreign card. Aerolíneas used to take them but no longer does. There’s also sometimes an issue with providing a CUIT/CUIL tax number. To get round it you may need to book via an agent or get your hotel to arrange it. It may also work on the Buquebus Uruguayan site although you will lose the benefit of the amazing ARS rate. People also use the Colonia Express to get to Montevideo from Bs As although it’s much longer (and Colonia to MVD on a bus), but enables you to visit Colonia en route.

    Hi @JDB thanks for your help. I’ve seen another website called direct ferries, so might have to give them a go, or otherwise try the hotel or Uruguayan site as you say!

    in reply to: Montevideo & Buenos Aires / Iberia or BA??
    Biki 117 posts

    Has anyone managed to book the ferry from BsAs to Montevideo lately? I was trying to book on the Buquebus website last night, but apart from it being pretty slow and clunky, I couldn’t get the payment to go through.

    I tried with Chase, HSBC visa and Amex, but nothing. It seems to suggest that only Santander and some other banks are accepted. Any ideas?

    in reply to: Any BA Holidays long haul sweet spots for tier points?
    Biki 117 posts

    If you went from somewhere in the UK such as Edinburgh in club, you would get 40 + 80 points each leg, so with double points it would be 480 points. with positioning flights in the right fare bucket it should get you to 500 points.

    Sofia seems a popular cheap route for TO runs, but lots of other choices to check out and refine using google flights

    in reply to: Mexico in August – is that just a stupid idea?
    Biki 117 posts

    Is Oaxaca easy to get to and around? I suspect my OH thinks that the entirety of Mexico is like being in a Quentin Tarantino film so might take some convincing, even with the lure of big pelagic species!

    Very easy to get to, it’s just a short flight from Mexico City. We went in April to Mexico City and flew out to Oaxaca for a few days and loved it. Food is fantastic and very reasonable. Traffic is quite bad in and around Oaxaca, but the centre is quite small and easy to walk around

    in reply to: Ideas and recommendations for my 40th birthday trip
    Biki 117 posts

    Mexico City and then internal flights to somewhere from there? Often availability in club and first

    in reply to: Taylor Swift tickets
    Biki 117 posts

    I’m not sure if you are aware, but the tour is a ‘lead booker’ event. This means that the person who paid for the tickets on their card must attend the event in person and you won’t be able to buy on the secondary market and get in to teh event, unless you meet up with the person who paid and enter at the same time. If you’ve missed out on the sale then I wouldn’t risk buying from others…

    in reply to: Schloss Roxburghe
    Biki 117 posts

    Stayed at Schloss Roxburghe this weekend, in short – very impressed.

    The hotel has been put together with a lot of thought and money. It’s basically in two parts, the old castle which is quite traditional wood panel and paintings and the new Estate wing which is more modern – limestone and brass. They complement rather than clash and link together very well. Pre-arrival experience was good, they got in touch by email on dining, spa and activity options proactively a day or so after we made the booking which is very positive and reconfirmed everything a couple of days before our stay.

    We stayed in an Estate room in the new half that was lovely, decent amount of space, very good quality fixtures – only thing I thought was a bit odd was that there was space for a double sink but only a single sink was fitted. Soundproofing was good and sealable hangers and an espresso machine in the room. Toiletries were Moulton Brown in large bottles.

    Spa was lovely too, they (rightly) make a big thing of the heated outdoor pool which was super-impressive, water must have been 25C+ and you could enter from inside and swim out which was really cool. Sauna and plunge pool was good too – invigorating! Had a quick swim on the Friday when we arrived and a swim and sauna on Saturday late afternoon – well used but no probs getting loungers and didn’t feel busy. Gym looked really good as well, large with lots of equipment. We didn’t have any treatments so can’t comment on that. There’s also golf and country sports if that’s your thing.

    Eating and drinking – we ate in the State Room bar on Friday and Charlie’s Restaurant on Saturday. Food was very good, on a par with other high end hotels – not super-creative but good ingredients that were well cooked. Service was good but not great, couple of annoyances like starter plates weren’t cleared when main arrived and our wine was in ice bucket away from table but they weren’t quick enough to keep you topped up so ended up with empty glasses during main and 1/3 of bottle left after. Staff were a little inconsistent too – some were very good but a few seemed quite inexperienced or nervous – hopefully this will improve in time.

    Breakfast – which is included for all – was also excellent, large buffet and a la carte selection, we had eggs Benedict on Saturday and full Scottish on Sunday, both very good.

    Overall ambience was good too, relaxed and while I think the hotel was virtually full it didn’t feel busy or crowded. There was also a wedding on Saturday evening but you wouldn’t have known if you hadn’t seen the guests arrive – no noise/ disturbance to main hotel.

    Overall it’s very impressive place – can’t really fault the hard product and soft product is overall very good.

    I’m off there in a couple of weeks for a few nights, so thanks for the review!

    in reply to: BA upgrade HKG to LHR
    Biki 117 posts

    Yep I would jump at it at that price! Factor in the extra avios/tier points too…

    in reply to: New £300 Platinum dining credit July 2022
    Biki 117 posts

    Does anyone know if Din Tai Fung is included? I seem to have received a credit for a meal but I’m not sure if this is an erroneous refund or they are part of the promotion and it’s a statement credit?

