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Final HfP Christmas Party tickets sold at 10am – three new raffle prizes added

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The 2nd and final batch of tickets for the Head for Points reader Christmas party, sponsored by Qatar Airways, will go on sale at 10am today, Saturday.

The party will take place on Tuesday 12th December from 6pm to 8pm at the Dry Martini Bar at the Melia White House hotel, Regents Park (Great Portland Street tube).

The link to buy is here.


The first 75 tickets sold out in a minute yesterday.  If you missed out, hopefully you can jump in today.

(It is quite clear now that not everyone who wants to come will be able to make it.  Sorry.  Last year it took us 8 hours to sell 150 tickets – and the price was cheaper – so we never expected such overwhelming demand this year.  It looks like around 1,000 people tried to get tickets yesterday.  Next year we will look at a different model, potentially a nominal entry fee with a cash bar and space for 300 instead of 150.  However, for 2017, we are where we are.)

Three new raffle prizes added

Every guest on the night will get a free raffle ticket.  We now have roughly £4,500 of prizes to give out.

Warning – the raffle could take a while, given how many prizes we now have!  The upside is that your chance of winning is better than 1 in 10.

Here are the three new prizes we are announcing today:

  • Avios Group – 20,000 Avios
  • Virgin Flying Club – 20,000 Virgin Flying Club miles
  • Vueling – a €500 flight voucher, which should be enough to get two people a return flight in ‘Excellence’ class (terms and conditions apply)

Thanks to Drew, Karen and Adam for these prizes.

As a reminder, here are the other raffle prizes that have generously been offered so far:

The main prize:

  • Qatar Airways:  1 Business Class return ticket from the UK to any Qatar Airways destination (some small print applies, but not much)


And a goody bag

Every guest will take home a goody bag.  We have some decent items lined up to include.

If your company would like to contribute promotional material (150 sets needed) to the goody bags in return for a contribution towards the bar bill, please email me at anika at

How do I get my ticket?

Because we need to ensure that people who ask for tickets turn up, we are charging £20 per ticket.  This price includes VAT.

However, your £20 ticket covers unlimited house wine and beer between 6pm and 8pm.  Soft drinks will also be available.  Spirits etc can be purchased for cash.  We are not making a penny from this and indeed Qatar Airways is footing the bulk of the cost.  After 8pm, the bar will remain open for cash payments for anyone who wants to stay longer.

The 2nd and final batch of tickets will go on sale TODAY at 10am via this link.  Realistically I would not expect them to last beyond 10.05.

You can buy up to two tickets per person. American Express is accepted.

Thank you to Qatar Airways

We couldn’t have put the party together without generous financial support from Qatar Airways.

Regular readers will know that we rate the Qatar Airways business class product very highly – especially the new Qsuite currently being introduced (photo below) which comes with its own door.

The fact that you can earn Avios and British Airways tier points when you fly with Qatar Airways, due to their membership of the oneworld alliance, is an extra bonus.  If the prize winner books themselves onto a Boeing 777 service from London Heathrow they have an excellent chance of being able to try Qsuite!

There will be Qatar Airways staff at the party if you want to know more about what they have to offer.

Qatar Airways Qsuite

Comments (160)

  • Ian says:

    Sold out in seconds again.

    Congratulations to Rob and Anika, you have the hottest ticket in town. It’s a testament to the quality of the site.

    I managed to get 1 ticket today. I had my laptop refreshing every second and also the app on my phone. It was the app that I managed to get the ticket on. Quite a relief as I had already spent over £200 on travel arrangements to get there and back!

  • Rob says:

    Actually, its not impossible that the tickets could sell out in split seconds, rather than bots being in place. With thousands of people accessing the site at spot on 10am, and only 50 tickets available – its pretty obvious that you just have to be lucky. I missed out unfortunately and am really disappointed like everyone else, but I don’t think there is anything strange or untoward going on. I wish all of you who got tickets a great event and may see some of you at 8pm. Thanks Rob for giving us all this chance for a meet-up, very well thought out and great kudos to you and your site.

    • Rob says:

      As I said, there were 500 click outs from the site to Eventbrite and that excludes clicks from the 10,000 email readers.

    • Ed T says:

      Perhaps the mobile app allows for ultra quick purchases? I tried through the eventbrite website and I was not mucking about. I was watching the time carefully and refreshing the page. It was literally _impossible_ for me to get a ticket. I barely made any progress in the flow of the purchase, so I’m struggling to see how it was even possible via the eventbrite website. Which makes me think there mobile app must be the key.

  • TripRep says:

    Firstly thanks to Rob & Anika for running these, I know they don’t have to.

    Just a suggestion for next time, maybe Rob could see how many very regular posters were interested in advance and fulfill their orders (by a raffle if necessary) After all, its often the other contributions by the “HfP community “that allow this site to achieve its full value. 🙂

    • Lochlann says:

      Think that’s a good idea. Testament to Rob and Anika that they’ve been caught out by the massive popularity of the event.

      Any suggestion for HfP status tiers? 😉

      • Ed T says:

        £500 – Gold Level – free event tickets, seat selection at time of booking, and fast track security. 😉

    • Cousin Benson says:

      Full value is in the diversity of answers here. I’m not sure advocating a class system or a clique is the best way to go about it. While many regulars post useful updates, I would say that the diversity and willingness to discuss O/T is what makes the readers section so interesting. Quite often, someone I’ve never heard of will make a suggestion and from this many people will realise a trick or too.

      Of course your position of a triprep is somewhat biased and hence your view.

