Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • in reply to: Hand luggage
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    AFAIK, the Tumi hard sided cases sold in Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls, etc. don’t have the monogram option. The soft-sided bags seem to be exactly the same models as in full-price stores. Tumi at Bicester runs an online shop via Whatsapp which could be worth a look.

    in reply to: Long layovers at T5
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    I think Mick is asking for a same-day appeal to say the lounge staff desk to be moved to an earlier flight. Not calling up well in advance of his trip. I’ve only had to seek a rebooking at the lounge desk once, albeit odd circumstances where HAL or BA were at fault (never been sure who).

    in reply to: Milestone Rewards gone live!
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    We still await clarity on the lounge access ‘trick’ for those who can avoid hitting 40/70 nights till Q4 2022 – meaning one could leave milestone selection till Jan 2023 and thus lock in lounge access till 31/12/2024. It seems very far-fetched but some in the blogosphere are convinced that’s a correct reading of the T&Cs.

    in reply to: Downgrading to free Barclaycard Avios card
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    My Barclaycard upgrade voucher was achieved late April, and an email confirming this early May. However still only 1 upgrade voucher in my BAEC account (from Barclays Premier). How long are upgrade vouchers taking to appear in accounts?

    in reply to: Milestone Rewards gone live!
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Also, under what circumstance would 5k points be a better choice than a confirmable suite upgrade of 5 nights?
    Don’t understand the logic here.

    The suite upgrades are conditional on the rate you choose. And many of us routinely use special rates that MAY (not sure) be ineligible.

    in reply to: Milestone Rewards gone live!
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    What are people choosing? My Whatsapp is lighting up with conflicted Diamonds unsure what to choose.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    You’re competing against people like me with Aer Club elite status who get 4 upgrade vouchers per year at Concierge level and 1 upgrade voucher at Platinum level – and they will take precedence in the very manual email-based upgrade process. SFO and LAX have always been like hen’s teeth.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    This forum has enough world-weary users to not answer this. Was it Aston100 who asked if these threads could be moved somewhere (akin to Room 101)

    in reply to: New benefits
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    There’s been no definitive line from IHG HQ as to when new benefits start, so confusion and inconsistency reigns. You may get lucky on a stay this week; you may not. It’s at least in character for IHG, you do have to give them points for consistently being inconsistent.

    • This reply was modified 54 years, 2 months ago by .
    in reply to: Harvey Nics £50 x 2
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Hamper – a triple of white wines on special. Then I found a absolute stack of chocolates for pence with short use buy dates – beautiful. Some reduced shortbread, Earl Grey tea bags in a lovely presentation case and some savory reduced snacks. It arrived in a nice box with tissue paper and fast and cheap delivery .
    Such a treat and all for £53.
    As it was only for myself I had no worries about the sell by dates.

    Aha, so one can build a hamper from scratch. Interesting. I expect post-Xmas is a good time for this option.

    in reply to: Dubai hotel close to airport
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Less of a recommendation, more of a not recommended – the new combo Element/Aloft at the airport. I stayed there for about £75 in February when arriving after midnight. Zero staff presence outside the Element, zero staff presence inside, had to walk through deserted ground floor corridors to find the Aloft reception who checked me in. Again zero staff effort to assist with baggage or show me back through the corridors to the Element. Breakfast in the lobby was Premier Inn quality and the hotel seemed to mostly be busy with construction workers on long term stays. In future I’d pay a bit extra for the Le Meridien by the airport.

    in reply to: AA partner phantom award availability?
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    I’ve never had a problem with phantom award space on AA for either Qatar or non-OW Etihad.

    in reply to: Dubai & Abu Dhabi entry
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Hi, Dubai hasn’t required any test for vaxxed travellers since late February 2022. There’s also no mandating of the use of the Dubai covid app. Officially masks are still required indoors but are worn by about 10% of hotel guests and 40% of mall shoppers. Unlike in 2021, the malls do not have prominent mask wearing signs up nor are security staff intervening in the non-compliance. I can’t speak for Abu Dhabi but it was always more hysterical and so I suspect that restrictions have been slower to fade away

    in reply to: Harvey Nics £50 x 2
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Please do post more details of this hamper and your opinion of its contents.

    in reply to: Which Star Alliance scheme to credit to?
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    M&M hard expiry makes it a no for me. Availability is great compared to BAEC however.

