Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • PeteM 724 posts

    You can no longer buy gift cards at Sainsbury’s while paying with a Sainsbury’s gift card, so no luck with buying the later with a discount on Swiipi to get the former

    Ah, I feared as much! This is a pretty recent thing, right?

    in reply to: Chat thread – Saturday 18th May
    PeteM 724 posts

    Interesting comment I heard from a well-informed party the other day – apparently only c5% of Hotels.com users were actually ever getting to 10 stamps to redeem a free night.

    PeteM 724 posts

    Anyone else struggling to buy other gift cards with Sainsbury’s gift cards at Sainsbury’s?

    in reply to: Rampant knife crime in London
    PeteM 724 posts

    So to summarise:

    – Avoid having a large sum of money in your current account, or accounts easily accessible by phone.

    – London is either an interesting place to live or crime addled, depending on your perspective.

    – Singapore is either boring or full of interesting places, cultures and food, depending on your perspective.

    – Labour are definitely winning the next election, which is probably a good thing (or not depending on your perspective).

    – Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary doesn’t fill anybody with confidence.

    – We HfPs can certainly go off at a tangent!

    Great summary! Would perhaps add – think about what you’d do if your phone got stolen today.

    – London is either an interesting place to live or crime addled, depending on your perspective.

    The latter does seem to be a view held by those that do not live in London or visit very often 🙂

    in reply to: Chat thread – Thursday 16th May
    PeteM 724 posts

    My experience with the new scanners in the UK (LCY and LHR T3 fast track) is that a mahooooosively large proportion of bags end up in secondary.

    LCY seem to have way more people at the scanners doing the secondary checks than with the old ones, but I’ve still seen them have to take a whole lane out of action because the whole scanner was so badly backed up.

    I feel like I’ve worked out what the scanners / operators don’t like (metal water bottles, any sorts of aerosols, large laptops) and have been getting through successfully recently, but overall I am not sure it’s this holy grail that airports and passengers were/are expecting (bear in mind LCY has had them for years, so operations should have bedded in. But bringing liquids through is generally handy, of course…

    in reply to: Cost effective International Money Transfers
    PeteM 724 posts

    Was going to mention Atlantic, but you can’t feed them AUD.

    in reply to: The mobile data / international roaming thread
    PeteM 724 posts

    Had a good experience when in the US and Canada recently, very fast speeds with free roaming on 5G in both countries.

    Interestingly, I couldn’t get the inclusive O2 roaming to work at all in NYC a couple of weeks back. I’d bought an Airalo plan so didn’t trouble-shoot it in much detail, but my O2 experience in the US and Mexico previously was never seamless and the speeds were severely throttled.

    in reply to: Complex compensation claim?
    PeteM 724 posts

    I suspect this will be a bit of a nightmare and BA will try and wriggle out of paying as much as possible. Usual tactic is to settle the cheapest bit and ignore the rest, so I suspect you’ll be back and forth for quite a while and end up at CEDR.

    in reply to: Best way to gain Avios with abroad spend?
    PeteM 724 posts

    Worth bearing in mind the Curve weekend conversion fee doesn’t apply for transactions in EUR or USD.

    in reply to: Chat thread – Saturday 11th May
    PeteM 724 posts

    My partner has an Irish passport and mine is British and that didn’t work, I think we tried it in Italy or Greece. I don’t remember.

    Didn’t work for us in Berlin, I think you can take your partner into the EU but not the other way!

    I successfully took my American ex-husband through most European countries’ immigration this way for years (walk up together, EU passport on top of the US one, smile) – it was never questioned.

    See, for instance: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/is-my-british-wife-treated-as-an-eu-citizen-while-travelling-because-i-have-an-irish-passport-skvf3lq9b

    in reply to: Chat thread – Saturday 11th May
    PeteM 724 posts

    @PeteM I walked up to the All Passports lane at Turin and got through in a minute last month instead of queuing with all the other brits who were trying to use the egates as directed and then wait in a queue for their stamps.

