I had a short hop to Paris last Friday, starting my rather long and involved Birthday based holiday.
The first flight was a 55 minute hop from London to Paris with British Airways, and in particular a flight attendant called Linus.
I mention this only because he showed what could be done in such a short time. There were 12 people in Club Europe and Linus managed a drinks round from the trolley, a separate meal service, warmed scones and tea and coffee for everyone in the time available. He was through the cabin for almost every minute of the flight seeing if people wanted anything else.
As we came in for our approach he provided plastic cups for the two people in row 3 still enjoying their Champagne.
It was so good that I gave out my first Golden Ticket. The scheme is provided by BA to allow Gold Card Holders to recognise exceptional service, and honestly I’d never given one out before. But Linus deserved it – every minute of those 55 minutes we took for the flight made me feel good about being with British Airways.
I wrote a few days ago about a pretty decent Hyatt promo that was selectively being offered to members.
Many people were not selected for this promo.
Other offers have now appeared which you might be able to register with:
I’ve still not been selected for a promo however.
In a serious example of civil disobedience, one of Iceland’s volcanos appears to be heading for an eruption. The aviation warning level has been raised to Orange and everyone is holding their breathe. Many British people end their holidays this weekend as it’s a Bank Holiday here on Monday, co-incident with my birthday. So of course, some natural disaster has to occur in order to make the newspapers have some headlines.
So, is there anything one can do?
Probably not in truth as there is no clue when or even if anything will happen. Since the last volcano eruption the world knows a lot about how to manage the impact on aviation. In addition, they say that the ash in the last cloud was especially fine, causing serious havoc on airplane engines.
For me, I’m taking the risk and planning on simply going. Worst case is that I will be stuck somewhere, might have to get a train home from somewhere in Europe, or I’ll simply get home.
Who knows, but watch this space!
The BBC is reporting:
“Intense seismic activity” began at the volcano on 16 August, and there was a strong earthquake in the region early on Monday, the met office said.
“This is the strongest earthquake measured in the region since 1996.
“Presently there are no signs of eruption, but it cannot be excluded that the current activity will result in an explosive subglacial eruption, leading to an outburst flood and ash emission,” the met office said, adding that the situation was being monitored.
Hyatt, once marked by the generousness of its promotions, has launched a new campaign for the autumn. Unfortunately it’s VERY targeted and eligible members should have received an email in the past few days. Un-targeted as I am (again) by Hyatt I begin to wonder what you have to do to get a promo from this company these days.
The offer is:
Stay /Earn / Total Bonus Earned
5 Nights + 5,000 Points = 5,000
10 Nights + 10,000 Points = 15,000
15 Nights + 15,000 Points = 30,000
20 Nights + 20,000 Points = 50,000
Details of the rules are as follows:
Terms & Conditions
You must receive this offer from Hyatt and register by November 30, 2014 through the email link above to participate in this offer. You will receive 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points after you complete five Eligible Nights, an additional 10,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points after you complete ten Eligible Nights, an additional 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points after you complete fifteen Eligible Nights, and an additional 20,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points after you complete twenty Eligible Nights from September 1, 2014 through November 30, 2014. A maximum 50,000 bonus points may be earned, regardless of the number of nights completed during the offer period. For the purpose of this offer, an “Eligible Night” is defined as any night where a member is paying an Eligible Rate, as defined in the terms and conditions of Hyatt Gold Passport, except that nights at M life resorts do not count as Eligible Nights under this offer. Hyatt Gold Passport members will only receive Eligible Night credit for their room, regardless of the number of rooms paid. You must provide your Hyatt Gold Passport membership number at the time of check-in and choose points or miles for your stay. Hyatt Gold Passport will automatically track Eligible Nights when you provide your Hyatt Gold Passport membership number. Please allow two to three weeks after your stay for bonus points to be posted to your Hyatt Gold Passport account.
If you want to see whether you have been selected for special treatment you can attempt to register here.
Personally had I been able to register this would have earned me 30,000 Gold Passport points so it’s a good promo in my book, albeit, not one that I am allowed to play in.
I wrote last week about Regus (the office rental company) opening a lounge on the arrivals side of Terminal 5. There was a free offer to get a one time pass. However, the web site misbehaved and generated an error when you tried to get your pass.
Over the weekend Regus emailed out the passes so if you asked for one, got the error you should check your emails as there might be a nice surprise waiting for you.
Regus, the office rental and business lounge provider has just opened the first non-BA lounge at Heathrow’s Terminal 5. As part of the promotion for the opening, Heathrow Airport Worldpoints frequent-shopper scheme can claim a free one time pass, worth £39.
The free pass application page is here.
Just drop down the list and select Heathrow Airport Terminal 5.
The pass will get you access, free WiFi and refreshments in their Business Lounge.
For those that don’t know, using an approved Virtuoso booking agent can score you extra benefits in some luxury hotels across the world. Classictravel.com is the first agent I have found who offer these rates online. Many agents operate via email or on the phone, and it’s great looking at the rates here so you can compare value with other sites online.