    The general view, not sure how up to date it is, is that crediting to Aegean is the quickest way to achieve Gold.

    You might prefer SAS since they partner with both Amex and Virgin Atlantic.

    If you have Marriott status or are likely to have it, Bonvoy Titanium gets you United Silver status (Star Alliance Silver) for as long as you remain Titanium. United miles never expire, and if you’re only interested in collecting rather than achieving status, this scheme might suit you.

    If you happen to have Amex Plat and the old Shangri La Jade status, you still have an opportunity to status match to Singapore KrisFlyer Silver (Star Alliance Silver) plus the KrisFlyer Gold status challenge achievable with 3 flights on Singapore.

    As a starting point, check your flights already booked for their fare classes and plug those fare classes into WhereToCredit to see which scheme will attract the highest earn rate. Then of course you do still have to check the relative value of a scheme’s miles.

    I have no knowledge of family/household combining so can’t help there.

    in reply to: United Airlines – Using credit voucher
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Would this route work for the Amex offer? Cancel and get a voucher which then can be used for any codeshare/departure country?

    No, because United are no longer offering a blanket voucher refund. Changes are now chargeable beyond North American flights. Also the ability to buy codeshare flights disappeared about a year ago from United.com and on phone

    in reply to: United Airlines – Using credit voucher
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Ah that might be the case. We had booked well before 08/2021

    in reply to: United Airlines – Using credit voucher
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    So, if i recall correctly, they will issue a travel voucher code per person. But the codes are transferable.

    in reply to: New IHG card
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Considering we never saw a new Miles&More card appear after Cornercard withdrew, I doubt it. Unless you can rustle up a US residential address and other necessities for the cards over there, you’re stuck with Amex transfers to IHG.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Sonesta have a good presence there having seen the better Kimpton options reflag under Sonesta due to that non-payment debacle of 2020ish. Including the former Kimpton Palomar that has a top floor pool that opens onto a sun deck. Worth looking into a Sonesta status match to score breakfasts.

    Don’t be sucked in by the Viceroy’s promise of a pool; it’s one of those pools to be seen in rather than swim in and is often closed for private functions.

    I’ve stayed at the IC Michigan Ave and found the rooms small for Chicago upper tier standards. Though still big by New York standards. The building has some nice historical features including an ornate indoor pool of a substantial size.

    The Marriott Michigan Ave does have a club lounge but it’s about as generic a hotel as you’re ever likely to see. I’d probably choose the Westin on the river of all the Marriott options – nice club lounge, rooms still seem fresh, perfect location on a bridge to take you south or north as you please, elites can expect a river-view room.

    Conrad or WA about the only Hilton options I’d consider; The Drake is faded grandeur (but still worth seeing its public areas), the Doubletree off Michigan Ave with a pool deck is overrun with kids, and Curio London House gets mixed reviews and some inconsistent elite treatment.

    Overall I find it a much easier city to hit upon a good hotel than other US cities; the options within a few blocks of Michigan Ave are plentiful.

    To add to the tourism options – the Driehaus Museum. I spent ages in there moving along at my own pace. Also worth taking up a perch on the south side of Navy Pier and watching the yachting set take their boats out onto the lake and back in later; as much for the boats as to gasp at the age difference between the men and their guests.

    in reply to: Doha & Oman
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Do yoy qualify for a Qatar free stopover, where the airline pays for your hotel? If so your hotel choice is more limited

    in reply to: Favourite hotel bathroom products
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    As if the staff at Le Royal Meridien Dubai were reading this forum, I returned to my room today to find not the usual Malin + Goetz products but instead Byredo. Of course another reason could be that their M+G stocks are low so they’re using Byredo from sister hotel Grosvenor House. But I’m sticking with my original assumption that since Rhys did that review, they’re avid readers.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    I am not sure there’s a slick way via codeshares sadly.

    in reply to: Favourite hotel bathroom products
    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Aesop – Gramercy Park Hotel NYC.

    And formerly the CX Lounge in LHR. Fondly missed 🙁

    I second Byredo Bal d’Afrique; I brought the soap home.

    Atelier Cologne Musc Imperial may be my favourite, because I had it in the Hotel Majestic Barcelona which was the inspiration for the scent.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,053 posts

    Some discussion of this in Thurs 02 June daily chat thread.

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