    I got a credit for the Bicester offer of 10% back, when I ate at Din Tai Fung in Covent Garden in April. I’m assuming payment must be processed through Bicester and triggered it.

    in reply to: Schloss Roxburghe
    Biki 117 posts

    I’ve booked a few nights for August so would like to hear any reviews of it too. It seems to get good reviews from what i’ve read online so far, and prices seem really good!

    in reply to: Argentina / Chile trip planning advice
    Biki 117 posts

    stay (plus noisy with bars closing at 4am) so prefer to visit fro

    fantastic, thanks for your tips as always!

    in reply to: Argentina / Chile trip planning advice
    Biki 117 posts

    @Biki around Bariloche and Lake Nahuel Huapi, the Llao Llao hotel is by far the best place (and the drive/hikes around that peninsula are spectacular), but has become very expensive; it is truly a one of a kind place. The Aldebarán hotel is good, very comfortable, excellent food and setting, but slightly out of the way. The Art hotel is very nice but in a bit of a rubbish/no man’s land location so we only go there to eat. The lodge on Victoria Island is amazing, but relatively inaccessible. You might consider further along the lake towards Villa La Angostura.

    I can’t help with Mendoza; we don’t like it at all, but someone will have some ideas. Bear in mind that Christmas/New Year is not only a big celebration but also the start of the school summer holidays that continue until after carnival, so things will be busy, expensive and have minimum stay restrictions.

    Hi @JDB, thanks for this! Can i ask if you also have any hotel recommendations in BA too?

    in reply to: Argentina / Chile trip planning advice
    Biki 117 posts

    Hi All,

    I’m off to Argentina in December and was hoping for a few tips on hotels etc if anyone has any.

    We’ll fly into Buenos Aires for the first few days, down to Bariloche for around 5 days and then on to Mendoza, before flying back to Buenos Aires. Any tips for hotels in any of these areas? I have booked at the Park Hyatt in Mendoza from 22nd to 25th using points, but if there are any other recommendations, I’m happy to hear them. We are planning on exploring the Maipu area and Lujan de Cuyo area from Mendoza and then would like to visit the Uco Valley wine estates and looking for recommendations on where to stay 25th to 27th December. I know we could visit Uco as an organised tour from Mendoza Town but would like to stay somewhere more scenic and outside Mendoza.

    In Uco Valley the most premium ones are fully booked or require a three-night night stay (such as The Vines, Casa de Uco) Ones that are currently looking at are:

    Gaia Lodge
    La Morada de Los Andes(only tiny lodge avail) Auberge du Vin Estancia Mendoza

    in reply to: OPO Flights
    Biki 117 posts

    Yep, had an email saying my Easter ‘24 flights are moving to Gatwick

    in reply to: The Madrid Edition Mini Trip Report
    Biki 117 posts

    2 nights were what we paid for personally and the other 2 nights were paid by my wife’s work, so our portion where we had the problems were refunded in full. I was happy with that to be honest.

    They seemed very sorry about everything and keen to make sure we were happy, so I’d give them the benefit of doubt and see how they address things in the future.

    I had a great weekend overall though and while frustrating with the hotel issues, we still had a good time. I would recommend the F1 experience if you are a F1 geek like me!

    in reply to: Barbados around New Years Eve – ideas?
    Biki 117 posts

    We stayed at white sands beach condos in SL gap in january. Really good location right on the beach (which is very quiet) so would recommend them.

    Even though west coast seems to be where the fancy places are, I quite enjoyed being on the south part with walking distance to reasonably priced bars and food, and then get the bus or taxi to far away places.

    Really enjoyed cool runnings cruise and also oistins for the fish fry. Mount gay visitor centre if you like rum too.

    in reply to: The Madrid Edition Mini Trip Report
    Biki 117 posts

    A bit of an update following the prompt from @JDB

    I had a chat with one of the managers before I left and explained all of the issues. They were very apologetic and keen to make it right, so without much prompt they refunded 2 nights and also are going to send a voucher for a further 2-night free stay in the future. Fingers crossed they sort things out when we go back!

    Biki 117 posts

    They’ve interlined from QR to BA on separate tickets for me before, so I’m sure you’ll be fine on all QR flights!

    If it’s just for the outbound then book online. Unless its SYD then i think you have a pretty good chance as long as your exec club account has the people details and credit card details saved so you can be as quick as possible.

    in reply to: Downgrade or set aside?
    Biki 117 posts

    The voucher just needs to be in date for the outbound. But obviously the later you leave it the more wiggle room you have if required dates change, or they stop flying on the day you intended etc.

    in reply to: Lounge access (different classes)
    Biki 117 posts

    If you are flying First you are allowed to guest 1 person each into the Concorde room. It’s a good benefit over business class, where you can only guest them into the lounge if you have silver status or higher.

    So take one each through the first wing, then straight through the first lounge out the other side and into the concorde lounge 🙂

    in reply to: New £300 Platinum dining credit July 2022
    Biki 117 posts

    I went to Mere in Charlotte Street last night based on seeing @JDB recommending it earlier on in this thread and have to say that we thoroughly enjoyed it! The tasting menu was really good, and they don’t charge for still or sparkling water either.

    in reply to: An un-report button
    Biki 117 posts

    Moving the report button to the left hand side might be the easiest, as I assume most people click it instad of quote.

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