Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    Has anyone actually managed to get a CX flight to price up via QR? At the point I select a flight, it displays the number of avios and a spinning wheel where it should show the fees and never gets any further.

    Just got BKK-SIN to show on the QR app. 16,500 Avios and 780THB (under £20) vs BA which is showing 30,000 Avios and £40. Sample date was September 16th.

    It went past the spinning wheel to the trip summary and allows me to confirm passport details. Not going any further as I don’t need to fly from BKK to SIN that day….

    in reply to: BAEC Silver – seat adjacent kept free?
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    BA will only try and block the adjacent seat for Golds and even then it isn’t guarenteed for them let alone silvers

    Utter tripe! The number of times the seat next to me has been blocked as a silver – including 2C on Cityflyer to Scotland when I got 2D – and even heading back from Europe in Y just after New Year on busy flights – has really surprised me. And I know it’s not the “other” passenger as either the whole row has been free or i’ve put someone from my party in A, me in C and then bingo, B gets blocked out.

    I’m sure they’ll release that seat before they do the same for a gold with a seat blocked next to them, but 100% they do this for us lowly silver card holders, too.

    in reply to: Booking US domestic avios flights on American
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    Note BA silver also lets you pick seats in Main Cabin Extra which has a few inches extra legroom and free alcoholic drinks.

    in reply to: Why pick those seats?
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    And if you’re travelling on your own, better to pick the aisle seat where the window is already taken. Pick that in an empty row and there’s a bigger chance the middle and window seat will be taken by a couple.

    If load factors are around 80%, given not everyone is travelling solo, that strategy is more often than not going to get you an empty middle seat.

    in reply to: TUI – worth upgrading to premium cabin?
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    Aerolopa shows – 7 seats across and 38” pitch in premium versus 9 across and 32” in the regular seats.

    If it’s that cheap then I’d be all over it regardless of whether the in flight service is better but presumably it also attracts the higher rate of APD.

    in reply to: Chat thread – Friday 8th March
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    I don’t understand the appeal of influencers or instagram. But at the luxury end of the market do these people have any real sway with the affluent audience you’d assume the hotels seek to encourage?

    But it becomes self-fulfilling – and I’m talking old skoool web & you-tube, not Insta. If you try and search for reviews on XYZ, rather than getting any sort of objectivity, it’s dominated by these puff pieces.

    So the hotels have others painting a blinding picture of them. And if you have to pick between the 4 Seasons, Ritz Carlton or Shangri-La (Valley Wing, obvs…), how do you decide? By the same virtue, luxury travellers won’t be lead by loyalty schemes, and if they have a travel booker, they’re going to be trying to keep across who offers what, too.

    I think there’s also less of a hang up on disclosing whether stays are comped or not in SE Asia.

    If you’re implicit in setting the bar incredibly high, you have to deliver.

    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    Yes, they can be added over the year, either as revenue management or if someone cancels seats originally released at T-355.

    Also set up an alert with one of the tracking tools and check you’re getting sensible value as there are often very cheap (i.e. under £400) returns to Hong Kong especially if you’re happy to change plane en route.

    in reply to: Malaysia business class booking using Avios
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    That seems like marginal value to me, on the basis you could fly Etihad on those dates for £2500. By the time you account for the taxes etc, you’re getting less than 1p per avios in value.

    However if you’ve got no shortage of Avios then book it – you can always cancel later.

    Note there are standard awards available BHX-KUL on the 6th September, so if you can get the train 1hr north you can save 75k avios. By September the construction work at BHX should be completed and they use the Clubrooms. The flight leaves at 2pm as well so plenty of time to get there. You can fly back to BHX or LON.

    in reply to: Malaysia business class booking using Avios
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    If it’s not showing on BA.com them it’s likely just a case of them not having any award availability on those dates.

    I believe consensus is they are pretty mean when it comes to releasing seats.

    in reply to: Chat thread – Friday 8th March
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    but when I see the great reviews and how highly thought of Mo Singapore is throughout the world, I felt compelled to share my experience which was way below par.

    I think Singapore hotels have made a rod for their own backs here. The staycation market is so great, they all seem to compete to have “influencers” making gushing videos or write glowing reviews of their properties in return for free stays.

    The result is you do your research and arrive with incredibly high expectations. When they’re not met you rightly feel short changed. But like you, I’ve also had some incredible service recovery which is delivered in a truly meaningful fashion.

    in reply to: Schedule change with Tui
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    I thought it had been decided that re-routing under UK261 does actually apply to package holidays?

    Whilst that may be, that would only apply for short notice changes. TUI would presumably argue at this point this is a “significant change” under the Packaged Travel Arrangements (2018) if indeed booked like that. If so, the OPs option is to suck up their solution or take a full refund. As I doubt their margin on the holiday is anywhere close to £500, they will have little desire to foot a big taxi bill. Easier for them to cancel your holiday as per the terms you agreed to at time of booking, which will come with a “generous” £25 compensation payment. https://www.tui.co.uk/destinations/booking/tandc?ptype=PDP

    in reply to: Schedule change with Tui
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    Hopefully logic will prevail

    hahahahaha….