Benefits often include a room upgrade, breakfast and/or late check-out and sometimes a $100 food and beverage credit.
Most excitingly there are a number of Hyatt properties available at reasonable rates.
- Grand Hyatt, Shanghai
- Park Hyatt Paris – Vendome
- Park Hyatt Toronto
- Park Hyatt Milan
- Palacio Duhua – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires
- Park Hyatt ,Saigon
- Park Hyatt, Tokyo
- Park Hyatt, Chicago
- Ararat Park Hyatt, Moscow
- Park Hyatt, Sydney
- Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez
- Hyatt Regency Kyoto
- Park Hyatt Seoul
- Park Hyatt Beijing
- Park Hyatt Mendoza
- Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
- Park Hyatt Istanbul – Macka Palas
- Park Hyatt, Zurich
- Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa
- Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi
- Park Hyatt, Washington DC
- Park Hyatt, Melbourne
- Park Hyatt Beaver Creek
- Park Hyatt Shanghai
- Park Hyatt Siem Reap
- Park Hyatt Dubai
- Park Hyatt Aviara Resort and Spa
- Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa
- Hyatt Regency Indian Well Resort and Spa
- Park Hyatt New York
A quick check of the deal showed the following (randomly selected dates):
Park Hyatt, Washington DC (7-8 November)
This is the Virtuoso deal:
• Upgrade at time of booking if available
• Daily full breakfast for two
• Early check-in/late check-out if available
• $100 USD Hotel credit
Virtuoso Park Deluxe King – $299 (including deal above)
Hyatt Flexible Rate – $299
Advance Purchase Rate – $255
Grand Hyatt, Shanghai (2-3 December)
• Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
• Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests
• Early check-in/late check-out subject to availability
• $100 USD Food & Beverage credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
Viruoso Grand King – CNY2000
Hyatt Flexible Rate CNY2000
Advance Purchase Rate CNY1600
You can check their web site for yourself here. (No commission being paid)
Classic Travel also have a smaller number of hotels in a separate scheme ‘Preferred Partner Hotels‘ which offer other deals if you book via the Classic Travel site. Here are some examples – there about over 20 of them so follow the link and check them for your future plans.
Whilst the proposition here is similar that offered through American Express but of course you can use any credit card you like to pay for the deal. Many hotels booked this way allows cancellation 48 hours before arrival, although you need to check this by property. Some properties include a free upgrade at time of booking, not simply at time of check-in. Worth considering if you want to lock in that nicer room.
Four Season, Forte, Ritz-Carlton and non-chain properties are also included so it may well be worth looking when you next plan your trip. There are 25 properties in New York.
Although European hotels do not feature in the examples above, there are plenty of those too.
United have a tiered fare based bonus running for the next 3 months on their Chicago to Shanghai service.
Ticketing dates: July 28, 2014 – December 6, 2014.
Travel dates: July 28, 2014 – December 6, 2014.
You can earn the bonus on up to four roundtrips.
There are some pretty decent Business Class fares from Copenhagen to the USA on sale at the moment. Many work in the autumn, most at Christmas and some continue in to 2015. (I just booked one for next July!). (About 9 DKK to £1).
British Airways, Swiss and UA all seem to have seats on sale for about £1050 roundtrip, in Business Class. You can, if you are crafty, book the London City to JFK service by forcing the connection in London from Heathrow to City. (This gives out more Tier Points – 210 against the normal 140 for a trip across the Atlantic.) These are fares with BA for example:
The fares to LA are fairly decent too:
All the above fares are further discountable using the BA Shareholder Discount (10% off the base fare) and by the use of up to 7,500 Avois to take about another DKK850 off the fare.
If you managed to book via the London City Service, you would earn 500 Tier Points, just a short jump from the 600 needed for Silver Status. Booking via Heathrow only nets 360 Tier Points, leaving you a way to go for Silver.
Options around Christmas are as follows with some good Star Alliance and SkyTeam flights if you need some additional EQM’s at year-end. The Swiss Business Class product is super and worth the experience. This for departure on 24 December for example:
If you want to try the Swiss product I found these fares work on Swiss.Com as well as United’s sites. Some of the flights when booking with UA book as codeshares with Swiss or Lufthansa.
If you book before the end of August you can secure an upgrade to First Class on the Heathrow Express for the price of a the second class fare. In addition a round trip will earn 400 avios (200 one-way).
To book you need to visit this web site.
Once you have chosen your date – and you can book for dates beyond 31st Aug – you see this booking page with the fares:
Note the Business First and Express class are the same fare. Check the Business First fare you want and then pay for your ticket. Tickets are either emailed or sent to your phone. You choose. Present a printout or the phone to the agent on the train.
Still a horridly expensive trip, but if you use it anyway, you may as well do it nicely.
You can read my review of the Heathrow Express here.