    As I understand it the ETIAS shouldn’t make a difference as it’s “permission to fly” just like the US ESTA. The airline won’t let you board without one during the check-in/boarding pass generation process. It won’t be checked on arrival.

    You may be disappointed when it’s introduced then 😜 Once you’ve applied and been approved you’ll need to go to a terminal at the point of entry and do your biometrics. That’s where the queues will be. It’s then tied to your passport and you can use egates going forward. But it’ll be carnage to begin with, especially at places like StP or Dover, which is why Eurostar and the ports are lobbying so hard against it. You can see the terminals starting to pop up, eg at Prague.

    in reply to: Chat thread – Saturday 11th May
    PeteM 724 posts

    Recent queues at European airports not to mention the UK E-Gate fiasco – having carried out several short trips in last 2 weeks thought I would drop out a few comments and tips that may be handy – apologies to those that already know …

    To / From ”Amsterdam Schipol”…on arrival the queue for UK/USA non EU passports was 80 minutes – very tedious – I went through the main passport control – staff did not advise (as I found out from a passenger on the return flight – there are allegedly 3 passport control exits – if you see a long queue worth looking for the other 2 apparently they tend to be short queues) – I did not know of this having travelled through the airport fairly frequently in the past

    To/ From Spain via Gibraltar – 2 trips in last 3 weeks – no queues either way at Gib’ airport – picked up rental car just the other side of border – not that well sign posted if you have not pushed your bags across the border before. Note the BA flight can get diverted to Malaga if wind conditions worsen – this does happen so factor in especially if travelling with kids as the delay is a 4 hour transfer by Coach and you have to come back into Gib then out again I understand from a friend who suffered this recently. There lots of Youtube’s on how and where to pick up your rental on arrival.

    To / From Faro Portugal The new BA Business checkin at T5 was tedious and is relocated at the far end from First checkin area fyi now , as we parked with one of the valet parking companies Level 4 in the Short Term Car park which used to bring you into the T5 terminal right by Business/ First check in. You now have to walk the entire length of the terminal to the Business checkin – although there are some bags drops and Gold only options – But be aware of this change….. the non Fast Track queues for Security at 6am last Sunday were already busy……On arrival at Faro – we were sent by bus around the airport 3 times (from a remote stand BA was alloted , drivers were awaiting instructions on which door to go through it seems)…Faro was very busy 10am and the queue for non EU Passports took us 95 minutes to clear (the flight time LHR to Faro was 220 minutes to put it in perspective). Simply dire. On leaving Faro on Thursday evening we could see the queue and it was not as bad but I would allow 30 to 40 minutes NB if travelling with kids it can be tricky!

    Hope some of this helps……

    But the passports are now blue 🤩🤣 This is all before ETIAS too! A useful tip that many people don’t seem to know about is that if you have a partner with an EU passport they can take you with them through the EU staffed desks, not egates, of course.

    in reply to: MAN PremiAir re-brands to “Aether”!
    PeteM 724 posts

    The website says: “Our staff handle every detail, allowing you to simply unwind and breathe. Dedicated chauffeur-driven cars are waiting to take you from aether to your plane when it’s time for you to board your flight.”

    in reply to: Rampant knife crime in London
    PeteM 724 posts

    And thats why we are living in a crime state. Thank you.

    Nope, that’s a political and ideological decision. Well funded public services will reverse it.

    in reply to: Rampant knife crime in London
    PeteM 724 posts

    IMO, we may not need too many staff, why not invest more in camera surveillance and enforcement? Go to cities like SG or HK, there’s rarely police doing the rounds – but everything is captured on cameras and easily tracked.

    I do not wish to live in a police state like Singapore or Hong Kong, thank you.


