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InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG)

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During a recent weekend mileage run/very mini-vacation to the UK, I enjoyed a night at the Holiday Inn Express London Heathrow T4, conveniently located just a few minutes’ walk from Terminal 4.

This airport hotel is a fantastic option if you have a long layover in London and don’t want to schlep into the city. The property is clean and very new. The staff is quite welcoming and friendly. My room was nice, homey, and comfortable.

Food and beverage were — fine.

We’ve posted a number of mileage runs with long Heathrow layovers or options to spend the night. I highly recommend staying at this hotel.

Like most airport hotels, it’s not a destination property where I’d vacation for days on end. (“Hey, kids! How excited are you to stay for our week at the Holiday Inn Express Heathrow?!” crickets)

That being said, this is what I experienced during my visit.

The topics of “independence” and “travel,” got my mind going a bit. I thought about “free agents”: people who shop around for the best deal and don’t stick to just one airline or hotel loyalty program.

Many Rene’s Points readers are very loyal — or at least rather partial — to Delta Air Lines. Because I’m a Delta Medallion and fly the mothership during 90% of my travels, really I’m not an airline free agent per se.

At least not yet, though the mothership sometimes does cute things to test us (like upgrade people in Basic Economy, sell first class seats for $2, devalue SkyMiles…)

Hotel-wise, that’s a different story. That’s where I am a free agent and I must say — I kind of like it.

Like most things in life, it has its pros and cons.

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