Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • in reply to: Autograph Collection Glasshouse
    Karl

    Sounds like they may have got a bit stingy in recent times.

    I stayed in August 21 (mid-Covid but Edinburgh was still relatively busy). Booked the cheapest room and as Plat got an upgrade to one of those rooms at the front with a huge balcony, full breakfast and two drinks (including cocktails).

    Quite often staff are unaware of precise benefit details. I had to speak to three people and get the T+Cs up on my phone at the Slough Moxy before anybody would believe that there’s a F+B credit of $10pppn.

    in reply to: Kimpton Fitzroy upgrades – processed in advance?
    Karl

    I was recently in possibly the stingiest Kimpton around. Room looked exactly the same as what was booked although they may argue that being on a high floor constitutes an upgrade. Bottled water in the room was £7 a bottle. No coffee/tea facilities in the room. Social “hour” constated of one 175ml glass of wine that lasted about 10 mins. Breakfast consisted of one item from the mains list and drip coffee, which was free to all guests. Any sides/machine coffees were chargeable. No acknowledgment of the Secret Password.

    Karl

    The Olympia is an interesting venue. It’s a beautiful old building that has had a recent-ish refurb but is still very much rough around the edges. Plenty of character but don’t expect 02 Arena facilities. It’s also about half an hour walk out of town in an area where gentrification hasn’t yet reached. I’d personally get a cab from the city centre, it won’t cost much. Walking back afterwards should be ok as almost everyone will be walking down the main road into town. Next door is the legendary Grafton club which closed about 20 years ago. I’ve had many “interesting” nights there in my younger days.

    I can see this gig selling out but it doubt it would be a problem getting tickets through the pre-sale or even on the Friday morning immediately after they go on sale.

    Karl

    Indeed. I’ve offered constructive suggestions to BA such as it may be down to the reduced TP threshold not be synchronised across some accounts but the BA technical boffins I have been spoken to seem a bit confused. They seem genuinely surprised that their IT systems haven’t got a reputation.

    Karl

    This is a known BT IT glitch, been mentioned a bit on Flyertalk. I made Silver in Feb this year. Despite the website stating this, the backend of the IT system thinks I’m bronze. An earlier poster mentioned that sometimes removing and adding BA number to booking will allow seat selection for that individual flight although this isn’t guaranteed. I’ve had five BA employees (1 at LHR and 4 over the phone) promise to rectify but it’s still not fixed. Put in a formal complaint about 6 weeks ago but no response except a reply to say it’s being looked into.
    Also your boarding pass will say bronze to no priority security/boarding. Lounge staff will let you in if you show them silver card on the app.
    BA will reserve a seat for you over the phone but this usually takes at least half an hour of waiting and a further half hour of convincing the agent that you are actually silver. Classic BA IT/customer service!

    in reply to: Summer ’23 planning dilemma
    Karl

    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    We’ve been to Singapore before so happy to spend just a night there at each end of the trip. The ease of getting to/from he airport makes that very doable. Also visited BKK at the start of a tour to Cambodia and already seen some of the sights so we won’t need as long there. A lot of what BJ suggests is definately what we are thinking.

    As for it being too much, my partner are attempting to see as much as possible before starting a family. We often do 2-night city breaks and had a career break in 2017 where we visited 90-odd places in a year. While this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, we like to travel that way. The beach section should give us a few days to relax at the end of the trip though.

    in reply to: BA route map for companion voucher use
    Karl

    There’s a Wikipedia page called List of British Airways destinations that seems up-to-date. Also contains discontinued destinations which is quite interesting.

    in reply to: Summer ’23 planning dilemma
    Karl

    Singapore is a good gateway to SE Asia. There are plenty of short and inexpensive flights to nearby places.

    We managed to get a CW outbound and PE return for an 19 day trip. Sorted a nice itinerary of a night at either end in Singapore, 3 nights in BKK, 3 in Chiang Mai, 2 in KL, 2 in Penang and a week on the beach in either Koh Samui or Bali.

    SIN redemptions seem to be going quickly but they are available if you’re fast.

    in reply to: Summer ’23 planning dilemma
    Karl

    I’ve been looking at using a 2-4-1 next summer and the options to east Asia are limited to say the least. I wouldn’t automatically presume that Japan nor Hong Kong will be entirely open from a Covid point of view, and they aren’t exactly that close to Thailand either. Therefore it seems to be Singapore or….. Singapore.

    in reply to: Target ideas
    Karl

    Morrisons gift cards are good for this as they can be used to buy any other future gift cards Morrisons stock. They can also be used at self checkouts to keep under the radar.

    Accor seem to make Ryanair look accommodating.

    Getting through on the phone/email responses is pretty good – much quicker than the respective hours/weeks that BA usually take to respond. That’s about all the positives.

    I checked my account prior to a couple of recent stays as I knew I had auto-convert to Iberia set up. The auto-convert option is in the bowels of their website which I eventually found after the customer service advisor I was on the phone with struggled. However the button to turn off the auto-convert doesn’t work. I tried a couple of browsers to no avail. Looking at FT this is a long-standing Accor IT glitch.

