One World Sapphire benefits with BA? Not much it seems

BA looking after the £'s!I received a last minute request to meet with a client in London last week.  Looking at Skycanner, it seemed that an EasyJet / BA combo from Edinburgh to Gatwick was the cheapest that matched the times I needed.  There was a BA option (returning from Heathrow) for an extra £16, which seemed to make sense – my EasyJet Plus membership recently ran out and I expect I would have spent that much on Speedy Boarding.

I booked my flights with BA and added my Cathay Pacific Gold card details.  This is One World Sapphire, which is equivalent to Silver Exec Club.  I should have lounge access along with the ability to select my seats at the time of booking free of charge along with using business check-in counters.

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Trattoria Pomo D’oro, Budapest – Hungary

After Dinner Drinks at Pomo D'oroI had been in Budapest for a weekend with MrsTravelFreak and the 2 youngest JuniorTravelFreaks (JTF’s). As our flight home was late evening, we had planned for a late lunch. It was a bit later than ‘late’ and much later than both the JTF’s and myself would have liked, however MrsTravelFreak had her heart set on visiting Trattoria Pomo D’oro that she had read about online. I was thinking of the best possible method of inflicting pain upon her as we had had been walking for what seemed like an age, when luckily for us all, we turned the corner and could make out the flag for Pomo D’oro.

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Gatwick Express price ‘freeze’ not quite as ‘cool’ as you may think

Not really Frozen!OK – time for another rant!  As a frequent traveller to London Gatwick, I use Gatwick Express from time to time.

Gatwick Express takes you from Gatwick into London’s Victoria station while Southern and First Capital Connect will take you into London Bridge and St Pancras respectively.  The journey takes around 30 minutes with all operators. For a standard class ‘Anytime’ fare, Gatwick Express charge you £19.90 for the journey, Southern £10.70 and First Capital Connect just £10 – with a saving of almost 50% over Gatwick Express.

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Travel Pony – A new hotel booking company

Share the Pony!I first heard of Travel Pony a while back when I saw a friend had posted on Facebook that they saved some money on hotels.  The idea behind Travel Pony is that you do all of their marketing work for them (i.e. tell people about the site) and in return they give you some of their marketing budget back as a discount on hotel rooms.  Power to the people and all of that.  I saw an ad for it online the other day so decided I would give it a try for an upcoming trip to Madrid in July for MrsTravelFreak and I.

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An unusual way to save money on hotel rates

UnusualI was looking for some hotels today for an upcoming trip to Europe when I discovered something pretty cool.

I use a number of sites when booking my trip including TrivagoTrivago is a site that compares a number of other travel sites I order to find the best price.  I have been using Trivago for years and it didn’t seem very popular in the UK, although with recent TV adverts I think it’s becoming more known now.

When searching for a hotel in Madrid I noticed something that I hadn’t seen before.  At first I thought it was an internal system test – a mistake – but in actual fact it was much better. Continue Reading…

Jute Cafe Bar, Dundee – United Kingdom

Toberlone Martini - yummy!Having arrived back from Singapore recently (with jet-lag killing me much more than usual this trip) I managed to bag a precious night out with MrsTravelFreak while calling on granny to entertain the JuniorTravelFreaks.

We were all set for an afternoon of shopping (MrsTravelFreak’s idea) and drinking (my idea) along with a fancy meal out in Auld Reekie (Edinburgh for the uneducated), when we discovered that there was engineering works on the railway line and that a bus replacement service was in operation.  I despise travelling by bus and I despise the fact that ‘they’ had to pick this weekend to perform the engineering works.  I mean, well really!  After some discussion with Mrs TravelFreak we agreed that Dundee was the only real option available to us.

I don’t know a lot about Dundee really other than:

  • It’s cold
  • Dundonians (people from Dundee) call roundabouts ‘circles’ which is a little weird
  • There are always, always roadworks happening right in the middle of the city

We left the train station and found ourselves in the middle of a building site.  Having eventually found somewhere for MrsTravelFreak to shop, I decided it was time for an afternoon libation.  A quick Google search for ‘cocktails Dundee’ came up with very few results; Jute it seemed, was the best option.

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Piedra Negra, Singapore

Chilli PepperExamining the stamps on my passport recently, I concluded that, for a man who lives in Scotland, I I travel to Singapore a lot.  Luckily for me, when travelling to Singapore I always fly in Business, with either Air France or Emirates.  If I fly with Air France, I have flown from Edinburgh to Paris, had a 3-hour layover in the (completely unremarkable and boring) lounge at CDG and then boarded a 14-hour flight to Singapore.  If I travel with Emirates, I have travelled 8 hours to Dubai, stopped off at the (much better) Emirates lounge for a few hours, and then had another 8-hour flight to Singapore.  Either way, I always arrive sweaty, dazed, confused and generally a bit broken.

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The Bridge Inn, Ratho – United Kingdom

PiggyI was invited out for a not-often-enough midweek dinner with a friend and she suggested this venue. Despite being an Edinburgh born and bred lass, I didn’t know this place existed.

I arrived in the dark so the pub appeared to be nestled by the waterside. Although not in use on a freezing night in November, there was an outside seating area which I imagine would be very pretty on a summers day.

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Pix Pintxos, London – UK

Cocktail SticksThis is an original idea for UK soil and sells a varied selection of Barcelona style Pintxos. These are served buffet style at the front bar. Every item has its own cocktail stick and you are charged based on how many cocktails sticks you have used at the end of the night.
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Sheraton Suites Plantation, Florida – USA

Tea bagsMy client had booked this hotel for myself and some 18 other people.  The benefits of this (to the client) were that they got a very cheap rate ($69).  The benefits to me seemed limited.

I had flown in to Miami the night before, having taken full advantage of the Air France business class product. I had an overnight stay at the Hilton Miami Airport so it was around noon when I arrived at the Sheraton Suites in Plantation.

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