Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • in reply to: Chat thread – Friday 27th January

    Get the train from NYC Penn station! 🚄

    Reasonable fares, nice wide seats and great views of the Eastern seaboard on the way up.

    If it’s good enough for Joe Biden… 😅

    Best way to get from NY to Boston without renting a car? Thanks

    We took the coach. It left on schedule but was running late within an hour of departure and the delays got worse. Whilst the road journey (car or coach) is ok – on reflection the traffic delays and desire to get to Boston meant we should have taken the train.

    We arrived into Boston about 90 minutes late on our coach. Cars would have had a shorter delay but a delay nonetheless.

    in reply to: Singapore BA15/BA16 Lounge Strategy (LHR-SIN-SYD)

    Fab, that’s what I was hoping for @defender90! 🙂

    Not that many people know about the Qatar lounge vs fighting the crowds in the BA/QF lounges.

    Qatar apparently has 5 shower suites in their lounge and we’ll happily share 1 between the two of us (whilst the other one of us minds the baba) and look to book as soon as we arrive.

    Thanks all!

    in reply to: Singapore BA15/BA16 Lounge Strategy (LHR-SIN-SYD)

    Thanks @Roberto, appreciate the advice.

    Sounds like it’s going to be a bit of a get in, grab a shower, head back to the gate type of vibe then.

    It’s a pity we couldn’t book on to the earlier departure to SIN but the avios cost was prohibitive with the new rates (145,000 vs 190,000 Avios AND an extra £100 fees per person for LHR-SIN, SIN-SYD separate flights)

    in reply to: Free lounge passes

    You don’t get them via email. You sign into the Dragonpass Premier+ app and the free passes show up in the membership tab (under the “dual rewards” heading)

    @Phangomchickenz can I ask how you have managed that?

    I’ve been closely monitoring Qatar redemptions in Business class LHR-DOH-MEL and MEL-DOH-LHR and I’ve not seen a single seat at the standard 90,000 Avios pricing (very few J seats and any being released are 2x Avios, so 180,000 Avios each way) for Xmas this year. The last “90,000 Avios J seats” I saw were for 8th December 2023.

    In the end I booked on BA for the outbound (flying 27th December 2023 to SYD). Hoping to get Qatar back from Melbourne in mid-January but not feeling very optimistic…

    in reply to: Chat thread – Saturday 7th January

    Delighted to say that I managed to successfully play “midnight bingo” and snag two seats in Club World on BA15 to Sydney for 27th December
    (170,000 Avios + £350pp, using 2for1)

    Will add a lap infant ticket for 17,000 Avios + £35 once the inbound is sorted.

    Would have ideally liked to book Qatar but they have pulled all J availability (apart from double Avios seats) over the festive period.

    Looking forward to seeing my brother and his family down in Oz 🙂

    in reply to: Booking LHR-SIN Stopover SIN-SYD with a 2-4-1

    A word to the wise on this, the new Avios changes have meant a substantial increase to the “stopover” option for Singapore on the way to Sydney.

    LHR-SIN-SYD (single flight BA15) now 145,000 in Club
    (Was 125,000) + £375pp

    LHR-SIN [stopover] SIN-SYD is now 190,000 in club (was 137,500) + £475pp

    So you are paying an extra £100 in taxes plus a shopping 45,000 Avios for the privilege of adding a stop.

    The above is off-peak, peak dates cost 200,000 Avios for a stop in Singapore! This ruled it out for us.

    All of the above pricing is one-way. So if you wanted to stop in Singapore OUT & RTN (even for 3 hours) it will cost you an extra 90,000 Avios. Ridiculous.

    in reply to: T-355 days: QR J award seats not showing on

    Aware that QR open their award seats earlier but looking at their website, it looks like they are being released as “2x Avios” seats from the get go.

    ^^^ this ^^^ I strongly suspect the “guaranteed” release is a handful of seats at 2x Avios. There’s no guarantee of normally priced Avios seats, which not only means you pay more, you cannot book via a partner like BA or Cathay.

    Yeah, unfortunately I think you are right. Such a pity as we ideally wanted to fly into Melbourne (rather than Sydney), enjoy the long leg in 777 QSuite double bed (perfect for bubbs) as well as the A380 bar on LHR-DOH leg. Ah well.

    We’ll have to try the midnight phone bingo with BA for LHR-SIN-SYD in Club World instead. Bit gutted with the recent devaluation as it’s bumped up Sydney Avios pricing quite a bit (unlike the ££ savings available to North America).

    in reply to: T-355 days: QR J award seats not showing on

    Thanks Rob, I’ve checked for individual legs at midnight on multiple occasions and they are also absent.

    Unfortunately I cannot book via Qatar Privilege as they do not permit lap infants on Avios bookings in business class made on ( allows 2 adults and 1 infant on an award booking with no problem at all on QR, when availability is present).

    Hoping the the lack of availability is a temporary blip over the Christmas period and they will open up standard (1x) Avios seats up in January.

    Aware that QR open their award seats earlier but looking at their website, it looks like they are being released as “2x Avios” seats from the get go.

    in reply to: T-355 days: QR J award seats not showing on

    *the latter routing should say LHR-DOH-SYD

    in reply to: UK to Sydney prices!!

    Best Oneworld pricing I can find is on Sri Lankan:
    FRA-CMB-MEL for £2,700 return.

    That will net you 560 tier points and around 20,000 Avios for your troubles.