    @NorthernLass
    provided an excellent explanation of the issues the police face. No TfL staff start on £69k – the Met and TfL starting salaried are comparable.

    in reply to: Chat thread – Thursday 9th May
    PeteM 724 posts

    Norse are selling their premium product from NYC to London in July (!) for £300 one way, £120 in economy. The end must be near again?

    in reply to: Rampant knife crime in London
    PeteM 724 posts

    I moved to London in 2007 and things have definitely changed since then, particularly since the supposed party of law and order has been in power and has confidently defunded all public services (including the police, which seems bizarre for a right wing party to do…).

    It’s fairly rare to become a stabbing victim if you’re not in a gang (unless you’re unlucky to be chosen by an aspiring gang member for an “initiation”), but the amount of fare evasion, shoplifting and phone/valuables snatching has increased exponentially. So much of it goes unreported. Some of you may remember I had my gym locker broken into last year too.

    I suspect Labour will need a David Blunkett-type Home Secretary again, because the level of impunity with which a lot of these low-level criminals operate is pretty frustrating.

    in reply to: Transactions showing pending since 1st May
    PeteM 724 posts

    Same issue, lots of Curve and non-Curve transactions in my case.

    PeteM 724 posts

    I am not seeing many quotes from around the same time, but suspect it’s more agent kindness/error than a sophisticated pricing operation on BA’s side at the outstations. But I could be wrong 🙂

    PeteM 724 posts

    The upgrade price list very much is fixed and obviously depends on the route – see below for MEX from Nov/2022, for instance.

    Ability to upgrade will of course depend on availability of seats in the higher cabin. Free operational upgrades are also possible, but on BA almost exclusively happen when they’ve overbooked your original cabin.

    IMG-7033

    in reply to: Chat thread – Friday 3rd May
    PeteM 724 posts

    @PeteM I’ll bet the appointment only took a couple of minutes too. At least for renewal you should be able to use Zoom.

    Yup, well, plus a couple of minutes discussing why our addresses in the UK are “weird” 🙂

    in reply to: Chat thread – Friday 3rd May
    PeteM 724 posts

    Hello from the JFK T4 immigration queue, which took 3.5hrs for an 1830 VS arrival on Thu and I couldn’t do Global Entry enrolment on arrival as the centre was shut…

    Managed to grab an appointment for Global Entry at T4 today, the wait for that was only 30mins 🤣

    in reply to: Chat thread – Friday 3rd May
    PeteM 724 posts

    Hello from the JFK T4 immigration queue, which took 3.5hrs for an 1830 VS arrival on Thu and I couldn’t do Global Entry enrolment on arrival as the centre was shut…

    Target met.

    “If an immigrant’s papers were in order and they were in reasonably good health, the Ellis Island inspection process lasted 3 to 5 hours.”

    https://www.statueofliberty.org/ellis-island/overview-history/#:~:text=If%20an%20immigrant’s%20papers%20were,lasted%203%20to%205%20hours.

    This really cracked me up!

    in reply to: Chat thread – Friday 3rd May
    PeteM 724 posts

    Hello from the JFK T4 immigration queue, which took 3.5hrs for an 1830 VS arrival on Thu and I couldn’t do Global Entry enrolment on arrival as the centre was shut…

    Was there anything obviously wrong or just incredibly slow?

    Last visit was to LA and we were 90 minutes, but 50 of that was because we ended up in one of the sub lines that had multiple individuals who seemed very confused about why they were visiting, where they were staying, and had limited English.

    Nothing obviously wrong. They had 5 (!) desks open for all international arrivals until about 10pm when more agents showed up. I was under the impression the Mobile Passport app was for US/CA passports only, but looking into it, it doesn’t appear to be the case. I didn’t see a separate queue for it, though.

    in reply to: Chat thread – Friday 3rd May
    PeteM 724 posts

    Hello from the JFK T4 immigration queue, which took 3.5hrs for an 1830 VS arrival on Thu and I couldn’t do Global Entry enrolment on arrival as the centre was shut…

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