Parking cheaply at Heathrow, Reader question – finding cheap flights with tier points & Hawaii hotels

St Regis offerSt Regis Princeville, Kauai

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How to get cheap Heathrow parking

heathrow parking options

If you are booking parking at Heathrow for the busy summer season you will no doubt have noticed it is getting very expensive. As well as all the usual offsite parking offers there is another company worth considering. I have just booked my parking for 2 days with Just Park. This is a very different parking company as they sell spaces from a range of different businesses as well as private parking spaces (which you could consider renting out if you have a parking spot in a prime location to sell).

I was charged £11.50 for 2 days parking at the Marriott Heathrow. Looking at mid-August, private driveways very close to Heathrow start at £3.50 a day. Obviously, you still need to get the airport after you have parked, but many of the spaces are close to public transport or you could use a local minicab. The Heathrow hotels that they offer are often very convenient with the Hoppa service at £5 each way to Heathrow but many are also on the free bus route which means that if you don’t have too much luggage, it is a very cheap way to park for Heathrow without too much hassle. In my case, the Marriott Concierge looks after the details at the hotel when you arrive.

Just Park offer parking spaces everywhere not just at airports. There is also an app for when you are already travelling. You can find the Just Park website here.

You can find other Heathrow parking suggestions and a review of Pod Parking here.

Hawaii hotel offer

Westin Moana, Honolulu

If you snapped up one of the great Hawaii flight deals I talked about here, you may need to book some hotels. Starwood has a special offer on their hotels in Hawaii for Starwood Preferred Guest members with rates starting from a very reasonable $169 and a good range of hotels. The promotion is called Pack for Paradise and is available at resorts on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii’s Big Island.

Hawaii is one of my favourite destinations in the world but it is very expensive when you get there both for hotels and food so it is worth trying to book with a discount or sale. I have stayed at several SPG properties in Hawaii – the Westin Moana Surfrider in Waikiki and the St Regis Princeville on Kauai (see picture at the start of article). Both I would recommend. As per most of Hawaii, neither were particularly modern but both had special qualities. The Moana has a perfect location on Waikiki and is a stunning building with lots of history. The bar, set under an enormous Banyan Tree on Waikiki beach, is a great place to watch the sunset with a drink. The St Regis has a stunning setting on Kauai with the mountains as a backdrop.

You need to book by 30  September 2018, for travel until 20 December 2018 and be a member of SPG to get the cheapest rates. You can find the promotion page here. 

Reader Question – booking flights for a cheap price but maximising tier points

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple in Bali, Indonesia.

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Reader J wrote “I’m looking to travel with my wife plus 2 Children to Bali in April next year and wondered if you have any tips for lower fares but maximising tier points. We’re all BAEC members, myself being gold, to make the most out of the Avios also.

There is one main rule when maximising tier points – fly indirect with as many stops as possible. This also usually means lower fares too than direct flights. Usually, the cheapest way to get to Asia is to start your trip from somewhere else in Europe thereby avoiding APD tax. The best places to look from are Amsterdam, Scandinavia, Helsinki and Italy. Eastern Europe can also have some good fares although often the hassle and cost of getting there negates the saving plus a few of the Qatar routes to Doha don’t get the long haul tier points.

The first thing to do is a multi starting point search in Google flights. You can add up to 5 starting destinations in Google Flights. You can also narrow it down to just oneworld flights. However, as Emirates fly there it may be worth looking at their flights too on a Qantas codeshare to get the tier points and Avios. Once you have found your flight, input the details to ITA matrix and you can easily see all the fare rules and try to add extra legs if you want to maximise the tier points. This article has more on both tools.

I had a look and the cheapest oneworld flights are currently coming in around £1783 from Milan on BA. This would get plenty of tier points and Avios, especially if you did the positioning flights in Club Europe. If you did the full itinerary which is Milan-London-Kuala Lumpur-Bali in business class you would get 320 for the main flights and 160 for the short flights not including getting to and from Milan. Add in some positioning flights and you are looking at 560 total. The next cheapest is Qatar and BA from Milan. These are coming out at around £1933 for routeing Milan-London-Doha-Bali. This itinerary would get you 640 tier points plus another 80 if you added the positioning flights so you may decide it is worth the added value. Qatar have a good business class product but the seats on the Bali flights are the old B777 in a 2-2-2 layout.

Qatar B777 review

B777 seats

The other thing to consider is that Qatar would normally offer Bali for around £1400 in a sale ex EU though there is no predicting when the next one will be apart from Black Friday in November. However, this far in advance, I would say you can probably afford to wait a bit.

If you wanted to go from London Qatar will offer the best tier points but it would be worth looking at Cardiff and Gatwick as well since prices can be cheaper from there.