    I asked the customer services agent to stop auto-convert and was told that only I could, which created a bit of a problem as I actually couldn’t due to the button on their website being broken. They said they would raise a ticket to IT. I asked in the meantime what would happen to earned points auto-converting. They replied that they would go through to Iberia as there’s nothing they could do to stop this and that points can not be returned/reimbursed.

    I made it clear that under no circumstances do I want or given permission for an auto-conversion and requested that any future points transferred in this way be reimbursed. Lo and behold, my first stay transferred to Iberia overnight. Not happy about this as it was from a mattress run specifically to get Accor points.

    Has anyone else had much experience with Accor complaints? Initially they don’t seem very willing to budge. Contrastingly Hilton give out 10,000 points for something like a dripping tap in the room!

    in reply to: Poor value in USA
    Karl

    Blimey. You’d think that paying £400/night for a 3-star hotel would include someone fetching you a coffee at breakfast. Expecting to fork out $10.40 (presuming the 20% is taken from the pre-tax tariff) is a bit of a p-take, especially when my other half doesn’t even drink coffee nor juice!

    in reply to: Poor value in USA
    Karl

    Tip at a buffet? Aren’t you serving yourself??

    Hilton prices seem sky-high in the US at the moment. I’ll be in New England for a few days in August. Was looking at a sidetrip to Burlington, Vermont. HGI are asking almost £400 a night for an entry-level room! Not far off that in Newport, RI either. IHG points seem to be offering slightly more sensible prices.

    in reply to: Marriott dynamic pricing saving
    Karl

    I’ve also checked some of my bookings and it seems like dynamic pricing has made a bit of an impact.

    We’re off to Milan at the start of June. Elton John is playing the San Siro on the Saturday. Some places north of 1 million points/night. Moxy Linate Airport is 441,500 for a one-night stay, or cash 69EUR!

    in reply to: FFP2 masks required on German trains?
    Karl

    I was in Munich last weekend and FFP2 masks needed on trains there. Was on the UBahn quite a bit and only saw 1 person without a mask so at least 99.9% complaince.

    Really strict enforcement too. My girlfriend wasn’t allowed into a hotel breakfast wearing a surgical mask, had to be FFP2. Also denied entry into a football match with a photo of her passport on phone to verify vaccine app, had to be original photo ID. Every bar we went in scanned the vaccine app QR code. Even an outdoor walking tour asked to see vaccination status!

    in reply to: IHG Rewards Club Credit Card will offer Silver Elite
    Karl

    Thought it’s a bit odd to send out an email launching a loyalty benefits revamp but not actually tell you what the benefits are (aside from tier % bonuses).

    Karl

    I wonder if they’ve had a recent increase in requests for this. Putting the annual fee up by 30% in the past year quickly followed by a 10% increase in redemption fees may have resulted in a fair few customers getting rid.

    in reply to: BA Holidays Double Points offer – MASTER THREAD
    Karl

    Mine have now arrived from a November holiday. Timeline was something like:
    Chased up after 4 weeks – no response
    Chased up after 8 weeks – no response
    Formal complaint after 9 weeks – no response
    Emailed duty office after 11 weeks – TPs posted about 5 days later
    My girlfriend’s TPs from the holiday also posted at the same time, was pleasantly surprised about not having to chase those.

    in reply to: Need 625 TPs to get to Gold …. ideas?
    Karl

    I’m in a similar situation, needing 585 for gold.
    Managed to book weekends in Sofia and Bucharest for 320 TPs.
    There are some decent fares for Friday to Sunday trips to Spain in March at the moment, via Madrid on Iberia so got weekend trips to Seville and Malaga coming up for £240/120TP apiece.
    An economy return to Milan booked ages ago will get another 10TP and will probably get the other 5TP from flying one way to an upcoming stag do in Newcastle.
    The Sofia, Bucharest, Seville and Malaga flights cost about £900 in total so happy with that as all these places have been on my to-see list anyway.

    Looking back at the original post, the possibility of taking someone to court over a bacon sandwich, a couple of glasses of wine and whereabouts I sit on a plane, is a classic first world problem! I was slightly aggreieved with BA over something else at the time of writing.
    As Richie suggested I’ll give them a call at 8am and see what happens…..

    in reply to: BA refunds – how long are they taking?
    Karl

    Still awaiting a refund from a cancelled flight, requested 27 Dec. Likely they have a lack of staff to process such admin due to being run on a shoestring.

    Karl

    I’d imagine a decent proportion of people using companion vouchers read this site so if there was ever an issue it would certainly have been mentioned here.

    in reply to: Countryside Hiltons in the UK
    Karl

    I quite like Puckrup Hall. Good recognition of Diamond with a couple of free drinks in the bar and a nice upgrade to a huge room in the main house. The room was perfectly adequate, albeit slightly dated décor-wise, albeit you’re not paying a fortune to stay there.

    As with a lot of these out-of-town golf resorts such as the St Pierre and the Marriott one near Derby, bear in mind that you could end up in the prefabricated building in the carpark rather than the historical hotel shown in the pictures.

    Fair dos. I know there was plenty of talk of “taking advantage” of this promo at the time but it seems like plenty of genuine stays are struggling to get the points coughed up.

    Were they real stays or a whistlestop tour of Bangladeshi hostels?

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