      • Polly says:

        Agree. The diversity and abundance of experience and advice shared on site is amazing. But quite often there are very basic questions posed that take a lot of time and explanation on some of our parts. People are advised to read the basics really. I often find l have to go right back to basics when helping someone out. It can end up with several exchanges of facts, systems etc. And it can be time consuming. Certainly we don’t expect any preferential treatment. It’s not a clique in any sense of the word. We all live in opposite ends of the British isles and some worldwide folks too (being careful here) so its just being nice!

        Triprep is very helpful.

  • ChrisM says:

    Quite disappointed guys, a fan and follower for years, managed to arrange work travel to coincide in the last few days. Not here to be negative or tell you off, but user experience is at an all time low for this site, server issues, botched ticket sales and events, we are all loyal readers hanging in here!

    Rob, you say maybe double the tickets next year? I would imagine if the venue could hold 300 then you could arrange a second wave of different colour e.g 2 drinks tickets. I was going for the networking, not for a 2 hour all you can drink!

    • Rob says:

      New server contract is now agreed, so at least that will be fixed. I also have a kick-off meeting in the diary for a site redesign. Some progress ….

      The event is not ‘botched’ 🙂 If it took 8 hours to sell the tickets last year you cannot blame us for not anticipating an instant sell out this year. The event itself will be just fine (hopefully!).

      Do remember that we make it all up as we go along. We have no IT training, no event management training, no journalism training, no media management training, no graphic design training, nothing.

      And we need to write 26 articles a week (so 5 per weekday) plus handle numerous meetings and lunches before we even get a minute to think about IT, site redesigns etc.

      Next week – 26 articles to write but I am at Heathrow with Qantas all day on Tuesday, Anika is out all Wednesday reviewing something and we are both at a Hilton event on Thursday during the day.

      • ChrisM says:

        Hi Rob,

        Great to hear on the server front, and by no means did I mean to offend.

        As I say, fan, follower and hanging in there.

        I have you to thank for maximising the use of Avios and making travel that little bit sweeter.

        In terms of botched, possibly a poor choice of words but you must of known after yesterday that it was going to be a disaster 2nd day.

        Its not about whats happened but how you put it right.

        Sounds like you and Anika are very busy (almost too busy) and I wish you nothing but success and I hope next years budget allows you to get on top of tackling a few issues that will allow you continued success.

        I will be outside the Melia with a big sign offering £200 for a spare ticket!


        • Yuff says:


          Perhaps a ticket might appear on eBay and be more successful than an iPhone X selling at a ludicrous mark up.
          Highest I saw was £15k….seriously
          There was some serious demand this year, obviously word got round about how good it was, or perhaps the tips, that can’t be announced on here, were whispered around the room 😉

      • RussellH says:

        > Do remember that we make it all up as we go along. We have no IT training, no event
        > management training, no journalism training, no media management training, no
        > graphic design training, nothing.

        I should not worry yourselves about it! Training is all very well, and often essential, but it is not everything, by any means. Interest in and enthusiasm for what you are doing is at least as important, and IMHO far more so. An interest in what you do can rapidly make up for a lack of formal advance training, because while you will, perforce, have to learn some things, the interest factor makes it much easier!

  • DownTheBack says:

    Rob it’s great testament to the excellent work that you and Anika are doing that everybody wants to come to the Xmas Party but you know the article you have just written this morning about the AMEX Lounge yesterday, guess how a lot of your readers are feeling right now ? Maybe you have some sympathy for the AMEX guys not realising how popular it would be ?

    I’m over my initial disappointment and hope everybody who goes has a great night and enjoys themselves. Out of curiosity Rob how many people actually tried to get a ticket between Fri and Sat ?


  • James Grant says:

    Really disappointing as others have said – but shows how successful HFP has become . Was in at the beginning and shouldn’t have told so many people about it since!

    Moral is also not to book a work trip around it thinking a ticket would be easy to Get!

    Next year should be bigger and a ballot would be fairer

    Have a good party those that made it by the nanosecond!


  • ee says:

    It was possible to get a ticket without bots/anything underhand (I got one yesterday with nothing other than a few obvious bits of data written out and ready to copy and paste into the ticketing system.). I feel very lucky.

    However, I agree something odd has gone on here. Barely anyone is saying in the comments that they have actually got a ticket, even though 150 have now sold. I hope those with tickets are actually interested in miles and haven’t just signed up to win a flight.

    Rob – can you see the email addresses of who bought tickets and reconcile them to see how many of those addresses have ever added comments here? Hopefully the addresses don’t all end .ru or similar….!

    • the real harry1 says:

      lots of .cn apparently 🙂

      would be easy enough to set up a competition same as usual here but with 150 winners instead of 1

      anyway, as mentioned yesterday, last year the tickets took 8 hrs to sell out, so HFP can’t really be blamed for thinking it would take at least a couple of hours this year

    • Fenny says:

      They still need to pay £20 and actually turn up to win anything. Even if I was only mildly interested in airmiles and lived in London, I’d go for it. Plus,a ll attendees get the far better prize of meeting Rob and Anika in person.

      I went last year and had a great time. But the 1.5 days off work, train fare and hotel mean that it’s not really a goer this year even without the scrum for tickets.

      • Genghis says:

        Exactly. For the prizes alone, expected value is £4.5k x 1/150 = £30. You’re also getting the free booze (c.£40) and the goodie bag (IIRC Rob said >£20) so £90 for £20.

  • James T says:

    Thanks for organising this Rob and Anika. There is so much work involved in setting these things up. The numbers wanting to come show what a great job you have done. It is a bit of a lottery I agree. I was a bit slow but my son’s faster fingers got a ticket this year – at 10.00.02 according to the GMT clock. Negotiations have commenced ….

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