Nov302019

Never mind the terrorists, I booked a winter trip to London

The promotions for Black Friday over-consumerism tends to be a day I tune out shopping. I spent an hour or two in the morning studying travel deals only to be unconvinced that many of these deals were exceptional deals. I am sure there were some great deals to be found, however, TAP Portugal 20% off tickets showed me the same ticket prices I saw last week for places I have been watching.

Fairmont and Hyatt Gift Card deals seem good if you normally pay to stay at those hotel brands. I generally find hotels that are discounted far more than a Hyatt 10% off rate.

Best Western $20 bonus travel card on a $100 BW Travel Card purchase is a decent budget deal, however, the problem with Best Western Travel cards is they cannot be used on advance purchase rates, effectively eliminating most of the savings if you would otherwise book an advance purchase discount rate.

In 2014 and 2015 I was in London for Black Friday with an opportunity to read newspapers and see TV describing how our USA mass-consumerism had spread into Europe. There was a backlash I saw then that has become even more pronounced in Europe’s 2019 media coverage with commentary articles in The Guardian like Alan Bradshaw’s Mass consumerism is destroying our planet. This Black Friday, let’s take a stand and Eva Kruse Before you jump on the Black Friday sales train ask yourself: do you need this? about mass-produced clothing and how Europeans are buying more clothing, yet keeping clothes for shorter periods.

Never mind the terrorists, here’s the London deals

United $384 SFO-LHR round trip; 12,000 Choice Privileges points weekdays, 8,000 points weekends

The ‘Greta effect’ has kept me grounded for five months since my return from Sweden in July. My time at home has been my longest stretch staying in California in more than a decade. Generally I take advantage of shoulder season deals to travel to Europe in the fall.

For the past few weeks I have been contemplating a trip to London this winter to take advantage of the super low fares from San Francisco, ticket prices under $300 round trip some days. Yesterday I put the pieces together with United Airlines SFO-London Heathrow tickets for $383.15 round trip with most fuel efficient nonstop flights.

Choice Privileges has some terrific London hotel deals at 12,000 points per night on weekdays and 8,000 points per night Fri and Sat at several hotels in February.

I redeemed 76,000 Choice Privileges points for 7 nights in London. I paid about $390 to buy 76,000 Choice Privileges points last May. Through December 5, US and Canada residents can buy Choice Privileges points with 40% bonus points offering 77,000 points for $544.50.

My 7 nights of Choice Privileges reward night reservations for 76,000 points had a posted low room rate of $1,757  or $251 per night each night in central London. My nightly rate worked out to $56 per night based on the rate I bought Choice Privileges points in May 2019. The nightly rate would be $77 per night for someone buying Choice Privileges points with the current 40% bonus points sale.

London weekend hotel nights at most Choice Hotels in February are only 8,000 points.

Or $59.40 per night if you buy 16,800 Choice Privileges points during the current 40% bonus points sale.

The ‘Greta Effect’ reduced my travel footprint in Fall 2019. London in Winter 2020 will see me contribute a much larger travel footprint on the climate as I relocate for a few weeks to Europe.

Air travel is an addiction I can reduce, but not eliminate entirely from my lifestyle at this time. As someone who has traveled extensively for the past two decades, there are unprecedented bargain travel deals available these days.

Go ahead. ‘OK Boomer’ me.

You can recognize me as the guy wearing the same generally unfashionable clothing day after day I purchased only after I needed a replacement for the last pair of jeans or shoes or shirt tossed out due to extensive wear and tear. We can all pitch in somewhere to keep consumerism in check.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. Two people were stabbed. They died. People die all the time. Every year many people get stabbed in London. No news.

    Every year people get shot and killed in the USA. No news.

    Three people get stabbed and it’s news. Why? Because the guy had no motive. A brown guy wanted to kill because he was pissed at what whites (and nowdays just the cosmopolitan western culture) had done. That’s it. The lack of motive was unsettling. We don’t care if a guy shoots up a bar commiting robbery. But no motive killing is world news.

    The media and the western people are stupid fucks. This was no news.

  2. You basically always travel on deeeeeep discount economy tickets, and rinsing them for fast track and lounges benefits so will be very close to being a marginal loss for United never mind an absolute loss. You aren’t the problem.

    Also – Black Friday in the UK seems to be dying? It never has had thanksgiving/bank holiday to give it massive impetus, only the possible savings, and whilst a few years back it did start to feel like a thing, a lot of shops (other than perhaps Amazon) have really not go in for it this year.

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