    It’s possible to fly into Sydney for a little more, around £3,100 but you have to select QYG (Any German train station) as the departure point, but the flight still departs from Frankfurt, it just includes a rail ticket to anywhere in Germany too.

    I booked the Melbourne itinerary for my folks for Easter 2023. Nb. You can position to Sydney or Brisbane cheaply with Avios on QF, once you are down in Melbourne

    in reply to: Virgin Cash Advance fees about to be applied?

    Has anyone had any joy with curve/Virgin and HMRC recently?

    in reply to: Qatar Lounge access on BAEC Avios ticket

    Bang on the money, thanks @aseftel. Will take a look 👍🏻

    in reply to: Qatar Lounge access on BAEC Avios ticket

    True enough re: schedule change but ultimately I can’t control that, so at least from the point of booking I might try for a 2 hours vs 5 hours (LHR-MEL), there are multiple daily flights on both sectors.

    , glad to hear you got access to the QR Premium lounges without issue 👍🏻

    in reply to: Paris recommendations

    The open market about 10mins on foot north of the Gare du Lyon is great. While you’re in the area, head to my favourite spot, Le Baron Rouge. Fab place that’s standing only, does 3 options for food (plate of cheese, plate of charcuterie or a plate of oysters) and about 200+ wines by the glass, it’s a real gem.

    There’s also an excellent cocktail bar near Pigalle called Lulu Whites and some interesting cafes etc.. nearby in Abbesses.


    Data point on IHG Diamond extension:

    Diamond status was due to expire 31/12/22

    Used 40,000 to buy Ambassador for the first time (not renewing).

    After about 45mins or so, Diamond status now valid until December 31st *2023*

    Also received an email from IHG saying “Welcome to Diamond” (although I was already Diamond but the gist was that I had supposedly requalified)

    Not sure whether or not I’ll end up using the 2for1 voucher, as UK options limited (it’s a real shame they won’t let you use for Kimpton properties next year). The validity of my Ambassador voucher is until 1st December 2023.

    in reply to: Accepted for premier banking

    +1 Just had the same email from Barclays as @oldak

    in reply to: October Avios posting delay?

    +1. Waiting on 54K Avios that should have gone in at the beginning of the month. Really wish Barclaycard would pull their finger out… :/

    in reply to: Booking lap infants on QR metal, Avios bookings

    Hi @gtellez, that’s interesting to hear. Was that a cash ticket though or Avios?

    When I contacted Qatar airways through their online chat, they told me that it wasn’t possible at all to have lap infants on Business class award bookings:

    “Please note that infant cannot be added to business class award ticket. These are the conditions:

    Infant are allowed to be booked in Economy cabin only for an award booking

    Adult should be holding an award Economy class ticket which is marketed and operated on Qatar Airways

    Adult’s award ticket should not have any OAL or code share leg Infant requires 10% Avios of the adult”

    in reply to: Honeymoon ideas (4 nights, short haul / Europe)

    +1 for Madeira, absolutely stunning scenery, so varied across the island. Incredible views out to see. Reid’s is of course the iconic hotel (book through a virtuoso agent like Emyr for $100 credit/breakfast/room upgrades etc..). As an alternative for something a little more modern, check out “Les Suites” which is part of the wonderful Cliff Bay hotel next door (home to the island’s only Michelin star restaurant).


    Has anyone had expiring IHG Diamond status extended via joining Ambassador *AFTER* the data hack took place?

    Yes, I did it this morning and 5 minutes later my status was renewed until 12/23

    Excellent, good to know. Thank you 👍🏻


    Has anyone had expiring IHG Diamond status extended via joining Ambassador *AFTER* the data hack took place?

    in reply to: First Wing and lounge access

    Check-in at First Wing desks is generally fine for whole party (non-First wing security eligible passengers would then proceed to Business Fast Track or regular South Security lanes).

    First wing security (and therefore Galleries First lounge access) is strictly cardholder +1 guest (though on weekends / off peak travel times you may have luck with small children being permitted, in addition to +1)

    in reply to: Advice – best Gatwick lounge (+ Athens)

    Firstly, I have been to both lounges in Athens Airport hall A (non-schengen) and the Goldair lounge is far better (well appointed interior, comfortable seating & solid food & beverage choice)

    Skyserv is the default lounge for BA flights but it’s a bit of a zoo with a warn interior, albeit some reasonable food options.


    For Gatwick, the “Gateway” lounge is an easyJet co-brand, so I would give that a wide birth. No1 lounge will be a good option, however it may be worth pre-booking access for £6 (via priority pass app) as they are known for turning PP holders away if busy, pre-booking will also get you fast-track security at Gatwick (well worth if you don’t have access already).

    (It looks like the Gatwick “Club Rooms” won’t reopen until 1st July)


    Thanks both. Appreciate the feedback.

    Sounds like a solid hard product then and hopefully, from what Damian found, service standards look to have improved.

    We have BA Club Avios flights booked to Lanzarote for November and we’ll have (by then) a 5 month old baby with us. Looking for somewhere we can relax and enjoy and so this seems like a decent option.

    Planning to do half board as we won’t be doing much boozing (always take a stash of minatures, BA crew in club are usually happy to provide some take-homes) & it’s not much more than B&B rate.

    Hoping to get a room which has its own loungers so that we can soak up some sun whilst the Baba is asleep in the room.

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