    More seriously

    1) How did you get on, and
    2) Was this a package booking or flight only, as I suspect if it’s the former you have a different set of challenges. You won’t be the only passenger who has been shafted here and they’ll be booking coaches to run you all from BRS. A package holiday only has to get you from A to B by whatever means and IIRC they have 12hrs to play with before it’s considered a change.

    in reply to: Best airline to book with to maximise avios
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    ignore me… wrong answer

    in reply to: Vietnam April 2025
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    First time I went to Vietnam we flew in from BKK to SGN then out to KUL, so you could actually do both.

    KUL – better BA product, BKK – fewer miles required (I think).

    But if you want to focus on the North then BKK is more likely a better bet. And don’t ignore HKG as it’s under 2hrs I think from there to Hanoi or Da Nang.

    in reply to: Advice on Al Safwa in Doha
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    My concern is not the 8 hour layover or guarantee of a bed – it is knowing that we would def get access as although Dubai to Doha in First, second flight is in business.

    It’s from a sample set of 1 but I had no problems getting in on an itinerary like this. There was a lot of keyboard tapping at the lounge entrance, but we got there in the end.

    If you like sushi, do hunt out the sushi bar. I was the only guest, so I think the chef was delighted to have something to do.

    in reply to: Travelling to film / TV locations
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    Though we always say we’re never visiting Saint-Marie, the fictional setting for Death in Paradise

    You’re fine -just don’t go on a Sunday as that’s when it’s always kicking off…..

    in reply to: Smart meters – any experience?
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    We got Octopus a couple of years back. All very convenient, works well and they run intermittent “power saving” hours where you get a notional discount if you don’t use as much electricity as usual. The money isn’t really here or there but what it does do is stop the grid having to fire up older more polluting power stations in times of peak demand. I think they have done a good job of gamifying this.

    My folks however got exactly the same kit from Octopus as we did and whilst the meter sends updated readings to Octopus, one of the utilities – I think gas – doesn’t update on the smart meter.

    Octopus referral codes are available – £50 for both you and the referrer.

    in reply to: Rotterdam (or anywhere)
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    We stayed in Haarlem a few years back. Nice town centre, easy access by train to Amsterdam.

    in reply to: Travelling to film / TV locations
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    I’ve yet to see anyone advertise a tour for the Spanish Med filming locations of Sky One 90s classics such as Mile High and Prickly Heat

    A couple of my local tradies do however proudly holiday in the hotel that was at the centre of the Benidorm series….

    in reply to: Anyone been to Belize?
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    OK, I’ve found a blog post that seems up to date. Apparently if you’re staying in Mexico for less than 7 days AND you show an itemised breakdown of your departing air ticket, they are supposed to waive the fee. But the blogger couldn’t find anyone who had managed to get round this and as it’s part of the entrance process into the country, it’s kind of difficult to test.

    It also appears to be about US$40 a pop. And there’s 5 of us travelling. So I need to keep an extra $200 in my (proverbial) back pocket which I’ll probably get shaken down for at the border (we will only be in Mexico for 3-4 days).

    in reply to: Travelling to film / TV locations
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    I thought the whole of NYC was a film set. Or more accurately you’d probably have to visit Toronto which doubles as NYC in many films.

    More bizarrely, Glasgow also doubles as a set for NYC. Was up there a few years back as they were setting up for Indiana Jones Dial of Destiny.

    in reply to: Anyone been to Belize?
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    If you’re leaving from CDMX they have the “tax booth” in the departure area. Pretty sure it would be the same as in any other Mexican international airport.

    Feel like I’m missing something really obvious here but the departure tax is included in the air ticket, no?

    However looking at a round trip breakdrown LON-MEX-LON I see

    Mexico Tourism Tax Derecho No Inmigrante (UK) £33.10
    Mexico Immigration Fee Dsm (S1) £8.60
    Mexico Airport Departure Tax Tua International (XD) £50.40

    But open jaw via the US and the
    Mexico Tourism Tax Derecho No Inmigrante (UK) £33.10
    disappears.

    So do I pay that as I cross the border into Mexico just after paying my B$40 to leave Belize?

    in reply to: Anyone been to Belize?
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    OK, just to clarify here, I’d seen there was a total of B$40 to pay per person to leave Belize by land crossing, but are you saying there’s another fee to pay to arrive into Mexico, which is in turn conditional on you being able to leave???

    Seems odd as I’d have thought they would just charge that as a departure tax, but had read about some confusion/attempted extortion at the border. I’d assume that the hotel will be able to guide us on this as it seems a normal enough journey for them. We’re on BA back to London from MEX.

    in reply to: Anyone been to Belize?
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    Thanks all

    Interesting that people are recommending heading south. We were planning on going north as we need to get back to Mexico City. No flights from Belize City so we were aiming to cross the border to Chetumal then fly to MEX. Any thoughts?

    The hotel (just south of Corozal) will take the 5 of us to Chetumal airport for $125 which seemed quite reasonable.

    in reply to: Anyone been to Belize?
    The real Swiss Tony 652 posts

    What does the FCDO travel section advise?

    The FCDO is far more – how shall we say – sympathetic than its Canadian or US counterparts….

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